Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 4

Another interesting week gone as we hurtle toward a big weekend for Lowland League and East of Scotland League sides in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup. Let’s join Craig, Ronan and Martin and find out how your side (and all the other ones!) got this weekend…

East Stirlingshire 4 – 0 Whitehill Welfare

by Craig Edwards

East Stirlingshire made it two wins from their first three games of the Scottish Lowland League season as they defeated managerless Whitehill Welfare 4-0 at the Falkirk Stadium.

There was drama after only two minutes when the visitors were reduced to ten man as goalkeeper Ross Jardine saw red, and East Stirlingshire made their man advantage count fifteen minutes later as former Hawick Royal Albert man David McCaughie scored his first goal for the club.

Ross Allum’s header doubled the lead before an own goal from Whitehill’s Sean Lally gave the hosts a comfortable three goal cushion. Allum bagged his second of the game late on as the home side rounded off a comfortable victory aided by that very early red card for Whitehall Welfare.

It was also Gnome Day at the Falkirk Stadium which is something we’d like to see more of…

Gretna 2008 1 – 1 University of Stirling

by Craig Edwards

An enjoyable stramash in the box largely summed up this entertaining draw between two competitive sides. [Image: Gretna FC 2008]
Gretna 2008 and the University of Stirling shared the spoils at Raydale Park in a 1-1 draw that keeps both sides in the top ten. Uni started brighter and wasted an excellent chance to take the lead midway through the first half as they missed a penalty – their second spot kick miss in as many weeks. They had to wait to the second half but did take the lead through a stunning long range strike from Blair Lyons.

Liam Studholme equalised for the home side but neither side could find a winner to snatch all three points to take forward.

Civil Service Strollers 1 – 0 Cumbernauld Colts

by Craig Edwards

Cumbernauld Colts saw their 100% record come to an end as they suffered a narrow defeat away to Civil Service Strollers at Christie Gillies Park. Gary Jardine’s side remain East Kilbride’s closest challengers, although the men in red have played one match more.

Former Selkirk striker Jordan Hopkinson’s second half strike was enough to separate two very evenly matched sides at Christie Gillies Park. The visitors had Stephen O’Neill dismissed in second half stoppage time as they tried desperately to rescue a point, but the result saw the Colts drop to sixth in the table, albeit after just three games to many others’ five.

East Kilbride 5 – 1 Vale of Leithen

by Ronan Alexander

Paul Woods bagged two and set up one as EK came out on top against Vale of Leithen. [Image: Susan Thomson Photographs // East Kilbride FC]
East Kilbride made it four wins from four with a convincing win at K Park against Vale of Leithen. Brian Kerr’s men took the lead after 13 minutes when Paul Woods found a breakthrough after tight opening exchanges. However, Vale reacted instantly and equalised straight away when a defensive mix up allowed Sean Stewart to snap the ball beyond Matt McGinley to level the game.

Woods doubled his tally midway through the first half to regain the lead before three goals in the final 15 minutes sealed the win. Woods turned from goal scorer to goal provider when he set up Ross McNeil who went on to bag a brace before Sean Winter put the icing on the cake with a simple finish.

Edusport Academy 2 – 2 Edinburgh University

by Ronan Alexander

It was honours even at Galabank as Edusport Academy and Edinburgh University played out an entertaining 2-2 draw. The students took the lead thanks to Fraser Thompson’s first goal for the club, before Matthew Flynn equalised for Edusport shortly before half time.

Flynn went on to put the home side into the lead as they aimed to make it two wins from two to start the campaign off with a bang. However, Stu McNicholas who has impressed so for this season for the visitors grabbed the leveller and his third goal of the season to ensure the game ended all square, leaving both sides in the top 10.

The Spartans 4 – 0 Dalbeattie Star

by Martin Fleming

Spartans ran Dalbeattie ragged over Ainslie Park in yet another impressive victory for the Edinburgh side. The hosts comfortably secured another victory with a consecutive quartet of goals, two of which came from their American hitman and crowd favourite, Steven MacDonald.

The home side dominated the majority of the first half but couldn’t break the deadlock until just before half-time. Jack Smith got the first goal following a corner which caught Dalbeattie’s defence out and allowed him to slip in and score. Immediately after the restart, former Vale striker Jason Stevens got their second. Spartans didn’t ease up in the second half as MacDonald scored two near-identical goals to cement his place in the affections of the Ainslie Park faithful. Just before the final whistle, Smith missed out on goal number two after Dalbeattie keeper Vinnie Parker went the right way, stopping his penalty and giving Star the basis to regroup from.

Douglas Samuel’s men move up to third place in the table while Dalbeattie Star fall into the bottom five.

Gala Fairydean Rovers 1 – 3 BSC Glasgow

by Martin Fleming

Gala’s players were elated to take an early lead but the match descended into farce as three red cards were brandished in the second half. [Image: Gala Fairydean Rovers]
BSC Glasgow grabbed their first victory of the campaign in a game chock-full of controversial decisions. Both sides went into the fixture desperate for a win and it was Gala Fairydean Rovers who started the brighter as BSC looked sluggish in the opening exchanges.

Gala took an early lead thanks to a goal from Kieran Hunter in only the 4th minute. Some quick thinking from right back Lee Stephen left Hunter in plenty of space and the midfielder was able to smack the ball beyond Ryan Marshall. BSC were immediately back in the offence as Adam Strachan twisted and turned to equalise after Gala’s defence allowed the former East Kilbride man too much space on the edge of the box.

In the 79th minute, the referee found himself struck off many a Gala fan’s Christmas card list when he gave a penalty after BSC substitute Tam Orr was brought down in the box. Gala’s Reece Donaldson and Scott Main both received red cards for their reaction to the decision. Orr slotted the penalty away under the outstretched arm of Gregor Amos to give BSC the lead.

Only four minutes later, Gala saw red again as Josh Morris received a second yellow for dissent. The striker threw the ball off the ground after winning a free kick and the referee also sent manager, Dean Shanks to the stands for his part in the ensuing protests. Martin Grehan the sealed the victory in stoppage time to move Stepehen Swift’s men up the table while Gala Fairydean Rovers are still on the lookout for a win.

There will be a shorter Roundup next week as many Lowland League sides are in Football Nation Qualifying Cup action, but there are three matches going ahead so make sure you look out for them on Friday!