Civil Service Strollers 0
Leith Athletic 3
A SECOND-HALF double from Leith Athletic’s William Bremner enhanced his club’s prospects of avoiding relegation in this hard-earned 3-0 victory against their derby opponents Civil Service Strollers.
Bremner’s two goals added to Jack Combe’s first half penalty helped edge Leith to within one point of third bottom club, Vale of Leithen, although all of the teams immediately above Leith do have games in hand.
“Hopefully this was a turning point in our season,” said Bremner. “We are on a four game unbeaten run and we have a cup tie this coming Saturday. The confidence in the dressing room is very good and hopefully we can prove some doubters wrong about our young side in the next few weeks.”
The game started at a high tempo with Lewis Tracey firing narrowly over for Leith before John Dunn did likewise for the Strollers. Midway through the first half Paul Lynch thought he had headed the Strollers in front but he was adjudged to have been offside.
Danny Rennie, who is attracting the attention of an SFL club, tried a speculative 25-yard shot while Leith’s Steven Lynch hit a shot from the edge of the penalty box which Paul Cadger held comfortably. Dunn had the ball in the net for the Strollers after a Rennie through pass but again the home side were denied a goal when the assistant referee signalled for offside.
In the final minute of the first half Lewis Cairns, who had come on as a very early substitute for the injured Stephen Barrie, was tripped by Kyle Boggie in the penalty box. Up stepped Jack Combe and his spot kick nestled itself in the net via the inside of the post.
The Strollers should have equalised from the second half kick-off when Dunn had a point blank header saved then Rennie followed up and saw his effort also well stopped by Iain Gordon in the Leith goal. The Strollers then proceeded to bombard the Leith defence with Dunn finding himself in good positions but unable to produce a finish which could beat Gordon who also thwarted Boggie with a fine save from a 20 yard free kick.
The fog and mist which enshrouded Marine Drive then caused concern for the match referee who, on two separate occasions, consulted with his assistants before continuing. In the 83rd minute Leith caught the Strollers on the break when Lewis Cairns, from wide on the left, cut the ball back to Bremner who first-timed a left foot shot low into the bottom corner from the edge of the penalty box. Leith added a third when goalkeeper Gordon launched the ball 70 yards and it bounced over the hesitant Strollers defence to Bremner who calmly lobbed Cadger form 20 yards to seal Leith’s victory.
In the final minute the Strollers’ dynamic midfielder Craig Dickson was sent off after receiving his second yellow card.
“I thought that Civil were on top for quite a lot of the game,” added goalscorer Bremner. “They had a good few chances in the second half but in the end we finished our chances a bit better than they did.”
Civil Service Strollers: Cadger, Jack, Hogarth, Boggie, Lynch (Inglis 75), Dickson, Campbell, Anderson, Dunn, Burgess (Jeffrey 85), Rennie. Subs: Barbirou, Burnside.
Leith Athletic: Gordon, C Barrie, Thom, Lowson, MacAulay, Black, S Barrie (Cairns 5), Lynch, Combe (Tulloch 58), Bremner, Tracey. Subs: Manson, Tainsh.
Referee: S. Crichton