Leith Athletic boss Riddel hails club for backing

Leith Athletic manager Derek Riddel
Leith Athletic manager Derek Riddel
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Leith Athletic manager Derek Riddel has paid tribute to the club’s committee as his players stand on the brink of winning the East of Scotland league title tonight.

Riddel’s men require just a point from their trip to Burntlsland Shipyard after Saturday’s 3-1 victory over Tynecastle at Saughton Enclosure.

Reigning champions and second-placed Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale are the only side who can mathematically stop Leith from securing the title but even that remains a tall order. Lothian would need to win their two remaining matches, Leith lose both of theirs and have a 22-goal swing in their favour.

But Riddel insists his players are determined to finish the job across in Fife tonight ahead of Friday’s final fixture of the season away to Lothian.

“We’ve wanted to be in this position for such a long time. We came into the league eight years ago and we said to the committee we’d build a team up and they’ve allowed us to do that,” he said. “Some teams pay money but we’re using the guys who have come through the club. It’s been a long process but the committee have been so understanding so it will be great for them to get some recognition.

“I’m delighted we’ve got to where we are as it’s been such a long year. We were pretty close last season but fell away at the final hurdle. All going well we should be crowned champions tonight. We’ve just got to play our own game and go and try and win it. We certainly won’t be playing for a point. Burntlisland is always a difficult place to go and I’m sure they won’t want us winning the league on their own turf.”

Lothian, meanwhile, will try to keep their slim hopes alive as they travel to the Borders to take on Coldstream tonight. Raymond Carr’s side triumphed 4-2 over Civil Service Strollers on Saturday – James Guy, Kevin Brown, Dean Cummings and Darren Smith all on target.

Elsewhere, Craigroyston, who host Hawick Royal Albert at St Mark’s Park this evening, will hope to build on their 2-1 weekend win at bottom side Eyemouth United.

Ormiston moved into the top half with a 2-0 victory at Duns on Saturday and are on the road tonight against Peebles Rovers.

Tynecastle host Civil Service Strollers tomorrow night.