Significant game against Preston awaits in East of Scotland League

Last weekend’s First Team fixture, away to Ormiston, was a bit of a struggle, but eventually the Watt lads banked three more points with a 4 – 2 win.  Tomorrow (Saturday) brings the visit of Preston Athletic, one place above the Watt in fifth position in Conference ‘C’ of the East of Scotland League (kick-off 3 o’clock).  It’s a very interesting prospect, as Heriot-Watt attempts to improve on a poor showing in a 4 – 1 defeat at the Pennypit in October.  Should the Watt win, it will go above Athletic in the table.  There are tough games to go for both in the run-in:  both have Camelon Juniors to play home and away, for example, and both have Jeanfield Swifts to meet at least once; but should the East Lothian side secure the points tomorrow, it will be a warm favourite to secure fifth place at the end of the season, and with it a place in the upper division of the League for next season.  Tyler Huxford has served his one-game suspension and is in contention for a place in the Watt line-up.

The Reserves’ meeting with Balerno Athletic last Saturday produced one of the most unusual scorelines in LEAFA football:  a goalless draw.  The point keeps the Watt team one point and one place ahead of its near neighbours in sixth position in Lothian West Division.  Tomorrow, the Heriot-Watt side is away to the team above it in the table:  fifth-placed Bank of Scotland Strollers.

Before the Saturday games come over the horizon, though, the Under-20 side returns to action this evening after a period of forced inactivity.  The Watt lads had no match three weeks ago because it had a bye in the First Round of the Challenge Cup; then, a fortnight ago, the 1st of February, the snow forced the postponement of the Knockout Cup First Round tie against Kelty Hearts.  Last Friday’s League game against Newtongrange Star was deleted to make way for the rearrangement of Star’s Knockout Cup tie against University of Stirling – which was then postponed!  At last, this week, it looks as though the Watt will succeed in getting a game – the rearranged Knockout Cup tie against Kelty.  Kick-off is at 8 o’clock at the John Brydson Arena.

BUCS games in midweek produced mixed results for the three Watt sides in action.  The Women’s Firsts went down 2 – 0 at home to University of Dundee First and the Men’s Seconds, for whom the wheels have come off recently, lost 4 – 0 to a very smart University of Glasgow Second side.  The good news again came from the Men’s Thirds, with a fine 1 – 0 away win against the team second-top of Division 5B, Queen Margaret University First.

Posted on February 15, 2019 at 4:21 pm

Tough going in BUCS games, but Threes win through to Semi

Since BUCS matches got going again last week, there hasn’t been much joy for Watt sides.  Last week, the Men’s Seconds, who lead Division 3A, suffered a surprise 2 – 1 home defeat to University of Aberdeen Second, reducing the advantage held by the Watt side at the top of the Division.  The Men’s Sixths were also on the losing side, going down 4 – 1 at home to Edinburgh Napier University Second in Division 6B.  The Women’s Firsts put up a good fight away to Edinburgh Napier University First in Division 2A, but eventually went down 4 – 2.

The only positive result of the day was a 2 – 2 draw gained by the Men’s Thirds in a fascinating match at Peffermill against University of Edinburgh Fifth.  At this level, Edinburgh operates ‘Intramural’ teams from individual faculties.  Some of them include players who perform at a good level on Saturdays and these sides are often much better than you’d expect of teams with such high numbers after their names.  The Watt’s Thirds, in their turn, are well stocked with players from the promising Under-20 side: mainly from this year’s intake, so very young, but talented players.  The Watt side led twice in the match and was only undone by a penalty awarded improbably far beyond the regulation ninety minutes.

This week’s games didn’t fare much better, with defeats for the Men’s Firsts, 1 – 0 to University of Edinburgh First in a tough encounter on the Peffermill East 2 pitch in the last sixteen of the BUCS Trophy and the Women’s Firsts, who went down 4 – 0 in the Conference Cup on their return to the venue of the previous week’s game at Edinburgh Napier University.

Two Watt sides were playing in the Quarter-finals of the Scottish Conference Plate and once again it was the Men’s Thirds who provided the good-news story.  The Men’s Fourths were beaten 2 – 1 at home by University of Stirling Fifth, but the Thirds beat Edinburgh Napier University Second 4 – 2 to advance to the Semi-finals.  It was a fascinating match, with the young Watt side taking a 2 – 0 lead just after half-time through Niall McClelland and Ronan Dowds, before the visitors stormed back to square the scores.  Goals in the last quarter by Finn As-Chainey and Jack Phillip took the Watt side through.   The Watt team now has an away tie in its Semi-final, against the Third side from the same Edinburgh Napier University.  Should the Watt team win through in this match, the opposition in the Final will be provided by either University of Stirling Fifth, the conquerors of the Watt Fourths yesterday, or the winner of a match scheduled for next Wednesday between University of St Andrews Fifth and University of Edinburgh Fifth.

Last weekend’s programme was wiped out by the weather.  The Firsts had no game anyway, being the “spare team” in the thirteen of League Conference ‘C’, but the matches scheduled for the Under-20s (Kelty Hearts in the Knockout Cup) and the Reserves (Bank of Scotland Strollers in Lothian West Division).

This weekend, it is the Under-20 side which is “odd one out” and is without a fixture, but the First Team is due to travel to a new venue (although very close to an old one) by visiting Ormiston in the East of Scotland League (kick-off 2.30).  It will be the Watt’s first visit to the new Recreation Park, constructed just behind the previous pitch and brought into use this season.  A fortnight ago, the Watt gathered in another point in a 1 – 1 draw with Blackburn United, but will be hoping to go one better against the side currently at the foot of the Conference.  Reports suggest, however, that its league position does not tell the full story about this Ormiston side, which will be seeking to climb at least a couple of places in the table before the season is over.  The Watt has always found Ormiston teams hard to beat, especially on their own turf, and will have to treat the game with the utmost seriousness to avoid becoming the fourth victims of the East Lothian side, which counts St Andrews United and Edinburgh United amongst the teams it has beaten at its new ground.

In LEAFA Lothian West Division the Watt’s Reserves have a home match against near-neighbours Balerno Athletic.  This should be a close game, as only one point separates the teams in the League table.  The Watt side, still without top scorer Lewis Whitelaw after his skiing accident last month, will try to improve on the disappointing 2 – 1 defeat to Queensferry Athletic last time out.


Posted on February 7, 2019 at 9:20 pm

Stirling game off

Today’s BUCS game for the Men’s Firsts at Stirling has been postponed.

Posted on January 30, 2019 at 9:12 am

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