Lothian Thistle HV 5-1 Coldstream

A Coldstream team missing no fewer than nine players were well beaten by the reigning East of Scotland champions at Saughton.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale will not give up their title without a fight and moved to within a point of the top two with this resounding win.

Alan McDonough, Scott Moffat, Sean Wringe, Liam O’Donnell, and a penalty from Darren Smith ensured an emphatic win for the reigning champions, with Jake Rutherford replying for Coldstream.

“Every game is a must-win for all the sides involved at the top just now,” said Lothian boss Raymond Carr.

Coldstream’s four French players were all missing due to exams, while Michael Allan, Kieran Ainslie, Josh Hebdon, Kristian Neill and Jonny Simpson were also unavailable.

It meant the visitors from Berwickshire could list two substitutes – back-up goalkeeper Jordan Clowes and Craig Heugh.

Lothian took and early lead and pinned Coldstream back for most of the first half.

It was 2-0 at the break, but Allan Wilson’s men improved in the second half. Despite conceding a third, good work from Luke Strangeways set up Rutherford for a neat right-foot finish 10 yards to narrow the deficit.

But the home side scored a fourth from the penalty spot after Mark Walters brought down an attacker right on the edge of the box and then grabbed a fifth.

Coldstream: Walters, McLeod, Graham, Johnson (Heugh 70), Oliver, Cornish, Rutherford, Dixon, Crawford, O’Neil, Strangeways. Sub not used: Clowes.