EoS: Games in hand key to Leith Athletic’s title bid

Derek Riddel
Derek Riddel
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Leith Athletic boss Derek Riddel says he expects his team to drop points between now and the end of the season but remains confident of retaining the East of Scotland League title.

The champions are two points off the pace of league leaders Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale but have two games in hand over their rivals. Heriot-Watt University, who are second, are a point better off but have played four games more.

Riddel’s side were beaten 3-0 by Lothian just last month but a tricky last few weeks for the Saughton-based side has now swung the tide in Leith’s favour.

“It’s quite clear that teams are capable of taking points off one another and that’s what’s happened recently,” said Riddel who takes his players to Coldstream tomorrow. “There are a lot of things that can happen but we just need to keep winning.

“We learnt a lot from last season. There was a spell when we were miles in front and then Lothian caught us right up. We then lost to Ormiston in midweek and thought we’d blown it. But you’ve got to remember it’s just three points, it’s only one game and I said that to the players after the Lothian loss a few weeks ago.

“We’re technically back in the driving seat if we manage to win our games in hand. I’m under no illusions that we’ll drop points between now and the end of the season but so will the others challenging for the title.

“Coldstream always make life difficult for you so we’ll need to be up for it.”

Lothian Thistle, who set up a Football Nation Qualifying Cup final clash with Spartans courtesy of a 4-0 win at Hawick Royal Albert on Wednesday night, travel across the Forth tomorrow for their encounter with bottom side Burntisland Shipyard at Recreation Park.

Heriot-Watt host Tweedmouth Rangers at Riccarton and Tynecastle play Eyemouth United at Saughton Enclosure.

Fresh from last weekend’s victory over Tweedmouth, Ormiston will look to record back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they visit Stirling University.