The Spartans 3-2 Newtongrange Star
Despite a valiant effort against their higher league opponents Newtongrange Star fell just short in this Football Nations Qualifying Cup tie against Spartans.
Trailing 2-0, the Star dominated the second half levelling the match through two George Hunter strikes before going down to a late sucker punch.
On a dreadful night for football, the home side opened the scoring after 34 minutes when a deep cross by Greenhill caught the Star rearguard sleeping, allowing Atkinson to head home unchallenged at the back post.
The home side increased their lead in the second half and again the Star defence was cut open. A ball through the middle sent Jamie Dishington through who slotted under Dunsmore. Lander had a chance inside the box a minute later but his effort was deflected for a corner which came to nothing. Lander had another chance after 65 minutes but his half hit effort was easily saved by Carswell.
The Star halved the deficit after 73 minutes when Forster played a ball into the box Hunter reacted the quickest to sweep the ball home.
Star deservedly dragged themselves level after 86 minutes when the ball bounced around in the box, that man Hunter was again on hand to smash the ball home.
Just as the crowd thought another 30 minutes in the freezing cold was on the cards the home side grabbed the winner when a quick break down the right resulted in the ball being squared into the box for Atkinson to smash the ball home.
Bracks was then shown a straight red for presumably something he said. Star had one final chance when a corner landed at the feet of Hunter, his effort produced a brilliant block by Carswell; the ball broke to lander whose effort was somehow scrambled off the line.
There was still time for O’Hara to receive his second yellow and subsequent red to compound Stars misery.
Star: Dunsmore, Melvin, O’Hara, Young, Mitchell, Richardson, (Bracks 62) Porteous ,(Swaney 74) Forster, Thomson, Lander, Hunter. Subs: Currie, Schlater, Scott