Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 11

Your Monday lunchtime sorted with 8 match reports and 4 game highlights from Scotland’s fifth tier.


By Craig Edwards

The points were shared following two goals in the final 13 minutes at a very wet East Peffermill.

Both sides needed the points to move away from the foot of the Scottish Lowland League table and while the match started at a high tempo, there was not a lot of quality on show as a number of players slipped on the wet grass.

With 77 minutes on the clock, the University side were awarded a free kick and up stepped Mark Waters, who saw his effort deflected off the wall and past the stranded Aaron Taylor in the Gretna goal.

The visitors responded well with a couple of dangerous corners being cleared away before Dean Watson fired the ball into the back of the net to pull Gretna level with five minutes left.

Both sides searched for a very late winner but in the end, both had to settle for a point that leaves them in fourteenth and sixteenth in the table.

bonnyrigg rose 2-0 east kilbride

By Damon Main

The Bonnyrigg Rose win midweek win over Edinburgh University could never been viewed as bruising but it was very telling.  Namely it was evidence (if we actually needed any) that the Midlothian side are a side firing on all cylinders.  Four goals at Peffermill without any reply surely confirmed them as the favourites to win the 2019-20 Scottish Lowland League title.

East Kilbride’s current status as champions, the mid-table Lowland League position they currently occupy has come as something of a shock to those fans who were hoping for a repitition of last seasons’ consistent form.  The club have already lost 3 of its 10 matches so far with East Kilbride fan social media channels rife with chat at the prospect of nothing more than a mid-table finish.

East Kilbride started brightly and looked like a team who could still find themselves in the top half mix come the seasons end.  Both teams jostled for possession and control of the key areas of the park but it was Rose who created the clearest openings via Ross Gray.

The midweek adventure to Peffermill had seen Bonnyrigg Rose goalkeeper Mark Weir pull off a number of key saves and again in this fixture it was his sharpness and confidence that ensured a clean sheet was attained in the opening phase of the game.

Then, on 31 minutes, came the breakthough goal from defender Neil Martynuik who capitalised on a dangerous cross to fire confidently past the visiting goalkeeper into the top corner.

Almost immediately East Kilbride were on the end of another blow when last seasons top scorer Malcolm went off replaced by Paton.

The opening forays of the second half continued in the same manner as the opening period. East Kilbride probing but key home players Hunter and Turner showing how pivotal they are to the home team by creating chances which Martin in the East Kilbride goal saved.

As is so often the case in the final phase of the game, the key moments that decide results arrived.

Firstly East Kilbride were awarded a penalty kick by the match referee following a challenge by the home goalkeeper on the EK forward Cairns. However, after a short period of consultation with the assistant the decision was overturned much to East Kilbride’s disappointment.

Then East Kilbride faced the consequences of another decision when defender Reid was given a straight Red Card for what looked like a kick at his opponent.  Capitalising on the extra man advantage they had on 85 minutes Bonnyrigg Rose via Jamie Devlin, who had appeared as a sub, scored to make it 2-0 for the home side and the game was won.

The Devlin goal came after an attacking run when he curled the ball past the visiting goalkeeper and into the back of the net.

With a huge crowd of almost 500 watching on, Bonnyrigg Rose are clearly going places this season.  Against that East Kilbride lack the goal threat they had last season and never looked like winning this game.

However, for Bonnyrigg Rose a sticky period will surely come and the Midlothian side would be unwise to underestimate the challenge that both Kelty and BSC Glasgow provide.

Given the strength of those breathing down Rose’s neck in the Lowland League he club will now be grateful that they can take a slight step back from the intensity of league action when Threave Rovers visit in the South Challenge Cup next Saturday.

east stirlingshire 2-1 civil service strollers

By Gregor Mackintosh

A hotly contested game went the way of Shire at the death, as a Jamie Dishington header was enough to take the 3 points after an underwhelming display by Shire.

Late goals are becoming a theme when East Stirling and Civil Service take on each other, and this game was no different.

Strollers had the first real chance of the game, when after minutes Strollers winger Ryan Shanley popped up at back-post, he fired back across goal but Shire keeper Jamie Barclay pulled off an outstanding reflex save to keep the score at 0-0. Craig Newall came close minutes later for Strollers, as he knocked the ball past Eddie Malone before firing his effort wide.

The Shire created their first chance soon after, when Martin Orr was set through on goal by Mark Millar, but Orr could only guide his shot wide of the Strollers goal. Shire began creating some more chances, and soon Nicky Low managed to set himself to shoot after some fantastic close ball control, but his powerful hit flew inches over the bar.

It was Civil Service who opened the scoring, after a long ball forward wasn’t cleared by the Shire defence, and Jack Hodge took advantage of the poor defending and rolled his effort past Shire skipper Jamie Barclay.

Shire came incredibly close minutes later, when Martin Orr’s enticing, swerving ball was spilled by Strollers keeper Josh Donaldson, but Jordan Tapping failed to convert from a few yards out as the ball bounced off him and rolled wide.

The teams came back out for halftime and Shire started promisingly, as Nicky Low nudged the ball past the Strollers defence but his shot again couldn’t find the net. Shire left back Willie Dyer had an attempt, but his drilled 30 yard shot went just over the bar.

Shire had a strong penalty claim waved away by the referee, when Eddie Malone looked to have caught a flailing arm to the face but play continued as Malone stayed down for a head knock.

The game began to heat up, with many hard challenges flying in, with the crowning moment of this being Shire assistant manager Andy Rodgers seeing red from the dugout.

Shire eventually found their way back into the game, when a superb curling free kick from Mark Millar found the back of the net from 25 yards past a helpless Josh Donaldson in the Strollers goal.

It was that man Jamie Dishington who was the hero for Shire again, as his glancing header from a Nicky Low corner found the bottom corner of the net, which duly sent Shire players and fans wild. Strollers pushed for a late goal themselves but couldn’t find one, as the referee blew up for a 2-1 win to Shire.

Shire have now leapfrogged Strollers in the league table with an important win. Shire are in action against Blackburn United in the SFA South Challenge Cup, while Strollers will host Kelty Hearts in the Challenge Cup also.


University of Stirling 0-3 Dalbeattie Star

By Martin Fleming

A massive three points for Ritchie Maxwell’s men at Forthbank as they upset Stirling Uni and finally climb out of the bottom four.

A scrappy start to the game saw neither team able to really get the breakthrough in the opening half hour. However, Dalbeattie’s Connor Graham was able to convert an opportunity on the 37th minute to give the Kirkcudbrightshire side the lead.

Only 6 minutes later, Ross Thomson doubled Star’s lead. Despite Stirling Uni clearing a corner, they only allowed another cross in immediately after which Thomson headed home.

After the break, Stirling Uni came flying out looking to strike a comeback but the majority of their chances fizzled out or went straight at Vinnie Parker between the sticks.

The game was really put to bed when Calvin Cowie found the back of the net on the 73rd minute to cement a massive three points for Dalbeattie Star.



By Craig Edwards

Caledonian Braves bounced back to grab their first win in four games as Spartans suffered a Scottish Cup hangover.

The Braves took the lead at Ainslie Park midway through the first half when Neilly curled the ball into the top corner before the visitors doubled their lead just before the hour when David Winters slotted the ball past Blair Carswell before securing his second later in the match when he tapped home Ross McNeil’s ball across the face of goal in a move that contained 20 passes in the build-up.

Spartans, who had booked a place in the second round of the Scottish Cup in midweek did get a consolation thanks to a header from Dean Hoskins.

The victory moves Braves up to sixth in the standings while Spartans stay eighth.


berwick rangers 0-1 kelty hearts

By Ronan Alexander

A Scott Linton free-kick ensured Kelty Hearts remain hot on the heels of Bonnyrigg Rose in the Lowland League title race as Barry Ferguson’s men secured three points against Berwick Rangers.

Both sides struggled to create clear openings during the first half, but it was the hosts who had the better of the chances as Daniel Purves went down in the box but his penalty claims were waved away before Ricky Miller crashed a header against the bar.

Three minutes into the second half and Linton stepped up from 30 yards to whip his effort intp the top right corner and break the deadlock.

Almost instantly, Berwick responded a their top scorer Daryl Healy’s glancing header bounced back off the post.

With 20 minutes remaining, Berwick had the ball in Kelty’s box but Gary Cennarazzo sparked a counter attack, clipped a through ball for Nathan Autin to chase on to. Austin got there, drove into Berwick’s box before a lunging challenge from Jack Cook brought Kelty’s striker down and a penalty was awarded. Cook was sent off for his second booking, Austin stepped up to seal the victory but Mark Walters dived to his right to keep the spot kick out.

Neither side could fashion any more chances and it was the visitors who grabbed all three points.

Gala Fairydean Rovers 0-3 BSC Glasgow

By Martin Fleming

BSC took the three points at Netherdale as they dominated a Fairydean team desperate to climb away from the bottom half of the table.

The opening goals were quick and fast allowing spectators to believe the final result may have been much more. Michael Anderson was able to pick up on a loose ball and find Thomas Collins in the six-yard box who powered the ball into the back of the net.

Only four minutes later, some great work by David McKay to fight past defenders and pick out Thomas Orr in the box who got the shot away quick and put it home. There could’ve been a third or fourth immediately following but good saves from Gala’s Fraser Morton prevented BSC taking any more of the lead in the first half.

The second half saw the game fizzle out with the home side really coming alive but not able to capitalise on any chances. The game was put to bed by Stephen Swift’s men when a corner fell Thomas Collins’ way and his shot on goal landed to Thomas Orr who was able to put it past Morton.

The three points for BSC allows them to keep up the chase on Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose while Gala Fairydean Rovers fall to the bottom five due to Dalbeattie Star’s victory.

vale of leithen 2-2 cumbernauld colts

By Ronan Alexander

Vale of Leithen appeared to have turned a corner in their Lowland League season after taking 4 points from 9 this week including Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Cumbernauld, despite Vale having to play an hour with 10 men.

On 29 minutes, defender Josh Wishart, on loan from Spartans was given his marching orders for a last man challenge on Fraser Team, leaving Chris Anderson’s side with a huge up hill task. However, this clearly spurred Vale on as nine minutes later, Ally Smith opened the scoring to give the home side the lead. Then, two minutes leader, they doubled their advantage with Liam Ireland finding the back of the net.

Colts made their man advantage count in the second half, when seven minutes after the restart, former Brechin City and East Kilbride attacker Ross Kavanagh halved the deficit.

On 79 minutes Colts were level. Craig Holmes was the provider as central defender Richard Kirwan powered home to leave the match in the balance. Cumbernauld thought they won the match in injury time but had their goal disallowed for an alleged push on a defender.

After going down to 10 men after half an hour against a strong visiting side, Vale would have snapped your hand off for a point at that stage, but from being 2-0 up it will be a slightly harder pill to swallow but still a valuable point for Anderson’s side. For Craig McKinlay and James Orr’s men, it is now seven league matches without a vitory but they remain ninth in the table.