Nail-biting ties go to penalties

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The South League Cup started last Saturday with four first round and two second round matches played.

And the opening day of the competition led to some very close ties.

The top first round tie looked like being at Maryfield where Heston Rovers entertained neighbours Crichton, along with the match at Meadow Park between Threave Rovers and Newton Stewart.

Both these contests went to all the way to penalty shoot-outs with both ending up with a score-line of 7-6 in favour of the home sides.

Jardine opened the scoring for the Heston after 15 minutes, with Brodie levelling the match at one goal each 10 minutes later to send the teams in at the break all square. Tweedie put Heston back in front on the hour mark, with Mark Leighfield bringing the teams level again soon after to send the match into extra time. Grant Learmont gave Heston the advantage in the first period of extra time with a curling effort but, with five minutes left to play, Crichton drew level again.

In the penalty shoot-out both teams scored with their first five penalties and in sudden death both scored their sixth, with Steven Walker finding the net for Heston’s seventh to go through to round two.

The match at Meadow Park also went close with Threave Rovers and Newton Stewart playing out a 1-1 draw over 90 minutes. Calum Dunn gave the visitors the lead, with Darren Kerr leveling the match to send it into extra time. The same two players scored in extra time which meant a penalty shoot-out to find a winner. Once again both teams scored with their first five efforts and both with their sixth penalties in the sudden death shoot-out but Threave keeper Vinnie Parker saved Jason Gallacher’s effort and the Castle Douglas side progressed.

St Cuthbert Wanderers scored 10 against Fleet Star with only two in reply, Craig Rudd notching four, Ryan McKie finding the net twice, and singles from Ian Millar, Justin Nicol, Stuart Cluckie and John Kiltie. Dale McCutcheon scored a first-half goal for the home side, with Charlie Thomson grabbing a second consolation for Star near the end.

Wigtown and Bladnoch eased home against Nithsdale Wanderers at Trammondford Park and were two goals to the good by the break. A third goal from Jamie McHarrie in the second half sealed victory for the home side.

In the second round cup holders Dalbeattie Star ran out comfortable winners against Abbey Vale by 4-1, with Scott Milligan opening the scoring in the 16th minute. Five minutes later Jak Dingwall added number two, with Lee True drawing a goal back on the half-hour mark for Vale. Milligan restored Star’s two-goal advantage five minutes before the break and, three minutes from the end of the match, Hugh Cameron found goal number four to put Star comfortably through to the semi-finals.

Mid-Annandale are also through to the semis by virtue of a 3-2 victory over Creetown at Castle Cary Park. The visitors opened the scoring in the 10th minute through Darren Cowan when he scored from eight yards out from a cross from 17-year-old Matthew Copeland. Provider turned scorer three minutes later when Copeland latched onto a cross from the right from Chris Norvel when he turned the defender on the edge of the 18-yard box to run on and slip the ball under the advancing keeper. Mids held the two-goal advantage into the break and added another in the 61st minute through Copeland again with a shot from the edge of the box which dipped over the Creetown keeper for goal number three. The home side then forced a fight back in the 63rd minute with Chris Mellon scoring from close in and John Patterson adding a second five minutes from time following a goalmouth scramble. However, it was too little, too late for Creetown and Mid-Annandale will now play Dalbeattie Star in the semis.

South League Cup, first round

St Cuthbert Wanderers 10, Fleet Star 2

Heston Rovers 3, Crichton 3 after extra time (Heston win 7-6 on penalties)

Wigtown and Bladnoch 3, Nithsdale Wanderers 0

Threave Rovers 2, Newton Stewart 2 after extra time (Threave win 7-6 on penalties)

South League Cup, second round

Creetown 2, Mid-Annandale 3

Abbey Vale 1, Dalbeattie Star 4