Thistle’s title mettle will be put to test

Kevin Twaddle
Kevin Twaddle
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The next seven days could determine the destination of the Central Taxis Premier Division championship.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale lead by four points after a 2-1 victory at Edinburgh University on Saturday and boss Kevin Twaddle hopes his side’s refusal to give in will continue when they face three of their fellow top-six rivals in the coming days.

Lothian travel to Tynecastle tonight before hosting nearest challengers Craigroyston on Saturday and Spartans EOS on Monday night.

A Connor McDonald free-kick and Willis Hare’s goal – both of which arrived early in the second half – saw the visitors overcome Uni, who had led 1-0 at the break thanks to a George Nikolaidis goal.

Twaddle said: “Our victory was maybe a bit hard on the Uni, but it means that tonight’s game against Tynecastle is massive.

“A win tonight goes a long way to winning the league.”

Uni boss Dorian Ogunro said: “The result should have been decided by the players, but, unfortunately, several awful refereeing decisions decided the outcome.”

In the Central Taxis League Cup, Craigroyston and Leith Athletic proceeded to the quarter-final stage by winning their preliminary-round ties.

Craigie defeated Coldstream for the second time in eight days with a hard-fought 3-2 win at St Mark’s Park that left Craigie assistant boss Gary Sutherland satisfied only with the result. “I’m really disappointed in the two goals we conceded and the bad decision-making at times, he said.”

Craigie were 2-0 up by half-time thanks to an own goal and a strike by man-of-the-match Craig Anderson. Jake Birkett notched a double for Streamers after the break, but Craig Dickson scored the winner.

Leith Athletic also sealed their passage to the last eight by coming from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Tynecastle at Fernieside. Two own goals punctuated an evenly-matched first half, with Leith skipper Gary Black turning into his own net before Tynie’s Ryan Ferguson suffered the same fate.

Tynie’s Bradley Scott was controversially sent off for a second yellow card after an hour and Leith capitalised as Mark Leslie pounced to net from close range on 68 minutes.

Tynecastle boss Dougie Dalgleish said: “It was a poor performance by us and we got what we deserved – nothing.”

All other matches involving East of Scotland clubs were postponed.