Mike Lawson, the Whitehill Welfare boss and the East Seniors’ elder statesman in managerial terms, has one of the young pretenders as his opposition tonight when Grant Carnie, recently appointed as boss of Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, visits Ferguson Park in the East of Scotland Qualifying League Cup sectional tie (kick-off 7pm).
There will be added spice in the contest as Lawson, sacked by Spartans at the end of last season, returned almost immediately to Whitehill where he led the Rosewell club to numerous trophies in the 1990s. Carnie was Whitehill manager last season, leading them to glory in the League Cup before handing in his resignation.
Whitehill opened this season’s Qualifying League games with two straight victories but they were beaten 2-1 at home by Berwick Rangers Reserves on Saturday. Their influential goalscorer Wayne McIntosh was a late call-off with a virus then, only seven minutes into the game, Whitehill’s only other recognised striker, Scott Gormley, was sent off.
“We were two goals down at half-time but we then built up a head of steam with only ten men,” said Lawson. “Steve Manson pulled a goal back for us with about eight minutes left to give us a lifeline but we couldn’t manage an equaliser. However, I was delighted with the effort shown by our boys.
“Tonight we are still not back to full strength with Gormley and Dayne Robertson suspended and Darren McGlashan unavailable. On the positive side, we have signed goalkeeper Darren Walker from Tynecastle and Wayne [McIntosh] is now fit. It should be an interesting game.”
Carnie said: “I’m just treating it as any other game with the objective of getting the team fitter and ready for the Premier Division games. We will change the team tonight from that which beat Hawick Royal Albert 3-1 at the weekend with Kevin Swain and Ross Elliot both coming into contention.
“I am not treating this game as some revenge mission because everybody at Whitehill was great to me.”
There is a full East Seniors fixture list tonight with other top clashes including Tynecastle v Edinburgh City (7pm), Heriot-Watt University v Spartans (7.30pm), Civil Service Strollers v Craigroyston (7pm), Preston Athletic v Easthouses Lily (7.45pm) and Edinburgh University v Leith Athletic (7pm).