Threave Rovers 3, Newton Stewart 1
Lowland League club Threave Rovers entertained Newton Stewart at Meadow Park last Saturday in the second round of this Cree Lodge Cup when they finished the match with a hard-fought victory.
The South of Scotland League side were not overawed by their more illustrious opponents and, in fact, in the early part of the contest took the game to the Castle Douglas team with Jason Gallacher going close with a header after only three minutes’ play.
Two minutes later Robert Middleton and Stewart Taylor combined to test keeper Callum Benson and, in the eighth minute, the Creesiders took the lead through Middleton following some very good outfield play.
Newton continued to stretch Threave at the back but the home side broke upfield with 17 minutes gone to be awarded a penalty which Scott Wilby duly converted, sending keeper Harry Fidler the wrong way.
Ten minutes later the same player came close with 30-yard shot that just missed the target but the visitors stuck to their task and Ryan McKie was unlucky with a close in effort which he just failed to control when off balance.
Play swung from end to end, with the South team giving as good as they got and the sides went in for the half-time break all square.
Threave put substitutes Sean Milligan and Grant Parker on for the second half and with both proven strikers the home side showed their intent on scoring more goals to win the match.
Rovers started the second period with some early pressure on the Newton defence and in the 53rd minute Darren Kerr was denied by a good stop from keeper Fidler.
Middleton had a chance on goal at the other end soon after this but play again broke towards the Newton goal and when the ball fell to Milligan on the edge of the 18-yard box, he glided in the goal of the match, giving Fidler no chance with a sweet strike.
With 20 minutes left to play, Fidler again pulled off a good save from Milligan and seven minutes later twice in quick succession he kept his side in the tie to deny Threave a third goal.
However, with time running out Parker collected the ball at an acute angle on the right about 12 yards out and although his first attempt was blocked the ball fell kindly for the striker and he made no mistake the second time around to score goal number three, which secured the tie.
This was a good clean and open match which could have gone either way until the third goal but the home side finished the match the stronger of the two.
With 10 players unavailable for one reason or another, Newton had only manager Davy Hyslop on the bench so had no real opportunity to change things when legs tired but all in all they put up a good show under the circumstances.