Newtongrange Star 8, Oakley United 1
With all the other games in the region off, New Victoria Park, Newtongrange, was the venue for the only game before Christmas.
Star fans were treated to an eight some reel as Alan Miller’s men edged nearer to the top of the Premier League before this Saturday’s home game against Dundee Violet.
Heavy rain washed out all the other fixtures except at Linlithgow Rose where visiting Livingston United lost 5-1 in the first round of the East of Scotland Cup.
Newtongrange Star were runaway winners over Oakley United who finished with 10 men and a thrashing to take back home to Fife.
The Star had a few chances in the opening quarter of the game without really troubling visiting keeper Grant Page as Paul Tansey, Craig O’Reilly and Scott Gibson all passed up chances to grab the opening goal. In 18 minutes Chris King had a free kick blocked then the follow up was also thwarted as home keeper Kieron Renton was largely untested.
That was not until Oakley had their best chance to open their own account in 27 minutes from the penalty spot after Blair Tolmie had felled Charles Scarborough in the penalty area but Scarborough’s resultant spot kick was brilliantly saved by Star keeper Kieron Renton who also blocked Scarborough’s shot on the rebound for a double save.
This was a wake up call for the hosts who then netted twice before the break to grab a two goal cushion. First in 32 minutes a great run and finish by Craig O’ Reilly at last opened the scoring with as fine a goal as you’ll see anywhere .
Oakley continued to defend stubbornly but after a glancing header from Scarborough had missed the target for Oakley the second Star goal in the 40th minute was headed home by Michael Delland following a Chris King corner to put Star in at the break ahead.
But before returning fans from their half time cuppas Oakley pulled a goal back just two minutes after the resumption when Sam Bratchie headed home a corner from Liam Gallagher signalling a possible fight back from the Fifers but instead Star’s reply to that was a six goal response starting with a Jay Shields absolutely brilliant goal from a 25 yard rocket shot from a Tansey feed in 50 minutes as Newtongrange went 3-1 ahead.
This after two half chances had been missed by Gary Cherrie. In reply an outstretched keeper Renton’s leg denied United’s Scarborough clean through before a booking for Lewis Turner for a foul on Oakley’s Lee Dair as a lively United continued to contest the proceedings but in vain !
Then in 67 minutes after a Cherrie piledriver had fully tested Page, it was 4-1 to the hosts as a typical fiery finish from Tansey hit the back of the United net for another great goal to light up the afternoon as well as the floodlights as Star flourished again.
Tansey continued to roast the United right flank with his powerful runs and in 77 minutes Tansey was fouled by John Cusack and in the ensuing bust up it finally was a red card for Cusack, yellow for Tansey and yellow for dissenting Jason Dair.
And so from the resultant free kick swung in by Chris King, Scott Gibson headed home Star’s fifth goal of the afternoon the Nitten men’s 50th goal of the season in game number 20 on their way to their 14th win.
Then with just five minutes to go it was 6-1 as another dazzling run by red hot Tansey set up Chris King for another superb finishing goal ast Page as Oakley’s 10 men crumbled.
Next Lewis Turner in 85 minutes produced a dazzling run of his own to skip past two defenders and keeper Page to slot home a superb goal No7 into an empty net.
And Star’s eightsome reel was completed in the last minute as more Star pressure resulted in Lewis Turner netting another strike as Star were unstoppable.
If Star beat Dundee Violet at Newtongrange on Saturday and top of the Premier League Ballingry fail at Bathgate then Star can start 2013 top of the league.
Newtongrange Star: Kieron Renton, John McManus, Michael Delland, Blair Tolmie, Scott Gibson, Gary Cherrie, Lewis Turner, Jay Shields, Craig O’Reilly, Chris King, Paul Tansey. Subs: Joe Dunbar, Mel Graham, Kevin Donnelly, Scott Swaney, Liam Amos.
Oakley United: Page, Mauchlen, McMillan, Cusack, Connor, J Dair, Murray, Bratchie, Scarborough, Gallagher, L Dair.