Leith Athletic extend lead at top of EoS

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Leith Athletic were in seventh heaven at the weekend as they extended their lead at the top of The East of Scotland League to nine points.

With nearest challengers Spartans having their match at Stirling University postponed, Derek Riddel’s high flying outfit were looking for a fourth successive league win against Coldstream who were hoping to bounce back from two straight league defeats by Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and Hawick Royal Albert.

But the Leithers were to turn in another master class performance at Meadowbank 3G, where they have now scored a fantastic 38 goals at home in the league this season.

James Hainey was to notch another hat-trick for Athletic with Neil Lowson netting a brace.

Further strikes came from Lewis Martin and Stephen Baigan with Athletic never looking in any real danger of losing their unbeaten home record after establishing a commanding 3-0 interval lead.

The result ensures Leith will head into Sunday’s Alex Jack Cup Final against Eyemouth United at Coldstream’s Home Park in full confidence, looking to retain the trophy they have kept in their cabinet since 2012.

In the other fixture, Craigroyston suffered a disappointing loss from Peebles Rovers at St Mark’s Park as the visitors netted four goals in the second half in the space of ten minutes.

The home side put plenty effort into their performance but they fell behind against the run of play to a Paul Murray strike on 34 minutes.

Daniel McAleavey netted a spot kick on 55 minutes with Dale Richardson adding a third two minutes later.

Captain Craig Dickson was ordered off for a second bookable offence on 61 minutes, and although Shaun Smith saved a Peebles penalty, further strikes from Murray and Chris Taylor ensured a heavy defeat for Craigie who missed a penalty through Ewan McIntosh with Steven Togneri also hitting the crossbar.