Lowland League: Uni pass Whitehill test; Spartans go nap; Strollers into top half

Jack Guthrie scored the opening goal for Edinburgh University
Jack Guthrie scored the opening goal for Edinburgh University
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Edinburgh University boss Dorian Ogunro was delighted with his side’s 2-1 victory at Whitehill Welfare but insisted they should have won by more.

Goals from Jack Guthrie and substitute Nathan Evans either side of half-time – Gary Nicholson having briefly restored parity for the hosts at Ferguson Park – saw the students pick up maximum points from a stop-start affair in Rosewell.

Goalscorer Nicholson was sent off for the home side late on when he picked up a second booking, Whitehill subsequently reduced to nine men with Kerr Dodds earlier forced off injured midway through the second half and manager Gary Small having already made his three substitutions.

But Ogunro’s biggest gripe was his side’s inability to kill the game off with Guthrie, in particular, the biggest culprit.

“All of our training we do is based on attacking because our biggest downfall in games is not scoring enough goals,” he said. “We’re very solid defensively but we just aren’t scoring enough goals as a team. Aside from Jack, we don’t have enough players who can chip in on a regular basis. We just have to keep plugging away but we should have won by a lot more today had we taken our chances.

“I think we had enough opportunities to win a few games but we played well. Our finishing has let us down but we’ve picked up the three points and that’s the most important thing.”

Guthrie twice found himself through one-on-one with goalkeeper Ross Jardine before the striker broke the deadlock in the 41st minute with a well-placed shot that went in via the post.

Joe Boyle rattled the Whitehill crossbar a minute into the second half but Nicholson made his mark to level with an astute finish from Mark Smith’s cross.

The hosts suffered a major blow when Dodds limped off with a hamstring problem and the Uni capitalised when Evans headed home the winner from a couple of yards following a corner from the left.

Nicholson’s petulance that saw referee Simon MacLean issue the player with a second yellow card riled Small as he explained afterwards.

“I’m really disappointed with Gary as that was unacceptable, as far as I’m concerned. It was stupid and any hope we did have getting back into the game with ten men disappeared. He’s got to have a look at himself.

“We lost two goals from two corners so that can’t happen. I thought when we got it back to 1-1 we were the team that was going to go on and win it. It wasn’t ideal going down to ten men but I had made my three subs. But we still tried to be positive so I can’t fault their work-rate.”

Whitehill Welfare: Jardine, Reid, McKenzie, Lucas, Wright (Nicholson 46), McPartlin, Smith (Mitchell 68), Manson, Dodds, Morris, McCraw (Neto 66). Subs: Findlay, McGrath, Dowie, Carter.

Edinburgh University: Davidson, Murray, Gair, Verkaik, Sutherland, Daniels-Yeoman, McNicholas (Watters 79), Swan, Guthrie, Boyle (Evans 65), Calbacho. Subs: Condie, Hendry, Skjaeveland, Barnes.

Meanwhile, Spartans stuck to their end of the bargain in this season’s Lowland League title race with a convincing 5-0 victory at Vale of Leithen.

The visitors tore the hosts apart at Victoria Park, David Greenhill netting the opener from the penalty spot in the second minute.

Jamie Dishington doubled the lead from close range after 15 minutes before goalkeeper Blair Carswell kept out a Kerr Allan penalty.

Spartans capitalised and added a third through Spanish striker Guillermo Lamarca before the same player got his second of the afternoon two minutes before the interval.

Defender Adam Corbett completed the scoring for Dougie Samuel’s men in the final minute.

Civil Service Strollers are into the top half of the table following a fine 3-2 victory over Dalbeattie Star at Islecroft.

Goals from Paolo Buzzi and Stephen Froude saw Strollers take a half-time lead but Curtis Wilson halved the deficit before the visitors were reduced to ten men when Shaun Turnbull was sent off.

However, Froude restored Strollers’ two-goal advantage and the Capital side held on despite Dalbeattie grabbing a second through Lewis Todd.