Tynecastle throw hat into title ring

Ousman See (library pic)
Ousman See (library pic)
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Tynecastle entered the mix for a four-way title challenge in the Central Taxis Premier Division with a comeback success at Civil Service Strollers.

Tynie are now level with third-placed Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and just three points from leaders Stirling University, with those two rivals having had their match at Saughton Enclosure postponed.

At Muirhouse, Strollers were reduced to ten men for a last-man foul after just three minutes, but goalkeeper Michael Atai saved Ousman See’s penalty to deny Tynie the opener. James Guy’s strike and a Danny McFadden penalty put Civil 2-0 up by the break, but a resurgent Tynecastle hit back immediately after the interval, with See atoning for his earlier spot-kick miss by converting a quickfire double within five minutes of the restart. Goals by Louis Swanson and Michael Dick put Tynie clear of their hosts and sealed three points for the visitors.

Tynecastle secretary Alistair Wilkie was pleased that his charges responded to a half-time dressing down after a below-par first half. “We lost two bad goals, including a penalty, and the players got a rollicking at half-time,” said Wilkie.

Strollers coach Ross McNeil took the positives from an otherwise disappointing defeat. He said: “We let them right back in it in the second half and it was always difficult after that. We are getting better as a team, and I thought Craig Newall was outstanding for us in the middle of the park.”

Craigroyston assistant boss Gary Sutherland rued his side’s missed chance to go joint-top of the table as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Leith Athletic. “Without playing well, we probably had the best chances in the first half through Liam Young and Kyle Boggie,” said Sutherland. “Over the piece, a draw was a fair result. I can’t fault the boys, their workrate is superb.”

Easthouses Lily climbed to within a point of Central Taxis First Division leaders Hibs with a resounding 6-2 triumph over Ormiston. Lily were 5-0 up by half-time and added a sixth shortly after the break, with Ally Elliot and Paul McDermott each grabbing a brace.

“It was a great first-half performance and a very good result that opens up a gap between us and the teams below,” said Lily boss Dave McQueenie.

In Qualifying League Section D, Spartans kept alive their hopes of automatic promotion with a 7-3 win over Berwick Rangers Reserves. Mike Gray notched four for the hosts, for whom Ian Ballantyne, David Stewart and Sebastian Pyda were also on target.

“Such a high-scoring game is great entertainment for the admission fee,” said Spartans supremo Alex Cunningham.