St Andrews United: Boss Robbie Raeside thrilled to take advantage of title rivals' games being off to win and jump into promotion places

Robbie Raeside has steered his side into top three (Pic Scott Louden)Robbie Raeside has steered his side into top three (Pic Scott Louden)
Robbie Raeside has steered his side into top three (Pic Scott Louden)
St Andrews United boss Robbie Raeside was thrilled his team took advantage of Camelon Juniors’ game at Whitburn being postponed last weekend to win 2-1 at Preston Athletic and leapfrog Gordon Wylde’s Falkirk-based outfit into a promotion spot in the East of Scotland League first division.

The victory – thanks to Scott Reekie’s 30-yarder and Ryan Dignan’s header either side of a Preston equaliser – moves Saints up to third place on 33 points from 14 matches, having played less league fixtures than the vast majority of their title rivals.

“It’s always nice to be in the top three,” Raeside told the Herald and Citizen. “It was satisfying to get points on the board when our rivals were not playing.

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"But you’ve just got to keep looking at yourself and doing your own thing. We know that we’ll have some cup games coming up soon where we don’t have a league game and other teams will so it’s swings and roundabouts.”

Saints’ game at Pennypit Park in Prestonpans last weekend only went ahead after a morning pitch inspection as freezing conditions hit the east of Scotland.

“The park was perfect which I was really surprised about,” Raeside added. “Having driven through Fife to get there and seen all the frozen water I did have concerns but it was great to get a game under our belts, it was much needed.

"We had two or three Saturdays off due to the league break and cancellations and we haven’t done a lot of training due to facilities being closed and poor weather.

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"So it was a tremendous result for us. It was a decent performance against a good team.

"I thought we just edged it. Both teams were having a go and it was an entertaining game, a good advert for this league.

"They ended up throwing the kitchen sink at us for the last 10 minutes because we didn’t take chances to go 3-1 up and it ended up a nervy ending.

"Calum Brodie is a bit of an enigma, a typical goalkeeper, a bit daft at times. But he made a couple of good saves dealing with cross balls and a scrappy goalmouth scramble.

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"It wasn’t just about playing good football, the players hung in there, they threw their bodies on the line and defended as a team.

"Lewis Lorimer, Ryan McManus and Ryan Dignan were excellent and Scott Reekie scored a great goal. There was nobody had a poor game.”

Goal hero Reekie will miss this Saturday’s home game against third-bottom Leith Athletic, who were 1-0 home winners over St Andrews in the league game earlier this season.

Raeside added: “I think it’s another difficult game. Leith drew with Preston a couple of weeks ago so it shows you the standard they are. And they drew with Heriot-Watt at the weekend.

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"It’s a tight game. They dropped off us at home and got 11 men behind the ball so I fully expect them to do that this Saturday.

"We’re going to have to be patient, shift the ball quickly, work hard to create chances and take them when they come. They are not going to come here, lie down and make it easy. But as long as we’re focused at it and do things quickly I think we’re a much better squad than went to Leith and lost.”

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