The match of the day last Saturday between St Cuthbert Wanderers and Dalbeattie Star ended in chaos when Saints Ross McCrindle scored the only goal two minutes from time to put his side into the final of the Haig Gordon Cup and a bad tempered fracas erupted.
Several players were involved before peace was restored with Saints defender Roddy Cooksley and Star’s Ritchie Maxwell and Gary Kerr being red-carded for their involvement in the proceedings.
The winning goal from McCrindle came after the home side had dominated play in the second half without penetrating the Star defence. The tie was decided when a Craig Rudd shot came off the visiting keeper with McCrindle was the first to react to turn the ball into the net from four yards out.
In the South of Scotland League match at Meadow Park, Threave Rovers with new manager – ex-Stranraer boss Keith Knox – in charge and Heston Rovers both had good possession and scoring opportunities in the first half with Heston’s Jonathan Boyd scoring the first goal of the game after 12 minutes when a Russell Jardine shot was parried out to Boyd and he finished easily from six yards. The game, though, took a twist 12 minutes into the second half when the visitors’ Jaime Phillips conceded a free kick and received his second yellow of the match and was dismissed.
Before the free kick was taken Heston’s Steve Watt was red-carded for retaliation after being impeded inside the penalty box. The resultant free kick was scored by Jamie Struthers to level the match and, in the 62nd minute, Scott Milligan put Threave in front when his header from 10 yards beat keeper Keiron McCulloch for the goal that eventually proved to be the winner. The Castle Douglas side are now sitting only three points behind leaders Dalbeattie Star.
Heston manager Raymond Boyd said after the match: “Our indiscipline cost us three points. We were in control of the match up to the point when we lost the two players. Our nine lads though worked exceptionally hard for the remaining half-hour or so but couldn’t find an equaliser. We are gutted we threw away the match due to indiscipline. It’s not how Heston Rovers play.”
Abbey Vale had a comfortable 3-0 victory over Mid-Annandale at Galabank, taking the lead in the 22nd minute when Clark Chambers headed home from a corner kick. A minute before the break Vale doubled their lead when Mids keeper Ross Wilson failed to hold a free kick and Stuart Campbell latched onto the loose ball to score from close in.
In the 71st minute, Chambers scored his second and his side’s third goal from 15 yards to secure the three points.
At Blairmount Park, Newton Stewart went down 2-0 to neighbours Wigtown and Bladnoch with both goals coming in the first half. In the eighth minute a Jamie McHarrie cross from the right wing found striker Robert Jamieson at the back post to tap into the net past a diving keeper. With the home side doing everything but score and five minutes to go to the break, Wigtown won a free kick which was played to the back post where Adam Dougan rose unchallenged to head strongly past keeper Fidler to give the visitors a two-goal advantage.
There were mixed fortunes for the two teams at Lorimer Park where Nithsdale Wanderers played hosts to Crichton with the Hospital Park side throwing away a two-goal half-time lead and a late lead. A first-half Roman Soltys single and a double from Mark Leighfield countered a Davy Kennedy strike in the 15th minute to send the teams in at the break with the visitors holding a two-goal advantage. In the second half Geoffrey Paterson drew another goal back for Nithsdale before new signing, goalkeeper Darren Martin (ex-Ayr United), saved a penalty taken by Soltys to keep the scoreline at 3-2.
With time running out and the Dumfries side looking like taking the three points Greig Livinsgtone found goal number three for the home side and, deep into time added on, Laurie Johnstone found the net to score the winning goal and to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
Results from Saturday, November 17
Haig Gordon Cup semi-final
St Cuthbert Wanderers 1 Dalbeattie Star 0
South of Scotland League
Creetown v Fleet Star match postponed
Threave Rovers 2 Heston Rovers 1
Mid-Annandale 0 Abbey Vale 3
Newton Stewart 0 Wigtown and Bladnoch 2
Nithsdale Wanderers 4 Crichton 3