Lothian fear they may finish season unbeaten but lose league on goal difference

Paul Crawford

Paul Crawford

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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale defender Paul Crawford believes there is every chance this season’s East of Scotland League title could be decided by goal difference.

The Saughton-based side racked up another seven goals at the weekend against a below-par Coldstream outfit – a result that sent Raymond Carr’s men a point clear of champions Leith at the top whose trip to Eyemouth United was postponed due to the weather.

Lothian also have a marginally better goal difference than their nearest challengers – an outcome that favoured the club when they pipped Easthouses to the championship in the old Premier Division two years ago.

“We won the league two years ago on goal difference so we know just how important it can be come the end of the season,” 27-year-old Crawford explained. “We need to score as many goals as we can. As soon as we score, we want to get the ball back from the kick-off and try and score again. We’ve also only conceded just nine goals in the league this season so that will stand us in good stead too.

“A lot of the boys have been saying I haven’t scored for the last three years but helping us keep clean sheets is my primary focus. For the likes of myself and the captain Grant Munro, and goalkeeper Kevin Swain, keeping a clean sheet is just as important as it is for the guys up top who are there to score the goals.”

Crawford believes Lothian haven’t been given the credit they deserve for their unblemished record this season which currently stands at 32 matches.

“We’ve been on this run since the start of pre-season which is quite incredible,” he said. “I don’t think we get the credit that’s due to be honest. I know a few of them have been friendlies but we’ve played and beaten a lot of good teams this season. The boys are putting everything in to getting that league title back.”

Lothian travel to Hawick Royal Albert for their Football Nation Qualifying Cup semi-final tie tomorrow night.

Elsewhere, Heriot-Watt University edged out Ormiston 2-1 at Recreation Park.