Another weekend, another big round of GeoSonic Lowland League fixtures! There were movers and shakers in the top four, and significant shuffling done in the rest of the division, so let’s see where everyone shakes out after all’s said and done.
EAST KILBRIDE 5 – 0 GRETNA 2008
East Kilbride secured their tenth GeoSonic Lowland League win a row as they brushed aside Gretna 2008 at K Park.
Four goals in the first half made sure of the points as they continue to lead BSC Glasgow at the top of the table by six points. Chris Humphrey got the hosts off to the perfect start after ten minutes when his strike squirmed over the line despite the best efforts of three Gretna defenders and the keeper to keep it out.
The lead was doubled five minute later when Craig Malcolm collected Craig Reid’s dinked ball across the box and side footed the ball into the bottom corner.
Kilby made it three on twenty minutes when Malcolm struck from the penalty spot before new signing, Cameron Russell, scored on his debut with a diving header.
Gretna slowly grew into the game with McGinley being forced into some routine saves before the home side got their fifth on the hour mark. A long ball forward found Russell who was brought down in the box and Malcolm slammed the ball home to complete his hat-trick.
Kilby had chances to make it six with Humphrey firing over while Gretna threatened for a consolation goal but McGinley denied the visitors.
The five goal margin helps East Kilbride’s goal difference and means the head north next weekend with confidence as they face Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish Cup while Gretna, who drop to eleventh in the table following this weekend’s result, have a two week break before they face East Stirlingshire in the league.
EDUSPORT ACADEMY 1 – 2 GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS
It was Gala Fairydean Rovers that took all three points at Galabank to climb up to seventh place in the table.
Despite one of their faces from the academy, Hugo Catrine opening the scoring for Edusport 30 minutes in, it was centre back Reece Donaldson who grabbed an equaliser just before half-time.
The game continued to be 50/50 affair until Ruari Paton got Gala’s second to secure the victory and mean that Edusport have now gone six matches without a point. Ricky Waddell’s men fall to ninth place while Dean Shanks will hope to continue Gala’s ascent in the coming weeks.
CIVIL SERVICE STROLLERS 3 – 1 WHITEHILL WELFARE
Welfare couldn’t capitalise on their recent improvement, despite going ahead at Christie Gillies Park.
It was debutant Scott Wright who broke through in only ten minutes in to give Welfare a glimmer of hope for a much needed three points. Strollers couldn’t find an equaliser until well into the second half. David Churchill converted from a corner and moments later, Welfare’s Reece Rintoul was sent off, turning the tide in Strollers’ favour.
Civil continued to dominate despite ten-man Welfare’s best efforts, and secured the three points thanks to a Jordan Hopkinson penalty and then Steven Froude grabbed another minutes before the full-time whistle.
Whitehill continue to fight relegation after suffering another disappointing reversal, while Strollers move into the Top Four.
KELTY HEARTS 2 – 2 UNIVERSITY OF STIRLING
University of Stirling picked up an impressive point away to title contenders Kelty Hearts but will be frustrated it wasn’t all three after being 2-0 up at New Central Park.
Kieran Hall gave the visitors a shock lead after nine minutes after being fouled in the box and getting up to slot the penalty into the bottom right corner.
Three minutes later the students doubled their lead as Blair Lyons saw himself surrounded by defenders but wriggled his way through to get a shot away which goalkeeper Manderson got two hands to, but the referee decided the ball had crossed the line.
It took the hosts until the 71st minute to get back in the game when Stuart Cargill found the back of the net to make him the joint top-scorer in Kelty history with 162 goals.
Five minutes later, the hosts were level when Murray Carstairs slammed home a rebound from a corner. However, it will feel like two points dropped for Kelty as they remain in third place, but was a great point on the road for the visitors.
SPARTANS 0 – 1 BSC GLASGOW
BSC Glasgow managed to put some distance between themselves and Kelty Hearts by converting a late goal to defeat The Spartans, and are now comfortably in second in the Lowland League, going into a two week break.
The first half was not one to remember in this game and it was often disrupted by the conditions. Heavy wind meant both sides found it hard to really get going. It picked up a bit in the second half and the first goal almost came for the visiting side on 69 minutes. Ex-BSC man Jack Smith cut the ball back for Blair Atkinson and Ryan Marshall made an outstanding save to keep it level. Spartans used that momentum to create a number of gilt-edged chances but due to a combination of the weather and profligate finishing put paid to their chances.
However, a goal did come – arguably against the run of play. On the 84th minute BSC top scorer Tam Orr lobbed Carswell in the Spartans goal to seal a vital win for BSC.
EDINBURGH UNIVERSITY 1 – 2 EAST STIRLINGSHIRE
There was no shortage of action in this one as East Stirlingshire gained a vital three points after going behind at East Peffermill.
The opening goal came on fourteen minutes through Edinburgh Uni Mark Waters. The wind was creating havoc for both sides and the visitors were struggling to create chances.
In the second half Shire managed to pull a goal back through the league’s top scorer Ross Allum. The momentum then shifted in the visitors favour and they took the game to Edinburgh. Their pressure paid off when Andy Grant grabbed a goal in the last five minutes in order to take the three points back down the road with them.
DALBEATTIE STAR 0 – 1 CUMBERNAULD COLTS
Cumbernauld Colts snatched three points at Islecroft on Saturday courtesy of a late goal from substitute Craig Murray.
After conceding eight goals in the last two matches, Dalbeattie knew they had to tighten up at the back and almost held out for a crucial point.
However, defeat for Whitehill Welfare means the gap at the bottom remains five points with the Dumfries side having two games in hand on the men from the capital.
For Colts, it was a vital win as the side had only picked up three points in once in their last four outings. With two games against third bottom Vale of Leithen, and a trip to Whitehill coming up, Saturday’s victory could spark a run to help them climb into the top five.
We’re heading into a cup weekend so there won’t be a preview this weekend, but there will be league action at Victoria Park where Vale of Leithen take on Cumbernauld Colts. We also wish the best to our teams involved in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup ties, and to East Kilbride who are heading to the Highlands to take on Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the William Hill Scottish Cup.