Lowland LEAGUE: Preston Athletic off the bottom

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Preston Athletic moved off the bottom of the Lowland League table with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Edinburgh City at the Pennypit last night.

Both clubs have struggled to find their feet at this early stage of the season, but it was the East Lothian side who managed to grind out a much-needed victory in what was their fourth consecutive home fixture in the space of just 11 days.

The hosts started at a frenetic pace and edged in front after just 45 seconds when Sean Martin created the chance for himself before dispatching the ball into the back of the net.

However, City responded emphatically and were level little more than 60 seconds later as Dougie Gair’s perfectly-timed pass was converted past Preston No.1 Craig Pennycuick by Ian McFarland.

Gary McCormack then created the opportunity for Martin to put his side ahead for a second time after just 16 minutes, and he duly accepted to restore Preston’s lead.

Both sides carved out chances after the interval, but the only pressing issue in the second 45 was the dismissal of Preston’s Connor Scott, ten minutes from time, for a challenge on City’s Daryl Devlin.

Spartans picked up an impressive three points on their travels, a 3-0 victory away to Selkirk, but were made to work hard for their rewards.

After a goalless 30 minutes, Spartans finally made the breakthrough when Keith McLeod showed great control before volleying the ball into the net.

The Ainslie Park outfit could finally breathe a sigh of relief when Sean Muhsin added a crucial second eight minutes from time to secure their third victory of the season, and the same player cut the ball back for Kevin Motion to stab the ball in from close range with just moments remaining.

Vale of Leithen easily swept aside Gala Fairydean Rovers with a 4-1 victory, and Gretna 2008 picked up a point at Forthbank as they held University of Stirling to a 0-0 stalemate.

On Tuesday night, Threave Rovers recorded a narrow win over East Kilbride, courtesy of Scott Wilby’s solitary strike.