The South’s most prestigious cup competition kicks off this Saturday involving the three senior Scottish Football League clubs, with seven first-round ties scheduled to be played.
Queen of the South play neighbours Annan Athletic in a match in which the clubs are expected to give their young players an outing and it is a contest that could go either way.
Stranraer play Mid-Annandale in a game that their youngsters will be expected to win, while Fleet Star will not be relishing the return visit of Threave Rovers after being defeated by the Meadow Park side by 10 goals to nil a couple of weeks ago at Garries Park.
League leaders Dalbeattie Star travel to Blairmount to play Newton Stewart in a tie that the Stewartry team will start as favourites to progress from, although the Creesiders will be keen to show their credentials against arguably last season’s and this season’s top team.
St Cuthbert Wanderers travel to play Creetown at Castle Cary Park for a match they will also be favourites to win, while Wigtown and Bladnoch have Nithsdale Wanderers as their visitors to Trammondford Park. Wigtown have found some consistent form this season and are the equal of anybody, particularly on their own ground, but the Sanqhuar side are always capable of causing an upset, and if they find their form this contest could go all the way to find a winner.
The match at Hospital Park between Crichton and Abbey Vale has been rescheduled from last Saturday after becoming another victim of the weather and is another that could go either way. Last time out Crichton beat St Cuthbert Wanderers in a penalty shoot-out with striker Roman Soltys claiming a hat-trick in the 90 minutes play. If he maintains this goal-scoring form, he could well have a big say in which team progresses.
South Challenge Cup – first round
All kick-offs at 2pm unless otherwise stated
Creetown v St Cuthbert Wanderers
Fleet Star v Threave Rovers
Newton Stewart v Dalbeattie Star
Queen of the South v Annan Athletic – kick-off 3pm
Stranraer v Mid-Annandale
Wigtown and Bladnoch v Nithsdale Wanderers
Crichton v Abbey Vale