East of Scotland: Lothian boss cranks up pressure on leaders

Raymond Carr's side has seven games in hand over Leith
Raymond Carr's side has seven games in hand over Leith
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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale boss Raymond Carr has cranked up the pressure on East of Scotland League leaders Leith Athletic by declaring: “It’s yours to lose”.

Derek Riddel’s men are 19 points ahead of the chasing pack at the top of the table, Spartans being their nearest challengers with Thistle a further three points adrift in third.

However, Spartans are out of contention having played two games more than Leith but reigning champions Thistle have seven matches to catch up on the current pacesetters.

Civil Service Strollers are the visitors to Saughton Enclosure tomorrow for the second time in three days after losing their League Cup tie 5-0 on Wednesday night and Carr is hoping for a similar outcome.

“We did it last year when we were in a similar position so we can do it again,” Carr said. “But obviously this time last year we weren’t so many games behind. Leith are at the top having played more games than us so it’s theirs to lose.

“Games are just piling up so we need to get them played. Since November the weather has just been horrendous. We’ve got enough in the squad though to get us through it but when you’re so many games behind the matches are always going to be so crammed together.

“We are going to pick up injuries or niggles on a week-to-week basis so there’s loads of things that could go wrong that could cost you the game. We’ve still got the games to catch up on and if we win them then we’re right behind them. “It’s a big ask to win these games when they’re going to be so close together.

“Leith have been able to get their matches played due to the artificial surface.

“The matches are all tough so I’m expecting a hard game again tomorrow. Civil will be wanting to finish well up the league come the summer.”

Carr will still be without goalkeeper Kevin Swain who suffered a broken arm against Heriot-Watt University in January.

Elsewhere, struggling Craigroyston welcome second-placed Spartans to Marine Drive, Steven Vinter takes his Tynecastle squad to Coldstream and Heriot-Watt University are in action at bottom-of-the-table and winless Eyemouth United. Ormiston, who haven’t played a competitive match this month, host Hawick Royal Albert at Recreation Park.

All matches are scheduled to kick-off at 2.30pm.