Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 2

The games just keep on coming as seven fixtures took place during the week… Read all about them

Spartans 1-2 BSC Glasgow

By Martin Fleming

It was an opening day to forget for Dougie Samuels Spartans as BSC Glasgow managed to come out on top over the former champions in this controversial Tuesday night fixture.

The first half seen very little as the only chances weren’t properly capitalized on by either side; BSC’s Martin Grehan wasn’t able to get on the end of an almost fantastic assist by Jamie Mills, while a mix-up in BSC’s back line saw a failed back pass allow Spartans a great opportunity but they too couldn’t take advantage.

Two minutes after the restart, BSC’s Jamie Hamilton grabbed the first goal by smashing the ball home from 25 yards. Spartans players and the Ainslie Park faithful were up in arms immediately believing a foul was committed before the shot was taken but the referee waved away protests.

Stephen Swift’s men grabbed their second on the 84th minute and bridged the gap after a mistake on Spartans end allowed Thomas Orr to grab and control a loose ball, fight off the defence and chip it over an oncoming Blair Carswell.

The Edinburgh side never gave up the fight and were rewarded with a penalty in injury time after Ross Smith brought down Jack Smith. Dean Hoskins converted the penalty by thumping the ball into the top corner.

The dying moments saw Spartans desperately try to get forward in the hopes of an equaliser. Blair Tolmie went down in the BSC box and every Spartans player hounded the referee adamant of another penalty, but the linesman deemed a foul on BSC had been committed well before giving this tense affair a debatable finish.


Vale of Leithen 1-5 Gala Fairydean Rovers

By Damon Main

With the drizzle by the Innerleithen hills falling lightly, the bright July sunshine had gone by 7.15pm with both sides lining up in familiar traditional kit colours. The early changes came and went but it took only 9 minutes for the visitors to take the lead.

Ryan Meyer found himself with a chance to put his side ahead, but the effort was saved. Not to be outdone, a cross from the right was met with a very powerful header by Ross Aitchison that crashed past Gilpin in the home goal.

Two minutes on and the Galashiels side went further ahead. Referee Kevin Lindsay played an excellent advantage after an attempt to bring Galbraith down failed and the former Hibernian player strode on into the box showing class and composure to fire past Gilpin into the far corner. Vale of Leithen were showing plenty of effort but lacked the composure and confidence that Galbraith was offering the visitors. Still they may have pulled one back on 20 minutes but for a clearance off the line by Rovers defender Chingwalu.

By the midway point of the first half Galbraith was calling all the shots particularly when running with the ball at defenders. A stinging shot from the No.10 was held by Morton then his trickery won a penalty for the Galashiels side when he was brought down inside the box by a very loose and untidy challenge.

The penalty kick was dispatched clinically by the calm composed left footed playmaker making it 3 -0 with 12 minutes left of the half.

Vale almost grabbed a goal on 35 minutes when a long ball was misjudged by the visiting defence but the attacker could only head the ball weakly back into the arms of Fraser Morton.

The Vale of Leithen players arrived on the field a full 3 minutes before Rovers having been roused into action by the home coaching team. Despite the early arrival again it was Galbraith controlling things looking technical in possession and fluid in movement.

Vale might have been awarded a penalty under the new IFAB rules on 52 minutes with the ball clearly striking the raised arm of the defender, but referee Lindsay chose to award a corner.

On 58 minutes it was 4-0 with Levi Kinchant finishing neatly in the box.

With Galbraith substituted Vale of Leithen started to show more effort and control with a number of free kicks swung into the visiting box by Lewis Hall.

On 71 minutes the home side got its first goal of the season. Brad Rixon chasing a seemingly lost cause managed to overtake the defender to crash a strike past Morton into the bottom corner.

With darkness not far off at Victoria Park the goal of the night arrived from a superb free kick.

Phil Addison some 25 yards out curled a sweet right footed effort into the top corner with power past a light looking home wall and that was largely the end of proceedings.

If the home side can take anything the game, it is the spirit shown despite the clear superiority of GFR. The home side struggled to contain the fluidity of Galbraith in the middle and forward areas of the park. Against that the main threat from the Innerleithen side came from free kicks which were swung into the box from either side of the field.

Civil Service Strollers 1-0 University of Stirling

By Lewis Fraser

Civil Service Strollers made it two wins out of two as they come out on top against University of Stirling on Tuesday night. It was a tight encounter at Christie Gillies park where an early goal was all that separated the sides.

After putting three past Gretna on Saturday, Strollers picked up where they left off by opening the scoring in the first quarter of an hour. It was last season’s player of the year, Andy Mair, who put Strollers ahead, converting a rebound past Uni goalkeeper Kevin Walker.

The Edinburgh side might have felt that a similar scoreline to Saturday was on the cards after their fast start, but the students were no pushovers, and continued to fight in the game. Kieran Hall went close for Uni shortly after as he had a close range effort tipped over the bar. Towards the end of the first half, Uni were awarded a free kick just outside the box, and once again came close as a curling effort just cleared the crossbar.

The second half started with Strollers’ slender lead still intact, and they aimed to keep it that way as Stirling continued to push for an equaliser.

Chris Geddes had thrown caution to the wind bringing on two strikers in the form of Euan Baird and Louis Kennedy in the closing stages of the game, but it was to no avail.

In fact, it was Strollers who went closest to scoring again in the second half. A lapse in concentration from the Uni defence meant that Josh Morris was put through on goal, but his effort was just wide of the Stirling net.

Nevertheless, Morris would not rue his missed opportunity at the death as Strollers maintained their perfect defensive record for the season and seen out the game by a single goal. Both managers would be heartened by their team’s performances though, after an entertaining, end to end game.


Berwick Rangers 3-5 Bonnyrigg Rose

By Martin Fleming

It was an 8-goal thriller at Shielfield Park on Tuesday night as both the new Lowland League sides were out to prove they can be both be major threats in front of goal this campaign.

Berwick’s record of late has been incredibly poor to say the least having not scored in 13 games so you can imagine how good it must have felt when Grant Rose opened their Lowland League account and broke the streak only 9 minutes in. The home side almost grabbed a second 10 minutes later but their effort was cleared off the line.

The Wee Rangers’ good luck could only last 20 minutes as Bonnyrigg pulled a huge 4 goals back in the space of 8 minutes; Keiran McGachie got a brace, George Hunter got on the scoresheet and Lee Currie converted a penalty.

Hope was not lost though as just before half-time, Daryl Healy pulled one back for Ian Little’s men giving a brief hint of more goals to come.

Berwick continued on the attack and were rewarded with a free kick on the 59th minute which Kevin Waugh converted giving the home fans even more excitement that it may not be thrashing they anticipated a half hour before.

Ten minutes later, Lee Currie scored the final goal in the fixture grabbing his second of the game and allowing Bonnyrigg to gain back their two goal advantage.

A lot to take for both teams in what could already be a game of the season; however the main takeaways were the first goals in months for Berwick Rangers, while Bonnyrigg currently sit at the top of the league table thanks to their influx of goals in the opening games.


East Stirlingshire 4-0 Edinburgh University

By Gregor Mackintosh

A convincing 4-0 sweep of Dorian Ogunro’s Edinburgh University side at the Falkirk Stadium on Wednesday night has seen The Shire move up the table after their opening draw, while Edinburgh University sit bottom after conceding 10 goals without reply in their opening 2 matches.

The opening 10 minutes saw Edinburgh Uni create some good chances as Shire looked rather slow, unfortunately for Edinburgh Uni these chances would become rare as the game progressed, with their only notable chance of the game being a low cross into the box which was scuffed wide of the post. It was The Shire who eventually made it 1-0 from a corner, after Mark Millar delivered a perfect cross to an unmarked Bobby Barr, who caught it sweetly on the volley in the 36th minute.

The second half continued in the same way the first half ended, with The Shire having control of the game and not being troubled by many Edinburgh Uni attacks. It took Shire just 9 minutes to score since coming back from halftime after a superb Mark Millar volley found the bottom right corner of the Edinburgh Uni goal, which killed the game from that point on.

Fans had to wait until the 72nd minute to see Shire score again as Jamie Dishington’s glancing header found the far corner of the net to put the Shire 3-0 up. Another goal for the hosts in the 73rd minute rounded off a well worked performance, as a well placed diving header from diminutive Shire midfielder Nicky Low concluded the evening.

Overall, Derek Ure’s side controlled much of the game and after they got their second goal. Edinburgh Uni looked to be posing some sort of threat in the early stages of the game but eventually became slack as the game progressed. The Shire return to the Falkirk Stadium where they will host Gretna 2008, while Edinburgh University will be looking to get some points on the board as they make the short journey to Ainslie Park to play Spartans on Saturday.


Caledonian Braves 3-2 Gretna 2008

By Martin Fleming

Caledonian Braves hosted Gretna 2008 in their first ever Lowland League game at their new home ground of Alliance Park in Strathclyde Country Park and they will surely not be disappointed with this entertaining 5 goal fixture.

Ricky Waddell’s men didn’t get off the positive start they would’ve hoped for in their new home as only 5 minutes in, Dominic Slattery was sent off for a last man challenge. It only got worse when Darnell Ramsay scored the first Gretna goal of the season half an hour in.

Just before half time though, Blair Docherty equalised for the Braves thanks to a strike from the edge of the box finding its home in the top corner.

Immediately following the restart, Chris Humphrey’s Gretna capitalised on the man advantage when some smooth passing in the box allowed Darren Addison to score into an empty net and give the visitors the advantage once more.

Once again, the home side didn’t allow their disadvantage to affect them as Blair Docherty grabbed himself a brace and cemented his Man of the Match status. After Ross McNeil’s header smacked off the bar, Neil McLaughlin attempted to slot in the rebound but Cameron Copland made a fantastic save. The ball then landed at Docherty who hit a fantastic strike from outside the box into the top corner for the equaliser.

Ross McNeil eventually got his goal 69 minutes in and finally put the Braves in the lead confirming their first win at their new home.

Dalbeattie Star 0-2 East Kilbride

By Ben McNicol

Last night, The Lowland League title favourites got their campaign off to a winning start as East Kilbride beat Dalbeattie Star 2-0 at Islecroft Stadium.

Ruari Paton was the star man for Kilby as he was the one who did all the hard work to create the first goal before he deservedly got a goal himself in second-half stoppage time as he curled home a free-kick from 25-yards out.

The Star, who were 8-0 losers against Kelty Hearts on Saturday, put in a much better performance yesterday, and although the hosts didn’t create much, they bided their time and waited for one real opportunity, which came on the 77th minute when they were awarded a penalty after David Brownlie was penalised for bringing down Dean Brotherston in an aerial challenge, but Alan Martin made an excellent save to tip the spot-kick onto the post.

Dalbeattie started their better side and made life incredibly difficult for last season’s champions. The first chance didn’t come until the 12th minute when a short corner was played back to Daniel Carmichael, before his cross was put over the bar by Conor Bell, who was in more space that he probably realised.

The opening goal came on the 32nd minute, when Ruari Paton burst down the wing and into the box and cutting it back for his strike partner Craig Malcom, to tap home from six-yards.

The combination down the left of Paton and Woods was causing the hosts some amount of trouble and it should have been 2-0 just before the interval, when a quick counter-attack was led by Woods. He drove forward played it through for Paton, who curled his effort over.

The first chance of the second half fell at the feet of Dean Cairns, when a corner found the defender at the back-post, but his shot sailed over.

The dramatic and potential turning point of the game came on the 77th minute, when the hosts were awarded a penalty. Kilby were in complete control, but Brownlie brought down Brotherston in an aerial challenge. Lewis Sloan stepped up to hit the spot-kick, but Alan Martin made a fine save to deny the 32-year-old.

The game should have been killed in the 90th minute, when Paton went down the wing in acres of space, before driving into the box and opting to shoot instead of cutting it back for Malcom to tap home his second.

The Lanarkshire side eventually got their much needed second goal in stoppage time, when Paton stepped up and fired a free-kick past Vinnie Parker to seal three points in what was a tricky evening in Dumfries for Kilby.