Newtongrange Star striker Kris Renton had hoped to kick off the season in style by doing what he does best – scoring goals.
Instead, he was forced to watch on from the sidelines after incurring a four-game ban for being sent off in both of his side’s opening two games.
Having served his suspension, the 25-year-old was back on the pitch last Saturday and went some way to repaying those he had let down with a brace in their 3-0 East of Scotland Cup victory away to Premier League Bathgate Thistle. New-signing Lewis Coult scored the other.
Renton saw red in Star’s first two Super League matches against Kelty Hearts and fierce rivals Bonnyrigg Rose. The first, against champions Kelty, was given for violent conduct and the second for dissent leading to a crunch meeting with Star boss Alan Miller, with the striker left with no choice but to clean up his act.
“It’s been a frustrating season for me so far, having to sit out four games and watching the team not doing very well,” said Renton. “It had been hard to watch from the sidelines, but I was delighted to get back in on Saturday and score two in a good win for us.
“After the second sending off I had a meeting with the manager and he basically told me that I had a lot of people to win back at the club after the way I acted against Bonnyrigg. I completely understood that and in the near future I need to keep doing the same [not talking back to the referee].
“I need to cut that out of my game and just concentrate on my football and not let myself get so frustrated.”
The New Victoria Park outfit suffered defeat in three of the four matches without the former Nowich City youngster and sit seven points adrift of league leaders Bo’ness United.
But Renton, who hopes to start up front again alongside Coult at home to Broughty Athletic on Saturday, added: “Lewis is a great signing and I think we showed on Saturday what we can do together.
“If we start scoring goals I think we will be fine and we haven’t given up on our challenge yet.”