Weekend football preview

NITHSDALE Wanderers and Newton Stewart battle it out this Saturday at Sanquhar to see who progresses to the semi-final stages of this seasons Haig Gordon Memorial Cup.

The tie looks fairly even with both sides going into the match on the back of good victories over Creetown and Mid-Annandale respectively.

Home advantage could be a deciding factor but, if the Creesiders settle quickly and play to form, the result could well go in their favour as they seek to run up their fourth win in a row.

The other five matches are in the South of Scotland League, with the match of the day being at St Marys Park, Kirkcudbright, where third-placed St Cuthbert Wanderers take on second-placed Dalbeattie Star.

The home side will be keen to take the three points to keep their challenge at the top on course but the still undefeated Dalbeattie side will be looking to keep their own title ambitions on track so a good game is in prospect. The contest looks fairly even and a share of the points is a distinct possibility.

Leaders Threave Rovers travel to Lockerbie to play Mid-Annandale where they should manage to record a victory and, with either one or both of their nearest rivals going to drop points, the Meadow Park side can not afford to slip up here.

Present form would suggest that the visitors could score a few goals to add to their already impressive tally.

Crichton, who are in the unusual position of being in second-bottom spot, can move above this week’s opponents, Fleet Star, by virtue of goal difference if the Hospital Park side manage to win the three points.

Star, on the other hand, could also move up the table depending on results elsewhere if they were to win, but the home side seem to have found better form recently and will start favourites to record a victory in what could possibly be a high-scoring match, with both sides knowing the way to goal.

Heston Rovers entertain Wigtown and Bladnoch at Maryfield for another match that looks like it could be a close run thing. The Trammondford Park side had started producing the goods until a big blip last weekend when they lost 5-0 at home to Threave Rovers. Heston have been playing consistently recently so, all in all, this looks like a contest that could be close, with Heston slight favourites.

Abbey Vale travel to Stranraer at Stair Park for what could be another close match. Vale are never an easy team to beat and Alan Hannah’s youngsters will have to be at their best if they are to see off the New Abbey side.

Midweek: South Challenge Cup, round one

Threave Rovers 3 Stranraer 2

Threave won this tie in the South’s most prestigious competition by the narrowest of margins. For the home side, Darren Kerr scored after nine minutes with a header. Danny Dunglinson added another 11 minutes later but the visitors fought back in the second half with a double from Stuart McColm, whose team-mate Neil Erskine was sent off. With 16 minutes left, Dunlingson got his second and his side’s winner when he fired home.