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Red Star 5 – Houston 1
Lochgilphead Red Star maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with an excellent away win against a Houston United side which had held Star to a draw on in both league matches last season.
Star made the long trip to Beith in North Ayrshire for the league clash and started the brighter of the sides, with Rab Docherty seeing his effort saved by the keeper after he had beaten the Houston defender.
Red Star continued on the front foot and strikers Ciaran McPhie and Kieran Moore both saw shots saved by the ‘keeper as they pressed for the opener.
The visitors deservedly took the lead but with a hint of good fortune as a spinning ball landed awkwardly on the ground as the goalkeeper went to collect and fell kindly to the advancing Lee MacLean. He had the simple task of tapping the ball into an empty net to put his side 0-1 up.
The home side, to their credit, managed to force their way back into the game when a cross from the right hand side was headed past Luke Kalache in goal with the ‘keeper having no chance.
Red Star upped the pace and were keen to get back on the front foot and succeeded when some lovely link up play down the right hand side released Rab Docherty, who cut the ball back to Ciaran McPhie who found the bottom corner with a fist time finish.
The Red Star midfield trio of Ben Forbes, Lee MacLean and Aaron Moore were now in charge, with Moore dominant in the air. It was no surprise when Star extended their lead when a looping ball over the top saw Ciaran McPhie beat the offside trap before coolly slotting home past the ‘keeper to give Star a 1-3 lead at half time.
Houston came out and had a go early in the second half but were finding the settled opposition defence of Andy Weir, Luke Naisby and Kyle Selfridge tough to breach. They had a shout for a penalty when Luke Naisby challenged the forward but the referee saw the Star man get a good touch on the ball.
Red Star were still causing all sorts of problems on the break, with the link up play between Kieran Moore and Ciaran McPhie excellent to watch at times.
The match was made safe with 20 minutes remaining when substitute Andy Moore set up Ciaran McPhie in the corner and the young forward turned and fired his shot into the bottom corner to round off another hat-trick.
Star weren’t finished there and added a fifth goal late on when Kevin Keen’s cross was met by Kieran Moore, who headed into the top corner to pick up a goal that his play deserved and seal a 1-5 win.
At the other end Luke Kalache was on hand to turn away a couple of powerful efforts as Houston went in search of a consolation, but Star ran out convincing winners to make it five wins from five in the league.
Tomorrow Red Star welcome Maryhill Thistle to Lochgilphead in the West of Scotland Cup second round. The match will take place at the Ropework or Joint Campus 3G, weather permitting, and will be played to a finish on the day.