Lowland League: Tranent make significant step up in promotion race after 8-0 demolition job

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Tranent Juniors have moved above East Kilbride into pole position in the Lowland league promotion race after a hat-trick from on-loan Edinburgh forward Nicky Reid in an 8-0 demolition of Edinburgh University at Foresters Park.

Martin Maughan also grabbed a brace, with Adam McGowan, Aiden Walsh and an own goal completing the rout for Colin Nish’s team, who are now second in the table behind a Rangers B team who are not eligible for the promotion play-off against the Highland League champions.

Tranent now have 43 points from 21 games, two clear of East Kilbride. Stirling University, in fourth, have 39 points and two games in hand. Civil Service Strollers and Spartans – they both play on Friday night and then take on each other on Hogmanay – are also within touching distance, but Tranent have put themselves in a very strong position going into their next three games against former SPFL clubs Cowdenbeath, Berwick Rangers and East Stirlingshire.

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The margin of the defeat will have been a hard one to take for Edinburgh University boss Dorian Ogunro, who tends to be without some players at this time of year. It was Uni’s 13th consecutive defeat in the league since they pulled off a shock 3-2 win away to East Kilbride in September. Their only saving grace so far this season has been Dalbeattie Star, whose results have been worse. Dalbeattie are bottom with five points from 19 games, with the students two points better off having played two games more. They are not scheduled to play each other again until April at East Peffermill.