Cup fo­cus for Star and Gretna

Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - SPORTS -

Stu­art Gille­spie and Kenny Mac­Don­ald

Dal­beat­tie Star claimed the re­gion’s brag­ging rights with vic­tory over Gretna 2008 on Satur­day.

Star ran out 2-1 win­ners as they moved three points clear of their lo­cal ri­vals.

As­sis­tant man­ager Gary Holden said: “It’s a huge three points and it gets us back in the mid­dle of the pack.

“We said to them be­fore the game that they owed them­selves a per­for­mance and that’s ex­actly what they did.”

Star boss Dar­ren Kerr was less than happy with his side af­ter they were beaten at White­hill Wel­fare the week be­fore.

And he’d prob­a­bly have been left wish­ing it was that game he missed, rather than Satur­day’s derby, as his team put in a great dis­play in his ab­sence.

Dean Brother­ston put them in front af­ter good work from Far­rel O’Sul­li­van, only for Jake Smith to take ad­van­tage of a mis­take in the de­fence to equalise.

But straight away Star were back in front, Con­nor Gra­ham’s bril­liant header turn­ing out to be the win­ner.

Holden said: “It was a fan­tas­tic re­sult and it could maybe have been more com­fort­able as we had two or three good chances in the sec­ond half. To be fair to Gretna both of us were miss­ing a few play­ers.

“We asked the play­ers a few ques­tions in train­ing. We asked them for a per­for­mance af­ter the week be­fore and we got ev­ery­thing we could have asked for and more.

“To a man they were su­perb on Satur­day. Dean Brother­ston showed the qual­i­ties he has and he’s now in the top scor­ers in the league.

“I don’t like sin­gling out one per­son in a great team per­for­mance but for young Ross Thom­son, who is in his first sea­son in the Low­land League, to play like that is su­perb. Hav­ing Lee Wells back in was a greal bonus as he gave us that steel and strength in the mid­dle of the park.”

This Satur­day Star are at home again as they face Sauchie in the SFA South Re­gion Chal­lenge Cup.

Their op­po­nents are new to the com­pe­ti­tion this sea­son, hav­ing joined the East of Scot­land League from the ju­nior ranks over the sum­mer.

Holden said: “We have had them watched and we have asked an­other team for in­for­ma­tion on them be­cause it’s never good go­ing in blind.

“This is now the big­gest non-league cup com­pe­ti­tion in Scot­land with all of the teams that have come in and it will be a huge ef­fort from any team to win it.”

Gretna 2008

Mean­while Davie Irons is pray­ing that Gretna 2008’s foot­ball fortunes turn for the bet­ter this week­end when they take part in cup ac­tion.

The Low­land League out­fit have been strug­gling to find good form and now oc­cupy sec­ond bot­tom berth in the ta­ble just two points ahead of base­ment boys White­hill Wel­fare.

And it is the Mid­loth­ian club they clash with to­mor­row in the sec­ond round of the SFA Re­gion Chal­lenge Cup.

Irons said: “We have not had the best of starts in the league, that’s for sure. It’s hard to put your fin­ger on where we’re go­ing wrong be­cause we have not been play­ing that badly.

“This cup gives us a lit­tle break from the league and hope­fully we can turn things around this week­end.”

The Black and Whites have just five points from their open­ing seven league games of the sea­son while White­hill Wel­fare sit bot­tom with three points from eight games. Irons added: “We have lost three points with Selkirk go­ing bust. “We were one of the teams who played them in the league and now we have lost those points with their sit­u­a­tion and that puts us down to­wards the bot­tom. This will be a tough game for us at the week­end and we will just have to see how it goes.”

The cup tie at Fer­gu­son Park, Rosewell, kicks off at 3pm.

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