NEWTONGRANGE STAR
1955/56

STORY OF THE SEASON
   

The post-war boom in attendances was beginning to fall away and clubs were finding it harder to make ends meet. Midlothian was well-served with Junior clubs – Dalkeith, Arniston, Easthouses, Loanhead, Roswell, Penicuik and Bonnyrigg, as well as Star, were all competing for local support. Of course Hearts were going through a great spell with bumper crowds at Tynecastle, with a team that included several ex Star men.

After consistently good performances in the early 50s this was something of a disappointing season for Star. Dalkeith Thistle were runaway league winners and the King’s Park side went on to defeat West Champions Broxburn 10-3 on aggregate in the Pay off for the overall title. Star were in the pack that chased them to the end but they lacked consistency and crucially could only take one point from four against Dalkeith. A home defeat from bottom of the table Tranent was another result that did not help their cause.

This was the first time since 1949/50 that Star ended the season with no trophies in the cabinet.

The Scottish Junior Cup saw Star slump to one of their poorest results in the national competition. They were drawn at home to Stirlingshire side Bonnybridge who were in the lower reaches of the West Division of the Edinburgh and District league. Confidence was high, but the visitors won 3-0.

Star reached the Semi Finals of both the Brown Cup and the RL Rae Cup. In the Brown Cup they met Dunbar United up at Gorebridge but produced another nightmare performance in losing 4-0. Dunbar lost in the Final to the all-conquering Dalkeith side. Dalkeith was the venue for the RL Rae Cup Semi Final against Haddington; Star lost 4-2. Paton and Laidlaw grabbed the goals for Star, but a Dalkeith side packed with ex-Star men were just too good on the day. They lost in the Final to Dunbar United.

In the Thornton Shield Star needed a replay to get past Penicuik. Drawn at home to Stoneyburn, Star were expected to win, but lost 4-2. Another West Lothian side, Whitburn, knocked Star out at the first stage of the East of Scotland Cup. Star also crashed at the first hurdle in the St Michael Cup, losing to Dalkeith Thistle.

At then end of the season Terry Tighe was transferred to Dunfermline Athletic. A traditional ‘half back’, Terry had been a Hibs provisional signing before coming to Star in 1953. In modern parlance he would be described as a ‘box to box’ midfield player. Following one season with the Pars he moved down to England to sign for Accrington Stanley. He played 117 games for Stanley, scoring 20 goals. He later joined Crewe Alexandra and Southport before dropping out of League football in 1964. He continued to play in non-league football with both Runcorn and then Great Harwood Town.

Another young man coming to the fore in 55/6 was Danny Paton. He was signed on a provisional form by Hearts ay the end of the season but remained at Star for one more year. In due course he went on to play for an eclectic collection of teams – including Yeovil Town, Oxford United, Cambridge City, Bedford Town as well as Atlanta chiefs and Washington Darts of the North American Soccer League.

Source: Newtongrange Star FC match programme [1-Nov-08]

EDINBURGH & DISTRICT LEAGUE MID/EAST DIVISION
PLD
W
D
L
F
A
PTS
Dalkeith Thistle
24
20
3
1
43
Arniston Rangers
24
14
4
6
32
Newtongrange Star
26
13
6
7
32
Dunbar United
24
12
5
7
29
Haddington Athletic
24
12
4
8
28
Easthouses Lily
25
11
4
10
26
Loanhead Mayflower
21
10
3
8
23
Preston Athletic
25
8
6
11
22
Ormiston Primrose
24
8
5
11
21
Penicuik Athletic
24
7
5
12
19
Rosewell Rosedale
23
8
2
13
18
Bonnyrigg Rose
25
5
7
13
17
Musselburgh Athletic
25
4
7
14
15
Tranent Juniors
24
4
5
15
13
 
OPPONENTS
VENUE
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
Arniston Rangers
H
2-2
Slater, Ferguson
A
4-6
Strachan 2, Slater, Grant
Bonnyrigg Rose
H
A
2-1
Tighe, Dunn
Dalkeith Thistle
H
1-1
Paterson
A
0-1
Dunbar United
H
2-2
Tighe, Laidlaw
A
2-1
?
Easthouses Lily
H
4-0
Paterson 2, Whitelaw, Slater
A
1-4
Grant
Haddington Athletic
H
7-3
Brownlee 2, Paton, Slater 2, Tighe, Higgins
A
2-2
?
Loanhead Mayflower
H
3-1
Syme, Slater, Paton
A
Musselburgh Athletic
H
1-1
Tighe
A
2-4
?
Ormiston Primrose
H
4-2
Paton, Slater, Murray, Strachan
A
3-0
Paton, Laidlaw, Slater
Penicuik Athletic
H
3-0
Paton 2, Tighe
A
Preston Athletic
H
4-2
Slater, Strachan, Tighe 2
A
Rosewell Rosedale
H
A
<lost>
Tranent Juniors
H
0-1
A
4-3
Paterson, Ferguson, Green, Slater

SCOTTISH JUNIOR CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
H
Bonnybridge Juniors
0-3

THORNTON SHIELD
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
Bye
2
H
Penicuik Athletic
2-2
Paterson 2
A
Penicuik Athletic
6-2
Tighe, Ferguson, Paton, ?
QF
H
Stoneyburn Juniors
2-4
Tighe 2

EAST OF SCOTLAND CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
?
Whitburn Juniors
1-5
Tighe

ST MICHAELS CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
H
Dalkeith Thistle
2-3
Tighe, Paton

BROWN CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
Bye
2
A
Musselburgh Athletic
7-1
Slater, Linton 2, Laidlaw, Paton, Dunn, OG
QF
H
Broxburn Athletic
3-0
Paterson, Paton, Strachan
SF
N
Dunbar United
0-4

R L RAE CUP
ROUND
VENUE
OPPONENTS
SCORE
MATCH DETAILS
1
Bye
2
H
Tranent Juniors
2-0
Strachan, OG
QF
?
Ormiston Primrose
<won>
?
SF
N
Haddington Athletic
2-4
Paton, Laidlaw