SCOTT Bonar has hailed his Haddington Athletic side’s team spirit after they extended their advantage in the race for promotion.

The Hi Hi were 6-0 winners over Coldstream at the weekend as nearest challengers for First Division Conference A glory Leith Athletic were thumped 4-0 by third-placed Dunipace.

Haddington have enjoyed an incredible first half of the campaign and taken 40 points from a possible 42, conceding just four goals.

However, Bonar stressed no one was breaking out the Champagne yet and there was still plenty of work to do.

He said: “I said on Saturday that nobody has won anything in November. If you are top of the league, even if just for five minutes, you should enjoy it.

“Come three or four games to go then you are in with a shout and can start thinking about titles.

“At the moment, you are three or four games from slipping down the league.”

Shaun Hill’s goal four minutes from the interval was all that separated the sides at half-time on Saturday. However, the hosts would run rampant after the break, with Hill completing his hat-trick and Gordon Harris, Guy McGarry and Alassan Jones all finding the net.

The manager said: “I thought in the first half we did well.

“Coldstream have been on that winning run and they came into the game full of confidence.

“We have got to try to break that and some of the football we played, the movement, the interchanging, I think it mentally drained them.

“When they came out in the second half, it was hard for them.”

East Lothian Courier: Haddington Athletic manager Scott BonarHaddington Athletic manager Scott Bonar

The result was win number 13 of the league campaign and the manager said: “There is a great atmosphere. We are all demanding a lot from each other – in a good way.

“There is a right team spirit and I said maybe even last season or at the start of the season that we were getting there but there were a few things to work on to enhance everything.

“There is something about them and whatever challenge is in front of them they will go down fighting, that’s for sure.”

Haddington’s next challenge comes in the South of Scotland Challenge Cup when they face Spartans on Saturday.

The Edinburgh side sit second in the Lowland League, the fifth tier of Scottish football, and will likely go into the contest in East Lothian as favourites.

But Bonar and his team have already dumped Highland League side Deveronvale out of the Scottish Cup and then took former Scottish Professional Football League stalwarts Brechin City to within seconds of a cup replay.

The manager challenged his team to again rise to the occasion.

He said: “That is who you want to be playing against, who you want to be managing or coaching against.

“The players will relish it and it is another big game for Millfield and the crowd.

“They have been brilliant this season and it is good to see the town coming out to support the team. It is a big catchment area and we are tapping into more people to come along.

“There are a lot of kids coming along and there is a right buzz and family feel to it.”