Match date: 15th of July 2023 Kickoff: 14.30 pm

Dunbar United                       1      

Heart of Midlothian FC B     3

Dunbar United entertained Liam Fox’s young Hearts B team on Saturday in their fourth pre-season Friendly match. The Hearts side who begin their Lowland League campaign next weekend against Gretna had already beaten Whitehill Welfare and Preston Athletic in friendlies and once again Dunbar faced a stiff test to maintain their early season form.

A heavy rain shower just before kick off did not dampen the spirits of a large crowd and it was Hearts who started well, knocking the ball around at pace and within two minutes Bobby McLuckie cut inside from the left but his shot was blocked by the Dunbar defence.

Dunbar eventually settled and both Ben Bathgate and Sean Stewart had shots blocked before a quick Hearts counter attack left Murray Thomas clear but his shot drifted wide of the goal before McLuckie had a shot deflected for a corner by Dunbar’s Gordon Harris.

Dunbar took the lead in the fifteenth minute when some neat play between Grant Thomson and Ben Bathgate saw the latter’s cross fired low into the net by Liam Gregory at the back post for his first goal of the season.

Cammy Dawson had a chance minutes later but his header went wide before Hearts Ryan Duncan caused havoc in the Dunbar defence with a low cross from the right which only needed a touch.

Hearts equalised in the 25th minute when a corner kick was fired in with pace and central defender Kai Smuter rose unchallenged at the back post to level the scores. Dunbar responded with a mazy run from Sean Stewart which might well have ended up a penalty kick but resulted in a corner which Dean Whitson headed wide.

McLuckie and Murray Thomas again went close for the visitors before Sean Stewart and Cammy Dawson combined well before Stewart’s stretching shot was easily saved by the Hearts keeper. Ben Bathgate had a shot cleared off the line as play raged from end to end before Mackenzie Ross wasted a great chance for Hearts. 

Four minutes from the break Hearts scored their second goal and once again it came from a set piece after a well struck low corner was flicked into the net at the front post by Mackenzie Ross and it was the visitors who went in at the break with a slender 2-1 lead.

Ben Bathgate created a great chance for Dunbar after the restart but it was cleared just as Liam Gregory was ready to pounce and three minutes later Hearts increased their lead after an uncharacteristic mistake by Dunbar’s keeper left Mackenzie Ross with a clear chance which he dispatched into the net under the body of the home keeper.

Cammy Dawson fired a cross across the face of the goal which only needed a touch as Dunbar tried to get a foothold back in the game before Sean Stewart was unlucky to see the ball strike his leg just as he was boring in on goal.

Lots of changes to both sides on the hour mark as both sides utilised their squads and Gregor Goldie went close with a shot from an acute angle in the 65th minute which went inches wide of the goal. Bob Berry  had a shot well saved by the Hearts keeper  before Johnny Edmond headed over from Grant Thomson’s long throw in.

Hearts threatened on the counter attacks and Rocco Friel had a shot cleared off the line from a corner before Mackenzie Ross had a great chance for his hat trick but Sean Brennan denied the Hearts striker with a brilliant save.

Thirteen minutes from time another Kai Smuter header from a corner was cleared away by James Redpath and it was the Dunbar side who dominated the remainder of the game with Taylor Hendry almost getting on the end of a Gregor Goldie cross and Aaron Congalton testing the Hearts keeper.

Johnny Edmond shot just over the bar before Michael Barfoot was not far away with a dipping free kick on the edge of the box. Kyle Somers fired over on a couple of occasions before the game ended with Hearts victorious by a 3-1 scoreline.

Not a lot between the sides with the visitors very fast on the counter attacks with some neat interplay and well worked set pieces but some very promising signs for Dunbar who themselves played some clever football and never gave up until the final whistle.

Dunbar continue their final two pre-season matches this week starting on Tuesday night when Edinburgh South are the visitors to New Countess Park, Dunbar with kick off at 7.30 pm and again it is hoped a large home support will turn out to support the team. Tickets are on sale via fanbase:

Dunbar United :- Sean Brennan, Grant Thomson, James Redpath, Dean Whitson, Gordon Harris, Bob Berry, Ben Bathgate, Fraser Neave, Cammy Dawson, Sean Stewart, Liam Gregory.

Substitutes :- Trialist, Gregor Goldie, Taylor Hendry, Johnny Edmond, Aaron Congalton, Michael Barfoot, Michael McFarlane, Kyle Somers, Darren Handling.

Heart of Midlothian FC B :- Trialist, Murray Thomas, Louis Selfridge, Harry Gordon, Ryan Duncan, Kai Smuter, Rocco Friel, Bobby McLuckie, Mackenzie Ross, Gus Stevenson, Kenzi Nair.

Substitutes :- Lyndan Tas, Alexander Walker, Owen Muirhead, Szymon Plesiewicz, Gregor Crookston, Gregor Burn, Lucas Smith, Harvey Chisholm.

Referee :- Lewis Hogarth.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland. For more photos click on our Facebook link: