Third-placed Easthouses Lily host second-placed Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale at Newbattle Complex tomorrow with Lily boss Dave McQueenie admitting he still has to pinch himself when he sees his side’s current league position.
Lily have defied the odds this season following their promotion from the First Division last term, to keep up the pace at the top.
After a two-month absence due to the Christmas break and the wintry weather, Lily played their first game of 2015 last weekend when a hat-trick from Graeme Young helped them to a 3-1 victory over opponents Stirling University.
Victory tomorrow would lift them into second place above Kevin Twaddle’s Lothian, and with 11 league games left to play and two games in hand, McQueenie knows how vital it is for his side to stay in the mix.
“It is one game at a time, but the attitude of the players has been absolutely tremendous,” said the Lily manager.
“We lost 6-4 to Lothian at the start of the season in a Qualifying League Cup game but it’s amazing to think we are now in the semi-finals of that competition. That game showed us what we’d be up against this season, but I don’t think we could have envisaged where we are just now.”
McQueenie will be missing David Arthur tomorrow who is suspended following his red card last week, while midfielder Darren Robertson has a rib injury. Lothian will be without Willis Hare and Grant Munro (both suspended), Lewis Cairns (fever) and Eddie Mearns (eye operation), Kevin Keane and Sean Wringe. Scott Moffat is also a doubt.
“We are massive underdogs heading into tomorrow’s game” said manager Kevin Twaddle. “We are up against a side who in my opinion, with the games they have in hand, must be considered genuine title contenders.”
Leith Atheltic can stretch their lead at the top if they can beat Stirling University at Meadowbank 3G.
Under-20 players James Hainey and Sean Melvin both featured in last weekend’s dramatic 2-1 extra time League Cup win over Lothian Thistle, and will be in the frame for further game time tomorrow.
In the other Premier match tomorrow, Spartans EOS host Tynecastle at Ainslie Park.
Civil Service Strollers are in cup action for the second week running when they face Coldstream in the second League Cup quarter-final at Marine Drive (2pm).
The winners of tomorrow’s tie will face Spartans EOS at Ainslie Park on March 14.