Whitehill Welfare head south in fine fettle

Whitehill Welfare manager, Mickey Lawson. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

Whitehill Welfare manager, Mickey Lawson. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach

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Whitehill Welfare travel south to face Vale of Leithen tomorrow buoyed by Tuesday night’s City Cup final victory over senior opposition Berwick Rangers.

Goals from Andrew Kidd and Wayne Sproule earned Mickey Lawson’s men the plaudits after the SPFL League 2 club had led at the interval at Shielfield Park.

The Rosewell club’s trophy cabinet has seen two new additions in recent weeks after last month’s Image Printers East of Scotland Qualifying Cup win over arch-rivals Spartans on penalties, but manager Lawson, who takes his side to Victoria Park after missing last weekend’s 2-1 league defeat to Spartans due to holidaying in Spain, wants to finish as high up the table as possible.

Whitehill currently occupy fifth spot, a point adrift of tomorrow’s opponents Vale, but a win in Innerleithen could see the reigning East of Scotland champions go second. Lawson said: “Tomorrow is like another cup final for us against a very good side if we want to finish where we think we should given our start. It’s been a good season for us but deep down we know we should have done better in the league.”

Should Vale fail to take all three points then Spartans will be confirmed as champions.

Elsewhere, Preston Athletic welcome Borders opposition Gretna 2008 to the Pennypit looking to build some momentum ahead of next weekend’s Lowland League Cup final.

David Bingham’s side face Stirling University next Sunday at Netherdale, home of Gala Fairydean Rovers, after a 3-1 defeat of the much-fancied Dalbeattie Star at Islecroft in the semi-final six days ago.

The East Lothian side will be without goalkeeper John Gilbertson and long-term injury victim Ryan Strachan who has been sidelined for several months with a knee problem.

Edinburgh City travel to struggling Threave Rovers and Gary Jardine’s players will be confident of returning to the Capital with all three points.

The Meadowbank club have a few injury concerns to contend with. Daryl Devlin, Nico Gibson and Michael Pentland are all ruled out through injury, but captain Dougie Gair returns from holiday while Frazer Paterson and Ross Guthrie are also added to the squad.