Lowland League Preview – Matchday 3

It’s that time again, we’re back with the Lowland League Preview! From now on, coming to you from the keyboards of our reporting team, Ronan Alexander, Craig Edwards and (from next week) Jordan Robertson!

Take it away guys…

Cumbernauld Colts vs Kelty Hearts

by Ronan Alexander

Two unbeaten sides Cumbernauld and Kelty lock horns on Friday night for an eagerly anticipated battle.

Colts kicked off the new season with an important 2-1 win away to Gala Fairydean Rovers with the goals coming from Scott Davidson and Fraser Team. Cumbernauld didn’t have a midweek fixture which may give them a bit extra energy ahead of Friday’s fixture.

Kelty have came into the league with big expectations and started with a 2-2 home draw against Dalbeattie Star before showing a real statement of intent with a thrashing Whitehill Welfare 6-0 through the week where Stephen Husband netted a hat trick.

BSC Glasgow vs East Kilbride

by Craig Edwards

East Kilbride head to Alloa to face BSC Glasgow as the only side in the Scottish Lowland League with two wins from two. Brian Kerr has enjoyed a good start to life at Kilby after following up their 10-0 victory over Selkirk with a hard-fought win away to Dalbeattie Star in midweek.

The home side opened their league season in midweek as they earned a point away at East Stirlingshire after suffering defeat to the same opponents last weekend in the Irn-Bru Cup preliminary round. BSC Glasgow finished six points and one place behind East Kilbride last season but failed to beat them in either league match last year, suffering a 1-0 defeat at the Indodrill Stadium.

Vale of Leithen vs The Spartans

It’s been a tale of mixed fortunes for both clubs involved in this fixture and it’s Vale of Leithen who sit higher in the Lowland League table going into this weekend. The Spartans have laboured to draws against both of the league’s University sides in the opening two rounds of the season, while Vale have enjoyed an opening day draw with Civil Service Strollers and an impressive 4-2 win over Gala Fairydean Rovers in midweek.

The Spartans will be travelling to Innerleithen looking to get their title defence on track, but things won’t be easy against a Vale side who have strengthened in key areas ahead of this season and are confident of avoiding the same trouble they found themselves in last season.

Edinburgh University vs Civil Service Strollers

by Craig Edwards

It’s third versus thirteenth at Peffermill as Civil Service Strollers visit Edinburgh University.

The home side followed up their opening day victory over Gretna 2008 with a 1-1 draw at home to reigning champion The Spartans. Stu McNicholls already has two goals this season after his double against Gretna while the visitors on Saturday are still searching for their first goal of the new campaign.

Civil Service Strollers opened with a goalless draw at home to Vale of Leithen before suffering defeat to the other university team in the Scottish Lowland League as Stirling University ran out 2-0 winners. Both sides drew a blank when they met last year at Peffermill, but the visitors will hope to get on the scoresheet this year.

Dalbeattie Star vs Gala Fairydean Rovers

by Ronan Alexander

Dalbeattie Star welcome Dean Shanks Gala Fairydean Rovers to Islecroft with both sides searching for their first victory.

Star began their campaign with a difficult away trip to newly promoted Kelty Hearts and came away from New Central Park with a very impressive 2-2 draw. The influential Lewis Sloan scored a free kick before Dean Brotherston netted the equaliser on the stroke of half time. On Wednesday, Dalbeattie gave their all but fell short with a 3-1 defeat to East Kilbride, but Star were level 1-1 on the hour mark.

Shanks had a busy summer of recruitment at Netherdale with many of the new arrivals impressing in pre-season, including left midfielder Tommy Patterson who netted three times in four games and Josh Morris who bagged a hat trick against Heaton Stannington.

However, the Borders side have struggled to emulate that form into the league campaign so far, suffering defeats to Cumbernauld Colts (1-2) and Vale of Leithen (4-2), meaning Gala will be itching to set that record straight and get some points on the board.

Whitehill Welfare vs Gretna 2008

by Ronan Alexander

Two heavy defeats in the opening two matches has cost Welfare manager Gary Small his job. A 4-1 loss to Edusport Academy was followed up by a 0-6 reverse to Kelty Hearts midweek, meaning assistant manager Jock Landells will take over as caretaker manager for the visit of Gretna on Saturday as they aim to change their fortunes.

Meanwhile, Gretna kicked off their with a 3-0 defeat against Edinburgh University but bounced back with an 8-0 demolition of Selkirk on Wednesday. Last seasons top scorer Kevin Connolly bagged a hat trick whilst Daniel Wadge, Liam Studholme (2), Jake Smith and Malcolm Holliday also got on the score sheet.

Gretna had the upper hand when the two sides met last season, winning convincingly 6-1 and 4-1, a record the Welfare will be looking to get revenge for on Saturday.

University of Stirling vs East Stirlingshire

After vacating their Falkirk Stadium home to be replaced by their visitors, University of Stirling will be looking to build on their first win at their new Forthbank tenancy against the Shire, who are going into only their second league match of the season after being involved in the Irn-Bru Cup Preliminary.

Uni have strengthened their core of youth scholars with the likes of experienced ex-BSC Glasgow and East Kilbride striker Aidan Ferris adding to students who are entering their second or third years of playing with the first team. East Stirlingshire have similarly maintained the core of their team which stormed back in the second half of last season and have added Danny Ashe and Paul McCafferty from University of Stirling who are both expected to play against their former club tomorrow.

Selkirk vs Edusport Academy

by Craig Edwards

This match has been postponed at the request of Selkirk FC.

To say Selkirk have had a tough start to the season would probably not paint the full picture as the Souters have suffered heavy defeats in their opening two games. An 8-0 defeat at home to Gretna 2008 followed a 10-0 defeat to East Kilbride on the opening day of the season as they are one of three teams yet to pick up a point.

Edusport Academy on the other hand have only played one game this season and collected the three points in a 4-1 over Whitehill Welfare. These two sides had a thrilling fixture at Yarrow Park last season when Selkirk won 4-3 and the hosts will hope for something similar again on Saturday to get their season back on track.