The weather was the main winner this weekend with five matches being postponed. But we still have all the goals from the three games that went ahead.
east stirlingshire 1-2 university of stirling
By Gregor Mackintosh
Stirling University took all 3 points at the death on Saturday in what was a fairly controversial but deserving win against a poor East Stirlingshire side at the Falkirk Stadium.
The first half was a fairly dull and slow affair with neither side creating many clear cut chances. The game was relatively stop-start with the referee not interested in playing advantages for either side.
It was Shire who had the first real effort of the first half when forward Sean Brown played a delightful curled through ball to the on-rushing Nicky Low, unfortunately Low couldn’t reach it in time and collided with Uni keeper Ben Fry and resulted in both men being down for a few minutes.
Shire came close again with a corner which wasn’t cleared and resulted in the ball bouncing off seemingly every player in the box. Shire forward Matty Flynn struck at goal but had his effort blocked by his own teammate Martin Orr, who then had his own attempt at goal which was cleared off the Uni goal line.
Stirling Uni had some half chances just before halftime, with Craig Brown coming closest after his effort was deflected wide for a corner.
The second half began and was a slightly more entertaining encounter. Nicky Low rounded off some nice interplay by Shire before leathering a pass across goal which missed everybody in the box.
Some more half chances occurred before Stirling Uni’s Robbie McGale went down after appearing to accidentally trip over Shire defender Eddie Malone. Both the Uni and Shire physios rushed onto the pitch and it was later announced that McGale had suffered a dislocated shoulder.
Stirling Uni took the lead just after the hour mark, after some lovely passing play was enough to find Callum Downie who slotted expertly past Shire keeper Jamie Barclay to make it 1-0.
Shire struck back just a few minutes later when Reis Peggie’s shot somehow found its way into the back of the Uni net after taking what looked to be a deflection and then helped in by a goalkeeping error from Fry.
Shire almost took the lead 5 minutes later when Nicky Low slid after Bobby Barr’s cutback, only for his effort to come crashing back off the post and collected by Fry in the Uni goal.
Shire picked up a few bookings after complaints towards the Uni’s apparent time wasting in the latter stages of the match.
Stirling Uni didn’t let these complaints impact them in any way however as Uni danger-man Craig Brown rounded Shire keeper Jamie Barclay before slotting calmly to put his side 2-1 up. This sparked outrage around the ground, with Shire illustrating that a Uni player had interfered with play while he was offside and that the goal shouldn’t stand.
The referee blew for full time soon after, much to the dismay of the home crowd. This result sees Shire remain in 3rd place for the time being while Stirling Uni also remain in 10th place.
gala fairydean rovers 3-1 caledonian braves
By Damon Main
Amidst a host of postponments this weekend it would have been a source of relief to both Galashiels and the Braves fans that the Borders side have a artificial pitch. The inclement weather which ravaged the tail end of the week across Scotland meant that the 3G surface ensured this fixture went ahead despite the blustery conditions.
The Braves may have been a side intent on finishing the final 10 games strongly but as one of the leagues newest teams they know that this seasons Lowland League is one of the most competitive that there has been.
It was actually the visitors who started this the strongest. Chances fell to Ben Daily and Ross McNeil but the crucial opening never arrived.
From then it was a matter of time and the first goal came on 27 minutes from a chipped through ball from the midfield area. With the Braves defence claiming offside Zander Murray hammered home into the net via the left hand post giving the home side the lead.
After an offside decision against Rovers that went in favour of the away side possession was lost from the resulting free kick very carelessly by the Braves side in a dangerous area. The ball was capitalised on and allowed Rovers to attack directly on goal. Maxwell saved but Zander Murray followed up knocking home on 33 minutes.
With overhead conditions bleak and darkness falling on the Scottish borders it was the home side of sealed the three points on 79 minutes. A cross ball from the right stand side was met by an attacking player whose shot crashed off the post. However the resulting ball dropped to Kelly and with 11 minutes left the visitors were down and out.
Braves did eventually grab a consolation from a corner on 80 minutes, via a header off the post by Ross McNeil. But this was a day for the Borders team who fully deserved all the points especially after such a convincing first half performance.
cumbernauld colts 3-0 dalbeattie star
By Ronan Alexander
Three goals in the first half hour blew Dalbeattie Star away as Cumbernauld Colts bounced back from last weekend’s 7-0 loss to East Kilbride in emphatic style.
Colts were given a boost before the game when they announced the signing of Airdrieonians attacker Joseph Moore on loan as well as Dean Ritchie and Cameron Dickson also agreeing to extend their loan deals until the end of the season.
The hosts came flying out the blocks and took the lead after only two minutes. Richard Kirwan fired home his fourth goal of the campaign from a Max Ashmore corner,
The visitors were again made to rue their defending of set pieces on 12 minutes when Cumbernauld scored from another corner. This time Stephen O’Neill delivered the ball into the box and Scott Davidson found the back of the net.
The scoring was completed on 27 minutes when Marty Wright pressured Vinnie Parker in the Dalbeattie goal and Ross Kavanagh was on hand to find the back of the net.
Star put up more of a fight in the second half but their day was made worse when dangerous playmaker Dean Brotherston was sent off at the death.