Meadowbank FC pulled away at the top of Sunday Division 1 as they beat Bathgate Thistle 6-1 at Meadowbank 3G.
Going into the encounter, there was little to separate the sides as both sat at the top of the league on 28 points after 12 games.
But it was Meadowbank who got in front with a goal 15 minutes in. After a stagnant start to the game, Brian Thomson sent a thunderous volley from the edge of the box past Marcus Havern in the Thistle goal.
The hosts doubled their lead when Mark Griffiths controlled the ball on his chest and fired home from the right-hand side of the box.
Before the break, Thistle pulled one back when Steffan Cassidy seized upon Ryan Weir’s knockdown in the box, but there was little his side could do to contain Meadowbank after the interval.
Thistle rode their luck when the game resumed and didn’t heed the warning when Marc McGregor twice saw his efforts ruled out by the officials. A third goal was inevitable for Meadowbank and it came with 20 minutes to go through Paul Martin’s penalty kick.
It was one-way traffic as the game drew to a close and more goals followed as Martin and Griffiths both doubled their tallies before Davy Gallacher got involved to add a sixth late on.
Edinburgh Harps play for keeps
Edinburgh Harps defied the odds to beat Ratho Athletic 3-2 at Ratho Park, spending 80 minutes of the game with centre half Gerard Edelsten in goals.
In the Edinburgh West encounter, Harps goalkeeper Kos Magoufis was forced off after ten minutes with a dislocated thumb and, with no sub keeper, Edelsten was forced to take the gloves. It wasn’t the start Harps were hoping for and their task was made that bit harder when Athletic’s Scott Aitken reacted first to a loose ball in the box to put his side ahead. Harps rallied, though, and found a deserved equaliser five minutes later as Luke Dardis finished left-footed.
After the break, Athletic got back ahead and there was little Edelsten could do about it, Thomas Robertson scoring with a volley from 25 yards. Athletic looked to kill the game off but, after some decent stops from the stand-in keeper and some stubborn defending, Harps got level through Steve Mahon’s deflected effort.
Then, with ten minutes to go, Brian Arbley headed in Paddy Borgan’s cross from the right to put Harps 3-2 up and cap a remarkable victory.
Sixy football from Balerno Athletic
Balerno Athletic put ten-man North Edinburgh Wanderers to the sword with a convincing 6-0 win at King George V Park.
In the Lothian West clash, Athletic got their noses in front in the first ten minutes. Scott Macbeth knocked down a cross into the box and Gregg Smith pounced to turn the ball in.
Minutes later, the dynamics of the game changed as Wanderers’ Gary Head was shown a straight red card.
With that, there was no way back for the visitors as Athletic showed their class to run away with the game.
Although Wanderers did put up some fight after the dismissal, they couldn’t help but concede before the break when Chris Cavens chased down Smith’s through ball to score.
After the break, Athletic upped their game and took advantage of their dispirited opponents. A drilled cross from the right by Smith enabled Danny Shekelton to slide in and score from close range. Then, with Wanderers’ heads down, Smith added two more for his hat-trick and Athletic’s fourth and fifth with some composed finishing in behind his opponents’ defence.
It was no more than Balerno deserved and, as the game began to draw to a close, they added an emphatic sixth as Finlay Blair showed some determined dribbling to break into the box and score into the bottom left corner.