Player problems hit Borders sides

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THE East of Scotland League Cup has brought little joy for Borders clubs, as more defeats have been suffered than victories gained, writes John Slorance.

This weekend, the qualifying competition comes to an end, and Vale of Leithen have a formidable task in their last outing, taking on Spartans in Edinburgh.

Valesecretary Alex Currie told TheSouthern: “Due to players being on holiday we have been struggling to get a squad and last Saturday against Heriot-Watt University we only had a pool of 12, and one of the guys was not fully fit.

“Indeed, our entire midfield was missing and you can’t really expect to win games when you are down to the bare bones like that.

“Unfortunately, things like this happen and you just have to take it on the chin and get on with it. It will be a tough game against Spartans as they are a top side, but we will be hoping to do well.”

Hawick Royal Albert host Berwick Rangers Reserves at Albert Park.

The two clubs met at the tail end of last season on league business, with the Albert emerging 7-3 victors in what turned out to be a humdinger of a game.

The Teries’ Craig Beattie is on the injured list.

Selkirk hit the road to face Premier Division side Lothian Thistle. Jamie Atkin returns to the Souters’ squad.

Peebles Rovers are also in Edinburgh, tackling Leith Athletic, while Kelso United make the short trip to Coldstream.

United are without Jordan Lauder and have Jamie Swailes doubtful due to injury.

Having finished their League Cup qualifying campaign anchored to the bottom of their section following their midweek loss to Duns, Gala Fairydean start afresh this weekend when taking up East of Scotland League business with an away encounter against Easthouses Lily.

Reflecting on his side’s disappointing start to the season, Fairydean manager Fraser Lothian said: “Results in the league cup have been disappointing for us.

“Considering we have had a lot of players missing, however, I suppose we have done okay as we have played a lot of youngsters and they have acquitted themselves well.

“The Easthouses game is a very important one for us as the league is our main priority.

“It’s the league we want to do well in more than anything else.

“We have guys back for the match and I am confident of going to Newbattle and getting a result.”

Amongst those returning for Gala are Jack Hay and Geri Rossi.