New season is off to a cracking start

The new season in the South of Scotland League has started with a bang.

Several results went against the more favoured sides, while others were as much expected, with teams sizing each other up for the long campaign ahead.

Much interest on Saturday was foscused on Lochar Thistle, making their debut in this league, having come in from the Dumfries Amateur League.

And they showed their worth by coming up trumps against Abbey Vale at New Abbey in a 2-1 victory.

However, it was not all plain sailing for the newcomers, who ended the match with only nine men against the home side’s 10.

Things looked bleak for Lochar when Vale went ahead in the first minute through Stuart Cameron, who was later sent off in the 64th minute when he was shown a second yellow.

The visitors came nore into the match and were rewarded 10 minutes from time when Keiran Krause scored an equaliser. William Dempster then put Lochar into the lead with the goal that proved to be the winner but was red-carded before the end. The visitors also lost Craig Allan to a red card when he pulled down a home player being last man.

This result gave Lochar Thistle their first three points in South football in their very first match and shows that they could well come to be a force to be reckoned with in the senior league.

Crichton and Newton Stewart fought out a very good and even match at Hospital Park in a 1-1 draw.

Following a goal-less first half which defences dominated, the home side went ahead from the penalty spot through Mark Leighfield after Ross Newlands was upended in the box.

However, Newton Stewart fought back and levelled the match when substitute Robert Middleton beat keeper Tommy Muirhead to the ball to cut it back to Calum Dunn, who found the net from eight yards.

A share of the points in this match seemed a reasonable result in a contest that could have gone either way with scoring chances at both ends.

Fleet Star seemed to have turned a corner. Although St Cuthbert Wanderers are reported as having most of the play, they could not penetrate the home defence and the game ended in a goal-less draw, giving the Gatehouse their first point of the season.

Two goals from Michael Donnely and a single from Ian Millar gave Wigtown and Bladnoch a comfortable 3-0 win over Mid-Annandale at Trammondford Park, while Nithsdale recorded the biggest winning margin of the day at Sanquhar when they defeated Heston Rovers 4-1 to put them on the top of the league table.

Results from Saturday, July 27

South of Scotland League

Abbey Vale 1 Lochar Thistle 2

Crichton 1 Newton Stewart 1

Fleet Star 0 St Cuthbert Wanderers 0

Nithsdale Wanderers 4 Heston Rovers 1

Wigtown and Bladnoch 3 Mid-Annandale 0