Newtongrange Star comfortably progressed to the next round of the King Cup with a 3-1 win over Craigroyston on a wet and windy day at St Marks against a team run by former Star manager Allan Millar and coach Finn Wells.
Star almost gifted the hosts the opener after nine minutes when a horrendous pass back by Lowson almost let Smith in. Renton just got there first but his clearance ricocheted off him into the path of Miller who blasted the ball over with the goal gaping.
Star opened the scoring after 23 minutes when Forster bulleted a header home from a Lander cross and Lander was to be involved in Nitten doubling their advantage less than ten minutes later when he was brought down in the box. Jamieson made no mistake from the spot.
Craigroyston were furious after 41 minutes when they were adamant the ball crossed the line. Bracks had already made a goal-line saving clearance before the second one saw an almighty scramble in the box. Despite loud protests the referee, who had no linesmen to assist him, could not see through a ruck of players and waved play on.
The hosts pulled one back just before half-time and it was self-inflicted from the Star. A ball over the top was inexplicably lobbed back to Renton who had no choice but to save the effort resulting in an indirect free kick. The ball was touched to Smith who lashed the ball past a sea of Star players on the line.
Jamieson should have added to Star’s lead after 55 minutes when he was on the receiving end of a lander cut-back. His effort from 12 yards went over the bar. Jamieson and Nisbet had their names taken for an altercation after 63 minutes before Nicholson did well to get back to clear the ball off the line after Jamieson had rounded Burnside.
After 73 minutes it was Renton’s turn to come to his side’s rescue as he did brilliantly to first hold striker Smith up then smother the ball.
This miss proved costly for the home side as O’Hara stepped forward to blast one of his trademark free kicks past the helpless Burnside to make it 3-1.
Substitute Porteous turned Campbell inside out before forcing Burnside into a terrific save. Burnside prevented any further damage saving from point blank range to tip a header over the bar.
Star: Renton, Swaney (Young 45), Lowson, Mitchell. O’Hara, Bracks, Wilson, Forster (Scott 85), Lander, Jamieson (Porteous 76), Hunter, Currie, Dunsmore.