Amateurs: Lothian Thistle battle back from brink

Lothian United awoke from their first-half slumber and, even with ten men, earned a draw against Salters. Pic: Chris Martin
Lothian United awoke from their first-half slumber and, even with ten men, earned a draw against Salters. Pic: Chris Martin
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Ten-man Lothian United fought back from three goals down to salvage a point against Salters Athletic in a top-of-the-table Premier Division clash at Meadowbank.

Athletic went on the rampage in the first-half and opened the scoring ten minutes in through Nicky Byrne.

They went on to double their advantage not long after when Keith MacFarlane’s free-kick was driven home by Dean Little.

Athletic capped off an impressive first 45 minutes on the stroke of half-time when Byrne latched on to a knock-down from Rory Mair and volleyed the ball into the goal.

Lothian had been distinctly below-par, but they started the second half with much more vigour and quickly got themselves back into the game. First Kevin McNulty scored with a diving header and then Robert McKenzie showed some finesse with a fine curled effort to reduce the arrears to 3-2.

It appeared the wind had been taken out of United’s sails when Sean Lothian was sent off after picking up a second booking, but they continued to battle on and grabbed a share of the spoils late on when substitute John Harvey blasted the ball beyond the Salters keeper to make it 3-3.

• Michael Osborne was West Edinburgh United’s hero as he scored a hat-trick to propel them into the East of Scotland Cup second round at the expense of Maddiston AFC.

The Falkirk-based side started the better at Gyle Park and opened the scoring on four minutes when Alan Forsyth found the top left-hand corner of the net with a sweet free-kick.

United weren’t behind for long though and on 14 minutes, Osborne got the first of his treble. Callum Milligan was fouled in the box and Osborne made no mistake from 12 yards.

Maddiston were then awarded a penalty of their own late in the first half. Osborne, ironically, was the sinner, handling in the box, but United keeper Lee Millar spared his blushes by saving Darren Huskie’s effort.

Huskie did have the ball in the net, however, after the restart to put Maddiston 2-1 ahead, but Osborne soon evened the match again with a close-range finish.

With the tie on course for a stalemate, United grabbed a dramatic winner. Ryan Smith swept a cross into the box and Osborne headed home to make the final score 3-2.

Thistle edge South Gyle

• There were goals aplenty at Linlithgow Academy as Linilithgow Thistle prevailed 4-2 over South Gyle in the Premier Division.

Visitors Gyle came out of the traps fast and opened the scoring when James Spence diverted the ball in from close range.

Thistle restored parity via a neat Billy Bauros effort and they were soon 3-1 to the good when Sean Williamson pounced with two instinctive finishes.

Gyle got back in the match on the stroke of half-time when Dean Clements netted after good work from Gary Aitken.

The second half provided less goals, but there was still plenty of action. Both teams had chances but, in the end, it was Thistle who put the game to bed as Sean Smith’s stunning strike on 85 minutes landed the knock-out blow and gave the hosts a 4-2 victory.