Win keeps Newton on top

The contest at Palmerston Park between league leaders Newton Stewart and Heston Rovers stood up to pre-match expectations.

Although it was played in horrendous weather conditions, it still proved a good advert for South of Scotland football.

Early play was very even, with the strong wind making conditions very hard to play in but both sides did their best to put on a good show, with defences on top.

After being defeated by Heston last time out in the Challenge Cup, the visitors looked intent on reversing that result and although Heston had the better chances their efforts were well wide of the mark.

Newton’s best effort came in the 25th minute when a Calum Dunn shot from 20 yards found the cross bar. Twelve minutes later Heston were reduced to 10 men when Sean Kevan was red-carded.

Both teams went in for some respite from the weather at the break all square.

Ten minutes after the restart, the visitors took the lead when Calum Dunn won a 50-50 ball 40 yards out, ran in to draw out keeper Sommerville and coolly slotted the ball over him and into the net.

In the 78th minute Newton could have doubled their lead but a Dean Thomson free kick again found the cross bar coming to Heston’s rescue.

But the Creesiders found the elusive second goal when Dunn managed to find the postage stamp top corner from a free kick from 25 yards.

Heston kept their heads up, though, and when substitute Stevie Walker was introduced to the game, he reduced the deficit in the 82nd minute when he beat the Newton defence to run through to score.

Heston’s joy, though, was short-lived when. a minute later. Newton substitute Robert Middleton scored goal number three with a rocket shot from 20 yards that keeper Sommerville failed to hold and the ball slithered into the net to end the scoring.

In the only other game to beat the weather, Wigtown and Bladnoch kept up their winning ways with a hard earned 3-0 victory over Mid-Annandale at Galabank.

Following a goal-less first 45 minutes, Adam Dougan broke the deadlock from close in in the 62nd minute and, as Mids pushed for an equaliser near the end, Scot Forrester added a second in the 90th minute, with Dean Agnew scoring goal the third goal three minutes into time added on.

Results from Saturday, February 1

South of Scotland League

Heston Rovers 1 Newton Stewart 3

Mid-Annandale 0 Wigtown and Bladnoch 3

Nithsdale Wanderers v Crichton (postponed)

Creetown v St Cuthbert Wanderers (postponed)

Lochar Thistle v Abbey Vale (postponed)