Newtongrange win relegation battle

Action from New Victoria Park
Action from New Victoria Park

Star started their long road up the table with a hard fought victory over Fauldhouse last Saturday at New Victoria Park.

Star started their long road up the table with a hard fought victory over Fauldhouse last Saturday at New Victoria Park.

Two goals from Kyle Lander ensured three priceless points stayed at home.

But the Star got off to the worst possible start for with only four minutes on the clock, a terrific diagonal ball took out the Star defence releasing Bryne into the box.

His effort was initially blocked by keeper Liam Amos but the rebound went straight back to Byrne and he made no mistake with his second attempt.

Jordan Cropley fired an effort well over after seven minutes before a dangerous corner from the visitors was well defended by skipper Lee Currie.

The Star were almost caught out again after 12 minutes when another long ball over the top released Richford. He rounded Amos but was forced wide by Sean Lally and the angle was too tight as he hit the side netting.

Newtongrange came close after 22 minutes when a terrific whipped free kick by Currie found Lally sneaking in at the back post but his volley just missed the target.

United’s Stewart became the first player in the book when he scythed down Cropley after 28 minutes.

Next Currie played in David Morris with the free kick but he trundled his effort wide.

However the Star were back on level terms after 30 minutes when a Currie corner was glanced home from eight yards by Kyle Lander which was no more than the home side deserved.

They came close again after 37 minutes when a slick passing move sliced through the Fauldhouse defence. Murray chipped the ball to Currie who in turn fed Cropley.

He cleverly released Morris whose effort brought an excellent save from Connolly.

The home support however did not have to wait long for their second goal when Lander was fed the ball inside the box after 38 minutes.

The young striker turned on a sixpence and drilled the ball into the bottom corner of the Fauldhouse net past the helpless keeper.

United’s Wilson was booked after 42 minutes for persistent fouling before Currie fired an excellent cross along the six yard box finding no takers after 44 minutes.

The last effort of the first half fell to Cropley after Lander had chased the ball into the corner before rolling it into his path.

Cropley however lacked composure and lashed the ball well over the bar but leaving the Star 2-1 ahead at the interval.

Cropley had another gilt edged chance just one minute into the second half when Morris burst into the box before squaring the ball.

Currie cleverly stepped over the ball but Cropley’s effort bobbled wide.

Star had strong claims for a penalty waived aside after 50 minutes when Morris chipped the ball over Devlin who blatantly body checked him but referee waived play on.

Star had to cope with heavy pressure for a period including a succession of Fauldhouse corners, which the Star defence coped with well.

If the home support were annoyed by not getting a penalty earlier they were infuriated after 56 minutes when the visitors were awarded a penalty when Lally was adjudged to have committed an offence in the box. However Black strode up and put the ball high over the bar and into the car park.

O’Brien chased an over hit cross and found Wilson who laid the ball into Currie’s path who brought out a stunning stop by Connolly flying to his right to beat the ball away.

A slick one-two by Cropley and Currie resulted in the latter’s effort being deflected for a corner.

Then O’Brien played a short one to Cropley whose curling effort was brilliantly tipped to safety before being booted to safety.

Goalscorer Lander had his name taken for one foul too many after 90 minutes before being replaced by James Young after 92 minutes.

The Star held on for the remaining three of the five minutes of stoppage time played to claim all three points.

Newtongrange: Amos, Swaney, Martynuik, Hamilton, Lally, Morris, Currie, Wilson (Bracks), Murray ( O’Brien), Lander (Young), Cropley. Subs Sinclair, Newman.