With both Newtongrange Star and Dunbar United desperate for league points at the wrong end of the table Saturday’s meeting of the two was always going to be a tense affair.
Blustery conditions greeted the teams and the visitors almost took advantage of a misjudged punch out by the Dunbar keeper in the opening minutes before Dunbar captain Steven Tait cleared the ball off the line.
In the next attack Dunbar opened the scoring when Darren Handling’s low cross from the left was side footed into the net by Dean Ballantyne.
Newtongrange went close when Adam Nelson’s cross was just missed by Kyle Scott at the back post.
United doubled their lead in the 18th minute when Liam McIntosh tried to head back to his goalkeeper when under pressure and Dean Ballantyne read it well and nipped in first smashing the ball high into the net.
On the half hour mark the visitors pulled a goal back when Sean Jamieson headed in unmarked from an Adam Nelson corner.
Star’s heads were lifted after this and they found an equaliser minutes from the interval when a long ball from defence landed kindly for Kayne Paterson who blasted an unstoppable shot into the net to make the score 2-2 .
United retook the lead in the 54th minute when Dean Ballantyne squared a low ball into the penalty spot for Steven Tait to touch home.
Four minutes later they had restored their two goal advantage when Fraser McLaren volleyed the ball high into the net to the delight of the home support.
Frustration crept into the visitors ranks and several bookings followed before the game looked dead and buried in the 70th minute as Fraser Neave’s inch perfect cross was headed powerfully into the net by Dean Ballantyne for a perfect hat-trick.
Newtongrange stuck to their task and five minutes later Sean Jamieson saw his shot rebound off the crossbar and Kyle Scott was on hand to stab the ball into the net and pull one back.