On Monday evening, the Watt visited Netherdale with a highly-experimental squad to face Vale of Leithen, who had switched the match from Victoria Park after Saturday’s postponement to ensure there was no further problem with the pitch, especially with a game against Tynecastle looming up two days further down the line.
Watt trailed 2 – 0 at half-time, but goals by Chris Donnelly and Jamie Forsyth levelled the scores before Vale took the lead again with ten minutes to play. This time, however, the Watt was level again within half a minute, as when Donnelly’s run was halted on the edge of the penalty area, Ryan Stevenson stepped in to slam a sensational first-time shot across the goalkeeper into the top corner. It brought some warmth to the Watt support on what was a surprisingly cold night for the time of year.
The eleven with whom Watt finished the match was the youngest and least experience to represent the club in East of Scotland competition for years. Sean Muhsin, at 24, was the oldest man in the team. Andy Forbes, David Kerr and Chris Donnelly were the only others with significant first-team experience, although Blair Carswell and Jamie Forsyth, two of the youngest players in the side, have played regularly during this season, their first with the club. Scott Dargo, Ewen Urquhart, Ryan Stevenson and Ewan Henderson have only a minimal number of games between them and Matthew Walsh was appearing for the first time. Despite that, Watt were really going for victory at the end of the match and against a rapidly-tiring Vale side much affected by injuries and unavailability, would surely have had the win if the match had lasted much longer.
On Saturday, the Watt brings an end to this East of Scotland League programme with a visit to the Pennypit to play Preston Athletic. The venue has not been a happy hunting ground for HWU in recent times, so the lads will be going all out to improve that record and climb a few places in the congested middle of the Premier Division table.
The Amateurs have now finished their programme, with victories in the last two fixtures, the last a solid 3 – 0 win over Volunteer United to consolidate fourth place in the LEAFA Lothian West Division table.