Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 17

Coverage of all 35 goals from this weekend’s action in the Scottish Lowland League

east kilbride 0-1 bonnyrigg rose

By Euan Fairley

Rose did just enough to leave K-Park with the 3 points they needed in a closely-fought contest with the 2018/19 champions. A Kilby red card made the difference in the last meeting of the sides and so it was again on this occasion with Kieran Gibbons’ second-half dismissal being closely followed by Johnathan Brown’s winner. The game was otherwise forgettable with both teams struggling to break the other down and Rose will just be relieved to take the 3 points in a game that could have gone either way.

The first half saw few chances, however Bonnyrigg did have the ball in the Kilby net twice, with both efforts being disallowed. The first was a corner from the right which goalkeeper Matt McGinley appeared to misjudge. The ball fell to Hearts loanee Daniel Baur who lashed the ball into the net from close range, but the referee had spotted a misdemeanour in the box and blew his whistle. The second saw Rose work the ball to Brown on the left who played the ball into the box but the linesman had raised his flag for offside before the ball was knocked in to the net.

The only real moments of note in the remainder of the first half were a half-chance each for either side. On 30 minutes Kilby’s ex-Rangers youth David Brownlie headed the ball just wide of the near post from a corner. Ten minutes later Rose full-back Dean Brett broke free in the box and his scuffed shot almost deceived McGinley in the Kilby goal, who dived low down to his left to claw the shot wide.

The second half threatened to be less eventful than the first and it took until the 65th minute for the next chance to fall. A Rose corner dropped to Brown on the edge of the box and as he fell he managed to get a shot away. The effort flew through a ruck of bodies and was saved well by McGinley, who managed to palm the ball to safety.

The game-defining moment landed in the 75th minute after East Kilbride were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Rose box. The cross was well punched away by the dominant Mark Weir in the Rose goal and Jonathan Brown looked to break on the left hand side. Recognising the danger the counter-attack posed Gibbons dived in to try to prevent the breakaway, however his challenge was late and dangerous and the referee took little time to deliver the red card.

Kilby’s ten men almost snatched the lead minutes later when some nice play found top-scorer Craig Malcolm in space 20 yards out. His fine effort caught the wind and Weir did well to stop the shot, which was heading into the top corner.

Minutes later came the winning goal. In a game of little quality Neil Martynuik’s pass was outstanding and found Brown clear through on goal, with the full-back being correctly judged onside by the officials. Brown was clinical and slotted his shot neatly in to the bottom corner to send the healthy Rose support into raptures.

Rose were content to see out the remaining ten minutes and there was only one further incident of note, when their substitute Jamie Docherty broke free on the half-way line and found himself one-on-one with McGinley. Docherty seemed unable to decide whether to shoot first time or take it round the keeper and in the end did neither, allowing McGinley the chance to collect the ball.

In the end Bonnyrigg will be pleased to leave a difficult venue with the three points, which allows them to keep the pace with their title rivals Kelty ahead of a tough set of four fixtures against teams in the top-half of the league. Kilby put in a strong performance and can take heart from the fact that they have ran both Kelty and Bonnyrigg close in the space of a week.

kelty hearts 11-0 vale of leithen

By Gregor Mackintosh

Kelty Hearts set the new record for largest win in Lowland League history at the weekend as Barry Ferguson’s men ran out 11-0 winners.

Nathan Austin opened the scoring after a minute to put Kelty 1-0 up, which perhaps foreshadowed a sign of things to come for Vale of Leithen.

Cammy Russell then made it 2-0 to Kelty after his attempt from just outside the box deflected in off a Vale defender.

Russell then doubled his tally just 2 minutes later, as he fired in from 25 yards out after Dylan Easton set him up.

Easton was then brought down in the box and set play specialist Scott Linton stepped up before scoring to make it 4-0 to Kelty after just 20 minutes.

Arnualt Bembo then converted from just inside the box as he toe-poked into the bottom corner to make it 5-0 with just under half an hour played.

Kelty fans had to wait 14 minutes for the next goal, as hitman Nathan Austin finished off a team move which allowed him to header in for his second of the game and Kelty’s 6th.

Ross Philp then made it 7-0 just before halftime after a well worked corner, capping of a dominant first half display.

The second half proved to be much quieter than the first with the first goal of the second half taking 20 minutes to arrive. Nathan Austin converted for his hat-trick after 65 minutes with new Kelty signing Chris Humphrey getting his first assist on his debut.

Dylan Easton then made it 9-0 to Kelty just 2 minutes later, before Chris Humphrey tallied another assist for Kelty’s 10th of the game, as he crossed in to Nathan Austin for his 4th of the game.

Kelty stalwart Stephen Husband then rounded off a lethal performance for Kelty, finishing into the top corner in the 89th minute, breaking the previous record of most goals scored in a game, slightly edging the previous record of 10-0 from Kelty against Gretna earlier this season and Shire’s 10-1 win over Gala Fairydean Rovers during the 2016/17 season.

the spartans 4-0 dalbeattie star

By Damon Main

If it was goals those in attendence had wanted before venturing out away from the pressure of Christmas shoopping then they got their wish.  A hat-trick from Aaron Murrell was pivotal to this meeting leaving the forward man with a Man of the Match performance in an ultimately emphatic 4-0 victory over struggling Dalbeattie Star.

Spartans were without the key suspended duo of Dean Hoskins and Alan Brown but a few milestones were still in store with Ian McFarland making his hundredth appearance for Spartans.  Aaron Murrell meanwhile, was earning his 50th appearance in the traditional white shirt of Spartans.

Before Dalbeattie Star could even make a statement of presence in the fixture the home team were ahead.  The opener came just 16 minutes in with Spartans attacking the south end of the ground.

Man of many goals Murrell swung in a corner to the back post where it was headed on by Blair Atkinson who nodded back into the path of Jack Smith. Smith accepted this assist willingly by heading into the empty net from just a few centimetres out.

It took just another five minutes for the home side to extend that lead.

Referee Bushell awarded Spartans an indirect free-kick about 7 yards out following a pass-back to the Star goalkeeper and captain Parker. Accepting this gift Murrell effortlessly smacked the ball home high into the net after it was tapped to him by his teammate.

Just before half time Murrell got his second of the day through some degree of invention.

A long ball was played up field by Bolochoweckyj towards the box.  The Dealbeattie defence were asleep with the midfield not providing near enough defensive cover to deal with the through ball.  Murrell, surrounded by defenders, chose to swing his foot around the ball using his body shape well and somehow he managed to hit it over the stranded Dalbeattie goalie Vinnie Parker for a 3-0 lead.

Tricky forward Nicky Reid has made a big impression this season for Spartans and after appearing as a substitute for the earlier goal scorer Smith his trickery created the fourth goal.

The little forward man took on the challenge of chasing a long ball.  Visiting defender Wells did not deal with the attacking ball and the chasing forward left the defender to fall over when he simply needed to stay on his feet.   Reid, squared for the unmarked Aaron Murrell, and he to hit home for his hat-trick goal.

It seems just like yesterday that Spartans were entitled to call themselves Lowland League Champions and, while this was far from being a title winning display, the convincing win showed that the Ainslie Park side still may just have a little say on the destination of the title come April.


civil service strollers 3-0 edinburgh university

By Craig Edwards

Civil Service Strollers claimed all three points in an Edinburgh derby as they beat Edinburgh University at Christie Gillies Park to stay in touch with the top four in the Scottish Lowland League.

Alieau Faye gave the visitors the lead just before the half hour mark before the lead was doubled just before half time when John Dunn struck.

Scott Clapperton made sure of the points for Strollers midway through the second half when his cross found the back of the net.

The three points keeps Strollers in fifth place, just three points adrift of BSC Glasgow in fourth while Edinburgh University stay 15th ahead of their crunch game next weekend against Vale of Leithen.

cumbernauld colts 1-4 east stirlingshire

By Gregor Mackintosh

East Stirlingshire took all 3 points at the weekend as they convincingly won 4-1 over Cumbernauld at Broadwood.

Shire started out strong in testing conditions with the wind playing a large part in the game. Bobby Barr had the first real chance of the game as he linked up with ex-Colts striker Sean Brown to force a shot on goal, which was turned wide by Colts keeper Jonathan Grier. Jordan Tapping headered wide from the resulting corner. Colts keeper Grier then unfortunately had to be taken off injured after a collision with Shire winger Jamie Dishington and Zander Gilchrist came on.

Colts then had a chance cleared off the line just before halftime in what was their best chance of the game so far. Nicky Low then opened the scoring for Shire on the stroke of halftime, as he struck from just inside the box past Gilchrist in the Colts goal.

Shire started the second half as they ended the first half, creating many chances but unable to convert them. Jordan Pirrie and Jordan Tapping were then both booked as Pirrie came in late and Tapping reacted which resulted in both teams engaging in a slight scuffle.

The game restarted and Colts keeper Gilchrist made some impressive saves at his end. Colts then had 2 penalty shouts but they were deemed as fair challenges by referee Eddie Ferguson.

Sean Brown then made his former team pay as he made it 2-0, after Bobby Barr swung in a cross to Matty Flynn who then headed across goal for Brown to head in.

Just 2 minutes later, Richard Kirwan pulled one back for Colts as he scored from a few yards out from a Max Ashmore corner.

Low then almost pulled off the spectacular from kickoff, as he fired straight away and his attempt crashed off the Colts bar much to the relief of Cumbernauld Colts.

Jordan Tapping made it 3-1 to Shire as he got onto the end of a Bobby Barr corner, giving Shire some breathing space after a tense few minutes. Things became tense again moments later, as Shire fullback Evan Horne was shown a yellow card before receiving a straight red moments later.

Shire then killed the game in the dying minutes as they were awarded a penalty which Shire assistant manager/player Andy Rodgers stepped up to take and slotted home, giving Shire a much needed 3 points.

university of stirling 1-0 berwick rangers

By Ronan Alexander

University of Stirling completed the double over Berwick Rangers with a narrow victory at Forthbank on Saturday.

A Kieran Hall header from inside the six yard box after 81 minutes was enough to separate the two teams.

The Wee Gers had started to pick up some momentum in the league and edged a tight first half but couldn’t find the breakthrough as several shots flew over the bar.

Euan Smith then had the best chance of the game for the visitors within the first minute of the second half but his effort came back off the post.

A set piece nine minutes from time brought the breakthrough. Craig Brown whipped the ball in from the right which Matthew Burrows headed across goal and Hall bundled the ball in to seal the three points for the home side.

gretna 2008 1-5 caledonian braves

By Ronan Alexander

Caledonian Braves climbed to seventh in the table with a ruthless away performance at Gretna 2008.

Newly appointed Gretna boss Rowan Alexander’s first match at Raydale Park got off to the worst possible start as the Braves scored twice in the opening 14 minutes. Craig Quinn managed to squeeze home the opener after eight minutes before top scorer Ross McNeil doubled the visitors advantage from the penalty spot firing low into the left corner.

Then the away side made it 3-0 just before half time when a long ball sent Serge Makofo free down the left and he crossed in for Reece Glackin to head home.

Jake Smith then pulled a goal back after 54 minutes courtesy of a looping corner.

But Ricky Waddell’s side scored twice more as Neil McLaughlin rifled home from outside the box before turning provider as his low cross found Makofo who turned the ball into the net and complete a ruthless victory.

bsc glasgow 4-0 gala fairydean rovers

By Martin Fleming

A hat trick for Thomas Orr secured a crucial three points for Stephen Swift’s men just before they go on a hard run of festive fixtures. 

Despite the final score, the game at The Indodrill wasn’t the most exciting game of the season. A goal could’ve came for the home side only a few minutes in but Fraser Morton dome well to save Thomas Collins’ strike. 

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 24th minute when Thomas Orr beat Gala’s offside trap and slotted home. Shortly after, the Fairydean’s Tommy Patterson was forced to be stretchered off with an injury and the Galashiels men had to use their only available sub. 

Immediately following the break, a fantastic run from Robbie McNab allowed him to trickle through the defenders and get away a sweet strike. Morton made a great save but Thomas Orr was there again to turn in a rebound. 

It only took a whole 60 seconds later before a lovely ball forward from Michael Anderson allowed Thomas Collins to control well and grab the third goal for BSC. 

With the whistle in the referees mouth ready to blow full time, Thomas Orr was determined he’d get his hat trick and did so when he got on the end of a low cross and send Fraser Morton the wrong way. 

BSC remain in 4th and travel to 3rd place East Stirlingshire next week while Gala remain a point above the bottom five.