Star aim to stretch lead

There is a right mixed bag of fixtures scheduled to be played this Saturday.

There are two South of Scotland League matches, one Potts Cup tie and three Tweedie Cup ties scheduled.

League champions and present leaders Dalbeattie Star have the opportunity to extend their advantage at the top when they travel to Hospital Park to play Crichton. The home side have shown a bit of inconsistent form this season so far but when on form they can be a match for most teams.

Star, on the other hand, are unbeaten in the league this season and have a strong and experienced side who could conceivably go through the season without dropping any points.

The Dalbeattie side presently have accumulated 39 points from 13 games and share top spot with Stewartry rivals Threave Rovers, who have played three games more. Present form would suggest a comfortable victory for the visitors but Crichton will not go down without a fight and Star may well have to be on top form to see off a plucky home side.

Outside challengers St Cuthbert Wanderers travel to Galabank to play Mid-Annandale on the 3G pitch and will do so as favourites to take the three points to maintain their challenge at the top.

Saints look to have too much experience within their ranks to slip up in this contest although Mids will now have adapted to the new pitch surface and could well push the Kirkcudbright side all the way.

Creetown entertain Heston Rovers at Castle Cary Park in the first round of the Potts Cup for a match the Maryfield side will start as favourites to progress from.

Heston are enjoying a fairly good season while Creetown are not and it would a surprise if the Dumfries side failed to make it through to round two of this particular competition.

Wigtown and Bladnoch are strong favourites to make it through to round two of the Tweedie Cup following their visit to Gatehouse to play Fleet Star. The Trammondford Park side look to be too strong and experienced to produce anything but a comfortable victory against the league’s bottom side while, in the same round, Nithsdale Wanderers will be looking to see off the challenge of Newton Stewart.

Matches between these two teams usually produce a good even encounter and there is nothing to suggest that this will again not be the case this time around, although with home advantage favouring the Sanquhar side they will start as slight favourites to progress.

The first semi-final of the same competition takes place at New Abbey where Abbey Vale have Threave Rovers as their visitors. The Castle Douglas side should make it through to this final although Vale are very tough opposition at home and are more than capable of springing a surprise result.

This, again, could be a very good contest with Threave favourites to make the final although with a bit of luck the Vale side could cause an upset.

Fixtures for Saturday, February 23

All kick-offs at 2pm unless otherwise stated.

South of Scotland League

Crichton v Dalbeattie Star

Mid-Annandale v St Cuthbert Wanderers (3pm)

Potts Cup – round one

Creetown v Heston Rovers

Tweedie Cup – semi-final

Abbey Vale v Threave Rovers

Tweedie Cup – round one

Fleet Star v Wigtown and Bladnoch

Nithsdale Wanderers v Newton Stewart