Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale manager Kevin Twaddle believes his side’s 4-1 victory over Spartans EOS at Ainslie Park on Saturday could be the spark they need to get their title challenge back on track.
Hutchie climbed above Easthouses Lily into second place in The Central Taxis Premier Division to move within a point of league leaders Leith Athletic heading into the three-week festive break, after a commanding second-half display against Alex Cunningham’s side.
Twaddle felt his side were the more clinical outfit and whilst he was quick to praise the contribution of hat-trickster Sean Wringe, he also believes that the return of several key players from injury can see his side maintain their quest to retain their title in the new year.
“The performance of the whole team was fantastic, we were playing against a very good side. Sean Wringe is different class and he knows that he can play at a higher level than East of Scotland. That goes for a few other players in the team,” said Twaddle.
“Scott Moffat set up Scott Gormley for the fourth goal near the end which was fantastic to see because of his recent injury; Connor McGregor only returned to training this week and I thought he was probably our best player, his work rate and commitment was superb. It was just a great team performance.”
Spartans manager Alex Cunningham said: “Sean Wringe was the difference. I managed him here when he played for our Junior side and you could always see the boy had potential.”
Spartans netted a deserved equaliser on 20 minutes through Kyle Boggie to cancel out Wringe’s opener after seven minutes, moments before Andy Howatt had hit the bar with a header. Wringe netted two goals in quick succession midway through the second half before Gormley put the seal on the victory late on with a crashing strike.
At the opposite end of the table, a depleted Craigroyston side earned a valuable point against fellow strugglers Coldstream. Gary Aitchison could only name 12 for the trip to Home Park. Jamie Dickson put the Border side ahead on the half hour, but a 63rd-minute penalty from Craig Anderson ensured a share of the spoils.
Tynecastle’s match at Stirling University fell foul to the weather on Saturday morning.
In the Central Taxis First Division, Peebles Rovers maintained their unbeaten run at the top of the league with a 2-0 win over Heriot-Watt University with goals from Jason Darling and Jim Young.
Ormiston’s clash with Hawick Royal Albert was postponed.