Saints now favourites for league

No.11 Aaron Maguire opens the scoring for Newton
No.11 Aaron Maguire opens the scoring for Newton

St Cuthbert Wanderers had the opportunity last Saturday to close the gap at the top of the South of Scotland League when they played Mid-Annandale at St Marys Park, Kirkcudbright.

And by winning by four goals to one they managed to do just that to make them clear favourites for this season’s league title.

At present Edusport Academy are still leading the pack but are now only one point ahead of Saints having played three games more.

Saints as expected beat Mids quite comfortably although the visitors went ahead after only seven minutes play when Levi Carrick was on target. In the 24th minute Sam Warren scored from close in to level the match and four minutes later striker Roman Soltys put the home side into a slender lead that they held until the half time break.

Mids were reduced to ten men in the 57th minute when Cammy Thorburn was dismissed following a second yellow card and with 71 minutes on the clock Scott Milligan was on hand to tap in Saints third goal. Ten minutes from time Andrew Donely scored his 40th goal of the season when he headed home Saints fourth of the day to complete the scoring before the Kirkcudbright side were also reduced to ten men when Jack McMurdo was sent off after receiving his second yellow.

Newton Stewart and Abbey Vale played out an exciting contest at Blairmount Park in a four goals to two victory for the visitors. Aaron McGuire opened the scoring for the Creesiders in the 19th minute but Vale fought back and levelled the match through Chris Melon six minutes later. A Curtis Wilson double in four minutes gave the visitors a comfortable half time lead.

In a fairly even second half there were good chances at both ends with keeper Gordon Holt being Vale’s hero pulling of a succession of good saves and in the 65th minute substitute Sam Hughes scored with a spectacular first time volley to put Vale further ahead.

Four minutes later Graeme Blain scored to give Newton a fighting chance but Vale held on to take the three points following a very competitive but sporting encounter. In the only other match player Dumfries YMCA went down by four goals to nil against Glasgow University in the third round of the SFA Challenge Cup (South) with goals from Murray Thomson, Matthew Richards, Donald Thomson and Ewan Roseweir although by all accounts the Dumfries side played well after losing the first goal after only three minutes.

It took the visitors another hour to score their second before following up with the final two goals that killed of the contest. The three games that were played were all played on synthetic pitches with all the matches scheduled for grass pitches postponed due to water-logging.

Results from Saturday 20th February, 2016

South of Scotland League

Creetown v Wigtown and Bladnoch –match postponed

Newton Stewart 2 Abbey Vale 4

St Cuthbert Wanderers 4 Mid-Annandale 1

Upper Annandale v Heston Rovers –match postponed

Tweedie Cup – Round )ne

Lochar Thistle v Fleet Star –match postponed

Nithsdale Wanderers v Crichton –match postponed

SFA Regional Cup (South) – Round Three

Dumfries YMCA 0 Glasgow University 4