St Cuthbert Wanderers to wait a little longer to claim South of Scotland League title

The champagne will have to stay on ice for a little longer for St Cuthbert Wanderers.

The South of Scotland League leaders headed to Creetown knowing victory combined with Threave Rovers slipping up at Nithsdale Wanderers would see them crowned champions.

But Threave won 3-1 and Saints could only manage a 2-2 draw, meaning the wait will have to go on a little longer.

And things could have been worse for Saints as they were 2-0 down as the game entered its closing stages.

Boss Jordan Williamson said: “There was maybe a bit of naivety in terms of boys not wanting to make that one mistake that they felt could cost us the game.

“We tried to play it down but players are only human and there might have been a factor with boys not being brave enough to play like we usually do.

“We started the day needing four points to secure the league and nothing has changed. We’d still need to go to Abbey Vale to get a point if we won, things are just the other way round.

“Creetown are the kind of team that likes to get ahead and manage the game from there.

“We didn’t have enough boys that demanded a bit of intensity and tempo to the game. We allowed the opposition to control the game, we didn’t play on the front foot and tried to dictate things.

“As much as the opposition didn’t create things in great terms, you give away two cheap set-pieces and are 2-0 down before you
know it.

St Cuthbert Wanderers boss Jordan Williamson

“It still shows good character for the players to stand up and be counted and come away with a point. If you said at the start of the game we’d have a slightly off day and still get a point, we’d have been happy with that.”

Creetown looked to be heading for a stunning victory when Richard Jones’ free-kick was followed by a penalty from Jamie Adams.

But a Thomas Kelly free-kick gave Saints hope that they would salvage something and deep into stoppage time they were awarded a penalty, Kelly converting to snatch a point for the league leaders.

Saints bounced back from their draw with a comfortable 4-0 win over Abbey Vale on Monday night in the Potts Cup.

David Taylor opened the scoring early on with goals from Dale Milligan and Brandon McEvoy killing the game by half-time, Ross Hunter adding a fourth after the break.

That puts Saints through to the next round where they will face Lochar Thistle on Monday night.

Before then, they return to Maryfield Park on Saturday knowing victory over Abbey Vale will give them the title.

Saints celebrate their dramatic equalizer
Saints celebrate their dramatic equalizer

But even if they fail to win, they’ll still be crowned champions if Threave lose at home to Lochar.

Williamson said: “We started to play football again and hopefully that puts us in a better position for Saturday.

“There weren’t a lot of changes from Saturday, it was the same team bar one or two. The whole purpose was to give the same group of players the chance to fix their performance from Saturday and play the way we wanted to play.

“There were spells where it almost felt like a training game because the players weren’t
overly fussed about rushing
things, they kept the ball and tried to play through the system we want to play.

“They were brave enough to go and do that and try to right the wrongs and play the way we want them to. It puts us in a good place ahead of Saturday.

“Abbey Vale will see we’ve been able to exploit areas in their team and will look to shore that up and make themselves harder to beat. At the same time, they’re struggling with injuries and are playing Thursday so you don’t know who they’ll have available.

“We’ll be back in training to go through a couple of things off the back of these games to fine tune us and make sure we’re back on song on Saturday and get the three points to get us over the line.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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