Star suffer first league defeat

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SAFL Premier Two

Milbeg 4-3 Lochgilphead Red Star

Red Star travelled to a windswept Stepford on Saturday to take on Milbeg but tasted league defeat for the first time since March after a disappointing second half display.

The game was scrappy in the opening exchanges with the wind making it difficult for both sides to get any passing rhythm going. It was Star who looked most likely however with the wind at their backs and they opened the scoring through Martin Bonar. The ball was played wide to Aaron Moore, whose cross was met by Kieran Moore. The youngster managed to head the ball back across to Bonar who nodded home from close range and Star were ahead after 18 minutes.

Milbeg were proving to be no pushovers, and battled back almost instantly when a well-worked move caught out the Star rearguard. Keeper Kalache could only punch  the ball into the path of the Milbeg striker who found the corner with ease to level the scores at.

Star managed to get back on to the front foot before the break and should have had the game safe thanks to an Innes Meikle double. His first effort came from a neat flick on after a Kieran Moore free kick before Star hit the hosts on the break soon after to put themselves 1-3  up after Meikle found the bottom corner from the edge of the area.

Star knew they would face a difficult task in the second half but they could have made the game safe when Neil Russell, Kieran Moore and Innes Meikle all managed to test the keeper but they couldn’t find that killer goal.

The Lochgilphead side were eventually made to pay as they dropped off the pace, allowing Milbeg back into the match. The match was alive as a contest when a Milbeg striker finished into the bottom corner as Star struggled to clear their lines and it was 2-3 with half an hour left.

Star were starting to have some problems from set pieces as well and it was no surprise when Milbeg equalised with 20 minutes remaining thanks to a header from a free kick.

Milbeg then grabbed what would prove to be the winner. Once again a wicked delivery from wide was met by a Milbeg head, leaving Kalache with no chance and the home side took the lead with 10 minutes remaining.

A disorientated Star did their best to force a draw late on with the best chance falling to Kevin Keen, however his effort sailed wide of the post and Milbeg held on to keep their perfect start to the season going and inflict a first defeat on a disappointing Red Star.

Star will look to bounce back on Saturday November 4 but will have their work cut out as they travel to play Bannockburn in the Scottish Cup third round. Bannockburn have won the trophy three times over the years so Star know a big test is on the cards.