Leith Athletic ready for tougher test after rout

Derek Riddel
Derek Riddel
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Leith Athletic manager Derek Riddel knows that his table-topping side will face an entirely different proposition at Meadowbank this evening against Lowland League Stirling University in the second round of the Image Printers Cup (kick-off 7.45pm).

Athletic increased their lead at the top of the Central Taxis Premier Division at the weekend to three points, after coming back from a goal down to defeat Coldstream 6-1 at Home Park and preserve their unbeaten league record.

Riddel is expected to make some changes tonight, with another tough league encounter with second-placed Easthouses Lily coming up this weekend.

“Tonight’s game will give us a good indication as to where we are compared with one of the top sides in the senior game,” he said. “With a massive league game on Saturday against Easthouses, I will have to mix things up a little for tonight’s game, but we’ll still be fielding a strong XI.”

Athletic went behind to a John Crawford first-half goal on Saturday, but in the 65th minute Leith’s Kenny Hall was sent tumbling inside the area by Coldstream keeper Mark Walters who received his marching orders as a result. Jamie Lauder’s resultant spot-kick was touched onto the crossbar by Sean Simpson, who took over in the Coldstream goal, but Chris Beaton slotted in the rebound.

Lewis Martin added another five minutes later, and a superb Lauder free-kick increased Leith’s advantage on 75 minutes. Keith Murray netted a quickfire double soon after, before Stephen Baigan completed the rout with the sixth goal on 86 minutes.

Easthouses Lily’s 5-0 victory over Craigroyston at St Mark’s Park sets them up nicely for this weekend’s clash of the top two at Meadowbank.

Gavin Tainsh netted on nine minutes with a close-range effort, and Ryan McQueenie doubled Lily’s lead at the start of the second period. Further goals came from Darren Robertson and Mark Brown on 64 and 68 minutes, with Brown adding a fifth goal on full time.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale emerged triumphant from a five-goal thriller at Saughton Enclosure against Tynecastle. Lothian took the lead through Liam O’Donnell, with Robbie McIntyre equalising for the visitors soon after.

In the second half, Tony Muir handed Tynecastle the advantage but an impressive curling free-kick from Louis Swanson and a late strike from O’Donnell saw Hutchie snatch the points moments after Chris Milligan struck the post for Tynecastle.

Civil Service Strollers are now seven games unbeaten in the league after a 2-1 victory over Stirling University. Paul Greenhill and Chris Tobin were on target for Ross McNeill’s side although Strollers had to play the final 20 minutes with nine men after Neil Campbell and Ross McWilliams were ordered off.

FIRST DIVISION

With their matches at Duns and Kelso called off on Saturday morning due to the rain, Ormiston and Heriot-Watt University met at Recreation Park in a re-arranged fixture, and a devastating first-half performance saw Chris Smith’s students 4-0 up at the break.

Heriot-Watt’s goals came courtesy of a double strike from on-loan Spartans midfielder Sean Mushin, Elliot Sutherland and a Jordan Mack own goal.

George Cunningham netted two second-half penalties for Ormiston but Heriot-Watt hung on to win 4-2.

Smith was delighted as

Heriot-Watt moved to within a point of Ormiston and Peebles Rovers at the top of the Central Taxis First Division.

“We were very clinical in the first half and after the disappointment of hearing that our game down at Kelso had been postponed, the boys were certainly raring to go,” he said.

“The first-half lead gave us a cushion and we defended very well in the second half. Our goalkeeper has had to make some very important saves in the game and I was a little disappointed with the manner in which we conceded the second penalty, but on the whole, it was a really good win for us.”

Ormiston manager Brian Johnston lamented the loss of his injured front pairing of Declan Quinn and Dean Woods.

“Declan and Dean might have made a bit of a difference up front for us with their pace, but I can’t take anything away from Heriot-Watt, who were brilliant in the first half,” he said.