Newtongrange Star 2-2 Arniston: Six red cards in festive cracker

Archive image of Newtongrange Star celebrations
Archive image of Newtongrange Star celebrations

Newtongrange Star and Arniston Rangers had to settle for a share of the spoils in a crazy Christmas cracker which produced six red cards, four goals, one disallowed goal and a missed penalty in stoppage time.

The game started brightly before the referee set the tone when he booked McCallion after just four minutes for a tackle on Thomson.

The visitors opened the scoring after only eight minutes when former Star player Dyet broke through, turned O’Hara inside out before firing past Renton off the inside of the post.

The home side did deservedly level two minutes later when a ball fired across the goal found Scott free to fire under Newman. Gay was next into the book for a lunge on Scott, before Mitchell missed an absolute sitter when he headed over the bar from three yards out.

Arniston somehow went back in front after 21 minutes when McNally fired a free kick that was going well wide before taking a wicked deflection of the wall, wrong footing Renton and ended up in the bottom corner.

Scott was agonisingly close to levelling the game after 30 minutes when he saw his effort cleared off the line by Guy Kerr – one of a number of chances Star created before the break.

Star’s task got more difficult when they received two reds in a space of a few minutes. Lander was shown red for lashing out at Kerr, before Thomson also received his matching orders for a tackle in the middle of the park – which looked very soft.

Arniston were reduced to 10 when Gay picked up his second yellow card for a nothing tackle before Star were reduced to eight men for a high boot from O’Hara though there were no complaints of a foul from the Arniston player.

Star were awarded a penalty after 73 minutes when Porteous was bundled over in the box. Hunter stepped forward to beat Newman. McCallion was next to head to the dressing room when he was shown a second yellow – again for a nothing tackle.

Star thought they had scored the winner deep into stoppage time when Hunter headed goalward only for Guy Kerr to handle on the line. Young fired in the rebound. With the Star players celebrating, the referee pulled play back, sent off Kerr and awarded a penalty. Hunter smashed the spotkick off the underside the bar before the ball was cleared.