Cup semis are too close to call

Fixtures for Saturday, December 7

The two South of Scotland League Cup semi-finals take place this Saturday, with both of the ties looking like they could well go close.

Both Lochar Thistle and Heston Rovers go into their contest on the back of defeats last time out, by Mid-Annandale and Newton Stewart respectively.

Both sides will be keen to bounce back from these defeats, particularly Heston who were hit for six at Blairmount Park last weekend. But even in defeat they produced some good football and can build on that in this tie. Lochar, with home advantage, though, are proving that they are up for the fight in South football and are holding their own in their first season. There is not a lot to choose between the two sides and it could possibly take more than the regulation 90 minutes to see who progresses into the final.

St Cuthbert Wanderers and Wigtown and Bladnoch presently share top spot in the South of Scotland League and, again, there is very little separating the two teams now that Saints seem to have settled into a good run of form. This semi-final, like the other, could possibly need extra time to find a winner but with home advantage Saints will go into the contest as slight favourites to progress.

There are three South of Scotland League matches scheduled to be played where the home sides will all start as favourites to take the points.

Crichton should see off bottom-placed Creetown comfortably, although the visitors have a few youngsters who are still finding their feet in South football and are more than capable of causing an upset. Crichton are a strong, experienced side, however, and the young visitors may find it beyond themselves to take anything from this match.

Newton Stewart entertain Mid-Annandale at Blairmount Park in a match which could be close. Contests between these two teams are usually entertaining affairs and the Lockerbie side are always up for the fight but the Creesiders seem to have found the way to the net following a sparse spell and have scored nine goals in their last two games and recording shut-outs in both. Mid-Annandale are a tough nut to crack but the home side will go into this match as slight favourites to take the three points to keep up their challenge on the leaders as they have several games in hand over those ahead of them in the table.

Nithsdale Wanderers will start their match against Fleet Star as favourites to take the points to keep their challenge alive at the top of the table and, with the two teams ahead of them St Cuthbert Wanderers and Wigtown and Bladnoch playing cup ties, the Sanquhar side could book top spot with a victory from this encounter. Star, though, are showing this season that they are no pushovers and are more than capable of springing a surprise.

South of Scotland League

Crichton v Creetown (kick-off 2pm)

Newton Stewart v Mid-Annandale (kick-off 3pm)

Nithsdale Wanderers v Fleet Star (kick-off 2pm)

League Cup semi-finals

Lochar Thistle v Heston Rovers (kick-off 2pm)

St Cuthbert Wanderers v Wigtown and Bladnoch (kick-off 3pm)