Match date: 9th July 2022 Kickoff: 2.30 pm

Dunbar United  2  East Stirlingshire FC  1

After a well deserved draw against Berwick Rangers on Tuesday night, Dunbar United played a second Lowland League side within a week when East Stirlingshire were visitors to New Countess Park on Saturday.

The visitors who finished sixth in their League last Season started the game with seven Trialists named in their starting eleven,  whilst Dunbar reshuffled their side and were without young full back Evan Fleming who suffered ligament and ankle injuries against Berwick Rangers and will remain sidelined for a lengthy period.

Another healthy crowd were in attendance on yet another glorious day for football.  Shire’s Dean Watson tested Shea Dowie, the Dunbar keeper in the opening minutes, but the keeper saved well. However it was the visitors who took the lead in the 11th minute after the Dunbar keeper misjudged a cross from the right and as the ball broke loose East Stirling’s Trialist number 10 fired low into the net with a deflection of the Dunbar keeper.

Two minutes later and Dunbar should have equalised after some great play by Willis Hare on the right saw his inch perfect cross headed wide by Jamie Devlin.

Jordan Hopkinson and Ben Bathgate had shots saved as Dunbar pushed hard for the equaliser,  and Dunbar captain Darren Handling had a header cleared off the line with the goalkeeper beaten before the Dunbar pressure paid dividends in the 27th minute when an inch perfect cross from James Redpath was headed powerfully into the net by Jamie Devlin for a deserved equaliser.

Dean Watson had a shot saved well by Dowie before he was replaced by another Trialist after picking up a slight knock. Dunbar’s Trialist might have done better after being set up by Ben Bathgate but his curling shot went just wide before the half time whistle sounded with the scores level.

Ben Bathgate was replaced in the Dunbar side by Michael McFarlane after the restart and the visitors went all out for the equaliser with Dean Ritchie shooting high over the bar, but Dunbar settled and took the lead after 55 minutes when the Shire goalkeeper cleared a Dunbar attack only as far as new signing Jordan Hopkinson fully 30 yards from the goals, but some quick thinking saw the Dunbar player lob the ball over the keeper and into the net much to the delight of the home support.

The visitors had a chance two minutes later from a corner,  but their Trialist headed over at the back post.

Dunbar changed things about on the hour mark utilising all four remaining outfield substitutes in order to get more game time and although the visitors did a lot of attacking,  the Dunbar defence was resolute and solid, confining the visitors to shoot from distance and limit their goal scoring opportunities.

With thirteen minutes remaining, Jamie Devlin had to be replaced after picking up a strain and substitute goalkeeper Sean Brennan, being the only unused substitute left played in attack for the remainder of the game.

Dunbar then went down to ten men as Cammy Dawson required treatment after an innocuous tackle in midfield,  but the home team saw out the remaining time well before the final whistle sounded.

They did well to come from behind against their opponents from two Leagues above them and never really looked like losing the game after edging in front. Hopefully they will continue their good form on Tuesday night when they play yet another Lowland League side, Boness United away from home with kick-off at 7.30 pm.

Dunbar United :- Shea Dowie, Ben Bathgate, Bob Berry, Darren Handling, Dean Whitson, James Redpath, Jamie Devlin, Jordan Hopkinson, Kerr Allan, Willis Hare, Trialist.

Substitutes :- Sean Brennan, Cammy Dawson, Darren Smith, Grant Thomson, Michael McFarlane, Trialist.

East Stirlingshire :- Ross Connelly, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Jack Hodge, Kenny Barr, Trialist, Trialist, Dean Watson. 

Substitutes :- Iain Ure, Dean Ritchie, , Connor Greene, Trialist, Trialist, Trialist.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!