SCARVA Rangers’ pulsating promotion charge suffered a setback on Saturday with defeat in Newtownhamilton.
The 2-0 reversal was the village side’s first league defeat of 2012 and a spirited performance from Mo Brown’s depleted side deserved better than the outcome.
The two decisive goals were both scored by the hosts in the first half but it wasn’t all one way traffic in the opening 45 minutes.
Neil Anderson went close with a scintillating volley and Kyle Jennett also struck a dangerous shot that drifted just over the target.
In the early stages of the second half an incisive pass from Neil Anderson released striker Dean McCammon but the home keeper won the resulting duel between the pair.
Rangers were reduced to ten men but they continued in their dogged search for something from the game. McCammon headed just over from a corner, Dillon fired a close range shot wide, Jennett forced a fine save from his free kick and Mo Brown slid the ball to Rod Douglas, whose shot cannoned off the inside of the post and scooted to safety.
The hosts hit the woodwork at the other end and Gary Dodds comfortably held a shot from distance as the two sets of defences ensured a goalless second half.
Best for Scarva Rangers – Mark Baird performed impressively at right back in the second half after spending the opening 45 minutes as one of Scarva’s two stand in keepers on Saturday.
The club wishes regular goalkeeper Paul Davidson, an important element in this season’s excellent campaign, a speedy recovery following his recent serious injury.