Tynie aiming to narrow the gap with victory over Hutchie

Ousman See on the ball for Tynecastle up against Alan McDonaugh of Lothian Thistle last season

Ousman See on the ball for Tynecastle up against Alan McDonaugh of Lothian Thistle last season

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East of Scotland heavyweights Tynecastle and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale will contest a crunch Central Taxis League Cup match tomorrow at Fernieside, where a win for the latter could seal their passage into the knock-out stages.

Tynie can, with a victory of their own, go level with Qualifying League Section A leaders Lothian on 13 points but with a game in hand. As the club that finishes top gains automatic qualification and those placed second and third in the group enter a play-off to reach the quarter finals, a Tynecastle win tomorrow could present a thrilling finale in Section A.

Dean Cummings and Finlay Matthews remain absent for Tynie, while Ousman See and Jamie Devlin both miss out due to suspension, but the hosts remain hopeful of success.

“Tynecastle see this match as an opportunity to seal their qualification to the League Cup knock-out stages,” said maroons secretary Alistair Wilkie. “A number of players are missing, so some under-19 players will be promoted to the senior squad.”

The sides drew 0-0 in the corresponding fixture in the same competition at Saughton Enclosure in mid-August, but Lothian have won all their other group matches to build a three-point lead over Tynie at the top.

Lothian boss Kevin Twaddle said: “It will be a really tough game for the boys. Tynecastle are a real good side and, being at home, should be favourites to win the game. But, we will go there full of confidence.” Grant Munro is the only doubt for the visitors.

In Section B, Ormiston can leapfrog opponents Hawick Royal Albert into third place if they win at Recreation Park Ormi boss Murray Cheyne is hoping to reverse a trend of recent results against Hawick.

“Hawick are turning in reasonable results and are sitting much on par with us,” said Cheyne. “They have been a bit of a bogey team for us so we are hoping, based on our most recent form, to be able to change that and get win against them under our belt.”

In section C, leaders Craigroyston have played a game fewer than each of their group rivals but can extend their advantage at the summit by beating Burntisland.