St Cuthbert Wanderers 3, Newton Stewart 0
This was St Cuthbert Wanderers’ first South of Scotland League match on their new synthetic 3G pitch.
And they put the superb new surface at St Mary’s Park, Kirkcudbright, to good use by playing some neat football and scoring three goals against Newton Stewart in the process.
The visitors started brightly with ex-Saints player Liam Muir going close after only three minutes before Grant Middelmass fired a shot over the Newton crossbar.
Two minutes later, a Craig Rudd header found the same crossbar and with 11 minutes played Middlemass brought out a good stop from Newton keeper Harry Fidler. Five minutes later, a defensive lapse let Rudd in but he missed the target firing the ball across a stranded keeper Fidler but wide of the mark.
With Saints dominating proceedings Middlemass scored a superb goal from the edge of the 18-yard box to put his side ahead.
The Creesiders then enjoyed a good passage of possession but, despite forcing some corners, failed to make any impact on the Saints goal.
In the 37th minute John Lowe came close following some good work from Dean Thomson but there were no further goals forthcoming and Saints took their slender one goal advantage into the break.
Just after the restart Rudd again came close but was denied by keeper Fidler but the home side doubled their scoreline when Craig Wilson put them two goals to the good following a goalmouth scramble which saw Newton’s Johnny Fisher failing to clear from the line.
Robert Middleton then pulled out a very good save from the Saints keeper before Saints again began to dominate. The third goal came with 74 minutes played when Jack McMurdo scored the goal of the match which he slotted home from close in following a very good passage of play from the Kirkcudbright side.
Most of the chances that came along after this were at the Newton Stewart end as Saints still drove forward and in the end they deserved the three points from which had been a very entertaining match, although maybe the three-goal gap was a bit flattering.
Newton Stewart will play their first match on their 3G pitch this Saturday against Nithsdale Wanderers when a good crowd is expected to be entertained on the superb surfaces that these pitches provide.