MAGIC MILLY SEALS THE DEAL
By David McDonald
Star’s mini revival continued as they beat second top BSC Glasgow in another pulsating match at Islecroft.
This was our fourth home match in a row, three of which were against top four sides, and to emerge with two wins and two draws is not the form of a bottom two club. In fact Star fans must be wishing the season was just starting as their current form would have them chasing the title and not battling relegation. After three games in quick succession on a heavy pitch manager Darren Kerr, decided to give Scott Milligan a well earned rest, though no doubt Milly would have been desperate to play, but he would come on and give the most telling contribution of the afternoon. Liam Park came back after his four match suspension and Connor Graham made his first start for a number of weeks due to injury.
This was BSC’s first match in three weeks since they beat Star 4-1 at the Indodrill, but there were no signs of rustiness as they started brightly. In the earlier meeting BSC had the match virtually won by half time but it soon became apparent this would be a much closer affair. The visitors had a penalty appeal in the 12th minute but it looked from the sidelines that it was an excellent tackle by Ross Thomson. However a minute later Tom Orr broke clear but Vinnie Parker came out to narrow the angle and saved Orr’s drive with his head. Star’s response was good and Lewis Todd set up Ben Irving and from almost the exact same spot from where he scored against Spartans on Wednesday night, this time the strikers shot smacked off the top of the crossbar. Lewis Sloan’s corners were causing the visitors major problems with the first flashing across the face of goal, begging to be touched home and the second was glanced by the head of Ross Thomson but went inches past the far post.
There was nothing between the two sides but with 9 minutes of the first half left the home side took the lead. They hit BSC on the break and Sloan played Liam Park through and as he rounded the Ryan Marshall in the BSC goal, the keeper clipped his heels for a straightforward penalty award. Ross Smith picked up a yellow card for protesting too vigorously and this would come back to haunt him in the dying minutes. Marshall guessed the right way but Sloan’s spot kick had too much power and accuracy and Star had the half time lead.
BSC made a switch at the break and Thomas Collins came on for his debut and in less than a minute he scored for his new club with his first touch of the ball. A fine cross picked out Martin Grehan at the back post and he headed the ball back across goal and there was Collins to touch the ball home from close range. This obviously knocked the home side back on their heels a bit and BSC continued to press home their advantage. Declan Hughes fired in a free kick from wide on the left and almost caught Parker out at his near post but the keeper did well to scramble across his goal and knock the ball out for a corner. Star slowly began to get back into the match and it was very much there for the taking for either side. On the hour the visitors thought they had taken the lead when Collins chipped the ball towards the back post and it may well have been going in but striker Tom Orr headed the ball home just to be sure, but luckily for Star he was in an offside position.
The home side then began to look the more likely to score and with 77 minutes on the clock the winning goal arrived. Ross Green, who had another excellent match at left back, swung in a cross that Scott Milligan had no right to make any decent contact with. However Milly somehow leant back, got his head to the ball and diverted it towards goal where it flew over the head of Marshall and into the top corner of the net. The Islecroft faithful has seen Scott score over 300 goals for the club over the years, but rarely has he been so animated after finding the back of the net. It was a goal few players could have scored and Milly showed that despite moving to midfield in the past few seasons, he has never lost that natural predatory instinct.
As expected BSC threw everything forward in a bid to snatch an equaliser. They fired in plenty of crosses but the home defence stood firm. In the last minute Star hit them on the break and substitute Corey Thomson was wrestled to the ground by Ross Smith and the centre back was shown a second yellow card and subsequent red. However BSC still went all out for a leveller and the home side and their fans were delighted to hear the final whistle after four minutes of stoppage time.
Again this was another first class performance from the Star against a top team. From back to front every player played their part yet again. It’s amazing what one result can do to the confidence of a team and since the Kelty match we have gone from strength to strength. Next up is our final way match of the season as we travel to Galashiels, which over the years has been a happy hunting ground for the Star.
DALBEATTIE STAR 2 BSC GLASGOW 1
Sloan (36 pen) Collins (46)
Milligan (77) HT 1-0
DALBEATTIE STAR: Parker, Wilson, Green, Cowie, R Thomson, Cameron, Park, Todd (Kerr 87), Irving (C Thomson 82), Sloan, Graham (Milligan 73)
Subs not used: Mason, O’Sullivan, McConaghie, Pipe
Yellow Cards: Irving, Wilson
BSC GLASGOW: Marshall, McCormack, Mills, Quigley (Collins 46), Smith, McMillan, O’Reilly, McNab, Orr( Marshall 71), Grehan, Hughes (Pignatiello 55)
Subs not used: Verlaque, Irvine, Lindsay, Barr
Yellow Cards: Smith, O’Reilly, McNab, Collins, Smith
Red Card: Smith (90)
Ref B Fraser
Assistants: R Dougan & K Gallacher