Tynecastle manager Stephen McKenzie admitted even he was surprised by the scintillating display of four-goal striker Jamie Devlin in Tynie’s 7-1 hammering of Spartans EOS at Ainslie Park.
Tynecastle were four goals to the good after just 20 minutes of their Central Taxis Premier Division clash, with the clinical Devlin netting twice with further strikes from Dean Cummings and Ewan McIntosh putting the game beyond Alex Cunningham’s side.
The visitors showed no mercy in the second half with Devlin netting two in the space of three minutes and substitute Gary Bennett completing the rout on 66 minutes.
McKenzie reserved special praise for his hitman afterwards. “I’ve worked with Jamie at Under 15 and Under 16 level and he’s always had the ability, but even I didn’t see that coming today,” McKenzie said. “He was just sensational from start to finish, he wants to impress as a striker all the time and he certainly did that today.”
Devlin himself was thrilled with his performance, with Tynecastle now unbeaten in their last six matches and sitting in second place behind Leith Athletic on 12 points with the Meadowbank side having played one game more.
“As long as the team is winning, it doesn’t matter what I do,” said the hitman, “but I was well pleased with myself today. We were clinical in front of goal and it’s the best showing I’ve seen from us in a while.”
Davy Stewart’s free-kick provided the sole crumb of comfort for Spartans EOS, with coach Cunningham conceding his side had been well beaten.
Leith Athletic remain at the top of the table despite being given a tough examination by Dave McQueenie’s Easthouses Lily at Meadowbank.
Sean Murphy opened the scoring for Leith five minutes before the break with a long-range effort. Kenny Hall doubled the advantage on 72 minutes, but Graeme Young pulled one back for Lily seven minutes later.
Mark Leslie made the points safe with a third goal on 83 minutes, but Athletic manager Derek Riddel felt the scoreline flattered his side a little with the visitors hitting the bar on one occasion.
Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale endured a torrid afternoon at Civil Service Strollers as they capitulated to a 7-2 defeat after goals from Grant Munro and Sean Wringe had given them an early advantage.
The game had to be stopped for 20 minutes after Strollers’ Jake Moyes suffered a dislocated shoulder, but the hosts refused to buckle and mounted a fantastic comeback with goals from Dayne Robertson, Kieran McGaghie, Craig Newalls and two goals apiece from Steven Moncur and Chris Tobin.
Strollers’ manager Ross McNeil said: “We kept going and we scored some very good goals, and the response from the players in the last two matches has been very positive.”
Craigroyston picked up their long-awaited first three points of the season with a 2-0 victory at Stirling University. Greig Tulloch was the hero for the visitors with a double, which takes his tally to three goals in two games.
“It wasn’t an easy game for us and Paul Cadger had to make a couple of really good saves to keep us in it. But Greig took his goals well and I’m just pleased for the players to get that first win,” said a delighted Craigroyston manager Gary Aitchison afterwards.
Ormiston manager Brian Johnston watched his side mount a second-half comeback against Heriot-Watt at Riccarton, but was quick to warn the rest of the First Division about the students’ capabilities.
Heriot-Watt fell to their first home league defeat of the season, but they were in the ascendancy for the majority of the first half and took a deserved early lead through Michael Webster.
But the East Lothian outfit hit back in the second half with defender Liam Skinner netting his first goal of the season with a header after missing the last two matches through injury. Dean Woods scored the winner late on when he slotted in from close range after Watt keeper Craig Saunders had parried a shot.
Woods has netted eight goals in all competitions so far this season and Johnston, while pleased with his striker’s contribution, was quick to praise Heriot-Watt for their work rate.
“Dean probably didn’t have the best of games, but he did what all good strikers do and that’s stick the ball in the back of the net. It was a tough game, as I expected. Heriot-Watt worked really hard and we huffed and puffed for long periods. They will win more than they’ll lose this season in my view.”