Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale moved to within four points of league leaders Leith Athletic after a 1-0 victory over Spartans EOS at Saughton.
With the race for the Central Taxis Premier Division now entering the final stretch, the reigning champions grabbed an important win with ten minutes to go thanks to a Sean Wringe strike.
Lothian boss Raymond Carr admitted that a heavy pitch at Saughton made playing conditions far from ideal, but was delighted to see his side keep their title ambitions on track.
“The pitch wasn’t great. A tractor had gone across it and at times it was very difficult to get the ball down and play the football you want to play.
“In terms of chances created, there wasn’t many and it was probably going to take a set-piece to win it and luckily for us we got it”
Carr sympathised with his opposite number Alex Cunningham who described the surface as the “worst I’ve seen in East of Scotland football”, but feels that players now have to adapt to different surfaces.
“Not all teams play on grass. Some have the luxury of 3G and 4G surfaces which is what Spartans have at Ainslie Park and are very much used to.
“The pitch at Saughton is owned by Edinburgh Leisure and not ourselves. But players have to try and adapt to grass as well as artificial, if there is no danger to player safety then the game starts and you have to get on with it.”
League leaders Leith Athletic claimed what could prove to be an important point at Meadowbank after Craigroyston threatened to bring their seven game unbeaten run to an end.
Chris Inglis had given Craigroyston a half-time lead, only for Keith Murray to net his 26th goal of the season with the equaliser midway through the second half.
Craig Anderson missed a penalty for the visitors soon after, with Kerr Allan receiving his marching orders for the challenge.
Inglis then restored Craigroyston’s lead, but with five minutes to spare Jamie Lauder netted an equaliser for Derek Riddel’s side.
“The boys worked extremely hard and we were just gutted to lose the late goal in the manner in which we did,” said Craigroyston manager Grant Carnie afterwards.
Three first half goals gave Civil Service Strollers a 3-1 win at Coldstream, with Scott Gormley, Mark Pagliarulo and Chris Tobin all on target, whilst Tynecastle were held to a 0-0 draw at Stirling University.