South Scene weekend preview

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THERE is a real mixed bag of fixtures on Saturday, with four cup ties and two league matches scheduled to be played.

The Potts Cup semi-final match at Trammondford Park looks like it could be the match of the day where Wigtown and Bladnoch entertain league leaders Dalbeattie Star. League form would suggest an easy victory for the Stewartry side but upsets happen in the cup and Wigtown are more than capable of claiming taking Star’s scalp.

Having failed to set the heather on fire in the league, Wigtown will see this as a good opportunity to win silverware and, if the visitors show any complacency, the home side could take advantage.

On the other hand, Star are a well-balanced team who know the route to goal. They should win.

It is derby time at Blairmount Park where Newton Stewart host Creetown in a Potts Cup first-round tie for a match that looks evenly balanced. Neither side have played very many matches over the past three months due to the weather, but Newton Stewart managed a game last Saturday, albeit a dispiriting 6-1 thrashing at the hands of to Threave Rovers.

This match, though, gave the Creesiders much-needed game time and may pay dividends this weekend. Although Creetown are lying at the foot of the league table, they are still formidable opposition, particularly in derby matches against Newton, and there is nothing to suggest that they will be any different this time around. But home advantage may be the eventual difference between the two sides.

The match due to be played at Stair Park where Stranraer entertain St Cuthbert Wanderers in the Cree Lodge second round also looks likely to be close. The Kirkcudbright side appear slight favourites to progress but Stranraer can be a tough nut to crack and, with home advantage, could upset the odds in a match that may have plenty of goals.

There is a first-round tie in the same competition being played at Hospital Park where Crichton have Heston Rovers as their visitors. Heston look to have the edge but the home side seemed to have turned the corner recently with new acquisitions giving the team some fresh impetus.

There are two South of Scotland League matches scheduled, with second-placed Threave Rovers travelling the short distance along the A75 to Gatehouse to play Fleet Star for a match that the champions should win comfortably.

Star are a tough team to beat on their home ground, but the Castle Douglas side should have too many weapons in their armoury to lose out.

The other match is over at Lockerbie where Mid-Annandale play hosts to Abbey Vale. A victory for the home side would consolidate their fourth spot in the table but three points for Vale would see them leapfrog their opponents.

Both sides are more than capable of winning, but a share of the points in a fairly high-scoring match should not be discounted either.