There were five South of Scotland League matches played on Saturday following the enforced winter shutdown of recent weeks.
Dalbeattie Star kept up their relentless pursuit of this season’s league title on their visit to Maryfield to play Heston Rovers.
The visitors ran out comfortable 5-1 winners but lost star striker Graeme Bell just before the half-time whistle when he fell awkwardly and sustained a broken ankle.
The first goal came in the 13th minute when Heston keeper Keiron McCulloch mis-handled and the ball fell to Lewis Sloan, who was then impeded by the keeper and a penalty kick awarded. Scott Milligan made no mistake from the spot. Twelve minutes later some good play from Star down the left saw a fine cross finding Bell on the six-yard mark to tap the ball home from close in.
The visitors made it three in the 38th minute when Gary Kerr found space eight yards from goal to score before the unfortunate incident involving Bell. There was an extended half-time period to allow treatment on the injured player, who was then taken by ambulance to hospital.
Heston came more into the match at the start of the second half and on the hour mark scored when Jonathon Boyd headed in a Steve Walker cross at the back post. However. 13 minutes later Star regained their three-goal advantage when substitute Hugh Cameron scored from six yards. With two minutes left to play substitute Grant Middlemass completed the scoring with a shot from close in as the visitors went nap.
Heston manager Raymond Boyd said after the match: “Although the score read 3-0 at half-time we believed we had played fairly well and sloppy play had given Dalbeattie their goals.
“Obviously we had a mountain to climb but from half-time we controlled the play for 25 minutes and scored a fine goal. We didnt create many clear chances as Dalbeattie defended well but we can take a lot from this game as we tried a new formation and found we had more of the ball in the opposition’s half. The scoreline reads 5-1 but the game was closer than the result suggests.”
Threave Rovers kept up their outside challenge at the top when they defeated Abbey Vale by the odd goal in three at Meadow Park. Two goals from Sam Warren, in the 15th and 74th minutes were countered by a single from the home side when Steven Degnam scored from the penalty spot with eight minutes left to play.
Newton Stewart recorded a superb victory over St Cuthbert Wanderers at Blairmount Park, with the visitors being awarded three penalties but converting only one.
Ian Millar scored from the spot on the half-hour mark but Stewart Taylor found the net five minutes before the break to level the match. The home side rode their luck a little after the break with keeper Harry Fidler in great form and as well as keeping the Saints forwards at bay in open play he managed to save two penalties, the first from Millar and the second from Justin Nichol.
The home side had to play out the final minutes of the match with 10 men after player/manager David Hyslop was sent off following a second yellow card but the Creesiders still went about their business and almost on the final whistle were rewarded for their endurance when Calum Dunn scored the winner.
Crichton and Wigtown and Bladnoch fought out a five-goal battle at Hospital Park with the visitors taking the points in a close match. Mark Leighfield gave the home side the lead after 15 minutes but Wigtown levelled the match from the penalty spot through Richard Jones with half an hour on the clock.
Central defender Scott Forrester put the visitors ahead before the break, with James McHarrie adding a third in the second half and although Leighfield scored again for the home side they could not find another to square the match and Wigtown took the three points to keep them flying high in the league table.
Creetown continue to struggle for points this season and could not find the net in their latest match against Nithsdale Wanderers at Castle Cary Park when they went down 3-0 with the visitors’ Johnson scoring twice and Bennie scoring a single without reply.
Results from Saturday, April 6
South of Scotland League
Creetown 0 Nithsdale Wanderers 3
Crichton 2 Wigtown and Bladnoch 3
Heston Rovers 1 Dalbeattie Star 5
Newton Stewart 2 St Cuthbert Wanderers 1
Threave Rovers 2 Abbey Vale 1