Craigroyston finished their Qualifying League campaign strongly with a 2-1 win at Meadowbank 3G against Leith Athletic, ensuring they will enjoy home advantage at the quarter-final stage of the Central Taxis East of Scotland League Cup.
Chris Inglis scored twice for Craigie and drew praise from assistant manager Gary Sutherland. “Chris has been out of the team, but just gets on with it and got his reward for a har-working display,” Sutherland said. “I’m pleased for him.
“We started the game really well, shutting down quickly all over the pitch and showing more urgency.”
Inglis scored the game’s opening goal with a cheeky back-heel from Steven McCormack’s cross to give the visitors a 1-0 lead at half-time.
Robbie Mason equalised for Leith on 73 minutes, but Inglis capitalised on Stuart Burnside’s spill from Kyle Boggie’s strike five minutes from time to seal victory for Craigie.
Sutherland was delighted that his side sealed second place in Section C and, with it, home advantage tie in a League Cup quarter-final.
“It was great to get a deserved a winner right at the end and ensures we have It gives us a home tie in the next round,” said Sutherland.
Meanwhile, Leith boss Derek Riddel was heartened by his side’s improved performance after a demoralising 4-0 home defeat to Lothian Thistle Huchison Vale in midweek. “Whilst the result didn’t go our way, we played a lot better than we had on Tuesday night and there were definitely plenty of positives to be taken from the game,” said Riddel. “I think we had the better of the possession, but rarely was either keeper called into action, so a draw would probably have been a fair result.
“We had a couple of half chances before we equalised and, when we did, I thought we might have gone on to win the game as we looked a bit more dangerous on the break than Craigroyston did.”
Riddel also extracted a positive from the performance of young debutant Ross Nisbet, as well as Kerr Allan and Max Ketchen.
“Ross from our under-21 team did really well on his first-team debut and Kerr was great in the first half,” said Riddel. “Max came on late on to make his debut and did well for his first match. The good thing is, all three more than held their own against a physically strong team and we hope to involve them again before the season ends.
“We now move on to a run of big games and if we show the same fight and determination we’ll finish the season strongly.”
Goals by Lewis Russell and Ousman See, pictured, helped Tynecastle beat Eyemouth United 2-0 and pull to within three points of Section A leaders Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, with Lothian and Tynie each having a game left to play.
Tynie boss Dougie Dalgleish admired his side’s persistence.
Dalgleish said: “It was far from a classic game, with blustery wind making any kind of good football difficult.
“However, we kept plugging away to eventually get our reward.”