Broxburn boss savours superb start

FEW East Region managers will have tucked into their Christmas Day dinner with more enjoyment than Steve Pittman after seeing his Broxburn Athletic side take the Premier Division by storm following their promotion as South Division champions.

The Albyn Park side sit six points clear at the top, admittedly having played three games more than nearest challengers Glenrothes and four more than third-placed St Andrews United.

And Pittman is keeping his fingers crossed that the big freeze doesn't kill off Broxburn's dream of rubbing shoulders with the Super League giants next season. "I don't think it would be wrong to say that everyone at the club is surprised about the position we're in at the moment and staying there is going to be tough, we know that," said the former Dundee and East Fife defender.

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"I've not been let down by a single player so far this season and I'm glad we've got the points in the bag as I can see things becoming a bit cut throat in the second half of the campaign." Last season, Broxburn went on a winning run in the final few weeks of the season to pip Tranent for the title and Pittman is wary of someone coming out of the pack at them this time around.

"I have a funny feeling that Ballingry Rovers will be a team to watch out for," he added. "They've got a new manager (Stevie Leighton) and also some new players."

As for Arniston, Penicuik and Whitburn, it looks as though they could be involved in matters at the other end of the table. Arniston are sitting sixth but are in disarray. Jackie Myles has just been re-appointed as manager but he's got a tough task on his hands with a group of players who are still unhappy over the sacking of Brian Macnaughton.

"We needed someone to steady the ship and Jackie's experience, as well as the fact he had a successful spell here previously, gave him the edge over the other three people," said Arniston secretary Alan Walker.

From their eight league games so far, Penicuik have picked up the same number of points and management duo Craig Meikle and Brian Ryrie will be looking for their side to string a few wins together, as will Whitburn boss Mattie Coulter.