A severely depleted Newtongrange Star grabbed a stoppage time winner in their second 1-0 victory over Dunbar last Saturday.
Dale O’Hara’s trademark free kick in the 95th minute broke Dunbar’s hearts and ensured three valuable points stayed at new Victoria Park to keep them second in Conference A, a point behind leaders Penicuik.
Dunbar started brightly and had the ball in the net early on after some sloppy play from the Star defence on the edge of the box. Luckily for the home side they had strayed offside and the goal was ruled out.
They continued to search for an opener as Ballantyne’s effort was beaten away by Renton before Harley headed over from a King corner.
Star were living dangerously. Sclater did well to clear the ball inside the six-yard box after 23 minutes before Handling missed an open goal on the stretch after good work down the right.
At the other end, O’Hara’s angled drive was deflected inches by the post with Johnstone struggling.
With both teams still trying to get forward in the second half, Scott had an effort saved after 51 minutes before King curled a free kick just over four minutes later. Star had their best chance after 58 minutes when Richardson headed over from a few yards out from a Sclater cross.
Star carved out another opportunity soon after when a slick passing move released O’Hara through the middle. His attempted lob, however, was miles over.
King had another good opportunity after 66 minutes when the normally accurate dead ball specialist fired well over from a good position. Star passed up another great chance after 70 minutes when Thomson waltzed into the box and skipped by Tait; he fired the ball across the box where Richardson was unable to hit the target sliding in.
Thomson was inches away from opening the scoring when he caught Johnstone off his line and audaciously tried to chip him from just inside his own half. With the keeper frantically scrambling back the ball dipped just over.
With the game heading for a goalless draw, O’Hara stepped up to curl a beauty into the top corner, leaving Johnston rooted to the spot to send the home support into raptures.
Star: Renton, Sclater, Young, Lowson, O’Hara, Melvin, Porteous (Gaff 84), Scott, Thomson, Richardson, Bracks, Subs: Dunsmore, Clelland Currie, Whitson.