Galloway gazette foot ball correspondent John McNaught looks back at the action last weekend.
Results from Saturday 28th March, 2015
South of Scotland League
Abbey Vale 5 Crichton 2
Edusport Academy 9 Creetown 0
Lochar Thistle 0 Heston Rovers 3
Mid-Annandale 2 St Cuthbert Wanderers 4
Newton Stewart 5 Upper-Annandale 1
Nithsdale Wanderers v Wigtown and Bladnoch – Match postponed
There was a full programme of South of Scotland League fixtures scheduled to be played last Saturday but the match between league champions Wigtown and Bladnoch and Nithsdale Wanderers was postponed due to a water-logged pitch at Sanquhar.
This gave the present league leaders Newton Stewart the opportunity to increase their lead at the top of the table should they record a victory over Upper-Annandale. The Creesiders did this although they had to play their match at St Mary’s Park, Kirkcudbright, as the pitch at Blairmount Park was once again under water. However, the task to take the points was not easy but following a luckless first half when Newton had several chances either blocked on or cleared off the line, the Creesiders came out for the second forty-five minutes with all guns blazing. It only took a couple of minutes for striker Robert Middleton to strike home from twelve yards and a further three minutes to head a second into the net from a Ryan McKie corner on the left. McKie, the provider of the first goal, became scorer in the fifty-second minute with the goal of the match with a great solo effort after he skilfully wrong footed the Upper defence before striking the ball firmly into the net from ten yards. Three minutes later, with the home side coasting, a defensive mixup allowed Upper striker Niki Frame to send the ball into an empty net from close in to put his side back into the contest. In the sixty-third minute though McKie sent another good corner over to the back post that found central defender Lewis Richardson lurking to head into the net for goal number four. Middleton completed his hat-trick six minutes from time when he found space to draw the Upper keeper to lob the ball over his head and into the back of the net as Newton went nap to take the three points. This puts them four ahead of local rivals Wigtown and Bladnoch with the two sides meeting each other at Trammondford Park this Saturday for what should be an exciting encounter.
Abbey Vale’s good run of form continued with a comfortable victory over Crichton by five goals to two at New Abbey while Edusport Academy scored nine against Creetown without reply. St Cuthbert Wanderers kept up their outside challenge for the league title with a four goals to two victory over Mid-Annandale at Lockerbie. Grant Midlemass opened the scoring for Saints in the nineteenth minute to give the visitors a slender half time lead although Mids Denver Milligan struck the post in the twenty-fourth minute with a shot that looked netbound. In the fifty-first minute Philip MIddlemas doubled Saints’ scoreline and thirteen minutes later Scott Alexander made it three. Mids then started a comeback with prolific striker Nathan Muir finding the net twice within eight minutes to set up a good finale to this match. However as the home side pushed for an equaliser Saints struck again in the final minute through Philip Middlemass to seal the three points.