Newton Stewart 3 Crichton 1

Newton Stewart were looking to make it through to their second cup final of the season on Monday night when they played Crichton in the semi-final of this season’s Haig Gordon Cup and with a three goals to one victory and this was in fact what happened.

The home side played the better football at the start of the match and after a good build up striker Liam Muir struck in the 11th minute with a good effort from 12 yards to put Newton into the lead.

The best chances fell to the Creesiders but they failed to punish their visitors on several occasions but they did have stand-in keeper Wayne Doyle to thank three minutes before the break when he saved well when under pressure. Crichton started the second half in a more positive mood and started to create more chances although the visiting keeper did well to hold a Ryan McKie effort when he looked like doubling the scoreline.

With the visitors pressing for an equaliser, keeper Doyle did well to save a close-in header from central defender Adam Johnstone with his legs but as play swung to the other end Newton were awarded a free kick on the edge of the 18-yard box when mid-fielder Graeme Blain was fouled.

Justin Nicoll and Liam Muir lined up with the Nicoll running over the ball to deceive the defensive wall for Muir to find the bottom right hand corner with an excellent effort to score Newton second goal.

With seven minutes left to play a Nicholl effort was pushed onto the upright and over the line by the Crichton keeper and from the resultant corner kick taken by Nicholl Muir completed his hat-trick. Crichton though failed to throw in the towel and were rewarded with a penalty in the 90th minute which Mark Leighfield fired home for what proved to be a late consolation goal.

This was a good effort with central defender Micky Wilson showing great strength and experience for Newton Stewart when under pressure from the Crichton attack while striker Liam Muir with his hat-trick and keeper Wayne Doyle with some very good stops sharing the man of the match award.