On a glorious afternoon, an important EOS Premier fixture at pristine Foresters Park saw Tranent take on Newtongrange Star with the home side looking to get back to equal top spot alongside unbeaten Penicuik whilst for rock bottom Star, it was more simple, start getting points on the board, and quickly.
The visitors started fairly brightly so it was disappointing for them to fall behind in what was Tranent’s first real attack of the game as Shaun Rutherford’s inswinging corner evaded the jump of both Star keeper Liam McCathie and Tranent striker Sean Wringe, and went in at the far post, with the final touch perhaps coming off Star captain Ryan Porteous who could do nothing to get out of the way.
Star continued to look hungry but despite getting into numerous good positions, an inability to test Tranent keeper Kevin Swain meant an equaliser eluded them. They finally brought the home keeper into action after 37 minutes when a lovely 12 yard shot on the turn from Porteous saw Swain dive full length to turn the ball away low at his post.
At the other end, Star keeper McCathie was certainly busier and just before half time, he pulled off an magnificent double save, parrying a drive from Oban Anderson, before somehow blocking Wringe’s follow up effort from close range.
The second half was played in much the same vein, plenty of Star possession but Tranent more dangerous in the final third, with Jamie Docherty striking McCathie’s post from 14 yards after 55 minutes.
20 minutes from time, referee Mark Harris awarded a penalty to Tranent after a foul on Adam Watson but after consulting his assistant, a free kick was given right on the edge of the box, much to the ire of Tranent manager Calum Elliot, whose protests earned him a yellow card.
Star continued to press right to the end without managing to make the breakthrough and even when the home side were reduced to ten men with five minutes remaining as Bradley Donaldson received a second yellow for fouling Porteous, it wasn’t to be their day.
Without hitting any great heights, Tranent are back equal top of the pile, albeit with a game more played than Penicuik, who were on Scottish Cup duty, whilst Star remain four points adrift at the bottom and every game which passes without some reward makes life a bit more difficult for the men from New Victoria Park.