Robbie Raeside: Pre-match traffic hell dented St Andrews United's bid for title

Robbie Raeside's team can wrap up a second place finish this weekend (Pic Steve Cox)Robbie Raeside's team can wrap up a second place finish this weekend (Pic Steve Cox)
Robbie Raeside's team can wrap up a second place finish this weekend (Pic Steve Cox)
St Andrews United’s remote hopes of pipping leaders Dunipace to this season’s East of Scotland League first division title were extinguished on Tuesday when they lost 1-0 at Newtongrange Star.

The hosts scored the only goal on 49 minutes when Frazer Sutherland converted a Michael Jones cross.

Robbie Raeside’s United then suffered the blow of having Scott Reekie dismissed for a second booking, with Newtongrange later having two men sent off but still holding on for the win.

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The result leaves second-placed Saints on 60 points with one league match remaining – at Lochore Welfare this Saturday with a 2.30pm kick-off – a full six points behind champions ’Pace who completed their first division fixtures with a 1-0 win at Newtongrange last Saturday.

Manager Raeside, whose promoted side will wrap up second place if they at least draw at Lochore or third-placed Whitburn fail to beat Newtongrange at home this weekend, told the Herald and Citizen: "We had a lot of traffic problems for Newtongrange pre-match, the bypass was carnage.

"Boys weren’t getting there until 40 minutes before kick-off and we didn’t start the game well.

“It wasn’t a dirty game yet there were three red cards, and they were all for second bookings.

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"I thought Scott Reekie’s first yellow card was soft. I just felt the referee was being very strict with his yellows.

"It’s not as if every foul has to be a yellow card, for both teams.

"A fter that we maybe did enough to get at least a point out the game. Did we deserve to win it? Probably not.

"We totally dominated the last 20 minutes when they were down to nine men.

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"James Collins had a great touch but volleyed over the bar from 15 yards and Lucas McKimmie was very unlucky with an overhead kick with the last kick of the game, following a corner, when the keeper made a fingertip save round the post.”

On this Saturday’s finale, Raeside added: “Lochore away will definitely be a tough game but we are looking to consolidate second place.

"Finishing second in this league would be a real coup and the players can be very pleased.”

Saints also have a home King Cup semi-final against Leith Athletic next Tuesday which kicks off at 7.30pm.

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