TWO South of Scotland clubs take part in the second round of the William Hill Scottish Cup this Saturday, with League Champions Threave Rovers entering the competition in this round.
The Castle Douglas side travel to Ayrshire to play Scottish Junior Cup holders Auchinleck Talbot for a contest that could be a daunting task. Threave, though, are not expected to be fazed about the match and, with a large support behind them, they are more than capable of springing a surprise. The Meadow Park side are under no illusions of the task ahead of them and much will depend on the form that they can produce on the day.
The other cup-tie is an all Wigtownshire affair with Wigtown and Bladnoch playing hosts to Stranraer. Home advantage should give Wigtown an outside chance of victory but the Scottish Football League Third Division side will start the match as strong favourites. Stranraer manager Keith Knox, who spent some time at Trammondford Park, will be well aware of Wigtown’s fighting qualities but it would be a major shock if the Stair Park side did not progress to round three.
In league football, there are five matches scheduled, with St Cuthbert Wanderers having the opportunity to put the pressure on the top two, Dalbeattie Star and Threave Rovers, when they host Heston Rovers at St Mary’s Park. Heston, though, are enjoying a good run of form and Saints will have to be at their very best to take the three points. Abbey Vale entertain Nithsdale Wanderers at New Abbey for a match that could go either way. Vale have been showing good form of late, although heavily beaten in the Regional Cup by St Cuthbert Wanderers last time out, and with home advantage will be slight favourites to take the three points, although the Sanquhar side are usually a tough nut to crack and will be expected to give their all in their pursuit of league points.
Creetown travel to Hospital Park to play Crichton for another match that could be evenly contested. The home side are not having the best of seasons and the visitors, although bottom of the league, could well fancy a victory from this encounter which would see them recording their first league win of the season.
Crichton themselves have only one victory to their credit so far, with a 3-1 win against Nithsdale Wanderers, so will also be keen to take the three points to move away from their second bottom spot in the table.
Newton Stewart play hosts to Mid-Annandale at Blairmount Park when the visitors will be looking to avenge the 5-1 league defeat at Lockerbie earlier this season. These two sides are evenly matched with both having played nine league matches, winning four, drawing one and losing four, which leaves them on 13 points each. Newton are ahead of the Lockerbie side only by virtue of a slightly better goal difference of two.
It all adds up to a very good match in prospect and one which should attract a good crowd of spectators.
Fleet Star play Stranraer Reserves at Gatehouse, with the visitors expected to take the three points, although much depends on the players that the Stair Park side have at their disposal. Star are not an easy team to beat on their home park and are expected to give their all as they usually do.