It’s been a while since we last had a full card of fixtures and, barring any bad weather, we do this weekend! So we’ve rolled Ronan Alexander, Craig Edwards, Jordan Robertson and Martin Fleming out of the cold storage in which they live between Previews & Roundups to bring you a wintery Preview!
Kelty Hearts vs BSC Glasgow
Kelty Hearts aim to stay at the summit of the Scottish Lowland League and continue their fine start t the season as they welcome BSC Glasgow to New Central Park.
The Maroon Machine currently sit a point clear of East Kilbride at the top of the table with BSC Glasgow in third, only five points adrift of their hosts on Saturday.
Kelty come into this league fixture on the back of an extra-time victory over Whitehill Welfare in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup and are still unbeaten under Barry Ferguson with three wins and a draw in the league under the ex-Scotland captain. Their one and only league defeat this season came ten games ago away at Broadwood against Cumbernauld Colts.
While Kelty may be claiming the headlines for being top of the league at the halfway mark, BSC Glasgow are on an equally impressive eight game unbeaten run in the league that has seen them soar up the table and into their third place they currently occupy.
A 5-0 home victory last Friday night against Edinburgh University was the perfect remedy to bounce back from their Scottish Cup exit away to Scottish League One side, Forfar Athletic two weeks ago.
Their last league defeat came against this weekend’s opponents in August at the Indodrill Stadium when a double from Stuart Cargill and a tap-in from Scott Dalziel secured the three points in a 3-2 victory for the visitors and Stephen Swift will be hoping his side can get revenge and move to within two points of Kelty Hearts.
EDUSPORT ACADEMY VS EAST STIRLINGSHIRE (Friday)
Edusport Academy will be hoping to bounce back from a defeat against Kelty Hearts with a strong performance against an East Stirlingshire side who have seriously struggled so far in this campaign. The visitors have lost four of their last five games and they currently find themselves sitting in 11th place, a position they would never have imagined pre-season. The home side’s season is almost a complete contrast to East Stirlingshire’s, as they have defied expectations and find themselves in fifth place.
Shire have one of the leakiest defences having conceded 27 goals so far this season. However, they do boast the league’s top scorer in Ross Allum who has scored 12 goals this season. He will be looking to fire his side to victory and send the visitors home with a vital three points.
ONES TO WATCH
Edusport Academy – solal pelmard-bassi
east stirlingshire – jamie barclay
THE SPARTANS VS VALE OF LEITHEN (Friday)
Fourth place Spartans will hope to halt a run of games that’s seen them win by only the slightest of margins, while Vale play their first game in more than a month.
The Edinburgh side come off a 3-2 win over Newtongrange Star in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup, as well as a 4-3 victory over East Stirlingshire in the league. The champions will hope to climb back into the top three and brush Vale of Leithen aside with a more comprehensive win.
Vale’s last game at the start of November was a surprising 2-2 with bottom side Whitehill Welfare. After playing a months’ worth of friendlies and a postponed Colts game, the Innerleithen squad could go in refreshed and, if they perform as many know they can, could have a great deal of joy against Spartans’ defence.
ONES TO WATCH
The Spartans – Blair Atkinson
Vale of Leithen – Liall Smith
CUMBERNAULD COLTS VS GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS
Cumbernauld Colts have been one of the league’s biggest surprise packages this season. The Colts currently sit in sixth, however they are three points off of third place, so they will be hoping for a victory over a Gala side who have lost four of their last five.
The visitors have also failed to score in their last three games so they will be looking to end that run at the weekend. Fraser Team and Sean Brown have both been performing well for the Colts this season and they are two players to keep an eye on in this one, while Gala’s Sean McKirdy has just signed a new long term deal with the Galashiels side and will be looking to repay their faith this weekend.
ONES TO WATCH
Cumbernauld Colts – sean brown
gala fairydean rovers – sean mckirdy
GRETNA 2008 VS CIVIL SERVICE STROLLERS
After losing six of their last seven matches, Gretna co-managers David Irons and Andrew Aitken departed the club ahead of Saturday’s clash with Civil Service Strollers. Ironically, their last match came against Strollers a fortnight ago when they met in the league at Christie Gillies Park. The home side that day ran out 2-1 winners after coming from behind with goals from Andrew Mair and David Churchill sealing the points with Ashley Kelly putting Gretna in front with only two minutes on the clock.
It was a much needed victory for Gary Jardine’s men who suffered a slight dip in form after cup defeats to Newtongrange Star and Jeanfield Swifts both of the East of Scotland League.
ONES TO WATCH
Gretna 2008 – Stuart Gray
Civil Service Strollers – Jordan Hopkinson
UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING VS EAST KILBRIDE
Third bottom University of Stirling take on second place East Kilbride at Forthbank Stadium on Saturday.
The visitors come into the game after five consecutive wins in all competitions without conceding a goal. Their most recent triumph came last weekend when Gala Fairydean Rovers were brushed aside 3-0 courtesy of goals from Jamie Longworth and a Paul Woods brace.
On the other hand, the students come into the game after a 4-0 loss to Elgin City in the Scottish Cup a fortnight ago. Their last league fixture was a 0-1 reverse to Kelty Hearts but did pick up a 4-3 cup victory against Jeanfield Swifts who have a good record against Lowland League opposition, including Kilby earlier in the season.
ONES TO WATCH
University of Stirling – Rory MacEwan
East Kilbride – Paul Woods
EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY VS DALBEATTIE STAR
Despite a series of strong results that had them climbing into the top six, Edinburgh Uni will be hoping for a win while Dalbeattie Star will hope their refreshed squad can capitalise.
Eighth place Uni will hope to bounce straight back after they were hammered 5-0 by BSC Glasgow last weekend. Although their previous showings such as a 2-1 away win to East Stirlingshire had suggested they could be contenders in that match-up, it wasn’t to be. A full three points could see them jump back into the top five if other results go their way.
Dalbeattie Star on the other hand still sits precariously close to the bottom of the table in 14th place, however, having not played a game since mid-November, a well-rested squad could potentially show up a depleted Edinburgh side. Three weeks is a long time to try and recover from their 3-0 loss to Cumbernauld Colts so an upset could be on the cards.