New boys can help Riddel solve Hibs conundrum

Gavin Tainsh, right, has rejoined Leith Athletic. Picture: Greg Macvean.
Gavin Tainsh, right, has rejoined Leith Athletic. Picture: Greg Macvean.
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Leith Athletic are boosted by the inclusion of new signings Jamie Lauder (from Musselburgh Athletic) and Gavin Tainsh (Berwick Rangers) in their squad to face a young Hibs team on East of Scotland Qualifying League business at East Mains tomorrow.

Derek Riddel’s side, who held the young Hibees to a 1-1 draw on the opening weekend of the season, are in buoyant mood ahead of their Section C clash.

“It will be a difficult game, but we competed well last time,” noted Riddel. “We’ll need to work hard and keep the ball against a full-time outfit. Everyone is looking forward to our first visit to the Hibernian Training Centre.”

Also in Section C, Heriot-Watt University travel to play Burntisland Shipyard, with Watt boss Chris Smith looking for his side to withstand an injury crisis.

“We’re in good spirits and looking forward to the game, however we have a bit of an injury crisis at the moment with a lot of boys out,” said Smith.

In Section A, Andy Raeburn’s Civil Service Strollers will aim to arrest a run of losses that stands at five in succession when they travel to face Kelso United.

Raeburn, who hopes to field a number of trialists, is targeting gradual improvement.

“We are hoping for an upturn in fortunes,” he said. “We have just got to keep going, even if it means big changes. But, we can’t do that overnight.”

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale face Eyemouth United in the other Section A match.

Ormiston will hope to reverse recent form when they travel to face Duns in Qualifying League Section B. Duns, without a win in league or cup competition until a fortnight ago, are on a run of successive victories after home triumphs over Peebles Rovers and Stirling University, while Ormi are looking to end a run of defeats that now totals five matches.

Murray Cheyne, the Ormiston manager, is boosted by the return from suspension of Scott McKenzie, who will provide welcome defensive cover for the suspended Sean Guiney. Richie Weir is also likely to play despite suffering a head injury in last week’s 5-0 defeat to Berwick Rangers Reserves.

“We are expecting a very difficult game, as Duns have had some very good results since their new manager came in and our form has taken a bit of a dip recently,” said Cheyne. “We’ll be looking to raise our performance this weekend.”

Hawick Royal Albert host Stirling University in the other Section B match.

Ahead of the only fixture in Section D, Easthouses Lily contemplate facing Spartans without nine squad regulars due to a combination of work commitments, injury and suspension. Despite having just a threadbare group of players available to him, Lily boss Dave McQueenie will approach the match in optimistic mood.

“We always think we can get a result in any game we play, no matter which players are available,” said McQueenie. “It will be another difficult test, but hopefully we can get a good result.”