Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Raymond Carr believes his players might look back upon Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Tynecastle as an “important point” in the race for the Premier Division title.
Carr’s men drew first blood at Saughton Enclosure on the half-hour when Scott Moffat headed in from a Scott Taylor-McKenzie cross, but Tynecastle drew level just before the break when Jamie Devlin slotted past Gregor Amos.
And although both of Lothian’s title rivals, Leith Athletic and Easthouses, recorded weekend wins to leave the reigning champions three points behind in third place, Carr was not too disheartened.
“Conditions made it difficult for both teams but it was a hard-fought local derby,” he said. “We’ve been caught napping a little for their equaliser with Paul Crawford playing Devlin on-side, but it could still be an important point for us come the end of the season.”
Lothian are in action tomorrow night when they host Stirling University at Saughton (kick-off 7.45pm) and a win in that match will lift them back into second place.
One team that did pick up three points was Leith Athletic, who atoned for their 1-0 defeat away at Easthouses Lily two weekends ago with a comfortable 3-0 win over Craigroyston at Meadowbank.
Lewis Tracey opened the scoring for Leith on 30 minutes, Keith Murray netted his 28th goal of the campaign on 47 minutes before Tracey struck his second of the afternoon with 25 minutes left.
Derek Riddel’s side can go three points clear at the top if they can beat Spartans EOS at Ainslie Park tonight (7.45pm kick-off) in a dress rehearsal of Sunday’s League Cup Final.
At Newbattle, Easthouses manager Dave McQueenie was a relieved man after a late strike from Mark Brown secured a vital 3-2 win over Coldstream.
Goals from Paul McDermott and Ally Elliot were each cancelled out by strikes from Coldstream striker John Crawford, but with time running out, Brown was on hand to fire the winner beyond Mark Walters.
“We were very fortunate over the 90 minutes,” said McQueenie.
Spartans EOS secured their Premier League status for next season with a 1-0 win over Civil Service Strollers at Ainslie Park Hayden Crane scored the goal, with Blair Carswell saving a Dayne Robertson penalty.
“It means we can start to focus on some of the cup competitions we are still involved in,” said Spartans manager Alex Cunningham.
The other match in the midweek card is tonight when Tynecastle face Civil Service Strollers at Fernieside (6.30pm).