Sproule hits brace to floor flat Welfare

TYNECASTLE'S Wayne Sproule hit a double last night as he helped his side to a 2-0 victory over Whitehill Welfare in the Central Taxis Premier Division.

Sproule, who was being watched by the East of Scotland Select team manager Willie Darroch, once again impressed his manager after notching a hat-trick against Leith Athletic at the weekend. "Waynes's pace and delivery are excellent," said Tynecastle boss Murray Balloch. "He can play up front or either side of midfield and he never complains."

Tynecastle were the more attack-minded side from the kick-off and Robbie Arthur should have scored when he was set up by Sproule. Tynecastle were awarded a penalty in the 28th minute when Allan Cornett pulled down Paul Devlin in the penalty box and Sproule converted the spot kick with a fierce shot.

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Tynecastle were guilty of missing another gilt-edged chance when Devlin lifted a Sproule cross over the bar from four yards although they did increase their advantage ten minutes from time. Arthur surged down the left and his low cross from the bye-line was side-footed home by Sproule from eight yards.

Balloch added: "The pleasing aspect was that I sat the players down in the dressing room before the game and asked them to start the same way as they had finished in our win against Leith on Saturday. I emphasised that if they played with the same attitude then we would combat Whitehill – and we did.

"It was a good result because we want to finish as high up the table as possible and we still have a cup semi-final to play, so the players are keen to prove themselves."

Gary Aitchison, the out-going Whitehill boss, said: "We never got on the ball at all in what was a very poor game for us. We were very flat and it looked like an end-of-season game."

In the First Division, leaders Stirling University extended their advantage at the top to three points when an Abraham Keller double earned them a 2-0 win against Easthouses Lily. Leith Athletic returned from playing Eyemouth United with a share of the points after a 1-1 draw. Craig Downie gave Leith the lead while Mark Windram equalised for the Fishermen.