Hope you’ve got your thermals looked out from the back of the wardrobe because it’s going to be a cold one in the GeoSonic Lowland League this weekend! Martin, Ronan and Craig are here with your Lowland League Preview.
EAST KILBRIDE VS EAST STIRLINGSHIRE
East Kilbride host East Stirlingshire at K-Park this weekend with both sides in need of a win.
East Kilbride are coming off the back of a 3-1 defeat away at Civil Service Strollers last weekend. Stuart Malcolm’s side couldn’t get a grasp on the game for the majority of the 90 minutes at Christie Gillies Park and will be looking to get back to winning ways as they welcome Derek Ure’s Shire side.
Shire will look to continue on from last week’s victory against Gretna 2008. Following a spell of poor results after a strong start to the season, the squad will hope this could be the beginning of another run of good form.
Both players to watch lead the line for their sides and have contributed a number of vital goals so far this season. Craig Malcolm has netted seven times for Kilby this season while his Shire counterpart Ross Allum has ten so far.
East Stirlingshire and East Kilbride have met three times in the last two seasons with a fairly balanced outcome. A draw, a loss and a win each so predicting this one will be tough. What we can say is that a win for either side could make a huge difference to their season. A win for Shire could see them bounce up a few spots while a win for Kilby will be crucial in maintaining the fight for top spot. They remain in second place, however, the loss allowed league leaders Kelty Hearts to go three points clear.
Ones to watch
East Kilbride: Craig Malcolm
East Stirlingshire: Ross Allum
Kelty Hearts vs The Spartans
The Spartans visit New Central Park on the back of a late draw with Edusport Academy last weekend. Dougie Samuels’ side have struggled to control games as much this season but still find themselves in third place in the division while Kelty Hearts have really found their feet in the Lowland League and sit at the summit of the table with 23 points from a possible 30.
Barry Ferguson’s start to life in Kelty got off to a good start last weekend but he’ll be hoping for more first half and less second half as the reigning Champions come to town. Stephen Husband has been a fulcrum of the Kelty Hearts midfield this season while Stephen MacDonald has been an effective presence up front for The Spartans.
This one can count itself unlucky not to have been featured this weekend because it promises to be a real high point in this weekend’s card. A win for Spartans will do their title tilt no harm at all, but a win for Kelty Hearts will cement their place at the top of the table.
Ones to Watch
Kelty Hearts: Stephen Husband
The Spartans: Stephen MacDonald
DALBEATTIE STAR VS BSC GLASGOW
Struggling Dalbeattie Star host in-form BSC Glasgow at Islecroft on Saturday.
The hosts have now gone six matches without a win after making a positive start to the campaign. The loss of top scorer Dean Brotherston to Cumnock Juniors who scored six goals in nine appearances this season means there’s big boots to fill in front of goal. Their recent run of form has saw Darren Kerr’s men slip to second bottom in the table and will be eager to pull off a shock to start climbing the table again.
Stephen Swift’s men extended their unbeaten run to nine games after a 4-0 win over Vale of Leithen last Friday night. They will go into the game as favourites after closing the gaps on promotion rivals Spartans and East Kilbride but remain four points adrift of leaders Kelty Hearts.
Ones to watch
Dalbeattie Star: Greig Thorburn
BSC Glasgow: Declan Hughes
VALE OF LEITHEN VS WHITEHILL WELFARE
Whitehill Welfare make the trip to Victoria Park in the early kick off on Saturday looking for only their second league victory of the campaign.
Whitehill have only four points to their name from their first twelve games with a home win against Dalbeattie Star the only time they have taken three points from a league game. Their run of one point from the last fifteen available has left them four points adrift at the foot of the table.
The hosts Vale of Leithen suffered a 4-0 defeat at the hands of BSC Glasgow last Friday night as they dropped to tenth in Scottish Lowland League table. Sean Stewart is still the top goalscorer in the league and will fancy his chances of adding to his tally against the side that has conceded the most in the league this season.
Whitehill won both league encounters last season and if they are to close the gap to the teams above, three points are very much needed on Saturday.
Ones to watch
Vale of Leithen: Ainslie Hunter
Whitehill Welfare: Scott Lucas
GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS VS UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING
Only a place separate Gala Fairydean Rovers and the University of Stirling ahead of their league encounter at Netherdale on Saturday.
The two sides had contrasting results last week as Gala were beaten 2-0 at New Central Park against Kelty Hearts while Stirling University won away at Whitehill to move up to eleventh place in the table, a place and a point above their hosts.
Both sides have not had the greatest of starts in the league, both reached the third round of the Scottish Cup two weeks ago and including the South Challenge Cup, University of Stirling could make it four wins in a row in all competitions.
These two sides played out a one all draw in this fixture last season and if that was the case this year, it would be Gala’s first draw of the season.
Ones to watch
Gala Fairydean Rovers: Dale Baxter
University of Stirling: Lewis Bonar
CUMBERNAULD COLTS VS GRETNA 2008
After going on a five match winning run, Cumbernauld Colts have failed to pick up a victory in their last three games as they take on Gretna 2008 on Saturday.
After Arni Bembo was sent off in the first half last week, Colts suffered a 1-0 defeat, going down late on to Edinburgh University. The hosts have a good record at Broadwood having won four and only lost once on their home turf.
The visitors also lost out last week as East Stirlingshire defeated Gretna 2-0 which means they haven’t picked up any points since they won four consecutive games a month ago. Recent signing Bryan Gilfillan will add some experience at the heart of Gretna’s squad having signed from Cowdenbeath.
Ones to watch
Cumbernauld Colts: Stephen O’Neill
Gretna 2008: Dean Watson
Edusport Academy vs Civil Service Strollers
Civil Service Strollers head to Galabank to take on Edusport Academy with both sides having picked up two of the most notable results in the Lowland League last weekend. Civil put three past East Kilbride to secure a famous victory, while Edusport came back late on to draw with last season’s Champions The Spartans.
Both sides have had an impressive start to the season and sit level on points (although Strollers have a game in hand). Gary Jardine will be hoping to take the chance to climb as high as fifth while Ricky Waddell’s men will be looking to do the same and take advantage of superior goal difference over their nearest challengers.
Jordan Alexandre got the late goal for Edusport last Saturday and his eye for goal marks him out, while on-loan Cowdenbeath forward Cammy Muirhead has been on fire for Civil Service Strollers.