Dalbeattie Star in remarkable 10-goal thriller at Caledonian Braves

Phil Middlemiss was on target against both Vale of Leithen and Caledonian Braves
Phil Middlemiss was on target against both Vale of Leithen and Caledonian Braves

An eventful few days saw Dalbeattie Star suffer a disappointing home loss – but then have to settle for just a single away point in a 10-goal thriller.

On Saturday, Star missed the chance to open up a gap on one of their rivals at the foot of the table when they went down 3-1 at home to Vale of Leithen.

The visitors arrived at Islecroft looking for their first win of the season and struck first in 39 minutes when Brad Rixon curled a fine finish beyond Vinnie Parker; their only serious effort at goal in a first half dominated by Star.

Substitute Phil Middlemiss volleyed home an equaliser in 63 minutes but, within two minutes, Liam Parker got beyond the home defence to restore Vale’s lead.

Robel Dent then sealed the win seven minutes from time, bundling home after the Dalbeattie rearguard failed to deal with a long ball from Vale ‘keeper Ross Gilpin.

Star moved on to face Caledonian Braves and their first visit to Lanarkshire’s Alliance Park started poorly when Neil McLaughlin gave the side formerly known as Edusport a fourth-minute lead.

However, the visitors levelled on 22 minutes when Connor Graham stabbed home after being set up by Lewis Sloan. Nine minutes later, Aiden Kerr put them in front from close range.

Ross McNeil equalised on 41 minutes with a low finish after a smart turn but, within seconds, Calvin Cowie headed Star back in front.

Middlemiss swept in a fourth on 58 minutes and, when another close-range Kerr finish made it 5-2 10 minutes later, Star looked home and dry.

But a disputed penalty converted by McNeil 15 minutes from time gave Braves a lifeline.

Ben Dailly’s volley a few minutes later cut the deficit to one and, in the last minute, a David Winters strike flew into the top corner to deny Dalbeattie all three points.

This Saturday, Star are away to University of Stirling.