Lowland League: Whitehill Welfare part company with Jock Landells

Jock Landells
Jock Landells
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Whitehill Welfare have parted company with manager Jock Landells in the wake of their 2-1 defeat by Civil Service Strollers at Ferguson Park.

Landells, who took over from Gary Small on a permanent basis in September, came to a mutual agreement with the club on Sunday morning to terminate his contract after just under two months in the role.

Saturday’s result ensured Whitehill remain rooted to the bottom of the Lowland League having won just once and drawn twice this season. Under-20s coach Grant Sandison has agreed to take charge of first-team affairs until a successor is found.

A club statement said: “Whitehill Welfare and the management team of Jock Landells, Stevie Thomson and Jim Rae have agreed to part company. We thank them for their time at the club and wish them well for the future.”

Landells, inset, did not want to make any further comment and the club have now already begun accepting applications for the vacant post.

The statement added: “Interested parties should submit their CV to whitehillwelfare@gmail.com by Thursday 22 November at 5pm. Applicants must hold a UEFA B licence as a minimum requirement.”

With the game kicking off at the slightly earlier time of 2pm, it was the home side who flew out of the traps quickest.

Sean Lally forced an early save from on-loan Hibs goalkeeper Kevin Dabrowski before youngster Robbie Dowie headed the resulting corner narrowly over the crossbar.

The Midlothian outfit were rewarded for their early dominance in the 19th minute when Kieran Somerville picked out Kyle Mitchell who dispatched a curling shot into the corner.

Whitehill continued to press forward and Dabrowski had to produce another string of top-class saves to firstly deny Somerville’s header from close range, then Dowie’s effort just before the hour mark.

Those missed opportunities would come back to haunt the hosts as Jordan Hopkinson evaded the offside trap to stroke home an equaliser after 62 
minutes.

Disaster struck for Landells’ side in the third minute of injury-time when they switched off at the back to allow David Churchill a free header, which he steered past the keeper, sparking wild celebrations.

That proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the management team and Landells said afterwards: “The last two results don’t reflect the performance we’ve put in. We deserved six points as the players were excellent. Individual errors cost us again.”

Strollers were picking up their first win in three games, following the disappointing end to their South Region Challenge Cup defence last weekend.

Meanwhile, Spartans were also on the receiving end of a crushing late 3-2 defeat against BSC Glasgow, a result which drops them down to sixth in the table.

Dougie Samuel’s men fell behind at Alloa’s Indodrill Stadium after 15 minutes when Declan Hughes turned home a shot from close range after the visiting defence failed to clear their lines properly.

The Edinburgh club levelled the match on 28 minutes when frontman Stephen MacDonald rose highest to head Alan Brown’s cross past keeper Ross Sinclair into the net.

Spartans turned the game on its head nine minutes later in rather fortuitous circumstances. Former BSC man Jack Smith worked some space out wide and sent a ball across which centre-half Ross McMillan who turned it into his own net.

Smith was then forced off before half-time with a hamstring injury, andMcMillan made up for his own goal blunder by scoring at the other end to make it 2-2 after he connected with Hughes’ corner to power a header past Blair Carswell early in the second half.

BSC stole all three points in the 82nd minute when Jamie Mills flicked the ball into the path of Hughes who rifled home a shot from 20 yards for his double.

On Friday night, Edinburgh University produced a terrific battling display to outgun East Stirlingshire 2-0 at the Falkirk Stadium.

Patrick Baird opened the scoring for the Students after just 90 seconds from a corner, and Santeri Kuivalainen doubled their advantage inside five minutes when he smashed home a powerful effort from the edge of the box.

The home side pulled one back after 66 minutes when ex-Edinburgh City and Spartans forward Ross Allum found the net, moments after watching his header clip the woodwork.

However, the Uni held firm in the closing stages to register their fifth win of the season.