Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Kevin Twaddle has identified Central Taxis Premier Division opponents Spartans as the league’s team to beat ahead of the meeting of the two clubs at Ainslie Park tomorrow.
Lothian and Spartans each recorded wins last weekend, with the latter’s 6-2 league victory over top-tier leaders Stirling University, causing a shock among their rivals.
Twaddle, whose side could leapfrog their opponents and Edinburgh University with a win, said: “It’s a massive game for us. Spartans are the team to beat with the results they’ve been having, so we will try to upset the odds and get a victory.”
Lothian goalkeeper Kevin Swain remains doubtful to play after suffering a shoulder injury last weekend, but the visitors could include a couple of trialists in their squad.
After watching Civil Service Strollers concede 12 goals in his first two matches in charge at the club, Ross McNeil hopes that the introduction of new personnel will help turn around the fortunes of his beleaguered side. Bottom of the top tier on seven points and level with Heriot-Watt and Leith while having played more games than those two, Strollers can climb to level on points with opponents Coldstream with victory at Muirhouse. McNeil hopes hard work on the training pitch can reap dividends.
“It’s a big game and another hard game for us,” said McNeil. “We all know we can’t concede goals like we have been doing in the last couple of games.
“I hope to have a few new faces in the squad, but the boys already here have been working hard on the training ground as we get new, quality players in.”
Ahead of a trip to face Graeme Chadwick’s Hawick Royal Albert, Dave McQueenie will aim to raise the spirits of his Easthouses Lily side after successive cup defeats in the last fortnight. Unsurprisingly, McQueenie is looking forward to refocusing on a tilt at the First Division title after Lily’s previous league match saw them topple leaders Hibs.
“I’m looking forward to getting back to league business,” said the Easthouses boss. “It will be a tough game, as Hawick seem to raise their game against us. They have a lot of lads local to Midlothian who know our players, and, of course, their manager used to play for us.”
Steven Campbell, who scored the only goal as Easthouses recorded a home victory over Hawick at the start of October, will return to the Lily squad alongside Craig Brown and Gordon Wilson, but Scott Borthwick is doubtful for the visitors.
“The same result as we had earlier in the season against them would do me,” said McQueenie.