Watt bandwagon rolls on (if a little shakily)

Having trawled the records to check the implication in the last posting that since the introduction of the Qualifying League as a tournament with which the season is opened, Heriot-Watt University has yet to reach the qualification level and go on to play in the League Cup later in the season, we find that isn’t actually true! The Qualifying League was introduced in season 2011 – 2012 and in that first season of the competition, a 1 – 1 draw at Saughton with Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale secured for the Watt second place in Section D. Ironically, Watt then lost 1 – 0 to the same team at the same venue in the Quarter-finals.

Since that season, Watt has failed to progress from the group competition to the League Cup proper, but with one match left in its qualifying group, it is now in the position to achieve this objective. In Section B, however, there have been several surprise results and this unpredictability has set up an exciting conclusion, with many possible outcomes.

On Saturday, Watt scored its second win in three games played in the competition, beating Stirling University II with a late goal by Cammy Ross (report on the ‘East of Scotland League’ tab). Watt has played much better this season and may have been considered a little fortunate to have escaped with one point, never mind all three, but a combination of good defending, defective finishing and the natural flair of the scorer kept the points at Riccarton.

The Watt players now go to Berwick next Saturday to take on new East of Scotland members Tweedmouth Rangers in their final group game, with the group so finely poised that it would still be possible for the Watt to finish top or bottom of the group table! Tweedmouth’s shock victory over Tynecastle at Saughton Enclosure yesterday has thrown the section wide open and at present none of the five teams can be sure of qualification or of elimination. Tynecastle has finished its programme with two wins and two defeats and the Watt also has six points, but with an inferior goal difference. Stirling has just one game left to play (against Leith) and needs to win it to reach six points.

A draw on Saturday would take Watt on to seven points, which would guarantee qualification, but a win would make it nine points, which only Leith Athletic could equal. It is very unfortunate that the opening-day match between Tweedmouth and Leith could not be played on the date originally set and that the match has not been reset since, as now the sides will go into that game with all other group matches completed and therefore knowing what they need to do to qualify or to win the group, but it looks too late to do anything about that now.

Anyway, the Watt’s future in the competition is in its own hands when the squad heads south next Saturday. It will be going for the win as usual and an exciting match is in prospect.

Posted on August 21, 2016 at 4:00 pm

Can the Watt qualify at last?

Since the Qualifying League group format was adopted as an opener to the East of Scotland season, Heriot-Watt has been obliged to treat the competition as an extension of its pre-season programme and use it to progress preparations for the League matches lying ahead. This season, however, a great win over Tynecastle in its first game has given the Watt hopes of qualifying from its group and reaching the League Cup competition.

Actually, Section B is in an intriguing situation, with any of its five teams still able to secure a qualifying place. The winner of each section proceeds to the semi-final with the clubs placed second and third playing quarter-finals to produce the other two semi-finalists, so three out of the five will go forward. Tynecastle currently leads the section, having recovered from its defeat at Riccarton to beat Leith Athletic and Stirling University. Leith, Watt and Stirling have all won one and lost one and Tweedmouth Rangers has only played once, losing to Stirling.

Clearly, if the Watt can win this Saturday when it takes on Stirling University at Riccarton (kick-off 2 o’clock), it will greatly enhance its chances of going through and will still have a chance of topping the section.

Reports on the three matches played so far are now available on the ‘East of Scotland League’ tab above.

Posted on August 18, 2016 at 11:24 pm

Watt proud to be the first holders of the Morain Scott Memorial Trophy

Tonight, at a meeting at Ferguson Park, Rosewell, Heriot-Watt University was presented with a splendid new shield, named in honour of the long-time Chairman of the East of Scotland League, the late Morain Scott of Coldstream F.C. This shield, of which the Watt is the first winner, is the Good Conduct prize of the East of Scotland League and will be presented annually to the club with the lowest number of disciplinary points during the season. Heriot-Watt is proud to be the first club to have its name inscribed on the trophy.

This Saturday, the Watt faces a tough task when the lads travel to Innerleithen to take on the Lowland League’s Vale of Leithen in the first round of the Football Nation East of Scotland Qualifying Cup. Vale visited Riccarton during the pre-season programme and ran up seven goals against a disorganised Watt team, so we hope there will be some improvement on that performance and result. The kick-off at Victoria Park is at 3 o’clock.

Heriot-Watt has entered the Scottish Youth Cup again this season. Last season we were fortunate enough to get a bye before facing Alloa Athletic in the second round, but this time the Watt has been given a first round tie – and it’s a corker. On Friday 2nd September, we will entertain at Riccarton the youth side of Premier Division club Partick Thistle.

Fortunately, this season we have the benefit of having obtained seven players, all of suitable age for the Youth Cup, through the Community Club connection with Currie Star; and efforts are being made to assemble as many as possible of the players from last year’s side who are still eligible to play, though some will be coming from a considerable distance. By these means, we will certainly be able to field a side and have a few players on the bench, and it is hoped that the team will be strong enough to give a decent account of itself in the most challenging match in which these players have ever participated.

Posted on August 11, 2016 at 10:28 pm

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