Dalbeattie Star 3-0 Hawick Royal Albert
Dalbeattie Star went into this must win match with all the pressure on them, but they rose to the challenge in grand style to deservedly claim the crucial points.
The match was played in atrocious conditions and the pitch just about held up, but credit must got to both sets of players who put on a decent show all things considered.
Star began with Lewis Sloan in the starting line up for the first time this season after his Achilles injury and he got a good hour under his belt that will be a huge help to both him and the team between now and the end of the season.
Hawick arrived buoyed by excellent results at Stirling University and East Stirlingshire, knowing victory would still give them an outside chancing of still catching Star and avoiding the dreaded bottom of the table position.
It took half an hour for the visitors to threaten for the first time but Vinnie Parker got down well to save Unpha Koroma’s 25 yard effort. A minute later the Royalists had the ball in the net when Parker failed to hold David Grant’s shot and Koroma fired home the rebound but the offside flag had gone up well before the ball hit the back of the net.
Star began to get back on top and ten minutes from the break a good move involving Brotherston and Muir ended with the former shooting wide. Five minutes from the break Star made the vital breakthrough when Liam Park volleyed the ball low past Saunders from 12 yards.
Three minutes into the second half Star doubled their lead when fine play from Scott Milligan in the quagmire of a midfield put McKenna through and he beat Saunders with a neat chip from some 20 yards.
In the 54th minute the points were all but wrapped up when Sloan marked his comeback with a disputed goal. Keeper Saunders was penalised for picking up a pass back on the six yard line which angered the visiting defence. They packed their goalline with players for the resultant free kick but Muir touched the ball back to Sloan who somehow squeezed his shot through the mass of players and into the back of the net. To be fair Hawick never gave up but it was not to be their day.