NITHSDALE WANDERERS 0, NEWTON STEWART 3
League leaders Newton Stewart showed a great fighting quality to take the three points from this encounter at Sanquhar.
Nithsdale Wanderers are a very good side who still had an outside interest in the title race prior to this contest.
The match was all square at the interval although this was mainly to some very good goalkeeping by Newton’s Harry Fidler.
The first attempt came on the home goal but Justin Nicoll’s shot just missed. The same player saw his free kick cleared four minutes later following a goalmouth scramble and in the 12th minute an audacious lob from Nicoll from all of 40 yards saw keeper James Grozier beaten only to find the upright coming to his rescue.
Two minutes later, Martin Bell saw his effort from 30 yards finding the target with Fidler pulling off a superb save. A minute later, with the home side pressing, Lewis Dunn cleared a net-bound effort before play became mainly confined to midfield.
Seven minutes from the break, however, Nithsdale would have taken the lead had it not been for a super double save from Fidler.
After the restart both teams went all out to find an opener with the match a great advert for South football.
The deadlock was broken in the 58th minute when midfielder Johnny Fisher was tripped in the box and a penalty was awarded. Dean Thomson sent the keeper the wrong way to convert from the spot.
Two minutes later the home side had an opportunity to level but a cross found no takers with the Newton defence beaten and, with 62 minutes played, a Roman Soltys header was well handled by Fidler.
Five minutes later Soltys saw his effort just miss the target before Liam Muir found Fisher who ran in on the home keeper only to find the ball coming off his outstretched leg.
In the 73rd minute a good run from defender Martyn Henry resulted in the ball being dispatched to Muir, who turned his marker to slide it under the keeper from 12 yards for goal number two.
With 15 minutes left Nithsdale midfielder Geoff Paterson saw his effort go over the bar and three minutes later, at the other end, substitute Jason Gallacher put a shot wide.
Nithsdale pushed to take something from the match and were awarded a penalty in the 80th minute when Paterson was fouled but Soltys saw his spot kick strike the bar and go out. Three minutes later Fidler had another good save from Soltys as the striker tried to make amends.
With full-time looming and Newton looking assured of the three points Gallacher put pressure on keeper Grozier as he attempted a clearance from a pass back. The keeper’s kick came off Gallacher’s legs and ended up in the net for a third goal to ice the cake for the Creesiders.
This was an excellent result for Newton Stewart, where every player was a hero on the day and the result keeps the pressure on the other title challengers.