Coldstream cement position as title favourites

Jonny Simpson puts Coldstream in front. Picture by Thomas Brown
Jonny Simpson puts Coldstream in front. Picture by Thomas Brown



Promotion to the top flight is now within touching distance for Coldstream, who derailed Leith’s challenge with first-half goals from Jonny Simpson, Martyn Tait and Lawrie Cannon.

In the first East of Scotland League match played at the new Meadowbank 3G, Andrew Gibson’s men were in no mood to join in the celebration.

Leith Athletic were hoping the official opening of their new home ground would be a grand occasion, one that would spur them to victory and narrow the gap between themselves and the leaders in the East of Scotland League First Division.

But Coldstream spoiled the party. The Streamers are now 14 points ahead of Leith, who have four games in hand. This victory means the title is now in Coldstream’s own hands.

With so much at stake, it was always going to be a tense afternoon for two of the much-fancied candidates for promotion. The game started off at a high tempo, an early goal making for an open contest.

Simpson ran the halfway line to beat three men before slotting home to give Streamers the lead. But it was short- lived, Leith scoring virtually from the restart. A ball down the right rolled across the area, evading everyone to find Craig Hume, who blasted home the equaliser.

Fantastic defending and solid saves from goalkeeper Mark Walters stopped Leith from taking the lead.

It was from one of these saves that the Streamers, broke on the counter attack. Simpson jinked his way past the full-back to chip a ball onto Tait’s head. He duly converted.

The utility man led the line fantastically well in place of top scorer John Crawford and has now given his manager one massive selection headache going into the next match.

Leith again went in search of an equaliser, but found the Coldstream defence too tough to break. Lee Lambert nearly added to Coldstream’s lead when he rattled the woodwork from a free-kick. But Cannon then made it 3-1 with a great strike.

Leith pressed hard, and two attempts were cleared off the line via the boot of Streamers defender Michael Allan.

Walters also took the pressure off his defence by collecting numerous high balls.

At the other end Sean Simpson had a goal chalked off for offside.

Coldstream: M Walters, J Ainslie, M Allan, J McLeod, K Ainslie, S Simpson, J Hebdon, L Cannon, L Lambert, J Simpson, M Tait. Subs: R Baxendale, C Heugh, G McCrudden, S Coyle, K O’Neil.