Last Saturday’s South of Scotland six matches threw up no fewer than 35 goals.
Amazzingly, the home teams only scored two in two of the matches and the rest were netted by the respective away teams.
Top scorers were Threave Rovers who hit eight against Abbey Vale at New Abbey with one in reply in the semi-final of the Tweedie Cup.
Four goals from Jamie Struthers, a double for for Sam Warren and singles from Michael Swan and James Baty saw the Castle Douglas side ease comfortably into the final of this particular competition, with Clark Chambers scoring Vale’s consolation near the end of the match as the Meadow Park side took their foot of the pedal.
Wigtown and Bladnoch found the net seven times in their Tweedie Cup first round match against Fleet Star at Garries Park without reply.
Striker Robert Jamieson scored a hat-trick in the first 20 minutes with the opener coming after 10 minutes when he tapped in a cross from the right. Five minutes later Jamieson scored from the penalty spot after the Star keeper had brought down a Wigtown player in the box and, in the 20th minute, he completed his hat-trick when he scored from six yards from another right wing cross to give the visitors a 3-0 lead at the break.
Seven minutes after the restart Mark Whorlow scored from 10 yards but Wigtown had to wait until 15 minutes from time to find the net for goal number five when Jamie McHarrie picked up a loose ball to fire home. Two minutes later Neil Erskine scored the sixth goal and, with two minutes left to play, Scott Forrester put Wigtown in seventh heaven.
Heston Rovers also scored seven in their Potts Cup first round match at Castle Cary Park against Creetown.
The visitors took the lead after five minutes when an Ollie Spence effort was diverted into the opposite corner by Jonathan Boyd but had to wait until seven minutes before the interval to double their lead.
A Tom Smith pass picked out Russell Jardine who lobbed the advancing keeper to give Heston a two-goal advantage at the break. Goal number three came just after the hour when Boyd scored from the penalty spot after being upended by Creetown keeper Darren O’Conner.
Eight minutes later Boyd completed his hat-trick with a shot from the edge of the 18-yard box and, four minutes later, Stewart Cobban scored with a great shot from 25 yards before providing the cross for Jardine to head home goal number six in the 79th minute. The scoring was completed six minutes from time when Craig McCrone netted from close in.
Heston manager Raymond Boyd was very pleased with his team’s performance which led him to comment: “ This was a fine display from our lads today considering the five-week lay-off. We controlled the play from the off and, although Creetown did have chances, keeper McCulloch was in fine form but credit to the squad today for a fine display all round.”
In another Tweedie Cup first round tie at Sanquhar, Newton Stewart recorded an outstanding vistory against Nithsdale Wanderers when they ran out comfortable 5-0 winners.
Three goals from Johnny Fisher and singles from Liam Muir and Micky Sutherland ensured the Creesiders progressed, even allowing for the fact that their minibus broke down en route to the match which resulted in the kick-off being delayed for 25 minutes.
Newton Stewart manager David Hyslop said: “It wasn’t ideal preparation with the bus breaking down which meant we only had a few minutes to warm up. The boys could have let this affect their game but they did the opposite and straight from the start took the game to Nithsdale.
“We worked hard to limit their opportunities all over the pitch and by half-time had a deserved three-goal lead. Johnny Fisher had a superb game and scored a hat-trick but it was an all-round impressive performance and the kind we have to look to build on and produce similar in March with a number of important matches coming up.”
There were two South of Scotland League matches played featuring two of the top four teams. Unbeaten Dalbeattie Star took their record to 14 victories from 14 starts this season with a three-goal victory over Crichton at Hospital Park. That puts them three points ahead of nearest challengers Threave Rovers who have played two games more.
Following a goal-less first half, strikes from Craig Ferguson, Graeme Bell and substitute Jack McMurdo maintained Star’s good run and kept their unbeaten record intact.
St Cuthbert Wanderers took the lead in their match against Mid-Annandale at Galabank after 16 minutes through Craig Rudd, with Alex Walker doubling Saints’ lead with a great solo effort eight minutes before the break.
In the 63rd minute Walker scored the goal of the match with a spectacular effort from the edge of the 18-yard box before Grant Schooler pulled one back for Mids near the end of the match when he latched onto a Carlos Crosbie cross to score a consolation goal.
Mid-Annandale now have only four games left to play in the league which are all away matches which shows the worth of playing on the 3G pitch which has allowed them to complete their home schedule this season before any other club.
Results from Saturday, February 23
South of Scotland League
Crichton 0 Dalbeattie Star 3
Mid-Annandale 1 St Cuthbert Wanderers 3
Potts Cup – Round 1
Creetown 0 Heston Rovers 7
Tweedie Cup – Semi-Final
Abbey Vale 1 Threave Rovers 8
Tweedie Cup – Round One
Fleet Star 0 Wigtown and Bladnoch 7
Nithsdale Wanderers 0 Newton Stewart 5