EoS: Top two clash as Leith Athletic face Easthouses

Gavin Tainsh will face his old club
Gavin Tainsh will face his old club
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Premier league leaders Leith Athletic return to action this weekend against Easthouses Lily at Meadowbank as first meets second in The Central Taxis Premier Division.

Athletic enjoyed a week off last weekend and manager Derek Riddel admits that the break was beneficial to his squad.

“It gave us a chance to look at things in training and assess where we can do better in certain areas,” said Riddel. “We played a friendly match against Redhall Star so that kept the boys ticking over.

“So far the boys have been absolutely superb for me. We are just looking to continue with our momentum. Easthouses have started really well. Dave McQueenie always has them really well organised. They are a very hard team to break down so it will be a tough game.”

Riddel will be without Jamie Lauder and Gary Black for tomorrow’s match, but is hoping to field an unnamed trialist at Meadowbank.

Easthouses, meanwhile, will be looking to bounce back from their defeat by Civil Service Strollers last week and David Arthur, Graeme Young and Gavin Tainsh are all available for selection following recent absence.

Dave McQueenie will have to make do without Ally Elliot, Gordon Wilson, John Hunter and Ross McManus for the trip to face the league leaders.

There are two capital clashes in the Premier League this weekend.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale travel to Civil Service Strollers with Kevin Twaddle sweating over the fitness of Kevin Keane, Callum Connolly and John Williams.

Civil Service have no fresh injury concerns, with long-term absentees Paul Lynch, Gavin Pettigrew and Martin Robertson still sidelined.

Spartans EOS host Tynecastle at Ainslie Park with Alex Cunningham looking to build on last weekend’s morale-boosting victory over Lothian Thistle.

Striker Andy Howat is still not available due to lack of match practice, but should be in contention for next weekend. Seb Pyda is carrying a slight knock but should be fit for tomorrow’s clash with Stephen McKenzie’s in-form side.

Tynecastle are unbeaten in their last five matches and will travel to Ainslie Park in full confidence. They will be missing Tony Mears and Greig Jardine, with Connor McDonald also a doubt due to work commitments, so a late decision is expected on his availability.

Craigroyston make the journey to Stirling University in tomorrow’s other fixture, the visitors still looking for their first three points of the season.

The matches at Meadowbank and Ainslie Park both kick off at 3.00pm, the other two matches starting at 2.30pm.

First Division

Heriot-Watt University will be without the services of coach Chris Smith for this weekend’s Central Taxis First Division clash with Ormiston, as he is attending an SFA Training Course in Largs.

Other than midfielder Cammy Stevenson, who is serving a two-match suspension following his red card in last weekend’s 2-1 win over Hawick Royal Albert, and captain Chris Donnelly, who will miss the game due to other commitments, the students have a full squad to choose from.

Watt have held a series of trials at Riccarton campus over the last two weeks to supplement their squad, with Smith hoping to add some fresh faces.

“At the moment, we are looking at one player who has impressed in the trials. He is from Switzerland and is studying at the university, so we’ll have a good look at him.

“In total, we’ve had a good 150 registered players who’ve come along to the trials, so the response has been great.”

Watt will be in the capable hands of assistants Sean Kelly and Andy Wilson for tomorrow’s clash, which pitches the league’s two in-form teams against each other.

Both sides are unbeaten in their last two matches, with the visitors having scored seven goals with none conceded.

Ormiston manager Brian Johnston has a full squad to choose from.

“Both sides are in really good form,” he said. “They are maybe slight favourites owing to home advantage, but I’m really looking forward to going there.”