Blue Bells Edge Seven Goal Thriller Against Star

Lochee United 4 Newtongrange Star 3


Report by Jim Davie 

The Bluebells got back to winning ways in a high scoring game at Thomson Park. Trailing just after half time, the home side hit back to win by the odd goal in seven. 

Manager George Shields made four changes after Wednesday night’s defeat to Kennoway Star Hearts, with Reece Ritchie, Mike McIlravey, Dougie Cameron and Connor Birse coming in for Scott McComiskie, Cameron McMahon, Paul Lunan and Jamie Reid. 

The opening to this game was fairly quiet with a Cameron free kick going just wide of Kieron Renton’s left hand post. 

Star replied with a Kyle Scott shot that was saved by Mark Stewart in the Lochee goal. 

The visitors came even closer on 22 minutes when Darren Smith and Scott McNaughton forced Stewart into a fine save with his legs. 

A few minutes later George Hunter almost opened the scoring for Star. His initial header was saved by Stewart but he got a lucky rebound and looked certain to score until the keeper again denied him. 

However, HUNTER wasn’t to be denied on the half hour mark when he got his head to an Alistair Forster cross to bullet the ball past the Lochee keeper. 

Stephen McNally was to illustrate his power with his long throw-ins and Lowson almost back-headed one of Macca’s throws past his own keeper. 

Five minutes from the break the Bluebells should have equalised when Birse met a Grant Lawson corner at the back post but he somehow missed the target. 

Three minutes before half time Lochee got the leveller, when, from another of McNally’s long throws, Greg KIRK rose highest to power the ball into the net. 

Ritchie hit the top of the netting in Lochee’s first attack of the second half and they went even closer on 55 minutes when they hit the Newtongrange post. 

But it was the away team who grabbed the next goal, a superb header from Ryan PORTEOUS from a McNaughton cross. 

Lochee then sent on sub Paddy Deane for McIlravey and, with a minute the big striker had evened the score. From a Cameron corner, DEANE headed powerfully into the net on 62 minutes. 

The homesters then had a narrow escape when a Hunter header took a deflection off McNally and went behind for a corner, but, a minute later, they were up the other end claiming a penalty after a Star defender appeared to handle a Birse effort. 

Lochee were beginning to take control now and the Star keeper made a point blank save from Birse, but he was beaten on 75 minutes when Bryan DEASLEY latched on to a ball about 12 yards out and despatched it past Renton. 

Newtongrange replied with a powerful 25-yard free kick from Kyle Scott which Stewart did well to save. 

Six minutes from time Lochee appeared to wrap the points up. A Cameron free kick was met by the head of KIRK for his second goal and Lochee’s fourth. 

However, with two minutes to go Star made it a nervous end for the home side by pegging it back to 4-3 when substitute Stephen SCOTT shot home after a scramble in the Lochee box. 

Lochee United: Stewart, McNally, Smith, Millar, Kirk, Cameron, McIlravey (Deane 61), Lawson, Ritchie, Birse, Deasley. Subs Unused: Fotheringham, Reid, Davie, Webster. 

Newtongrange Star: Renton, Swaney, Melvin, Lowson, Porteous, McNaughton, Smith, Forster (Richardson 63), Hunter, K Scott (S Scott 81), Wilson. Subs Unused: Dunsmore, Weston. 

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