Two late goals broke Newtongrange Star hearts against second-place Dundonald Bluebell in a game where they failed to take their chances.
The home side had a great chance to open the scoring after only three minutes when Smith burst through the middle form a simple long ball over the top. Renton did exceptionally well to race from his line to block the effort at the striker’s feet.
However, it was Star who took the lead after 12 minutes. O’Brien did well to hold the ball up before drawing a foul. Dead ball specialist Dale O’Hara stepped forward to blast the ball into the bottom corner.
Star fell asleep after 22 minutes and were almost done by a quick free kick played to Moffat on the edge of the area. His deflected effort beat Renton but Scott was on the post to clear off the line.
Star should have doubled their advantage after 37 minutes when O’Brien burst clean through. He drew the keeper but rather than roll it past him he chose to blast it and was a bit unlucky to see it cannon of the underside of the bar.
Star started the second half on the front foot with an effort from Porteous being fumbled behind for a corner. From the resulting kick the same player was inches wide with a header from 12 yards.
Renton was back in action after 51 minutes after he punched a corner to the edge of the box he had to recover quickly to save the ball on his line after that came through a ruck of legs. Star had another glorious chance after 57 minutes. A nice passing move cut through the Dundonald defence. O’Brien neatly slipped in Scott but with just the keeper to beat his weak side foot finish was easily saved.
Star were made to pay for all the missed chances after 64 minutes. When McKenzie rose unchallenged to bullet home a corner from six yards.
Just when the game seemed to be heading for a draw Dundonald hit Star with the sucker punch when after 88 minutes they were allowed to stride forward unchallenged and place the ball past Renton. To rub salt in the wounds Smith made it 3-1 right on 90 minutes.