Saturday 14 January 2017, 13.45, New Dundas Park

East Superleague action between Bonnyrigg Rose and Newtongrange Star.

The Scottish winter began its decimation of junior fixtures (and some senior ones) this weekend.  The original intention had been to go to the Penicuik Athletic v Bo’ness United game, but the snow on Penicuik Park meant this was moved to Bo’ness.  We had decided we would go through to Newtown Park all the same.  This was also called off on the Saturday morning, along with nearly everything else.  It soon became clear that our options were limited and we almost went to see the East of Scotland League top of the table clash between Leith Athletic and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale, or Spartans v Civil Service Strollers in the Lowland League, but these both kicked off at 3, and we had been organised for a much earlier departure.

Our reluctance to head to Bonnyrigg had nothing to do with the fare likely to be on offer or indeed the teams playing, but we already had tickets to see them in the Scottish Cup the following weekend.  We decided we would go anyway.

Huge credit once again to all those involved to get the game on.  It’s not the first time that Rose have had the only game on in Midlothian in bad weather.

Bonnyrigg Rose were surprisingly beaten 3-1 at Dundonald Bluebell the previous  weekend and their pursuit of retaining the league title is becoming more difficult with Kelty Hearts still unbeaten.

It’s a first viewing of the season of Newtongrange Star.

Formed in 1890, Star became a Junior football side in 1900.  They were soon picking up trophies and won a remarkable 8 successive league titles between 1921 and 1930, when playing in the Edinburgh & District League.  The 1929-30 season also saw them win the Junior Cup for the only time in their history.

After winning the league in 1933/34 they had it stripped from them after a complaint about fielding an ineligible player.  After an appeal, they got the title back.  Despite this, due to a lack of support and finances, the club disbanded in 1934.

After the club returning to competitive action in 1936, it was after the second world war that they started to show signs of returning to former glories.  The 1950s proved to be another successful era for the Star, with league titles and cups regularly finding their way to the Midlothian town.

There were several ups and downs after that, with a run to the Scottish Cup Final in 1971 and relegation in 1974.

In their centenary year, they notched up four cup wins.  The following season they won the East Region league championship for the first time in 30 years and again made it to the Junior Cup Final.  They then retained the title and all of the East Region cups.

Season 1992-93 and 93-94 saw more cups but they narrowly missed out on the league title on the final day in both seasons.  1994 also saw them leave their Victoria Park home for a new ground, imaginatively called New Victoria Park.  Two cup wins in 1997 were the last trophies for a while.

Star missed out on winning the league by just one point in 2003-04.  After two league reconstructions, Star found themselves in the third tier, but two promotions and another cup win saw them finish fourth in the newly formed East Superleague in 2009-10.

It’s been a tough season for Star so far and they are languishing near the foot of the table.  They would have been hoping that the Bonnyrigg players had one eye on the following weekend’s Scottish Cup tie against Hibs.

The official attendance given by Rose was 832, although I thought it looked around 500, but what do I know!

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There was a poignant minute’s silence before the game in memory of Shaun Woodburn, who tragically lost his life aged just 30.  A former player of both sides, he seemed to have been a top bloke.

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Rose forced a corner in the opening minute but it came to nothing.

In the second minute, Andrews went to clear the ball from his box but it smacked against Lander.  The striker chased the ball and took it goalwards from a wide position, but Andrews managed to turn his shot behind with his feet.

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Lander was guilty of a late tackle in 4 minutes, but the referee just gave him a warning.

The same player was almost through in 6 minutes, but Andrews came out to collect.

A long ball forward by Young in 8 minutes saw Kidd and Star keeper Amos go for the ball.  Amos came off worse and required treatment.

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In 16 minutes, Wilson made a bit of room for himself at the edge of the Rose box, but didn’t catch his shot properly.

At this point I spotted that Archibald had gone off, I presume through injury, and had been replaced.  I didn’t see him going off.

Star’s Lander went into the book in 19 minutes for a very late challenge on Brown.

Hoskins was the next player to be late with a tackle, fouling Wilson about 23 yards out.  Currie took the Star free kick, but slipped as he struck it.

Nelson crossed into the Star box in 25 minutes and McIntosh flicked the ball goalwards, but it went wide.

With 30 minutes gone, McIntosh got a sight of the Star goal just inside the box in a central position, but he scuffed his shot wide.

A minute later and McIntosh had another opportunity in a similar position and this time he hit it a lot better, but it went wide of the same post.

Rose continued to come forward and McGachie found Kidd on the right hand side of the box in 33 minutes which he hit first time, but it was wide of the post.

Murray was yellow carded in 40 minutes for pulling down McGachie and Nelson’s free kick to the back post was met by the head of Hoskins, but Star keeper Amos did well to hold on low down.

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Right on half time Wilson had an opportunity for Star on the left hand side of the box, but he couldn’t pick out a team mate in the middle.

A disappointing first half with little in the way of chances.  Star would have been happy to be well in the game.

It appeared that Norman Collier (ask your dad) was on tannoy duty at half time as it kept cutting out.

Rose won a free kick in the corner when Richardson fouled McGachie.  The defender seemed to stand on his ankle as the two got up.  Gray’s free kick was headed powerfully by Kidd and looked over the line as Amos blocked.  McIntosh didn’t wait to find out and lashed the ball home to give Bonnyrigg the lead.

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A through ball in 58 minutes saw McGachie clean through on the Star goal.  He slowed down to look to the linesman to see if he was offside, which he wasn’t, but that hesitation gave Amos the chance to get there first and clear.

Star’s Bracks received a yellow card in 62 minutes.

Brown fired the ball across the Star box in 66 minutes, but it was just too far in front of McIntosh and McGachie in the middle.

In 68 minutes, Brown got to the by-line and pulled the ball back to McIntosh on the penalty spot.  The striker rifled the ball into the bottom corner for Bonnyrigg’s second.

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Rose’s Kidd was next in the book in 70 minutes for a late tackle by the touchline.

Kidd was more positive a minute later when he strode towards the Star goal, but saw his shot blocked by the feet of Amos.

With 72 minutes gone, Nelson tried to chip the ball over Amos from 20 yards, but the ball hit the top of the Star net.

Gray robbed a Star defender of the ball in 75 minutes, but the defence managed to get back to clear.

Horne was the next to receive a yellow card in 80 minutes for a late tackle on Murray.

Star’s Currie was the next to incur the referee’s wrath, picking up a yellow card in 82 minutes.

In 86 minutes, Horne tried a shot on the half volley from 25 yards, but it was too high.

In the last minute, Murray got his second yellow card for a foul in the box on Gray. He did seem to catch him, but Turner hadn’t gone down.  Hoskins sent Amos the wrong way to make it three.

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A good win in the end for the home side who didn’t look at their best.  Star would have been encouraged by their first half performance.

Gray showed some good skill for Rose and Kidd was prominent.  For Star, Currie was decent in midfield and Amos made some good saves.

Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 3 Newtongrange Star 0

Admission: £6

Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Ross Archibald (Brown 12), 3 Ruaridh Donaldson, 4 Kerr Young, 5 Dean Hoskins, 6 Alan Horne, 7 Scott Gray, 8 Andrew Kidd (Turner 73), 9 Keiran McGachie (McLaren 73), 10 Adam Nelson, 11 Wayne McIntosh. Subs: 12 Ewan Moyes, 14 Jonathan Brown, 15 Fraser McLaren, 16 Sean Jamieson, 17 Lewis Turner.

Newtongrange Star: 1 Liam Amos, 2 Scott Swaney, 3 Brian Murray, 4 Neil Martyniuk, 6 Lee Currie, 7 David Morris (Cropley 61), 11 Jack Wilson, 15 Kenny O’Brien (Lally 81), 16 Kyle Lander, 17 Dale Richardson, 19 Kevin Bracks. Subs:  5 Gary Hamilton, 9 Young, 10 Jordan Cropley, 12 Sean Lally, 21 Jamie Newman

Referee: Duncan Smith

Programme: None.

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