East of Scotland: Lothian all set for East Kilbride semi-final

Raymond Carr is expecting another 'right good game' against East Kilbride tomorrow
Raymond Carr is expecting another 'right good game' against East Kilbride tomorrow
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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale head coach Raymond Carr says he expects there to be no Lowland League title hangover from champions East Kilbride when they visit K-Park for their South Region Challenge Cup semi-final clash tomorrow.

Kilby wrapped up the championship with an emphatic 6-1 victory over Gala Fairydean six days ago and Carr believes his opposite number Martin Lauchlan will demand his players go out and reach the standards they have set this term.

“They’ll be wanting to get to the final, absolutely,” said Carr. “With the squad of the players they have, they will be more than capable even if they do make a couple of changes. I don’t think there is anyone out there who goes and puts a team out to lose a game so we’re expecting a real tough match.

“But we’ve done exceptionally well in the cups this season and we want to get to another cup final. The boys are looking forward to it as we’re always treated well when we go through there. We usually play them in pre-season and we’ve had some right good games against them.”

Carr admits Tynecastle’s 2-1 victory over East of Scotland League leaders and champions Leith Athletic on Wednesday night doesn’t change his side’s approach for the remainder of the campaign. Leith remain two points clear at the summit but Lothian now have a game in hand.

“Listen, it’s always been in our own hands so it doesn’t matter what happens elsewhere,” he said. “It’s certainly not a done deal so we have to go and win every game between now and the end of the season. We’re in a good position but Leith are still sitting at the top.

“With regards to Wednesday night’s result, Tynecastle want to finish as high up the league as they can. I know (Tynecastle boss) Stevie Vinter really well and he wouldn’t put out a team that is just going to roll over.”

Elsewhere, Leith will aim to widen the gap over Lothian to five points when they visit Peebles Rovers. Tynie, meanwhile, welcome Eyemouth United to Saughton Enclosure for a League Cup first-round clash.