Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 24

The top three win again and it ends a stalemate in the relgation battle. Elswehere, Caley Braves scored five goals in 10 minutes

berwick rangers 1-5 east stirlingshire

By Gregor Mackintosh

East Stirlingshire ran out 5-1 winners over Berwick Rangers at Shielfield Park on Saturday, after a dominant second half display was enough to secure Shire all 3 points in tough conditions.

Berwick Rangers opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Euan Smith’s strike from just outside the box took a heavy deflection and managed to evade Shire keeper Jamie Barclay to put Berwick 1-0 up, much to the delight of the home crowd.

Shire got the leveller 10 minutes later through talisman Sean Brown as he managed to get on the end of a cross and volleyed past Mark Walters in the Berwick goal from close range.

The sides came back out at halftime with the wind seeming to intensify which created lots of problems for Berwick as they struggled to play into the wind. Shire took advantage of the poor conditions when Adam Murray scored his second ever Shire goal, after a goalmouth scramble ended with him stabbing the ball into the net to put Shire 2-1 up.

Jamie Dishington made it 3-1 to the Shire after finishing well from inside the box after some good link up play allowed him to get a shot away.

Nicky Low then made it 4-1 after Jamie Dishington played a high through half which was held up in the wind, allowing Nicky Low to burst through and deliver a looping header from 20 yards out over Mark Walters, sealing the game for the Shire.

Centre-back Jordan Tapping got the 5th Shire goal after heading home from back-post at a corner, which seemed to be a problem for Berwick throughout the second half as they struggled to deal with corners in the wind.

Berwick almost scored a goal of the season contender in the dying moments, when Calum Smith hung in the air before connecting perfectly with an over head kick but unfortunately his spectacular effort was saved well by Jamie Barclay.

This result sees Shire remain in 3rd place in the Lowland League while Berwick Rangers lie in 12th place after a poor start to 2020.


gala fairydean rovers 1-5 bonnyrigg rose

By Damon Main

All the weather warnings before this game spoke of the chaos staring of a storm on its way for Scots whether they were located in Glasgow or the Borders.   With Storm Ciara pushing in from the west this Lowland League fixture was never in danger.  But with heavy rain showers and blustery winds hitting Netherdale better conditions would have been welcomed by the players.

Gala Fairydean Rovers at the moment look a very young side and it took the powerful visitors only 8 minutes to take the lead.  Baur advanced with the ball passing a couple of players to play in Hunter who managed to slot into the net.

But the home side used its home advantage to fight their way back into it equalising through a tap in from Berry on 11 minutes.

Rovers held their own for a while and might have took the lead; showing confidence and some solidarity.  But via a quick counter Hunter was set away and his shot looked to be going wide but Taylor-Mackenzie unfortunately put through his own goal to give Rose the HT lead.

Bonnyrigg went further ahead just after half time from a corner.  Gray somehow managed to scoop the ball home despite it looking like it had hit his hand on the way into the goal.

With the home side behind any chance of a comeback ended thanks to a straight red card for the home side’s Grant.

His dismissal by the experiened referee Duncan came as a result of a terrible lunge by the home player.  He was totally out of control and off the ground as he challenged for the ball with there being no doubt around the immediate dismissal.

With the fixture out of sight for Rovers a deft lob over the home keeper by Currie and another from Hunter when he broke the offside trap made it a convincing afternoon for high flying Rose.

cumbernauld colts 0-1 the spartans

By Ronan Alexander

A Jack Smith goal on 39 minutes gave Spartans the three points on Friday night at a freezing Broadwood Stadium.

After the two sides scored seven and five goals last weekend, the first half hour showed no sign of those types of scorelines being repeated this time round. But six minutes before the interval, Smith tucked home from a low Blair Atkinson cross to give the visitors the advantage.

Gregor Woods had the chance to double Dougie Samuel’s sides lead after the intervale before Adam Corbett had a penalty shout waved away. However, the travelling side got the victory with new signing from Newtongrange Star Steven Thomson making his debut in the process. That transfer saw striker Cameron Dawson head in the opposite direction on loan.

Colts now drop to ninth place following their defeat and host Berwick Rangers next Saturday.

gretna 2008 0-0 edinburgh university

By Damon Main

Edinburgh University and Gretna 2008 played out a goalless draw in the relegation six pointer at Raydale Park.

The 150 mile + trip would not have been what the student side wanted especially with the blusterty overhead conditions anticipated by kick off.  However the visitors knew that with a win they could make a very big statement to those teams around them in the table.

With both teams struggling to score goals if anything it is University who can come away the happier after this goalless draw.

Despite Paddy Baird failing to add to his impressive goalscoring tally University know that avoiding defeat weekly may just be enough to secure a Lowland League place for next season.

The student side are now finding a little bit of form at this crucial juncture of the season.  And, while this game ended in a very disappointing stalemate, they know that every point is welcome especially with Vale of Leithen struggling and conceding multiple goals.

The point now moves Gretna four points clear of Vale at the bottom with Rowan Alexander’s side having seven games left. Gretna 2008 have another huge fixture next weekend as they travel to face Vale.

dalbeattie star 0-4 kelty hearts

By Ronan Alexander

Kelty Hearts title charge continued with a comfortable 4-0 victory away to a difficult venue, Islecroft Stadium.

Barry Ferguson named new signing Michael Tidser in his starting lineup in an extremely strong Kelty outfit. Ross Philp opened the scoring to give his side the lead at half time.

A second half brace from Nathan Austin sealed the three points for the visitors to take his tally to 36 in the league this season. Dylan Easton also got in on the act as the hosts now drop to second bottom following the draw between Edinburgh Uni and Gretna 2008.

caledonian braves 7-2 civil service strollers

By Ben McNicol

Caledonian Braves’ ended their three-match losing streak in style as they blew away Civil Service Strollers at Alliance Park.

The Braves scored five goals in a 10-minute spell in the second half, racking up their biggest ever Lowland League win.

It was a slow start as both sides tried to battle the brutal conditions, but three goals in four minutes brought some much-needed excitement.

The deadlock was broken on the 34th minute when a superb pass from Craig Quinn found David Winters, who volleyed over Josh Donaldson and into the top corner.

Literally seconds later, Strollers went up the park and equalised. A long throw-in from Josh Morris caused all sorts of problems inside the Braves box, with the ball eventually falling to Matthew Cunningham and he fired into the bottom left-hand corner.

Winter doubled his tally for the afternoon when he beat the offside trap and found himself clean through one-on-one and the veteran made no mistake as he slotted the ball under Donaldson.

As the second half got underway, again it was a slow start with the Storm Ciara only getting more powerful.

The visitors came close to equalising on the 63rd minute when Guthrie’s effort was well saved by Marshall, but the Edinburgh side make amends are were level two minutes later.

Strollers were awarded a penalty following a handball and Faye stepped up and sent Marshall the wrong way to make it 2-2.

The next 20 minutes were nothing short of incredible and I’ve never seen anything like it before. Braves scored five goals in a ten-minute period, with Neil McLaughlin grabbing a 13-minute hat-trick.

Ricky Waddell’s men scored two goals in a minute through Ross McNeil and McLaughlin and that killed the game off.

McLaughlin grabbed his second on the 78th minute, before McDowall also decided to get in on the act and make it 6-2.

The Hat-trick was complete with two minutes remaining and the striker left the best until last.

It started with a fantastic piece of skill on the edge of the box, before playing a one-two with Mark Kelly and firing into the bottom corner.