Newtongrange 1, Kelty 0 - Newtongrange Star survived a massive test in seeing off Super League champions Kelty Hearts – prevailing 1-0 despite striker Kris Renton’s dismissal on 52 minutes.
Three yellow cards were issued within the opening ten minutes of this fiery encounter as Matti King, Renton and Kelty’s Stuart Cargill were all cautioned for the conduct.
However, Star scored their first goal of the new season in the 12th minute when a free kick was awarded after a Chris Hughes foul on Stevie Noble.
Chris King swung over the resultant free kick into the Kelty penalty area andBlair Tolmie headed home to give the hosts the lead.
Kelty’s Calum Smith went in search of a reply and his shot went just wide of Star’s far post.
However, the visitors were met by a resilient home defence inspired by excellent goalkeeping from Keiron Renton.
Kerion Renton again shone in 30 minutes with a double block from Smith’s efforts before a rare Chris King effort at the other end was straight at Kelty keeper, Kyle Allison.
The game’s fourth booking saw Thomas Courts yellow carded for a foul on Kris Renton before a huge clearance from Star’s defence picked out the alert Kris Renton, but he shot wide as the hosts failed to build on their lead before the half-time interval.
The game was turned on its head, however, when a straight red card was flashed in the direction of Kris Renton by referee Scott Miller after just seven minutes of the second half for an alleged use of the elbow on an opponent.
As Kelty tried to find a route back into the game, a mazy run from Paul Currie forced goal keeper goalkeeper Keiron Renton into a superb save.
In 57 minutes, a wayward elbow saw Stevie Noble the next player to be booked as Smith continued his off day in front of goal for Kelty.
Gary Cherrie was booked for a clumsy foul in the back of Conrad Courts before iit was Kelty’s Scott Gates who was yellow carded for an infringement on former Hearts player Craig Thomson. Thomson himself was then booked for a foul on Murray Carstairs. But Star, full of fight across the pitch, stuck to their task admirably and kept the opposition out.
Despite the setback of losing Renton, the home side fought out the remaining minutes to secure all three points.