Newtongrange Star beat a spirited Fauldhouse with striker Kyle Lander grabbing a first-half double to seal the points in a game which both sides needed to win to steer away from the relegation zone.
Star boss Steve McLeish said: “We played some terrific football. Their keeper had a great day and we made him work hard. We had a 10 minute spell when we took our eye off the ball but recovered quick enough and I thought we were deserved winners.”
Fauldhouse opened the scoring in the sixth minute by taking advantage of some slack passing when they broke quickly with Declan Byrne racing towards goal. His first attempt was blocked by the keeper but he slammed home the rebound.
Newtongrange started to find their rhythm and equalised just after the half hour. A Lee Currie corner from the right was headed powerfully home by Lander at the back post. Star were in front within ten minutes when Lander turned superbly in the box and drilled home a low effort, completely wrong footing the keeper.
Connolly was in superb form and saved well from Cropley and Lander in quick succession after the break. Star fell out of game for a spell and Fauldhouse were awarded a penalty for a push in the box after 57 minutes but Andy Black’s effort was high and wide.
Newtongrange rallied and keeper Connolly was again a busy man as the Star peppered his goal with good chances. Fauldhouse’s hopes were dashed when substitute Gary Fallon was shown two yellow cards in quick succession.
Newtongrange: Amos, Swaney, Martynuik, Hamilton, Lally, Morris, Currie, Wilson, Murray, Lander, Cropley. Subs: Newman, O’Brien, Bracks, Sinclair, Young.
Fauldhouse: Connolly, Stewart, Wilson, McSherry, Devlin, Black, Byrne, Stewart, Richford, Coogans, Martin. Subs: Ward, Gilchrist, Bonnes, Fallon, Sally.