Miller’s men make heavy weather of win over Tranent

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Newtongrange Star 2

Tranent 0

Newtongrange made hard work of taking three points against Tranent in this League Cup tie after storming to a two-goal lead in the opening half hour.

There were plenty of new faces in both camps for Newtongrange’s first home game of the season and Star’s left winger Paul Tansey was quick to show why manager Allan Miller brought him with a goal after only five minutes. The ball was played out wide right to winger Joe Dunbar and he crossed low to the six-yard box. Tansey reacted quickest in front of his marker to side foot the ball home.

Newtongrange took full control and should have been three or four up but sadly Gary Cherrie missed a hat-trick of glorious chances. However, the second goal was only delayed until the 25th minute. Star forced a corner on the left which Tansey took and his perfect cross was met by full back John McManus who smashed the ball home from ten yards.

Tranent boss Chris McGinn had a job to do at the break and whatever he said seemed to work for the opening half hour of the second half. The visitors had chances but all too often lacked punch in the last third of the pitch. Alan Horne was trying hard to get their rhythm in midfield but gradually Newtongrange forced Tranent back. In the 75th minute they looked like scoring a third. Ally Forster controlled a high ball on his chest twisted round and before the ball hit the ground hooked a volley to the top corner. Tranent keeper and new signing Craig Jamieson showed his class with a superb tip over the bar in what would be the first in a string of superb saves.

In the space of ten minutes he saved from Forster again, sub Grant Meaney, Joe Dunbar and Forster once more. Tranent then had a strong penalty claim turned down by impressive referee Blair Robertson as the full time whistle approached.

In the end Newtongrange should have won this game more comfortably and boss Miller came out of the fixture happy with the points but disappointed with the lack of edge on show from his players. “It’s so frustrating watching a performance like that. We don’t have the edge to our game I was looking for.

“We played well enough and created enough chances to win three or more games.

It was more like a pre-season friendly and that’s not good enough. We have a good record in the League Cup and we want that to continue.

“We have to take the positives from this game. We had enough chances but because it’s still early in the season our match fitness is still missing. The new players are fitting in well and next week’s game against Super League side Musselburgh will give us a chance to see how much progress we’re making.”

Tranent manager McGinn was another disappointed man. “It was like a different team from Wednesday night. We played so well against Musselburgh but on Saturday it was totally different and we were lucky it wasn’t a bigger score. We’re in the process of rebuilding a new side and it’s very 
early to see much of an improvement. We let ourselves down in the first half but did better in the second. We can’t though afford to give teams like Newtongrange a two-goal lead.”

Newtongrange new signing Michael Deland, the former Hearts youngster signed from Berwick Rangers had an impressive game. “I’m enjoying it here. We have lots of ambitious players in the squad and I’m delighted to be part of it. It’s still early in the season and we have a lot more to give.”

Newtongrange: Amos, McManus, Deland, Donnelly, Gibson, Turner, Dunbar, Bennett (Meaney), Forster, Cherrie (Wilson), Tansey. Subs: Tolmie, 
Graham, O Connor.

Tranent: Jamieson, Barbariou, Robertson, Christie, Foster, Darling, Berry, Horne, Branley (Baillie), Lawrie (Sergeant), Fearney. Subs: Trialist, Dick, Polowij.