HADDINGTON Athletic boss Joe Hamill has conceded defeat in the race for the East Premier League title.

The Hi Hi currently occupy second place but are 15 points adrift of leaders Musselburgh Athletic after losing an East Lothian derby between the two sides 3-0 last time out.

And the 34-year-old Hi Hi manager admitted to Courier Sport that the title was now “Musselburgh’s to lose”.

He added: “It has been for weeks and weeks to be honest. They are a good side to be fair to them.”

Midfielder Hamill, who took over in the Millfield dugout this season, also wants his side to use the disappointment of derby defeat at Olive Bank to spur them on for the rest of the season.

The ex-Hearts and Leicester City man said: “I didn’t think it was a 3-0 game to be honest, but it was.

“It was a hard one to take and we need to take that disappointment, that hurt that we felt after the game, and use that for the rest of the season. We don’t want to feel like that again.”

While admitting that the title might be out of his side’s reach, Hamill wants Haddington to join Burgh in securing promotion to the East Superleague.

He said: “Three’s a few teams that will be looking at that second place.

“Other teams, Fauldhouse for example, have got games in hand, but you’d rather have points on the board than be relying on winning games in hand.

“We’ve got a decent squad and we just want to get promoted.”