The last weekend of July following on from a week of blistering heat and glorious sunshine. What better weekend to start the league season. Only we woke to pouring rain and pitch inspections. The rain risked putting a damper on Bonnyrigg's big day with a precautionary 1pm inspection following heavy rain. Fortunately the match survived although Vale of Leithen may rather wish it hadn't. The Spartans visit to Forthbank to face University of Stirling was less lucky with the game called off, The Spartans website describing Forthbank as overwhelmed by the levels of rain that had fallen. Summer football, you can't beat it.
The Spartans have been phlegmatic about the postponement - happy to be unbeaten so far this season and joint eighth in the table after the first weekend.
Despite the deluge the rest of the scheduled games took place and the goals *ahem* rained in around the country on this first weekend of Lowland League action.
Prior to the game at New Dundas Park Bonnyrigg Rose were presented with their certificate of membership of the SFA by Rod Petrie, the controversy of the summer now well behind them, in front of 418.
On the pitch they celebrated their first game in the league by putting six past Vale of Leithen. Kerr Young, in his 150th game for the club opened the scoring in the 23rd minute, with George Hunter doubling the lead in the 27th. Into the second half and Keiran McGachie added a third in the 64th with Dean Brett quickly adding a fourth in the 67th. The would cap the victory with a final two goal burst in the last three minutes. Substitute Jamie Docherty scoring a penalty after he had been brought down in the box before Lewis Turner wrapped it up with a goal in the 89th. Pretty much a perfect day for Rose as they make the step up. Though they probably didn't expect only to be second in the table after such a win.
Barry Ferguson's Kelty Hearts (copyright the Scottish Media) are widely tipped to be challenging for the title and had a home opener with Dalbeattie Star visiting. It was to prove a dream start for BFKH as they romped to an 8-0 victory. Scott Linton opening the scoring in the 6th minute direct from a free kick. Dylan Easton set up Stephen Husband for the second in the 34th before grabbing the third himself in the 36th. BFKH were quick out the blocks in the second half with Nathan Austin scoring 30 seconds after the restart to make it four before getting his second goal in the 47th minute. Stephen Husband added his second and the sixth overall in 53 minutes. Austin then completed his hat-trick with a 57th minute penalty. Ross Mutch putting the finishing touches on a comprehensive win getting the eighth goal in the 85th. For some reason #themaroonmachine played in blue.
After a good pre-season Civil Service Strollers travelled to Gretna 2008 for their first game. The first half was goalless on a slippy wet surface and in torrential rain. The second half was to be a different story, Mark McConnell scoring for the visitors in the 55th minute before Jack Downie got a second in the 66th minute. Downie sealed off the victory with his second and a third for CSS in the 89th. David Renyard picked up the first red card of the Lowland season for Gretna in the 82nd minute.
At Netherdale a new look Gala Fairydean Rovers hosted Cumbernauld Colts in the presence of John Collins. After a fairly even start in which Gala created the best chances the Colts were to take the lead through a close range header from debutant Marty Wright in the 35th minute. A quick double fifteen minutes into the second half from fellow debutant Lewis Bonar and Stephen O'Neill. Bonar scoring just four minutes after coming on for Lewis Warnock - presumably on the basis the Colts could only have one Lewis on the pitch at a the same time.
The students of Edinburgh started their season at Peffermill against Caledonian Braves (Edusport Academy as was). Ross McNeill opened the scoring in the fourth minute for Braves. An eventful first half ended with no further scoring though @EUAFC reckonned on around twenty chances each. The second half saw the sky cave in on the students with the Braves hitting a further five though Blair Docherty, David Sinclair, Neil McLaughlin, and a second each for Ross McNeill and Blair Docherty.
After a fine second place finish last season BSC Glasgow opened up with a home game at Alloa against East Stirlingshire. With Shire having made some big additions to their squad in the summer both sides were looking to send a message to the rest of the league. In the end the spoils were shared after a 1-1 draw. Shire taking the lead in the 24th minute when Jordan Tapping scored from a Mark Millar corner (a perfect one according to @TheShireFC). BSC equalised in the 56th minute after Adam Murray brought down Tom Orr who converted the resulting penalty.
The action continues mid-week with a full set of fixtures when East Kilbride and (gulp) ourselves enter the fray while The Spartans and University of Stirling will hope to get going after yesterday's false start