A ball or two just might be kicked in anger

FINGERS – and everything else – crossed, games in the East of Scotland League football scene could escape the wrath of the recent winter weather and go ahead this weekend, writes John Slorance.

In a match that has already been postponed four times, Vale of Leithen travel to face Preston Athletic in the third round of the South Challenge Cup.

The Innerleithen men are more than keen to get the game over and done with.

Vale secretary Alec Currie told TheSouthern: “Because of the snow and frost we have been having, a few teams have not been able to train. We have been managing to tick over though, by training three times a week in various indoor places in Edinburgh, so the players are reasonably fit.

“If the game goes ahead it should be a close one. Like ourselves, Preston started the season poorly, but like us they have picked up recently.”

Vale will be without recent signing Chris Anderson from Craigroyston, who is cup-tied.

Selkirk are also involved in cup action, tackling Spartans away from home in an Image Printers Cup semi-final clash.

Selkirk defender Jason Inglis said: “Spartans are the best side in the East of Scotland League and have some quality players. We played them at Selkirk a while back and although we lost, we gave them a good game. I missed a penalty in that match, so I will be looking for better luck all round this time.”

In the First Division Peebles Rovers are off to the seaside to lock horns with Eyemouth United at Warner Park.

Peebles have been showing much improved form of late and team boss Stuart Robertson said: “We have won five of our last six games which I am very pleased about, but Eyemouth pulled off one of the shock results of the season in beating Gretna the other week.

“They are a fair side and beat us 6-0 at Peebles, but we gave our poorest performance of the season that day. This return game gives us a chance to restore pride and respect.”

Rovers are at full strength.

Hawick Royal Albert travel to Edinburgh to meet Craigroyston without suspended pair Sean Owens and Gavin Watson, while manager David Halfpenny begins a six-game touchline ban.

Gala Fairydean and Kelso United are away to Easthouses Lily and Leith Athletic respectively.

For the Borders sides, it will be their first chance in a good while to consolidate or improve on their league positions, and Fairydean in particular will be keen to improve following a run of poor results which have dented their promotion hopes.