SLFL Preview: Non-League Day 2017

Non-League Day is upon us and in order to give you the lowdown on what you can expect from the SLFL teams in action and to introduce you to the first group of our featured match reporters, we’re bringing you a wee preview on each match.


Civil Service Strollers vs BSC Glasgow

Derek Robertson

Civil Service Strollers have worked hard to build on an impressive debut campaign in the Lowland League, but are in the midst of a tough run of fixtures. Having travelled to reigning champions East Kilbride and been sent back to the capital with a 3-0 loss in midweek, they now host an unbeaten BSC Glasgow side. Alex Cunningham’s men have gone three league games without a win, but did progress in the Scottish Cup with a win over Highland side Strathspey Thistle.

BSC have backed up pre-season predictions thus far, with Stephen Swift’s experienced squad gelling well. Coming off another home win against Gala Fairydean Rovers in midweek, the league’s most dangerous attack will be looking to fire their club further clear at the top where the challengers are beginning to emerge. That being said, both of BSC’s failures to take three points came away from The Indodrill Stadium.

Ones to Watch

Civil Service Strollers  – Steven Froude
BSC Glasgow – Gary Redpath

Last 5 (League)

Civil Service Strollers  – LDLWW
BSC Glasgow – WDWWW


Cumbernauld Colts vs East Stirlingshire

Michael Park

John Sludden’s East Stirlingshire make the short trip to Cumbernauld on Non-League Day to take on Craig McKinlay and James Orr’s Colts who find themselves in the SLFL Top 4 following a strong midweek showing against Whitehill Welfare.

Colts were among the runners and riders at the start of the season but suffered a series of injuries which impacted their early season pace. Recent weeks have seen them come back into form with three wins and a draw in their last four league matches. Shire on the other hand were coming into the season with the idea of building on their role as last season’s top scorers and challenging for the title. After a disappointing loss to Edinburgh University in midweek following on from a 5-0 thrashing of East Kilbride, Sludden’s inconsistent charges will be hoping for more EK, less EU when the first whistle goes at Broadwood.

Colts have been unlucky with goalkeepers this season following the retirement of talismanic stopper Chris Fahey and an injury to current number 1 Sam George has seen them draft in Thomas Cordery on loan from East Fife. He can expect to come under attack from the likes of Paul Sludden and Andy Rodgers. Colts have their share of attacking talent too and Andy Grant and his colleagues will have to be conscious of the threat posed by the likes of Sean Brown and Stephen O’Neill.

Ones to Watch

Cumbernauld Colts  – Thomas Cordery
East Stirlingshire – Liam Allison

Last 5 (League)

Cumbernauld Colts  – WDWWL
East Stirlingshire – LWLWD


East Kilbride vs Edusport Academy

Ronan Alexander

East Kilbride’s 3-0 victory over Civil Service Strollers on Wednesday couldn’t have come at a better time as their stuttering form got back on track thanks to a hat trick from Ross McNeil.

A shock 5-0 home defeat to East Stirlingshire a fortnight ago raised a few eyebrows before struggling Edinburgh University grabbed a 1-1 draw against Kilby but Billy Stark’s men have already provided the perfect response. Now five points from the top of the table, the home side can’t afford many more slip ups if they are to catch leaders BSC Glasgow.

Edusport currently sit 8th in the league, having suffered an uncharacteristic 5-1 drubbing at the hands of a resurgent Gretna 2008 midweek, but did overcome Highland League side Rothes in the Scottish Cup after a replay. Sofiane Zeghdane is one to keep an eye on having netted three times in Academy’s last two games and former Annan Athletic defender Raffi Krissian will have to organise his back line against a threatening EK attack. Krissian can also pop up with a goal too, having scored in last month’s 2-1 victory against Civil Service Strollers.

Ones to Watch

East Kilbride  – Ross McNeil
Edusport Academy – Raffi Krissian

Last 5 (League)

Spartans – DWLDW
Whitehill Welfare – LWDWL


Edinburgh University vs University of Stirling

Michael Park

A University Derby on Non-League Day? Don’t say the Lowland League isn’t good to you. Player/manager Chris Geddes’ University of Stirling side travel to Peffermill (their fixtures have been swapped) looking to get back in the swing of things in the SLFL. The Stirling boys had been out of league action thanks to their Scottish Cup involvement when they met Selkirk in midweek. The Souters left The Falkirk Stadium with a 2-0 victory and leapfrogged them in the table.

Since becoming manager Chris Geddes has taken a bit of a back seat in his striking duties having overseen a lightning start to the season which saw them keeping the pace with BSC Glasgow and East Kilbride in the early stages of the season. That being said, the player/manager still has an eye for the back of the net and leads the way for his side with 5 goals.

Dorian Ogunro’s Edinburgh University have been resurgent in recent weeks after a disappointing start to the season. The nature of university football means that this can happen as many students don’t return until a few weeks into the season but the Edinburgh Uni manager is a master organiser and has overseen a turnaround in their fortunes in recent weeks, beginning with a win over their rivals in the South Challenge Cup. Since then they’ve convincingly beaten Lossiemouth, drawn with last season’s champions East Kilbride and beaten East Stirlingshire with midfielder Finn Daniels-Yeoman becoming the fulcrum of the team.

Whatever way it goes on Saturday, it’s sure to be a fantastic match at Peffermill.

Ones to Watch

Edinburgh University  – Finn Daniels-Yeoman
University of Stirling – Chris Geddes

Last 5 (League)

Edinburgh University – WDLLL
University of Stirling – LWDWD


Gretna 2008 vs Dalbeattie Star

Sam Jenkinson

Consistency is the key for Gretna joint managers Andy Aitken and David Irons. An encouraging start to their time in charge saw three league wins from their first 4 matches, before three defeats followed in September. An impressive 5-1 away win from the Borders side on Wednesday night gives Saturday’s visitors fair warning, but they will have to do it without top scorer Stuart Gray due to a nasty injury sustained in the win over Edusport Academy.

Star themselves have struggled through September, losing every game save for a tight 1-0 victory over Coldstream in the South Challenge Cup and a draw with Cumbernauld Colts two weekends ago before seeing their midweek game against Hawick postponed. With that postponement, Darren Kerr’s side will be feeling fresh as they look to pick up their first away league win of the season. Steven Degnan’s performances have given Star fans cause for encouragement recently and Star can expect to have Curtiss Wilson back for the match at Raydale Park.

Ones to Watch

Gretna 2008  – Kevin Connelly
Dalbeattie Star – Vinnie Parker

Last 5 (League)

Gretna 2008 – WDLLW
Dalbeattie Star – DLLWL


Hawick Royal Albert vs Gala Fairydean Rovers

Derek Robertson

The SLFL’s bottom side Hawick Royal Albert host Gala Fairydean Rovers in their first competitive action for a fortnight. New manager Craig Tully has rallied the troops, and their last league game saw the borderers run Cumbernauld Colts close in a narrow 1-0 loss. Recent signings Gavin McMillan, Harry Lindsay and David McCaughie are looking to help their new club gain its first points of the season.

Rovers make the short trip to Albert Park after a tough midweek away trip saw them lose to early leaders BSC by a 4-1 scoreline. Now on a run of seven games without a win, the Galashiels side are desperate to get back on track and are now fully focused on the league having been knocked out of the Scottish Cup by Keith two weekends ago. An old fashioned 6-pointer in prospect at Albert Park!

Ones to Watch

Hawick Royal Albert  – David McCaughie
Gala Fairydean Rovers – Stuart Noble

Last 5 (League)

Hawick Royal Albert  – LLLLL
Gala Fairydean Rovers – LDLLL


The Spartans vs Whitehill Welfare

Ronan Alexander

It’s an Edinburgh derby at Ainslie Park on Saturday as high-flying Spartans welcome a Whitehill Welfare side looking to find some consistency. The hosts come into the game on a rich vein of form, winning their last five matches, conceding only one goal in the process with striker Ross Allum netting five times in the process including a strike in the 5-0 midweek win over 10-man Vale of Leithen.

The visitors are finding their feet after a tough start to the campaign, but a stunning stoppage time free kick from Connor McGregor gave Welfare a 2-1 win over Vale last weekend, but Gary Small’s side lost by the same score line on Wednesday against Cumbernauld Colts, with McGregor again scoring for the Claret and Blues.

The Spartans will undoubtedly go into the game as favourites as they look to close the gap on BSC Glasgow at the top of the table, but Welfare will be keen to kick start a run of form that would see them climb the league.

Ones to Watch

Spartans  – Ross Allum
Whitehill Welfare – Connor McGregor

Last 5 (League)

Spartans – WWWWW
Whitehill Welfare – WLLWL


Vale of Leithen vs Selkirk

Sam Jenkinson

It’s been all about goals for Ian Fergus’ new look Selkirk side. They’ve managed 27 goals in their first nine games, second highest in the league behind only table topping BSC Glasgow. Thanks to their fine form in front of goal, the Borders side find themselves fifth with games in hand over most of the league. Former Montrose and Berwick Rangers man David Banjo has been an inspired signing for The Souters and Phil Addison has also been pivotal in their turnaround.

Their opponents and hosts, Vale of Leithen are offering discounted entry and tours for young supporters and SPFL season ticket holders as part of Non-League Day and Chris Anderson’s side will be hoping for a strong result to match their bumper crowd. Vale will be looking to stifle Selkirk and pick up a morale boosting win after heavy defeats to Spartans and Cumbernauld Colts last month. An impressive 10-0 South Challenge Cup win over Tweedmouth Rangers is the pick of the bunch for Vale this season, and they will be looking to see more of that form and pull themselves away from the bottom of the table.

Ones to Watch

Vale of Leithen  – Jonny Scott-Mercer
Selkirk – David Banjo

Last 5 (League)

Vale of Leithen  – LLLWL
Selkirk – WLWWW

One comment

Comments are closed.