Table-top derby ends all square

The top match last weekend was the South of Scotland League match at Islecroft where league leaders Dalbeattie Star played hosts to local Stewartry rivals Threave Rovers.

It was a contest that looked very evenly balanced and that’s exactly how it turned out, with the teams sharing the two goals and the points.

Star have gone 18 months unbeaten in the league and have taken full points from their previous 14 matches so far this season but had to be content with a single point from this contest.

The Castle Douglas side broke the deadlock when Jamie Struthers fired home in a goalmouth scramble after 35 minutes to give the visitors a lead that they took into the half-time interval.

The home side, though, brought the match level on the hour mark when Lewis Sloan scored a terrific goal from 35 yards to give his side a share of the points.

The result leaves Star with a three-point advantage at the top of the table over Threave, who have played two games more.

Abbey Vale also had a superb league victory at New Abbey when they defeated a strong Heston Rovers team 3-1. Following a goal-less first half, in which Heston dominated proceedings, Lee Malin gave Vale the lead in the 51st minute after some good passing. Heston struck back in the 70th minute when Jonathan Boyd equalised from 10 yards but the home side restored their lead 11 minutes later when Stephen Degnam headed into the net.

Malin made sure of the points for Vale when he scored their third goal in the final minute of the match.

Heston’s manager Raymond Boyd said; “We played some flowing football in the first half and created chances but if you don’t take your chances there’s always a possibility the opposition will come back at you and that’s exactly what happened today. All credit to Vale, though, for hanging in and taking advantage when they could.”

In the other league match, Newton Stewart saw off the challenge of Mid-Annandale at Blairmount in a 2-0 victory.

The home side made a lively start with Johnny Fisher giving them the lead after 12 minutes and following it up with a second three minutes later. That ended the scoring although there were chances at both ends throughout the match with Mids keeper Ross Wilson once again showing his worth to the Lockerbie side with some superb stops to keep the eager home side at bay.

There were two South Challenge first round matches played, with the two visiting teams coming up trumps in both.

St Cuthbert Wanderers were held to a no-scoring first half at Castle Cary Park by Creetown but a penalty award a minute after the restart broke the deadlock with Ian Millar converting from the spot.

A double from on-loan from Annan Athletic Andrew Donely in the 65th and 72nd minutes gave Saints an easy route into the second round, with Roddy Cooksley rounding the match off five minutes from time when he found the net for the visitors’ fourth.

The other match played at Trammondford Park between Wigtown and Bladnoch and Nithsdale Wanderers produced a shock result with the visitors winning 3-2. The Sanquhar side took a three-goal advantage into the break through a David Thomson penalty conversion and singles from Marc McGinley and Ian Bell.

But although the home side fought back with two second half goals they were unable to find any more and Nithsdale progressed to the second round.

Results from Saturday 2nd March, 2013.

South of Scotland League

Abbey Vale 3 Heston Rovers 1

Dalbeattie Star 1 Threave Rovers 1

Newton Stewart 2 Mid-Annandale 0

South Challenge Cup – first round

Creetown 0 St Cuthbert Wanderers 4

Wigtown and Bladnoch 2 Nithsdale Wanderers 3