The boys have you covered with another roundup of this weekend’s Lowland League action
kelty hearts 1-0 east kilbride
By Craig Edwards
Kelty Hearts maintained their spot at the top of the Lowland League following a narrow victory at New Central Park.
A solitary strike from Nathan Austin separated the sides last month at K Park and just the one goal would split the sides this time aswell at a wet New Central Park.
The goal came just after the hour when Kelty were awarded a penalty following a foul on the far side of the box and Scott Linton stepped up and fired the ball past the diving Matthew McGlinley in the East Kilbride goal.
The visitors tried to rescue a point but the Kelty defence stayed strong to record their sixth clean sheet in their past ten games in all competitions.
The result keeps Kelty top and two points clear of Bonnyrigg while Kilby’s title defence looks over as they now sit 19 points off top spot.
east stirlingshire 2-3 the spartans
By Gregor Mackintosh
Spartans took revenge on The Shire at the weekend, as they produced a heroic performance to battle back from going 2-0 down to win 3-2 with 9 men on the pitch.
From the offset it looked like it was going to be a walk in the park for Shire as it took just 80 seconds for Shire midfielder Nicky Low to find the back of the net after some brilliant build-up play, as he fired across Spartans keeper Blair Carswell to find the bottom right hand corner. Less than 10 minutes later Shire were 2-0 up after Spartans centre back and ex-Shire man Michael Bolochoweckyj hit the ball off his own crossbar and over the line in an attempt to clear a Shire cross.
Spartans were then reduced to 10 men in the first half after Alan Brown was given a straight red for a late challenge on Shire’s Adam Murray. Spartans did not let this impact them negatively in any way however as Ian McFarland hit an outstanding curling effort into the top corner from 30 yards out to get Spartans a goal back; which did look to be against the run of play. A few moments later the visitors found their equaliser in almost the exact same fashion with Jack Smith this time firing into the top corner from 30 yards out which left Shire players and fans wondering just how this had happened.
During the second half, Spartans were reduced to 9 men after Dean Hoskins repeatedly yanked at Mark Millar’s jersey, which referee Barry Reid deemed to merit a second yellow card. The second half proved to be much quieter than the first 45 minutes, with Spartans keeper Blair Carswell pulling off some incredible saves which denied Peter MacDonald, Mark Millar and Nicky Low to name a few.
Against all odds Spartans found an injury time winner through Jake Davidson, after he collected the ball from a Shire clearance and travelled forward, eventually cutting onto his right foot and striking the ball from 18 yards out into the bottom corner past an outstretched Jamie Barclay in the Shire goal, which duly sent the Spartans players and fans into a frenzy with the entire Spartans bench being cleared and celebrating with the man of the moment Jake Davidson.
Shire were then reduced to 10 men in the dying minutes as Shire fullback Martin Orr was given a straight red for an altercation with a Spartans player.
This result sees Shire fall to 3rd place and are now 5 points off top spot with both Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose having 2 games in hand. Spartans on the other hand are in 6th place sitting 2 points behind 5th placed Civil Service Strollers with 2 games in hand.
civil service strollers 2-3 cumbernauld colts
By Damon Main
With darkness falling on North Edinburgh and this Lowland League fixture both Strollers and Colts were eager to put a little bit of Christmas cheer into the cold winter bones of the watching spectators. On a heartening note it is worth noting the gesture of home side Strollers. The club decided that this game against the visitors from Cumbernauld would be a ‘Donate at the Gate’ day. Namely, fans were allowed free entry at the gate if they made a donation to a local community food bank.
With both these sides evenly matched on paper it looked like a fixture where there would be goals. Sure enough it took Colts only 12 minutes to take the lead slightly against the run of play.
The opener came from Colts midfielder Stephen O’Neill who managed to finish after defender Jeff Fergus knocked a ball through to him leaving O’Neill with only the goalkeeper to beat and the midfielder made no mistake to give Colts a 1-0 lead.
With Strollers seeking a foothold back in the game they took a further blow when Colts went two goals ahead on 26 minutes. Midfielder Ross Kavanagh took a ball from Dean Ritchie to fire home past Ross Donaldson giving Cumbernauld more distance with only 15 minutes left of the half.
While Cumbernauld Colts would have welcomed the charitable 2-0 lead the hosts had given them the opening period of the second half saw a home team who were much more eager to get a foothold back in proceedings.
And, as it proved on 49 minutes the home side got one goal back thanks to a fine finish from the John Dunn who managed to strike home from 18 yards out into the back of the visiting net.
With things tight the game then started to become littered with yellow cards. Fraser Team, Murray and Ashmore all being cautioned by referee Newman.
Just as it looked as if the game could go either way Cumbernauld Colts surged two goals ahead once again. This time it was again Ross Kavanagh’s second goal which clinched the game.
The visitors looked odds on to head back along the road west with a much welcome three points. However, Colts have a habit making it tough for themselves and dangerman Cammy Muirhead gave Strollers some hope as injury time kicked in.
But with darkness having fallen and drizzle falling consistently the full time whistle went.
Both teams can come away from this pre-Christmas fixture with some measure of satisfaction even though the 3 points headed west come full time.
caledonian braves 2-1 edinburgh university
By Craig Edwards
Two first half strikes secured all three points for Caledonian Braves as they moved within five points of fifth place.
Ross McNeil headed the ball home from the middle of the box to give the hosts the lead and Braves doubled their lead from the penalty spot just before half time with McNeil again on the scoresheet.
The home side could have made it three but they couldn’t convert a second penalty of the game and they were almost made to pay as the University side brought one back through Ross Watters with 15 minutes go.
Braves held on for all three points to move closer to the sides above them while Edinburgh University stay a point clear of Vale of Leithen at the foot of the Lowland League.
vale of leithen 0-2 bonnyrigg rose
By Ronan Alexander
Bonnyrigg Rose remain hot on the heels of Kelty Hearts at the top of the Lowland League after an important 2-0 victory away to bottom side Vale of Leithen.
Vale knew they had to defend well against the title chasers and did exactly that in the first period as the game remained 0-0 after 45 mintes.
5 minutes into the second half, George Hunter found the back of the net for Bonnyrigg, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside. However, in the 55th minute, Hunter was not to be denied as he headed in Scott Gray’s cross to give Robbie Horn’s men the lead.
Bonnyrigg had to wait until the 90th minute to doble their lead when Dean Brett got on the scoresheet with Rose now three points ahead of East Stirlingshie in third and Vale remain at the bottom of the table.
berwick rangers 2-1 gretna 2008
By Martin Fleming
Despite the managerial change at Raydale Park, Gretna couldn’t get off to a winning start as Berwick Rangers came back after being 1-0 down.
After 15 minutes, Kevin Connelly was able to capitalise on a defensive mixup from the English side and slip the ball into the back of the net giving Rowan Alexander’s side a dream start for his first game in charge.
Berwick’s Grant Rose had his shot smash off the bar before Lewis Barr put the rebound in but the linesman deemed the goal offside.
It only took until the half hour mark before the Black and Gold were able to equalise – a Gretna handball allowed Ricky Miller to step up to the spot and fire it home.
Just before the break, there was claims for another Berwick penalty but instead, Grant Rose found himself in the referees book.
In the 57th minute, Darren Smith made an immense run and was able to slot the ball in the back of the net to give Berwick the lead.
The game fizzled out and Kevin Connelly found himself a booking just before full time.
Berwick Rangers stay a point behind Gala Fairydean Rovers in the bottom five while Gretna remain 14th on a lowly six points.
gala fairydean rovers 2-0 university of stirling
By Ronan Alexander
Gala Fairydean Rovers stretched their uneaten run to four matches and a second successive clean sheet after Saturday’s 2-0 triumph over University of Stirling.
Two early goals were enough to separate the sides at Netherdale. Zander Murray who bagged a hat-trick away to Gretna 2008 last month notched his fourth goal of the campaign after eight minutes.
Four minutes later, Gala doubled their advantage with Marc Berry finding the back of the net.
With 15 minutes remaining, the visitors goalkeeper Kevin Walker was sent off, and with no sub keeper on the bench, defender Matthew Burrows put the gloves on for the closing stages as the hosts ran out 2-0 winners.