This Saturday sees the first round of the William Hill Scottish Cup being played, with four South of Scotland clubs taking part.
Following St Cuthbert Wanderers’ superb victory over Scottish Highland League side Keith in the preliminary round, the Kirkcudbright side travel to the capital to play Edinburgh University. The university team who finished last season in fourth spot in the East of Scotland Premier League were beaten last Saturday at home 3-0 by Gretna 2008 and if Saints can produce their best form, they must have a real chance of progressing to the next round.
Threave Rovers would appear to have the best chance of making round two, though, with a home tie against Vale of Leithen. Vale took eighth place in the East Premier League last season but were beaten last time out 2-1 by Spartans.
Civil Service Strollers, who finished in seventh place last season in the Premier League, beat Preston Athletic 3-2 last Saturday and Newton Stewart will have to be at their very best if they are to take anything from this contest. The Creesiders will have taken confidence from last Saturday’s close tussle with Threave Rovers at Meadow Park and will not be going to Edinburgh just to make up the numbers.
Wigtown and Bladnoch make the long trip up north to play Scottish Highland League side Huntly, who were beaten 2-1 at home by Clachnacuddin on Saturday. The Highland side beat Newton Stewart 5-1 in last season’s competition and Wigtown will have their work cut out to see off their challenge this time around.
However, it is not an impossible task and St Cuthbert Wanderers have shown already this season by beating Keith that a little bit of belief goes a long way.
By virtue of winning the South of Scotland League last season, Dalbeattie Star go into the second round draw but the other four member clubs will take the best wishes of all the South clubs with them as this season’s Scottish Cup adventure progresses.
In domestic football, there are four South of Scotland League matches being played, with Dalbeattie Star having the opportunity to increase their lead at the top when they travel to Sanquhar to play Nithsdale Wanderers. Star should take the three points from this contest but Nithsdale are usually formidable opposition at home and the result could be close.
Crichton and Abbey Vale lock horns at Hospital Park in a match that could go either way, while Heston Rovers should take the three points against a young Fleet Star side at Gatehouse.
Mid-Annandale and Creetown meet for the second week in succession but this time at Galabank and, following the Lockerbie side’s 3-2 victory at Castle Cary Park last Saturday they are expected to take the three points this time around, albeit in a close-run match.
Fixtures for Saturday, August 25.
All kick-offs at 3pm
William Hill Scottish Cup – Round One
Edinburgh University v St Cuthbert Wanderers
Threave Rovers v Vale of Leithen
Huntly v Wigtown and Bladnoch
Civil Service Strollers v Newton Stewart
South of Scotland League
Crichton v Abbey Vale
Fleet Star v Heston Rovers
Mid-Annandale v Creetown
Nithsdale Wanderers v Dalbeattie Star