Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale coach Stephen McKenzie says he hopes Sunday’s 3-1 Alex Jack Cup final triumph over Tynecastle is just a taste of what’s to come this season for the Saughton-based club.
Despite a spirited start from Tynie at Riccarton 3G, Lothian were 2-0 ahead at the break through Jamie Devlin and Kevin Brown goals. However, a Martyn Robertson effort seven minutes after the restart sparked renewed hope for Tynie before Liam O’Donnell’s strike late on sealed victory for Lothian.
Manager Raymond Carr was unable to attend the match as he was travelling back from Southampton following a ten-day cruise so it was left to McKenzie to lead the celebrations. “I hope we’ve put down a marker but I think it will be close this season between ourselves, Leith and Tynecastle as to who wins the league,” he said.
“But we believe in our squad and we just take one game at a time. It’s great to have a cup in the bag already.
“I’ve got to be honest and say Tynecastle were the better side in the first 20 minutes but we got our noses in front and ended up going in 2-0 at the break which probably flattered us. Tynie got their goal and, at 2-1, they were always in with a chance. But our third killed it off right before the end.
“We’ve had a terrific start and we haven’t lost in about 19 or 20 games, including pre-season friendlies, so it’s remarkable. The players train hard and want to learn and listen so you couldn’t ask for much more as a coach.”
Tynecastle coach Stevie Vinter, meanwhile, felt the final scoreline wasn’t a true reflection of the match and felt his players more than warranted extra time at the very least.
“I felt we lost our shape for ten minutes or so and it’s cost us two goals,” he said. “But we came back strong and I thought we were magnificent in the second half. After getting the goal, I genuinely thought it was only a matter of time before we equalised. Their goal at the end is irrelevant as we were chasing the game. We’ll go again, though, as there’s still so much to play for. We’re looking forward to getting some league matches under our belts.”
Elsewhere, Heriot-Watt University remain joint-top of the East of Scotland League after a 0-0 stalemate with Peebles Rovers at Whitestone Park. Banji Koya’s men have taken 13 points from a possible 15 in what has been an impressive start to the season.
There was disappointment for Ormiston, however, as they were beaten 3-0 by Eyemouth United at home – the visitors now sitting top of the pile by virtue of a superior goal difference.