The top two sides aspiring to win The Central Taxis Premier League clash tomorrow in the quarter-finals of the East of Scotland League Cup.
Leith Atheltic and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale will do battle again at Meadowbank 3G (kick-off 3.00pm), with the winners set to face another title contender, Easthouses Lily, in the semi-finals on March 14th
Lothian manager Kevin Twaddle watched his side triumph 3-0 over their rivals four weeks ago in the league with goals from Sean Wringe, Scott Moffat and a goal-of-the-season contender from Connor McGregor, but is anticipating a tougher test against Derek Riddel’s men tomorrow.
“We had a fantastic victory against them in the league but that will have no bearing on tomorrow’s game,” said Twaddle who is expecting the trio of Sean Wringe, Lewis Cairns and Eddie Mearns to be fit despite carrying minor knocks.
“Leith were missing a few key individuals, they have guys like Keith Murray and a few others who can cause any team problems and they’ll have them back for this weekend I’m sure.
“Derek has a good philosophy on how the game should be played, and I have got a lot of respect for what he’s done at Leith,” added Twaddle who watched his side defeat East Region Super League outfit Penicuik Athletic 2-1 in a midweek friendly thanks to goals from Willis Hare and new signing Scott Taylor-McKenzie.
“The friendlies are important but competitive action is what it’s all about as well,” continued Twaddle. “It’s been a little frustrating in recent weeks with the two postponements of the Whitehill Welfare match, but the boys have kept themselves in shape and I was pleased to see them get a good workout on Tuesday night against a very good Penicuik side.”
“The atmosphere in the dressing-room is very good, we’re a good four games unbeaten and looking to make it five.”
Leith Athletic have signed former Haddington Athletic winger John Ferguson. The 23-year-old, who was also on the books of Cowdenbeath and Berwick Rangers, was an unused substitute during last Saturday’s 2-1 defeat by Craigroyston. He will be in contention for a starting berth tomorrow.
In the South Region Challenge Cup third round, there is a rematch of November’s Image Printers Cup tie between Civil Service Strollers and Heriot-Watt University. Chris Smith’s students triumphed in extra time in that game thanks to a Cammy Stevenson strike and Smith will be aiming for a similar outcome at Marine Drive tomorrow.
“The victory would give us confidence heading into a tough run of games,” said the Watt head coach Smith.
“We have Ormiston and Peebles after tomorrow, and whilst we have proved this season that we can compete with the better teams in the Premier League, Civil Service have strengthened since the last time we played them so it’s going to be a very tough game.
Strollers will be missing Dayne Robertson, Jake Moyes, Chris Moffat and Scott Gormley who is cup-tied, but manager Ross McNeill has confirmed that Keiran McGachie and Chris Tobin have signed until the summer of 2016
In the Central Taxis Premier League games, Spartans travel to Craigroyston in what is expected to be Paul Cavanagh’s last game in charge as interim manager before Grant Carney arrives (2.30pm kick-off). Easthouses Lily face Stirling University at Newbattle Complex whilst in the First Division, Ormiston travel to Kelso United looking to keep their title challenge on track. Both these matches kick off at 3.00pm.