Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale advanced to the quarter-finals of the Image Printers East of Scotland Qualifying Cup after a late change of venue.
Kevin Twaddle’s men knocked five past Central Taxis First Division outfit Peebles Rovers on the artificial surface adjacent to Livingston’s Almondvale Stadium – but only after quick-thinking Lothian officials made the decision to forsake home advantage at Saughton Enclosure ahead of the forecasted downpour on Saturday.
“I knew on Friday night we’d be struggling for a pitch,” said Twaddle. “Our pitch doesn’t take water very well, and we were quite lucky that Tam Smith was able to get the pitch organised at Livingston.
“The boys train on astro every week at Meggetland and Peffermill, and a lot of games nowadays are played on astro, so it wasn’t too difficult to adjust.”
Goals by Sean Wringe and Callum Connelly gave Lothian a head-start within ten minutes, and John Williams struck the first of his brace to make it 3-0. Willis Hare then added a fourth for Lothian, and Williams completed the scoring at 5-0 to hand Twaddle’s men a last-eight tie away to Lowland League club Gala Fairydean Rovers a week on Wednesday.
With cup progress, Twaddle maintained his proud unbeaten record since taking the reins at Lothian. “Our boys have been on this wee unbeaten run, and I could not have asked for more from them. I’m really lucky to have my assistants Mikey McKinnon, Mike McGuire, and Lee McIntosh, and our form is certainly not all about me.
“It’s about the bigger team, and we have a great spirit throughout the club.”