Lowland League Roundup – Matchday 7

Another exciting weekend in the GeoSonic Lowland League! Whitehill Welfare picked up their first three points of the season, managerless East Stirlingshire were taken out by incisive Edusport and reigning champions The Spartans continued their resurgence.

Martin, Jordan, Craig and Ronan have the stories…

Gala Fairydean Rovers 0 – 2 Civil Service Strollers

by Martin Fleming

Gala were unable to build on their two match winning run, returning to losing ways at Netherdale as Gary Jardine’s Civil Service Strollers enjoyed another three points and stay locked in second position.  Dean Shanks and his squad were hoping to continue their recent run of good form with a third consecutive win, however it wasn’t to be as Civil Service Strollers made it five wins from seven games.

It was Jordan Hopkinson who opened the scoring only two minutes in with a well-placed free kick and his third goal of the season. Gala did a decent job of suppressing Strollers’ impressive attack for the majority of the game; however Steven Froude managed to slot one past Gala keeper, Gregor Amos in the 83rd minute to guarantee the men from North Edinburgh the three points.

Dean Shanks’ side remain in the bottom four, while Civil stay only three points behind league leaders, East Kilbride.

East Stirlingshire 1 – 2 Edusport Academy

by Jordan Robertson

Edusport completed a comeback away from home to earn the three points in their second win of the season against an East Stirlingshire side that will be incredibly disappointed to have lost. Veteran stalwarts Derek Ure and Andy Rodgers have taken interim charge of The Shire following their parting of the ways with John Sludden and were looking to show that Shire have a title fight in them as an unpredictable Edusport side came to the Falkirk Stadium.

Initially it wasn’t what you’d call a classic as both sides tried to feel each other out in the early stages until Andy Rodgers’ penalty gave the home side the advantage. Scott Ferguson pulled it back to 1-1 with a lovely free kick just before half time and it remained level until the last minute of the game when Edusport’s Liam Coogans scored a very nice goal with a low drive from the right of the goal.

This result leaves Edusport one point behind sixth placed Vale of Leithen, who they have a game in hand over and leaves East Stirlingshire in ninth.

Whitehill Welfare 3 – 0 Dalbeattie Star

by Craig Edwards

Whitehill Welfare got their first points of the season with a convincing home victory over Dalbeattie Star.

The hosts, who came into the game on the back of six league defeats opened the scoring just before the half hour mark when Gregg Meikle finished from Ali Smith’s layoff. You could see what the goal meant to the Whitehill Welfare bench.

The home side doubled their lead just after the break. Some serious head tennis in the Welfare box as Star pushed forward led to a lightning counter attack which was finished off by Kyle Mitchell, rounding the goalkeeper and rolled the ball into the net.

The win was secured in stoppage time when Liam McIntosh slid in at the back post to convert Robbie Dowie’s cross. 

The hosts stay fifteenth but close the gap on Dalbeattie Star above them.

Edinburgh University 1 – 1 East Kilbride

by Ronan Alexander

Edinburgh University secured another excellent result against title contenders East Kilbride with a 1-1 draw at Peffermill. This result means that Dorian Ogunro’s men have now managed draws against Spartans, Kelty Hearts and Kilby, building on Peffermill’s reputation as a difficult place to visit and a real test for any Lowland League side with title aspirations.

It was the first time Brian Kerr’s side have dropped points this season, but they still remain unbeaten at the top of the table. Lethal hitman Ross McNeil gave the visitors the lead after nine minutes after he was slipped through on goal by a Paul Woods pass.

The students found the equaliser on the stroke of half time when Abdul Yusuf picked up on a dalliance on the ball by East Kilbride defender Craig Reid who found himself robbed of possession by the Edinburgh Uni striker who lobbed the Kilby goalkeeper from 30 yards to ensure the hosts got a share of the spoils and give Yusuf his third goal of the season.

Vale of Leithen 0 – 4 Kelty Hearts

by Craig Edwards

The league new boys got their third win of the season to move ahead of their opponents and up to fifth in the Scottish Lowland League table while Vale were unable to build on their thumping win against Gretna 2008 and an impressive midweek result against East Stirlingshire.

Kelty Hearts took the lead on the 27th minute thanks to Murray Carstairs before Stuart Cargill doubled their lead eight minutes later. The visitors got a third just after the break to secure the points through Stephen Husband before Matthew Gay finished off Vale of Leithen with fifteen minutes to play as he made it four for Kelty.

The result pushes Kelty Hearts up into the top five with Vale of Leithen dropping down into sixth place, a point behind Kelty.

Gretna 2008 0 – 4 The Spartans

by Martin Fleming

An overcast day at Raydale and a disappointing result for Gretna’s fans as Spartans proved why they’re the reigning champions in a dominant 4-0 win.

Douglas Samuel would have been ecstatic about his side’s first half display as Spartans managed to put three past Gretna in the first 45. Jack Smith opened the scoring when he connected with a cross and only six minutes later, Blair Tolmie got a header from a corner to make it 2-0.

The third goal will be remembered by Spartans fans for a while as Craig Stevenson managed a great overhead kick just before half-time to cement the lead. The second half was dominated by Spartans, but they could only manage one more as Jamie Dishington slotted one home in the 66th minute.

Gretna remain in mid-table territory while Spartans stay in third. However, they do have a game in hand and are only two points behind second placed Civil Service Strollers.

University of Stirling 2 – 3 BSC Glasgow

by Jordan Robertson

There was plenty of entertainment on show in what was undoubtedly the game of the weekend between University of Stirling and BSC Glasgow.

Stephen Swift will have entered this game hoping his side could get the three points and kick start their season and his side got off to a flying start, taking the lead after only eight minutes through Declan Hughes. Ten minutes later the away side doubled their lead, this time it was Thomas Orr scoring after great work from Carlo Pignatiello cut through the Uni defence and allowed him to beat John Allan.

There was hope for the home side on the 25th minute when Thomas Cowley scored a beautiful goal from the edge of the box to bring the score back to 1-2. However, the hosts’ hopes were short-lived as BSC made it 1-3 in the 27th minute as Ross McMillan rose at the back post to power a header home from a corner.

Half time arrived and at 1-3 it seemed like the visitors could relax and they were relaxed until a 78th minute injury to Callum McKenzie seemed to unsettle them and only two minutes later, with McKenzie substituted, the hosts pulled one back through Robbie McGale to make it 2-3 to BSC with only 10 minutes left. The Uni players were rushing forward at every opportunity and using their advantage in fitness to put Stephen Barr’s goal under pressure throughout an incredibly nervous last ten minutes for the visitors. They managed to hold on and moved into the top half. University of Stirling are currently sitting in 13th place, level on points with Gala Fairydean Rovers.