Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Kevin Twaddle felt that Saturday’s 2-1 Central Taxis Premier Division defeat by local neighbours Spartans EOS could be the wake-up call his young squad need.
The reigning champions suffered their first league defeat of the campaign as goals from Blair McWhirter and Davy Stewart sealed the victory for Alex Cunningham’s team at Saughton Enclosure.
It completed a miserable week for Hutchie following their Scottish Cup exit at the hands of Lowland League East Kilbride, but Twaddle believes the latest setbacks will provide a good test of character both for himself and his young charges.
“I suppose we have been so used to winning, we were unbeaten at home for five months prior to last week and now we’ve had two defeats on the bounce,” said Twaddle.
“It’s a good test of the boys’ character and strength to see how they respond to this. It’s also a good test for me personally as it’s not a situation I’ve really had to face since I’ve been at the club.”
Former Spartans man Sean Wringe equalised against his former club on 36 minutes, before Stewart slotted in from close range following a mazy run from Lucasz Rusin with ten minutes to spare.
“We competed well in the game and scored two very good goals,” said a delighted Cunningham afterwards, who also reserved special praise for midfielder Rusin, who turned striker for the day. “I thought he was a thorn in their side for most of the game.”
In other weekend action, Tynecastle recorded a fifth straight victory in all competitions as second-half goals from Gavin McCarthy and Connor McDonald completed a superb fightback against Stirling University at Fernieside.
“It sets us up nicely for Spartans,” said a thrilled Tynecastle manager Stephen McKenzie. “Their manager was very complimentary to us afterwards. He said that is the hardest he has seen a side work against his team in a while.”
Craigroyston picked up their first point of the season against Coldstream in a 2-2 draw thanks to goals from Chris Inglis and Greig Tulloch at St Mark’s Park, although manager Gary Aitchison felt his side could’ve taken more from the game.
Civil Service Strollers were 3-1 victors over Easthouses Lily at Newbattle Complex, with manager Ross McNeil pleased to see his side pick up their first league win. “It’s a very tough place to come to so I’m delighted that we have taken all three points,” said McNeil.
Two goals from Craig Newalls and Stephen Moncur handed Civil the victory, with Craig Brown on target for Lily.
“If someone had said to me at the start of the season we’d be sitting on ten points after five games, I’d have been delighted with that,” said Lily manager Dave McQueenie.
Ormiston and Heriot-Watt University picked up full points in their weekend Central Taxis First Division matches before meeting this week.
The East Lothian side recorded a 3-0 win at Eyemouth United with goals from David Ross, Brian McEwan and Ross Ferguson. The victory keeps Ormiston in second place with nine points.
Ormiston manager Brian Johnston said: “Although Eyemouth perhaps shaded possession, we were very clinical in front of goal. The second from Brian McEwan was a superb individual goal where he has taken on three defenders and finished it off well.”
Heriot-Watt, meanwhile, made hard work of overcoming a physical Hawick Royal Albert side in a bruising encounter at Riccarton.
The students had to wait
until the 81st minute to open the scoring through Chris Donnelly’s neat chip and they doubled their lead minutes later through a superb individual goal from Cam Stevenson.
However, Stevenson was then dismissed when he appeared to swing a leg at Hawick defender Innes Zenatti and a late Gordon Ramsay strike for the visitors ensured a nervy final few minutes for Watt.
But Chris Smith’s side held on for a third straight victory to set them up nicely for the visit of Ormiston to Riccarton this weekend.