Newton hope to hit northern heights

The first round of this season’s William Hill Scottish Cup takes place this weekend with mixed fortunes for the four South clubs involved.

Newton Stewart face the long trip to Fort William to play against the team that finished in bottom place in the Scottish Highland League last season.

Fort William have played six league matches so far this term and won their first point last Saturday in an away match against Buckie Thistle. They presently lie in 17th place in an 18-team league.

St Cuthbert Wanderers travel to East of Scotland first division outfit Hawick Royal Albert. The Alberts finished in 14th place in their league last season and did not have the best of starts to this campaign, going down to Hibernian EOS by 9-0 in their first game.

Threave Rovers have Highland League side Rothes as their visitors to Meadow Park. They were beaten 3-0 last time out by Turiff United. The Highland team, known as the Speysiders, have also played six matches but have only taken three points and presently hold 15th spot.

Wigtown and Bladnoch also have Highland League opposition in Buckie Thistle at Trammondford Park. The visitors were held at home in a goal-less draw last time out by Fort William and, from their six games played, they have taken eight points and are 10th.

Newton Stewart will not relish their long journey and will travel on Friday for an overnight stay in Fort William prior to the tie. The Creesiders have scored 26 goals in their last four victories in succession for the loss of only three so will go into their match with confidence.

Success against any Highland League club is tough but if the South team strike form, an upset is possible.

Hawick Royal Albert are not the force they once were and an in form St Cuthbert Wanderers, with striker Craig Rudd on fire, are capable of returning with a victory having run up six wins in a row.

Home advantage for Threave Rovers will boost their chances against their Highland League opponents and with new manager Euan Brydson on board, they will be favourites to progress.

South of Scotland League leaders Wigtown and Bladnoch will also start as favourites to see off the challenge from the north and they have the skill and experience to make the second round.

Dalbeattie Star go into round two as winner’s of last seasons South of Scotland League.

Away from the glamour of the Scottish Cup, domestic football continues with four South of Scotland League matches scheduled for Saturday.

Bottom-placed Creetown have second-placed Nithsdale Wanderers as their visitors to Castle Cary Park, with the Sanquhar side missing several players through suspension which should give the home side a good chance of putting points on the board under the new management of Robert Tweedie, who has returned to the club.

Crichton will also be looking to take the three points when they entertain Abbey Vale at Hospital Park, though this match could go close.

Fleet Star host Lochar Thistle at Garries Park in what could be another close match with more than a few goals to keep the supporters happy.

High-scoring Heston Rovers travel to Galabank to play Mid-Annandale and with both teams now used to using 3G pitches this should be full of entertaining football and plenty of goals.

Fixtures for Saturday, September 14.

All kick-offs at 3pm

South of Scotland League

Creetown v Nithsdale Wanderers

Crichton v Abbey Vale

Fleet Star v Lochar Thistle

Mid-Annandale v Heston Rovers

William Hill Scottish Cup, first round

Fort William v Newton Stewart

Hawick Royal Albert v St Cuthbert Wanderers

Threave Rovers v Rothes

Wigtown and Bladnoch v Buckie Thistle