Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale can get their hands on the Central Taxis Premier Division title with victory over second-placed Craigroyston tomorrow and boss Kevin Twaddle is anticipating a carnival atmosphere at Saughton Enclosure.
“It’s a big game on Saturday for us, with the chance for our club to win the league for the first time in its history as part of this league,” said Twaddle, who has guided his side to the summit with an unbeaten run since taking over from Grant Carnie in November.
“It’s a massive game against a good Craigroyston side. It should be an amazing occasion, hopefully with a big crowd.”
Twaddle believes a championship title for his club would provide a fitting tribute to the effort and selflessness shown by his players and backroom staff.
He said: “The boys have been magnificent and this would top off a wonderful achievement for a lot of good people at the club.”
At Fernieside, Tynecastle will aim to gain revenge over a Leith Athletic side that dumped them out of the League Cup at the same venue last weekend.
Tynie still have an outside chance of finishing second, showing remarkable form for a side tipped to face relegation just a year after league reconstruction saw them gain a reprieve and retain their top-flight status.
“At this stage in the season, we want to win as many games as possible,” said Tynie boss Dougie Dalgleish. “It would be nice to finish our league campaign with a couple of wins. We have done better when we thought we would this season. I never thought we could win the title, but we are now just looking to finish as high as possible.
“Because of the way it worked out, having been ‘relegated’ last season, we were thrown into the Premier Division with a very young team and many people had written us off.
“Our young side has played some really good football with energy and exuberance and picked up points this season. We don’t have any new players in because the current squad have got us to where we are.
Of the challenge against familiar foes Leith, Dalgleish is optimistic of an entertaining encounter after an eventful clash last Saturday.
“Leith are a good side,” said Dalgleish. “They play the game the right way and they have some good players.”
Already-relegated Civil Service Strollers travel to Stirling University and Civil boss Ross McNeil has a full squad from which to choose. Heriot-Watt University can, with victory at home to Coldstream, drag their opponents into a relegation scrap and give themselves a survival lifeline.