Newtongrange Star urged to keep feelgood factor

Newtongrange Star manager Alan Miller, third left, and his backroom team

Newtongrange Star manager Alan Miller, third left, and his backroom team

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Newtongrange Star manager Alan Miller admits it will be a tall order for his newly-promoted side to maintain their dream start to life in the East Super League.

However, he has urged his on-song players to try and continue enjoying the feelgood factor that has come with being back in the top flight.

The New Victoria Park outfit will be aiming to make it a perfect three wins from three league games when they welcome St Andrews United tomorrow.

Nitten thrashed Kelty Hearts 6-2 on the opening day of the season and then followed it up on Tuesday night with a solid 2-0 win over Musselburgh.

“There are still 28 league games to go and a lot of twists and turns are going to happen before the season ends.

“All this [being in the top flight] is relatively new to most of us and we’re just going out there to enjoy ourselves against the established Super League clubs.

“There have been some huge improvements at the club recently and the players are responding to a happier atmosphere. There has been a great deal of work done with the backroom staff of Ian Black, Finlay Wells and Alec Stewart, and the players have definitely responded to their coaching.

“It’s a good place to be just now so, with results going our way, let’s enjoy the experience. It’s going to get tough at times throughout the next few months so let’s enjoy the good times while we can.”

Miller can call on a full-strength squad for tomorrow’s visit of St Andrews, but the manager admits the Fifers are something of an unknown quantity to his side.

“I know their manager Jim Hardie and striker Gary Sutherland but other than that, nothing,” he said. “They have only got one point from their two games, so they will be hurting and they could cause us problems if we’re not careful.”

Miller, meanwhile, revealed he’s having trouble recruiting a back-up keeper for Kieron Renton.

He added: “I would like another keeper on the books but that’s posing a problem. I’ve approached a few and they all want to play every week, not come here as back up to Kieron. However, Kieron could get injured so an opportunity to impress and keep hold of the gloves is there for the taking. Of the people I’ve spoken to, no-one is willing to come here and fight for a place. It’s a problem throughout the country, finding back-up keepers.”

Champions Linlithgow head to Camelon, with both sides having picked up maximum points from their two games so far. Mark Bradley’s team, despite missing a few key men so far this summer, appear to have picked up where they left off last term and will be confident of following up their 5-3 win at Camelon in the Fife and Lothians Cup last season. Camelon are managed by Danny Smith, the ex-Linlithgow captain.

Bo’ness, who have added a raft of new faces this summer, will be aiming to maintain their flawless start to the league campaign when they welcome Kelty to Newtown Park tomorrow.

Musselburgh will be hoping to bounce back from Tuesday’s defeat at Newtongrange when they head to Fife to play newly-promoted Ballingry. Manager Davy McGlynn is still keen to add to his squad.

Bonnyrigg, who needed a late Kris Renton goal to rescue a point at Broxburn on Tuesday, visit Hill Of Beath.

Broxburn, meanwhile, will be hoping for a first victory of the season when they host Lochee United. The Albyn Park side started the campaign with two of the toughest games they could have asked for – against Linlithgow and Bonnyrigg and, as a result, have collected only one point so far.