Ian Black sets Tranent on their way as they show ambition for upcoming season
Tranent boss Calvin Shand expects his side to get even better as they got off to a blistering start on the opening day of the new East of Scotland Premier Division campaign, winning 3-0 at Newtongrange Star.
The Belters signalled their intent with a showing which will convince many that they will be competing right at the top end of the table come the end of the season, as they aim to pick up from where they left off last season having lifted silverware in June. Tranent won without several of their usual starters.
“It is always a difficult place to come and with it being the first game of the season they were obviously up for it and you could see that,” said Shand. “What was more impressive was the fact we came here with the amount of bodies that were missing and the calibre of player that we’ve still got to come back.
“I felt in the second half we weren’t at our best but our shape was really good and I felt comfortable. I felt it like it could’ve been more but I am not going to be too picky about it; 3-0 in the first game of the season, I’m delighted.
“The boys that have came in have been brilliant and the guys that have been here from last season are going to continue to get better. It gives me a headache because nobody is guaranteed to get back into the team now.”
Ian Black produced a bullet header to put the visitors in front after 11 minutes when the former Hearts midfielder got on the end of Ben Miller’s corner kick. It could have been oh so different, however, had Kyle Lander shot anywhere but straight at Ally Adams after just two minutes when he was played in by Steven Thomson.
Striker Stephen MacDonald volleyed in number two before half-time, in controversial circumstances with Black’s free-kick deflecting off referee Michael Addy and into the American’s path. The hosts had chances to reduce the deficit in the second half, but Tranent wrapped up the win seven minutes from time when Shaun Rutherford teed up substitute striker Mark McGovern who fired in from close range.
Star co-manager Kenny Rafferty felt Tranent’s second goal shouldn’t have stood, he said:
“I am not going to sit here and say we deserved to win because in my opinion Tranent were better than us. I never knew until half-time that a new rule has come in, that if the ref interferes he has to stop play - and he’s not, which resulted in them getting a second goal. It knocked us out of our stride.”
Newtongrange Star: Renton, Murray, Christie, Hume, O’Hara, Scott, Smith (Swaney), Wilson (Bracks), Paterson, Lander, Thomson.
Tranent: Adams, Berry, Rutherford, Donaldson (Reid), Hawkins, Miller, Moffat (McGovern), Black (Hill), MacDonald, Murphy, Jones.