Close cup contests predicted

The South of Scotland League Cup reaches the semi-final stages this Saturday.

Mid-Annandale play hosts to league leaders Dalbeattie Star at Galabank, and Heston Rovers entertain Threave Rovers at Maryfield.

Star will go into their match as strong favourites to progress and maintain their unbeaten run but Mid-Annandale will, as usual, be expected to give a good account of themselves and the result could go close, although the Stewartry side are the more likely to progress to the first final of the season.

The other semi-final could be even closer with Heston being in top form at present and Threave Rovers under their new management team similarly placed and unbeaten since Vinnie Parker took over. This match could even take more than the regulation 90 minutes to find a winner but the Castle Douglas side may just shade proceedings to set up a Stewartry final with their neighbours Dalbeattie Star.

There are also four South of Scotland League matches scheduled to be played with the pick of them being at Trammondford Park where Wigtown and Bladnoch play hosts to St Cuthbert Wanderers. Both sides having lost only one league match so far this season. It is understood Saints may have a few players unavailable but even so this match is another that could be close and could well end up with the points being shared.

There is a local derby at Blairmount Park where Newton Stewart take on neighbours Creetown with the home side keen to make amends for this season’s earlier defeat at Castle Cary Park. As is usual when these two sides meet, a close and exciting encounter is anticipated with home advantage perhaps becoming the deciding factor.

Nithsdale Wanderers have Abbey Vale as their visitors to Sanquhar and will start as favourites to take the three points. Vale have been a bit inconsistent so far this season but have the players within their ranks to turn that around and may just be capable of springing a surprise to keep up or even improve on their fifth spot in the league table.

Crichton are another side who are finding it tough to find consistent form but should have it within themselves to see off Fleet Star at Garries Park. The Gatehouse of Fleet side have still to win any points after playing 10 league games having shipped 73 goals while scoring only three in the process, the last of these being last Saturday by the experienced Jamie Clarke against Abbey Vale.

Star are in the main a very young team and results will improve with experience but it will be very difficult against an experienced Crichton side who could win this contest comfortably.

Fixtures for Saturday, October 20.

All kick-offs at 3pm

League Cup – semi-finals

Mid-Annandale v Dalbeattie Star

Heston Rovers v Threave Rovers

South of Scotland League

Fleet Star v Crichton

Newton Stewart v Creetown

Nithsdale Wanderers v Abbey Vale

Wigtown and Bladnoch v St Cuthbert Wanderers