Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr says his players face a test of character this weekend having suffered their first setback of the season against Heriot-Watt University.
The Saughton-based outfit’s incredible 35-match unbeaten run which began with a 2-0 pre-season win over East Kilbride in July was finally brought to a halt with a 3-1 defeat by the students at Riccarton six days ago.
Lothian remain top of the East of Scotland League but are just a point better off than Heriot-Watt in second and a further point ahead of champions Leith who have two games in hand.
And now Carr is calling for an instant response tomorrow when Peebles Rovers visit the Capital.
“I’d said to the boys a couple of weeks back that the run was going to come to an end at some point and it will be when you least expect it,” Carr explained.
“With not having been beaten prior to last Saturday, you can find yourselves in a bit of a comfort zone with everyone around you saying ‘oh you’re going to go the whole season unbeaten’. It’s absolute nonsense. The proof will be in the pudding when we play Peebles tomorrow.
“So it’s about how we react now as we don’t want to get ourselves involved in a rut. The reaction was great on Tuesday at training so I’m hoping the guys can take that into the Peebles match.”
He continued: “In a way it’s about bringing the players back down to earth. They now know that they can be beaten. For me personally, I knew it was coming so it was just a case of when.
“We drew with Stirling a few backs having been down against them but we managed to fight back. It’s fine margins. Peebles are an excellent side and have made huge strides this season. We’ve had a few close run-ins with them already.”
Heriot-Watt, meanwhile, will look to make it a Capital double when they host Tynecastle at Riccarton. Leith welcome bottom-of-the-table Burntisland Shipyard to Meadowbank 3G and Ormiston play Tweedmouth Rangers at Recreation Park.