FIXTURES for Saturday, 26th March, 2011.
All kick-offs at 3pm
South Challenge Cup - Round One
Heston Rovers v Abbey Vale
Haig Gordon Cup - Round Two
Nithsdale Wanderers v Stranraer
South of Scotland League
Creetown v St Cuthbert Wanderers
Dalbeattie Star v Newton Stewart
Fleet Star v Threave Rovers
Wigtown and Bladnoch v Crtichton
Fixtures for Wednesday, 30th March, 2011.
Kick-off at 7.30pm
South Challenge Cup - Round One
Queen of the South v Annan Athletic
There is a mixed bag of scheduled matches this weekend in south football with both cup and league matches taking place. In the south’s most prestigious competition, the Challenge Cup Heston Rovers play Abbey Vale at Maryfield.
Following Heston’s decisive victory over Newton Stewart last Saturday, the home side will be favourities to progress from their contest against the New Abbey side.
Vale have a poor cup competition record and will be determined to change this situation so will be well up for this match but will do well to hold their hosts. The result could go close and could even take more than the regulation 90 minutes to decide the winner.
Nithsdale Wanderers have Stranraer as their guests at Sanquhar in a Haig Gordon second round tie and will have to be at their very best if they hope to contain the Stair Park side. On present league form, Stranraer should progress but Nithsdale are anything but a pushover on their own territory and again this is a contest that could well go close.
There are four South of Scotland League matches scheduled to take place with leaders Threave Rovers taking the short trip to Gatehouse to play Fleet Star. Star are expected to play their usual tight game and the Castle Douglas side may well find them hard to break down but the free-scoring league leaders will go into this match as strong favourites to take the three points to maintain their lead in this season’s championship race.
Dalbeattie Star will also be keen to take the three points in their match at Islecroft against Newton Stewart after being held to a three-all draw in their last meeting. Star are still unbeaten in the league race and are one of the three Stewartry sides who are in contention for this season’s league title which will make them favourites to win this contest although Newton Stewart are not expected to make it easy for them to do so. Star are presently sitting well in the league table having taken 32 points from only 12 outings while Newton are enjoying one of their best seasons in recent years and sitting mid table on the 23 point mark.
St Cuthbert Wanderers travel to play Creetown at Castle Cary Park and they too will hope to pick up the three points to keep their league challenge on track. The Kirkcudbright side have accumulated 38 points from their 15 matches to date while the home side have only taken 14 points from the same number of matches. Creetown are never an easy side to beat on their own pitch but Saints look too strong and experienced for them and should take the points from this contest.
The final league match is at Trammondford Park where Wigtown and Bladnoch play hosts to Crichton for a match that could well go close.
The home side have not enjoyed the best of seasons so far while the Hospital Park side have come good after a poor start to their season. A victory here for Wigtown though could see them move up a couple of league places whereas a victory for Crichton could see them move up into the top three or four depending on results elsewhere. This match looks too close to call and a share of the points could be a distinct possibility.
On Wednesday night, Queen of the South meet Annan Athletic in a re-scheduled South Challenge Cup first round tie at Palmerston Park which was initially due to be played on three previous occasions but had to be cancelled due to weather conditions.
Both Clubs are expected to field their talented youngsters and this match could be a good spectacle for the large crowd which is expected to attend to see some of the local stars of the future.