Saints back in the title hunt

There was a real mixed bag of matches scheduled to be played last Saturday with many of the cup ties being re-scheduled after being cancelled due to the adverse winter weather

But once again many of these were cancelled through pitches being water-logged. However the four matches that did survive the weather threw up plenty of excitement and 16 goals between them.

The Challenge Cup match between Upper Annandale and Queen of the South was switched to the 3G pitch at Lockerbie with the senior side progressing to Round Three by virtue of a 2-0 victory.

Abbey Vale played hosts to Dumfries YMCA for the second week in succession, this time in the first round of the Potts Cup and it would have been a surprise if Vale had not once again overcome a plucky YM side to progress in this particular competition.

However the visitors did come close in a seven-goal thriller that saw the YMCA team fighting right to the end of the match. Following a goalless first half Dan Thom and Craig Rudd put Vale two ahead soon after the re-start but in the 58th minute Eddie McKean put YMCA right back into the contest.

Rudd scored a third for Vale before Ian Hiddleston pulled another back for the visitors. An unfortunate own goal restored the home side’s two goal advantage but with six minutes left to play Robert Davidson reduced the deficit once again to set up a grandstand finish that saw Vale hanging onto their slender lead to go through to the semi final stages of this particular cup competition.

Heston Rovers and league leaders Edusport Academy met at Palmerston Park in the second round of the Tweedie Cup with the visitors winning the match 3-0. In the only South of Scotland League match played St Cuthbert Wanderers entertained Newton Stewart at Kirkcudbright in what turned out to be an exciting and thrilling match that almost saw the league favourites drop points against a determined visiting side. Saints went into this match as favourites to take the three points.

The visitors started poorly and found themselves two goals behind after only nine minutes play with Scott Milligan finding the net twice. However the Creesiders captain Micky Wilson mustered his troops and the visitors started to produce some goalscoring chances before they were awarded a penalty in the 35th minute which was converted easily by midfielder Robbie Thomson who sent the goalkeeper the wrong way.

Saints however held onto their slender lead going into the break but in the first minute after the re-start striker Scott Whannell saw the keeper off his line and lobbed the ball over his head from the edge of the 18 yard box to square the match.

Chances then came at both ends but on the hour Mark Andrew Donley saw his effort from close in deflected into the net for the goal that proved to be the winner. This victory and the three points brought Saints closer to the top and reduced Edusport Academy’s lead to four points over the Kircudbright side who have four games in hand and are very strong favourites to takes this season’s league title.

Results from Saturday 6th February, 2016

South of Scotland League

Nithsdale Wanderers v Mid-Annandale –match postponed

St Cuthbert Wanderers 3 Newton Stewart 2

Challenge Cup – Round 2

Lochar Thistle v Stranraer –match postoned

Upper Annandale 0 Queen of the South 2

Potts Cup Round 1

Abbey Vale 4 Dumfries YMCA 3

Creetown v Fleet Star –match postponed

Wigtown and Bladnoch v Crichton –match postponed

Tweedie Cup Round 2

Heston Rovers 0 Edusport Academy 3