Dalbeattie Star 1, Newton Stewart 2
The Creesiders made it through to the semi-final of this season’s Potts Cup after beating Lowland League side Dalbeattie Star at Islecroft in a game the home side were strong favourites to win.
Newton Stewart once again won through against their more experienced opponents to continue a good run of form.
The visitors showed their determination and intent after only three minutes when a Dean Thomson freekick found Ryan McKie on the right and the wide man’s pace won the day with his excellent cross picking out Liam Muir to head fiercely past the keeper.
A minute later, though, the home side would have levelled but an Andrew Donely effort was cleared off the line by Thomson with keeper Fidler beaten.
Hugh Cameron was next up for the home side but Fidler was equal to his effort. In the eighth minute, with Newton under pressure, Jack Steele hit the bar.
The match turned into a fairly even midfield battle, with the Newton defence standing firm. In the 32nd minute, Shaun Handling headed past keeper Fidler’s upright but three minutes later a rare defensive lapse allowed the ex-Annan Athletic striker in to poke the ball past Fidler from 12 yards to level the contest.
Five minutes before the break, though, the Creesiders had a great opportunity to restore their lead through Graeme Blain but his effort was mistimed and a great chance was lost only six yards from goal.
Ten minutes after the half-time break Muir could have hit his double but some good defending and a Euan Drysdale block saved the day for Star. Five minutes later a Johnny Fisher attempt went wide as Newton took the game to their opponents but their efforts were rewarded three minutes later.
Thomson found Fisher inside the six-yard box, and he passed back to Stewart Taylor whose shot was well saved by keeper Drysdale. However, when the keeper parried the ball outwards it fell to Calum Dunn who again rolled it into the path of Taylor who made no mistake the second time with his shot flying high into the net.
In the 70th minute Newton, with their tails up, had another chance to add to their tally but again a Taylor attempt was denied by Drysdale.
The home side should have levelled when a header from an unmarked Handling flew over the bar with the goal at his mercy. In the 76th minute Fidler pulled off an excellent finger-tip save from a Steele effort to maintain his side’s lead and, with 10 minutes left, the keeper was again tested by substitute Lewis Sloan but was equal to the vicious 20-yard shot.
Star struggled to make further scoring efforts with the Newton Stewart defence standing stoutly to ensure progress to the semi-final. This was another great result for Newton Stewart who will hoping that their good form continues into their Scottish Cup game against Culter this weekend.