CARNOUSTIE PANMURE 2 NEWTONGRANGE STAR 4 (Sat 6th August 2016)
The new look Star side started their season with a good victory away at Carnoustie on Saturday. Star’s starting line-up contained no fewer than 7 players making their competitive debuts whilst the popular Scott Swaney returned to the club he had served previously for 9 years. The only players remaining in the starting 11 from last season were Cropley, Morris and new club captain Lee Currie.
Star started slowly as the home side dominated the opening 15 minutes. Panmure opened the scoring after 6 minutes when Scrimgeour fired a free kick into the wall. The ball broke to Black whose effort was adjudged to take a nick off a Star defender and went out for a corner. From the resulting corner the ball was eventually crossed in where Urquhart nodded home unchallenged from inside the 6 yard box. Carnoustie almost doubled their advantage after 9 minutes when the Star defence was all at sea when a corner was not cleared properly. Urquhart flashed an angled drive which Dodds did well to beat away. Gray then had a glorious chance after 10 minutes for the home side but choked his effort and it bobbled wide when he should have at least testedDodds. Cropley became the first player to be booked after 11 minutes when he kicked the ball away in frustration after feeling aggrieved at being pulled up for offside. Star were level slightly against the run of play after 13 minutes when Currie played a terrific ball to release O’Brien. His slide rule pass set Errol Douglas scampering away to prod the ball past the advancing Robbie. Star were staring to get on top now and only a stunning one handed save from Robbie prevented Douglas from doubling his tally after 18 minutes when a pinpoint O’Brien cross was met by the head of the Star striker 6 yards out. Douglas was causing all sorts of problems and had another chance after 20 minutes when he dinked the ball past the advancing keeper but the ball went wide of the post. Morris tested Robbie again after 24 minutes when he had to react smartly to beat away his fierce effort from 20 yards.
Home full-back Macdonald was having a difficult afternoon and was booked after 31 minutes for bringing down Morris, but Currie fired the resulting free kick into the wall. Currie was clearly relishing his new responsibility as skipper and then did well to win the ball on the halfway line, releasing Morris who cut inside the full back and fired inches wide. After 41 minutes Douglas was sent scampering towards the corner flag. His cut back was beautifully dummied by Cropley for the onrushing Currie who fired just wide from 20 yards. Star eventually took a deserved lead on the stroke of half time when O’Brien was fouled after a cute turn on the edge of the box, and Cropley stepped up to coolly slot the ball in off the post. Half Time Carnoustie 1 Star 2
The second half started in the same vein with Star dominating proceedings. Douglas was released clean through by Currie on 46 minutes but a bad bounce resulted in a poor touch and the chance was gone. Star went further in front after 51 minutes when a Currie free kick was tipped behind for a corner by Robbie. The resulting kick was straight from the training ground as Richardson headed it back across goal for Douglas to nod the ball home. Currie was pulling all the strings in midfield and after 59 minutes he released O’Brien with a beautiful pass, and the impressive debutant turned Macdonald inside out before clipping the ball into the bottom corner past the despairing Robbie.
Lally came on for his debut after 62 minutes to replace Cropley. He was soon joined by 2 more new signings in Wright and Flynn who replaced Bracks and Morris. Cook became the next player to be booked after 62 minutes before a Swaney effort from 20 yards curled just over the bar after 69 minutes. O’Brien then cut through the home defence yet again but his cross just eluded the inrushing Douglas. Carnoustie reduced the deficit after 73 minutes when the ball broke to McIlravey on the edge of the box to curl a beauty into the far corner. Lally fired an effort just over the bar after 75 minutes before Wright nutmegged Macdonald and toepoked an effort just wide when he should probably have laid the ball back. Black added to the crime count as he had his name taken for stopping a Star counter attack on 76 minutes. Dodds had to react smart to stop a McIlravey effort after 78 minutes and Star held on comfortably to pick up their first 3 points of the season. Full time Carnoustie 2 Star 4
Dodds, Swaney, Noble, Richardson, Hamilton, Currie, Bracks (Flynn), Cropley, (Lalley) Morris (Wright), O’Brien, Douglas
Subs – Lally, Wright, Wilson, Flynn, Trialist
Robbie, Cook, Macdonald, Millar, Scrimgeour, J.Black, Urquhart, R.Black, McCabe, Gray, Simpson
Subs – Cormack (GK), Roche, Scott, Smith, Mcilravey