Premier Division leaders Bo’ness United continued their unbeaten streak after completing the league double over Newtongrange Star at Newtown Park.
Despite the visitors lowly league position they took the game to their hosts in the first half and they created the first big chance of the game three minutes in. Kyle Scott should have did far better than drag a tame shot wide of goal after strong build up play from Ryan Porteous.
The opening goal arrived in the tenth minute and it was the home side who took the lead when Brian Ritchie crashed home a header into the roof of the net from a driven Brian Morgan cross.
Newtongrange were undaunted by the early setback and took control of the match. Kayne Paterson did well when Ross Campbell misjudged a long ball and raced through on goal, his effort drifted over the bar and the chance was gone.
Steven Thomson was next to try his luck from range and his strike from distance was wide of Andy Murphy’s goal. Star deservedly levelled the match midway through the half when Paterson dribbled past his markers and slipped the ball past Murphy for a fine individual goal. The next goal would prove crucial in more ways than one and it was Bo’ness who were celebrating when they retook the lead with ten minutes remaining in the half.
Michael Gemmell was upended by Star’s Steven Thomson 25 yards from goal, with Thomson booked for the foul. Up stepped Tom Grant and he curled a sublime free-kick into the postage stamp corner for his second goal of the season.
Minutes later with the half drawing to a close Thomson received his second yellow of the game, for a needless kick out at Nimmo, and the experienced forward was sent off leaving his teammates with a mountain to climb.
In the 55 th minute United wrapped up the game when Fraser Keast knocked the ball home from close range after Newtongrange goalkeeper Kieron Renton made a mess of collecting a Morgan corner and spilled the ball into the path of Keast who couldn’t miss.
Bo’ness were taking full advantage of the extra man and most of the second half was played in the Newtongrange half. Star had veteran defender Scott Swaney to thank for a fine goal-line clearance after Ross Campbell’s powerful header from a Grant corner-kick.
Campbell was again denied soon after when Renton showed great reflexes to keep out another goal bound header.
Renton again was the main man for Newtongrange with a point blank stop to deny Bo’ness substitute Mark McKenzie’s effort, the ball was cleared as far as Snowdon who lobbed in a cross and again Campbell was inches away extending United’s lead but his header drifted just wide of the post.
In the end Bo’ness had to settle for just the three goals and a vital win that will keep them top of the pile in the Premier Division come what may next weekend when they are idle.