Champions bring fine run to an end

Arniston 2-3 Jeanfield Swifts
Arniston 2-3 Jeanfield Swifts

Arniston Rangers’ last game of the season saw them welcome newly-crowned Premier League champions Jeanfield with a guard of 
honour on to the pitch.

But Arniston were to lose two goals in the opening few minutes to see them up against it, finally losing for the first time in 11 games.

Jeanfield scored in the opening minute at Newbyres Park, Gorebridge last Saturday following a corner from Stevie McManus tapped in at the near post by Lewis Baker to shock the hosts.

McFadden in seven minutes tried to get one back for Arnie but he shot too straight at keeper Mark Mitchell.

Arniston were then to go 2-0 down in 10 minutes when again marksman Baker slammed home with the Arnie defence all at sea.

Champions Jeanfield looked full of gusto as Arniston toiled conceding easy possession against the fast tackling Swifts. In 15 minutes a Kyle Doig free-kick was punched out by keeper Mitchell before Adam Murray was booked for dissent.

A slip by Greg Callaghan gave Danny Kelly a chance for number three for the visitors before half-time but he shot just over the bar, before a fine save by the Trialist keeper denied a Keith Dewar effort.

And again early in the second half Jeanfield were to catch Arniston cold with a third goal with just two minutes played, as Anthony Holt tapped into the home net with the home defence again found wanting.

At 3-0 Jeanfield changed their goalkeeper and Arniston brought on Kateleza for Scott Garden. Just two minutes later and Arniston were awarded a penalty when their sub was toppled by Anton who was booked for protesting the penalty. Guy Kerr kept his cool to score the resultant spot-kick to make it 3-1.

Next a straight red card was issued to Swifts’ Sean Fleming for a shocking tackle on Kataleza, who required lengthy treatment before bravely resuming.

In an open game, after Baker had hit the post chasing his hat-trick at one end, it was 3-2 after a shot from Kataleza was blocked at the other end before Kyle Doig fired home the rebound.

Guy Kerr fired a free-kick wide after Dewar was booked for a foul with time drifting on as 10-men Jeanfield were holding on. Doig had a late header at the far post blocked by a fine save from the Swifts’ deputy keeper before a Kerr header went just inches wide as Arnie pressed and pressed but they could not find the equaliser they deserved. But their fourth top final finish in the Premier League is a huge achievement for the club.