Lowland League Roundup – November 9th

All the goals from this weekend’s action in the South Challenge Cup and Lowland League.

the spartans 1-0 berwick rangers

By Damon Main

Spartans took all the spoils in this Friday night clash after taking on Berwick Rangers for the second time in as many weeks.

The clubs may well have been going head to head for the third time this season however this was the first clash between the sides in the Scottish Lowland League.   Both previous encounters between the two have thus far have been at Shielfield Park where has been a win each – Spartans progressing recently in the EOS City Cup whilst Berwick claimed a victory in the Football Nation Cup.

If confidence was to be the deciding factor in this clash it would surely be Spartans who would go into the game with more belief.   Last weekend’s win on the road at Dalbeattie Star was much needed for a team who were abjectly dumped out of the Scottish Cup at home versus Queens Park.

Spartans got the proceedings underway on what was a very cold night in Northern Edinburgh.  A smattering of Berwick Rangers fans had gathered after a trip up the A1 and they were given some hope with the visiting team winning a number of corners in the opening periods of the clash.

The opening goal came from a former Berwick Rangers player Aaron Murrell.  A sweeping crossfield ball was caught by the Berwick Rangers defenders but they got themselves in all sorts of trouble at the back losing possession.

From the mistake Maxwell played a ball wide and at a very tight angle Murrell slid the ball underneath the Berwick goalkeeper Walters.

Nicky Reid, the tricky frontman who has come to note this season, caused the Berwick backline some problems but as the teams went in for half time it was possibly more to escape the dropping temperatures on what was a very cold night.

Berwick, to the credit of the visiting team, came out of the traps in the second half with more purpose but Carswell was a confident presence in the home goal thwarting everying Berwick Rangers threw at him.

A few balls crossed across the face of the home goal but there were no takers and it looks like Berwick will have to invest in a front man if defences are to be troubled come the crucial post Christmas period.

The only drama of note left for the 100+ crowd was a red card for the Berwick Rangers manager Ian Little. His influence will be missed on the touchline during what is going to be a crucial period of fixtures for ‘the Wee Gers.

bsc glasgow 6-1 preston athletic

By Ben McNicol

BSC Glasgow stormed into the quarter-finals of the South Challenge Cup on Friday evening as they hit Preston Athletic for six.

The home side were dominant throughout and nearly took the lead after just three minutes gone when a delivery into the box by Jamie Mills caused Preston keeper Jack Findlay all sorts of problems, and he was the most relieved man inside the Indrodrill Stadium as the ball was eventually cleared off the line.

The first goal of the evening arrived after 24 minutes when Thomas Collins slammed home an effort from close-range, and within four minutes Collins grabbed his second of the night. It came from a fantastic through-ball from Mills, which found the 23-year-old and he made no mistake as he lobbed it over Findlay to make it 2-0.

The East Of Scotland League side were beginning to quickly fall apart as Ross Smith scored a screamer to make 3-0 on the 32nd minute.

To Preston Athletics credit they plugged on and pulled one back before half-time as Johnny Edmond’s fantastic volley left Ryan Marshall static.

The second-half saw Stephen Swifts men add three more to their tally. The first came on the 59th minute when Michael Anderson took down a cross from Martin Grehan and fired his effort high into the roof of the net.

On-Loan St Johnstone striker Jordan Northcott came off the bench and made an immediate impact as he reacted quickest to a poor clearance form the visitors defence and headed home to make it 5-1.

It was beginning to turn into a rout as BSC added a sixth as the final whistle was approaching courtesy of a howler from Jack Findlay in the Preston goal. A corner from Declan Hughes saw Findlay drop what should have been a routine catch and Grehan sneaked in at the back-post to tap home and deservedly get on the scoresheet.

kelty hearts 2-0 university of stirling

By Craig Edwards

Two goals in the final ten minutes saw Kelty Hearts secure their spot in the quarter-finals of the South Challenge Cup after edging past University of Stirling.

In an even encounter between two Lowland League sides, both had chances to take the lead with Kelty having the best of them, including a penalty which was saved by the University keeper.

Kelty had to come from behind to beat the students a few weeks ago while this time, they had to wait till the 82nd minute to get in front when Cammy Russell netted.

Five minutes later, the tie was finished when Dylan Easton scored to double the hosts lead and book their spot in the Last 8.

The win for Kelty did however come at a cost as midfielder Sean McKirdy required 20 stitches to his forehead and eye area after a clash of heads in the first half. We wish him a speedy recovery.

dunipace 1-0 bonnyrigg rose

By Liam Govey

On a freezing cold afternoon in Denny, Dunipace progressed to the quarter finals of the South Challenge Cup at the expense of their Lowland League counterparts, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic.

An uneventful first half saw few chances, with Jamie Docherty’s effort comfortably saved by David Kane in the Dunipace net. Dan Baur’s looped header was also comfortably saved by the ‘Pace ‘keeper toward the end of the half. Just before the break, Neil Martyniuk forced another save from distance, as Kane spent the opening 45 minutes the busier of the two goalkeepers.

The second half, however, saw the unfancied home side take the lead through Jamie O’Grady’s strike from distance. Jamie Docherty’s solo effort could have levelled the scores but for some last ditch defending. Pace came close to doubling their lead with five minutes to go, as their effort passed Michael Andrews in the Rose net, only to be kept out by Martyniuk.

The full-time whistle saw Dunipace through to the Quarter Finals and having beaten a side who’ve been very impressive this season, they will certainly fancy themselves to go further.

east kilbride 1-0 east stirlingshire

By Gregor Mackintosh

It’s East Kilbride who advance to the quarter finals of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup, after they saw off East Stirlingshire at a dreadfully cold K-Park on Saturday.

The game was rather tedious at points, with more players going into the referees book than shots on goal it felt at moments. East Kilbride started the game the better of the two sides, with East Kilbride’s Sean Winter causing problems for the Shire defence early on.

EK were eventually awarded for their strong start, as Sean Winter was played in behind the defence after a delightful over the top pass from Kieran Gibbons, and Winter duly delivered as he played the ball past Jamie Barclay in the Shire goal to make it 1-0 after 17 minutes.

East Kilbride hit the post a few minutes later, after a cross from the left found the EK player whose effort rebounded back out before being cleared by the Shire defence. Shire eventually got going, as Sean Brown had his header flash inches wide of the EK goal.

After halftime Shire came out strong, with Mark Millar firing just wide of the target. A very controversial penalty shout came next for Shire, after Sean Brown danced past some East Kilbride defenders before being dragged down in the box, but oddly the referee waved play on and Nicky Low had his shot go wide, with many of the Shire faithful letting the referee know exactly what they thought of the decision.

Frustrations boiled over after the referee’s refusal to award Shire the penalty, as Mark Millar was shown a second yellow card after a comment made to the referee was deemed worthy of sending Mark Millar off.

Jamie Dishington came closest to pulling Shire back level, after his acrobatic volleyed effort from just inside the box bounced just wide of the mark past a relieved Matthew McGinley in the EK goal.

Nicky Low tried an ambitious 45 yard lob, which looked to be going in before McGinley scrambled back and tipped the ball over the bar for a Shire corner, which proved to be the last real chance of the game.

EK can be happy and hope for some silverware as they advance into the quarter finals, while Shire will lick their wounds after being knocked out of all cup competitions so far this season.

caledonian braves 3-0 bonnyton thistle

By Ronan Alexander

A hat-trick from Caley Braves top scorer Ross McNeil saw the men from Alliance Park progress to the quarter finals of the South Challenge Cup against Bonnyton Thistle.

The match was level at the break, but came into life during the second half. Just two minutes into the second period, McNeil headed home a Craig Quinn cross to give Ricky Waddell’s side the lead.

On the hour mark, the free-scoring Braves doubled their advantage with McNeil again finding the net with another header.

Then right at the death it was that man McNeil who put the icing on the cake to complete his hat-trick and round off a comprehensive win.

That result means the Braves have played 10 home matches in all competitions this season and scored three or more goals in seven of them.

gretna 2008 3-3 gala fairydean rovers

By Ronan Alexander

A hat-trick from Zander Murray wasn’t enought to get three points for Gala as two late goals from 10-man Gretna 2008 saw a dramatic match at Raydale Park end all square in the only league fixture on Saturday.

Murray put the Borders side in front on 39 minutes but Daniel Smales levelled proceedings on the stroke of half time. But almost as soon as the second period began, Murray put Neil Hastings side back in front.

With 58 minutes on the clock, Gala thought they had the points sealed when Murray completed his hat-trick and gave the visitors a two goal cushion.

But after 87 minutes, Gretna’s star man Kevin Connelly pulled a goal back to set up a nervy finish. Then Malcolm Holliday was sent off for the hosts after receiving a second yellow card. But this didnt stop the white and blacks as Connelly popped up in stoppage time to grab a point for Chris Humphrey’s side.

The table now sees Gala lie in 11th place and Gretna up to 14th after a point each.

hill of beath hawthorn 1-1 cumbernauld colts (hill of beath win 4-2 after penalties)

By Ronan Alexander

It took a penalty shootout to separate Hill of Beath and Cumbernauld Colts on Saturday as the East of Scotland outfit progressed to the last eight of the competition.

Lewis Elder fired the home side in front after 46 minutes and looked set to go through to the next round.

However, with 10 minutes remaining, Colts were level as Marty Wright teed up fellow dangerman Stephen O’Neill to level the game.

During extra time, the sides couldn’t be separated and the match went to penalties.

It was Haws who went through 4-2 after the shootout with man of the match Jake Mitchell earning the plaudits.