|CB||5||Andy Ward (c)|
|77||17||Ryan Milne (u20)|
COLTS began 2017 with a bang producing one of their best performances of the season with an emphatic victory over Lowland League rivals Dalbeattie Star.
Goals from Jonathan Black, Richie Kirwan and Craig Murray ensured the Broadwood outfit followed up the previous weekSs win over league leaders East Kilbride with another three points.
Colts started their first game of 2017 unchanged from the team which defeated East Kilbride in the previous outing and a decent crowd inside Broadwood witnessed the first fixture of the new year.
The hosts started brightly and created an early opening in 6 minutes when new loanee signing Lewis Wilson broke into the left side of the box and squared the ball to Sean Brown but the striker pulled his shot wide from 10 yards.
Colts went even closer in 14 minutes when a great move involving Wilson & Owen Ronald should have resulted in the opening goal.
Jamie Broadfoot's header from Ronald's knock down was cleared off the line and Brown reacted quickest attempting to force the ball over the line from close range but his header appeared to be blocked by the hand of Star defender Lewis Todd. The Colts players appealed furiously for a spot kick to be awarded but their appeals were ignored by the referee.
The Cumbernauld men continued to probe in search of an opener and again Brown was presented with a great chance in 32 minutes when he was picked out by Broadfoot, but his point blank header was blocked by Star keeper Vinnie Parker.
The visitors almost shocked the home support in 41 minutes when slack defensive play from Colts allowed Lewis Sloan to take up a great position on the edge of the box but the striker pulled his effort just wide with Colts keeper Chris Fahey at full stretch.
However the Colts first half dominance was rewarded just before the interval in spectacular fashion.
Colts forced yet another corner which was sent to the back post by Broadfoot where Wilson had a low shot blocked, but the ball broke into the path of Black who rifled a tremendous angled shot from 25 yards into the far top corner off the inside of the post with Parker helpless.
And things got even better for Colts shortly after the interval when they doubled their advantage with a well-deserved second in 49 minutes.
A great move down the left was started by Wilson and developed with the ball being switched to the right as Black laid the ball into the path of Kirwan who beat his man before drilling a low angled drive into the far bottom corner of the net with Parker at full stretch.
The second goal should have put Colts in command but the visitors responded well and began and went close to reducing the deficit in 66 minutes when a Jamie McHarrie snapshot from just inside the box went just wide of Fahey's right hand post.
And as the game entered the final quarter the visitors continued to look dangerous as they began to put the Colts defence under some pressure but Fahey and Ward had the back line well organised and any clear openings for Star were limited. But Colts put the game beyond any doubt with just under 10 minutes remaining when Murray netted the third a minute after being denied at close range by keeper Parker.
Kirwan and Murray had been a thorn in the Star flesh for periods of the second half and the two men combined again on the edge of the visitors box before the ball fell kindly for Murray who made no mistake with a beautifully placed volley from the edge of the box.
The impressive win moves Colts to within four points of their fourth placed opponents having played three games less, and James Orr and Craig McKinlay's men now focus their attention on next week's trip to Gretna.
Reporter: Stuart Coleman