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McBookie.com Matchday 1 – Preview


Wednesday, 31 July 2019


Premiership

Current Premiership and Scottish Junior Cup holders Auchinleck Talbot kick-off the 2019/20 campaign at home to Glenafton Athletic on Saturday afternoon. Glenafton make the trip to Beechwood Park for the second time in a week, having suffered a 4-0 defeat in their opening Sectional League Cup tie. The sides also met in the final fixture of 2018/19, with Auchinleck finishing 5-1 winners.

The opening weekend marks a significant milestone in the rise of Rossvale JFC. Having joined the Junior ranks in 2010, Gordon Moffat’s men are set to make their first appearance in top flight football when they take to the pitch against Cumnock Juniors.

A close eye will also be kept on the other promoted sides Benburb and Rutherglen Glencairn. Both teams start the season with a home fixture as they challenge Kirkintilloch Rob Roy and Kilbirnie Ladeside respectively.

It’s a return to league action at Holm Park for Clydebank this weekend. They will be hoping to make the most of ‘Holm’ advantage as they take on Kilwinning Rangers, who are also on the move this season. The Buffs have made the switch to Kilwinning Sports Club, having said farewell to Abbey Park at the end 2018/19.

Two of last season’s top four will meet at Newlandsfield as Beith make the trip to Glasgow’s Southside to face Pollok. The North Ayrshire club will hope to continue last season’s impressive away form, having been beaten only once on their league travels.

Fixtures


Auchinleck Talbot v Glenafton Athletic
Benburb v Kirkintilloch Rob Roy
Clydebank v Kilwinning Rangers
Cumnock Juniors v Rossvale JFC
Hurlford United v Troon
Irvine Meadow XI v Largs Thistle
Pollok v Beith Juniors
Rutherglen Glencairn v Kilbirnie Ladeside

Championship

Many people see Darvel Juniors as the ones to watch in the Championship this year. Widely tipped as promotion favourites, the Ayrshire side start their campaign at home to Renfrew, who were playing Premiership football last season.

Having narrowly missed out on promotion in 2018/19, it would also be easy to place Arthurlie and Kilsyth as early season contenders. The two sides come head-to-head at Dunterlie Park on Saturday, in a match which could provide an early insight into the promotion credentials of both clubs.

League One winners Gartcairn face recently relegated Cambuslang Rangers. Despite winning last year’s opening fixture 4-0 against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, ‘The Lang’ went on to finish bottom of the Premiership.

Promoted League One side Shotts Bon Accord face a tough start to life in the Championship as they face a trip to Petershill, who also face a season in the second tier as a result of relegation.

Cumbernauld United
are aiming to make it back-to-back opening day wins, having beaten Whitletts Victoria 3-0 on this day last season. They take on newly promoted Blantyre Victoria at Guys Meadow Stadium.

Fixtures

Arthurlie v Kilsyth Rangers
Craigmark Burntonians v St. Roch's
Cumbernauld United v Blantyre Victoria
Dalry Thistle v Irvine Victoria
Darvel Juniors v Renfrew
Gartcairn v Cambuslang Rangers
Neilston Juniors v Whitletts Victoria
Petershill v Shotts Bon Accord


League One

Promoted Lesmahagow will look to sustain last season’s superb goal scoring record when they host Royal Albert at Craighead Park. The home side finished the top scoring Junior club last term, having found the net 120 times on their way to promotion from League Two.

Following a fourth place finish last year, Ardrossan Winton Rovers will be looking to go one better this time. The West coast side face a difficult test as they travel to League Two winners Lanark United.

Fresh from securing promotion on the final day of the 2018/19 season, Carluke will be on the hunt for more success. They welcome a rejuvenated Maryhill to John Cumming Stadium.

Having squared up twice last season there was not much between Girvan and Larkhall Thistle, who both finished in the Championship’s bottom three. With each side winning their home fixture last campaign, home advantage may place the odds in Girvan’s favour this Saturday.

Fixtures


Bellshill Athletic v Kello Rovers
Carluke Rovers v Maryhill
Girvan v Larkhall Thistle
Glasgow Perthshire v Shettleston
Greenock Juniors v East Kilbride Thistle
Lanark United v Ardrossan Winton Rovers
Lesmahagow Juniors v Royal Albert
Port Glasgow Juniors v Wishaw Juniors F.C.

League Two


The disappointment of narrowly missing out on promotion is likely to be the only motivation Ashfield need this week. The home side have shown that they can come out of the traps early having won 4-0 at Carluke on matchday one last year. They make the trip to Maybole who are looking to bounce back from the disappointment of relegation.

It was a League one fixture last season but now Lugar Boswell Thistle and Yoker Athletic meet in the opening day of the League Two season. Yoker finished 3-2 winners in the previous league encounter between the teams.

Only goal difference separated Newmains United and Saltcoats Victoria in 2018/19. The teams last met in January when Saltcoats ran out 3-0 winners at Victoria Park. Newmains’ Craig Gupwell suggested his team’s defeat was due to the players enjoying their Christmas time “a bit too much”. He’ll be hoping they’ve had a less enjoyable summer break.

In a repeat of last year’s opening weekend fixture, Johnstone Burgh once again meet Forth Wanderers. It was an eight-goal thriller at Kingshill Park last August, with away side Johnstone Burgh eventually grabbing the points after a dramatic 5-3 win.

Fixtures

Johnstone Burgh v Forth Wanderers
Lugar Boswell Thistle v Yoker Athletic
Maybole Juniors v Ashfield
Muirkirk Juniors v St. Anthony's
Newmains United v Saltcoats Victoria
Thorniewood United v Annbank United
Vale of Leven v Ardeer Thistle

For updates, news and coverage throughout the season, head to our social media channels at @ScottishJuniors on Twitter and Facebook /Scottish Junior FA.


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