South sides put Lowland teams to the sword

Slicing through the Nithsdale defence, James McHarrie. SGGY 300913 2
Slicing through the Nithsdale defence, James McHarrie. SGGY 300913 2

All the headlines at the weekend belonged to the two South of Scotland League teams who saw off Lowland League opposition in the second round of the Potts Cup.

Threave Rovers were beaten by the odd goal in five in their match against Heston Rovers, while Dalbeattie Star were defeated 2-1 at Islecroft by Newton Stewart.

At Palmerston Park on Friday night, in the 22nd minute, Greig Laurie opened the scoring for the Castle Douglas side with an effort from eight yards.

It only took Heston three minutes to level through Sean Kevan as he latched onto a through pass from Gary Tweedie to send the teams in at the break all square.

Five minutes after the restart, Threave took the lead again when Greig Goodwin scored with a good effort from 12 yards. In the 68th minute, fine wing play from Heston’s Kevan set up Darren Brown with a tap in from eight yards, with Kevan scoring the goal that eventually proved to be the winner 10 minutes from time. Heston Rovers’ manager Raymond Boyd said: “It was an entertaining match with Threave pressing on and a couple of early chances from them were well saved by keeper Kieran McCulloch, who is in top form at the moment. Some excellent interlinking play gave us more confidence and we forced Threave back time after time.

“Both teams had chances and it was an even and entertaining match. On the night we had 11 players whose work rate was phenomenal and their commitment and determination gave us the victory. This was a fantastic display from the whole team.”

On Saturday it was Newton Stewart’s turn to knock out the other ex-South league club in the form of Dalbeattie Star in what was also an entertaining game which the home side were favourites to progress from.

However, they never recovered from losing an early goal when a Dean Thomson free kick in the third minute found Ryan McKie on the right wing and his perfect cross was met by the head of Liam Muir who gave keeper Drysdale no chance.

Play swung from end to end with Star pushing forward and the Newton defence standing tall. In the 35th minute the match was squared when a through ball was stroked home from 12 yards by Paul Cook. In the second half Star had chances but found keeper Fidler in great form keeping them at bay with a succession of good saves.

However, it was the visitors who scored the winning goal when a good move started at the back saw keeper Drysdale pulling off a tremendous save from Stewart Taylor but the same player latched onto the rebound to fire the ball into the roof of the net from 10 yards.

St Cuthbert Wanderers played on their new 3G pitch for the first time with Crichton as their visitors but were beaten after extra time with the match 2-2 after 90 minutes.

Jak Dingwall scored first for the visitors, with Craig Rudd equalising before Darren Johnstone made it 2-1 for Crichton. Adam Johnstone levelled the match, which then went into extra time with Darren Johnstone and Brodie Turner finding the net for the Hospital Park side to send them through to the semi-final and to end Saints’ long unbeaten run.

Wigtown and Bladnoch continued their winning ways against Nithsdale Wanderers at Trammondford Park with a convincing 6-1 victory, with Ian Millar claiming a hat-trick.

This now means that the last four in this particular competition are Crichton, Heston Rovers, Newton Stewart and Wigtown, with the semi-final draw still to be made.

Mid-Annandale were beaten 2-1 by Lochar Thistle at Galabank in the quarter-final of the South League Cup, while Creetown’s woes continued in a league match at Castle Cary when they went down to neighbours Fleet Star 3-0. Robert Muir put Star ahead with a header from eight yards with Nathan Thomson scoring from the penalty spot and Keiran Durham wrapping up the points with 18 minutes left to play.

Results from Saturday, September 28

South of Scotland League

Creetown 0 Fleet Star 3

League Cup quarter-final

Mid-Annandale 1 Lochar Thistle 2

Potts Cup round two

Heston Rovers 3 Threave Rovers 2

Dalbeattie Star 1 Newton Stewart 2

St Cuthbert Wanderers 2 Crichton 4 (after extra time)

Wigtown and Bladnoch 6 Nithsdale Wanderers 1