The West of Scotland Football League is in full flow now and a few clubs have emerged from the packs to lead their respective divisions. There has also been Scottish Cup glory and heartbreak for our licensed clubs, a number of management changes, some shock results and as always plenty of drama.
In the Premier Division in our last update Kilwinning were the top dogs as we ended July and headed into August, fast forward three months and it’s now Pollok who top the table at the time of writing having a 1 point lead on 2nd place Auchinleck Talbot. As well as making it through to the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup to face Hamilton Accies, Talbot have lost only 1 WoSFL match all season, going down 2-1 at home to Darvel. They have two games in hand to the men from Newlandsfield but they still have to win them, the ‘Lok have the points already in the bag. Clydebank currently sit in third place, five points behind the leaders after losing 2 games in a row at the end of September/start of October to Hurlford and Kilwinning and are also in the 3rd round of the Scottish Cup after knocking out League 2 side Elgin City 2-1 in Elgin after a 1-1 draw at Holm Park. Former table toppers Kilwinning sit in 4th just behind Clydebank despite their aforementioned win at Holm Park at the start of October and are currently 10 points behind Pollok at the top, albeit having played two games less. Another WoSFL Premier Side to have done well in the Scottish Cup this season are 5th placed Darvel, who went through a small sticky patch in September but have come roaring back to have won their last four on the spin in the league and also dispatched League Two Stranraer from the Scottish Cup. Cumnock sadly crashed out of the Scottish Cup in the first round with home defeat to Fortmartine after a draw away from home. Irvine Meadow, Girvan and Glasgow University were the leagues other participants in the famous old trophy with the Medda losing to Talbot in round 1, Girvan failed to make it past the prelim round and Glasgow Uni also exited in round 1.
Down at the other end of the table Bonnyton still have only tow wins and a draw to show for their endeavours this season, including the win over leaders Pollok way back at the stat of the season, so far and are 2 points behind Blantyre Vics who they beat on Saturday. The Vics have also endured a poor start to the season not having won any of their last 6 with only 2 wins on the board in 17 games. With 7 teams potentially going down this season they will need to start putting points on the board with more regularity or they could be heading into Division One next season. In our last update Kilbirnie Ladeside had parted company with manager Martin Ferry and they have replaced him with joint managers in the shape of the former Greenock management team of Thomas Molloy and Shaun Dillon. This provided that new manager bounce as Kilbirnie started to get points on the board and they moved up to 18th. Theres been a slight slump again recently but the new gaffers are confident they can steer the Blasties to safety. Largs are another side who’ve endured a poor start to the season taking only 15 points from their opening 16 matches but things seem to be slowly improving with 3 of their 5 league wins coming in their last 6 league matches they currently sit 17th in the table.
In Conference A, Arthurlie are still unbeaten having beaten league leaders Shotts Bon Accord at the weekend. The ‘Lie have been in great form this season winning 13 and drawing 1 of their 14 games so far. Shotts have also been in sensational form with 14 wins from 17 although those 3 losses could prove vital in the push for the promotion spot to the Premier. Whitletts Victoria are 7 points behind Shotts with Whitletts boosting their goal difference massively by scoring 12 away to Saltcoats Vics . Maybole and Craigmark Burntonians have also had great starts to the season to be sat in 4th and 5th place respectively. Down at the bottom Saltcoats and Irvine Victoria have now both recorded a win a piece with Irvine Vics 2nd bottom by a point as they also picked up a draw along the way, whilst Saltcoats have had a dismal time having conceded 90 goals in their 18 games this season. Three of 14th placed Lugar’s four wins this season have came in their last 6 matches as they seem to be finding some kind of form despite having had 3 points deducted for fielding an illegible player. This has allowed a gap of 10 points between 3rd and 4th bottom which looks like an uphill task for the bottom 3.
In Conference B Cambuslang Rangers have been in scintillating form with their star striker Scott Williamson having netted over 30 goals already this season. The Lang strengthened their case to make the Premier Division next season with a victory over 2nd place St Cadoc’s two weeks ago and have won 14 of their 16 games this season with only two defeats. Their latest three points coming courtesy of a 3-0 victory at Ashfield this weekend. St Cadoc’s kept the pressure on them bouncing back from defeat last week to beat Dalry 4-2 whilst third placed Gartcairn are in a rich vein of form just now winning 5 of their last 6 to leapfrog Conference A shock troops Ardeer Thistle who have more points this season that their last 4 full seasons combined and Sean Kenney will be hoping that despite beating Premier Division Troon in the cup, they stop a mini slide that has saw them lose their last 3 WoSFL matches. At the other end of the Conference B table bottom placed Royal Albert finally got their first win of the season with a fine 2-0 win away to Newmains, which after they were deducted 3 points leaves them sitting on a solitary point for the season to date. Newmains shipped 11 at Thorniewood this week and alongside Dalry make up the bottom three and look to be heading into Division 3 when the linear leagues are settled.
In Conference C Drumchapel United have continued their strong start to the season with 15 wins and 2 defeats from their 17 games most recently beating 4th placed St Roch’s 5-3 at Lochburn Park. The Drum have been dominant scoring 57 goals in those 17 games whilst losing only 22. Neilston sit in 2nd place in Conference C but the chasing pack will be looking to make up any ground on the Farmers Boys with Petershill continuing their climb up the table having won their last 6, including scoring 3 goals in 1:53 to beat Saint Anthony’s 3-1 at McKenna Park and then following that up against Kilsyth Rangers who themselves were on a great run winning 4 of their past 6. At the bottom of the table Lanark have started showing signs of recovery with 2 draws in their past 4 but still only have the one victory so far. Both Vale of Clyde and Vale of Leven make up the other two spots of the bottom 3. Vale of Clyde have a new manager in place since Mark Mackay resigned earlier in the season and it looks like his ideas may be starting to bear fruit as they have won their last two matches in a row to move up to 3rd bottom ahead of Vale of Leven who have had a poor run of one win in five to drop to second bottom.
The 4th Division is now led by Kilsyth Athletic as themselves and Finnart fight its out at the top of the table, regularly swapping positions with each other, both teams on 38 points but Finnart sit second having played a game more and having a worse goal difference. Third placed Harmony Row had went on a run of five wins in a row but thats been tempered in recent weeks with two straight defeats. At the bottom BSC Glasgow had been mired to the bottom in recent weeks but a bonfire night win over Harmony Row saw them move above Campbeltown Pupils, who ended a run of defeats themselves this weekend with a fine 3-3 draw with leaders Kilsyth Athletic with former East Region SJFA side Harthill Royal taking up the 3rd bottom position sitting 3 points ahead of BSC Glasgow on 15 points, 5 points behind Glenvale but with two games in hand
This week we had the sad news of the passing of St Roch’s Manager Paul Kelly who passed away after a battle with illness. A true gentleman and mentor to so many people, it is a sad day for the West of Scotland Football League, and indeed the wider footballing community. Our condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Paul’s family and friends at this sad time.
Our Goal of the Month competitions have winners for August (Ben Killington, Irvine Victoria) and September (Del Esplin, Pollok FC) and we hope to have the videos for October’s competition available by the end of the week so please remember to watch and vote for your favourite.
Keep your eyes peeled for more regular updates on the PDM Buildbase West of Scotland Football League in the days and weeks to come!