Match date: 16th July 2022 Kickoff: 2.00 pm

Dunbar United  1    vs   Heart of Midlothian FC  2

Dunbar’s fifth preseason fixture brought Steven Naismith and Donald Park to New Countess Park with their Hearts Development side, the majority who will be plying their trade as Hearts B in the Scottish Lowland League this season.

New Dunbar signings, Shaun Miller and Aaron Congalton went into the starting XI,  and missing were Fraser Neave, Evan Fleming, Willis Hare and Johnny Edmond.  Hearts were starting with quite a bit of their Under 18’s squad playing with a sprinkling of Academy and ‘B’ team players in there as well.

As early as the first  minute, Hearts probably should have been in a 1-0 lead after Darren Handling was caught in possession in his own defensive quarters by Finlay Pollock,  but the low shot was well saved by Shea Dowie.

With 5 minutes having been played, a half-cleared Dunbar corner fell for Darren Smith on the edge of the box and his shot on goal was juggled by Harry Stone in the visitors’ goal before he recovered. Moments later, Stone was called into action again to make another good save from a Handling shot.

On the quarter hour mark, Murray Thomas saw his snapshot deflect off Michael McFarlane for a corner.  McFarlane was becoming adept at getting in the way at the right time. A short while later, Shea Dowie pulled off a superb diving save to deny a Cammy Logan shot from the edge of the box flying into the corner.

In the 28th minute, and with Darren Smith down injured, we were treated to the rare sight of an official scheduled water break. Granted it was rather warm and the pitch was quite dry.

In the 37th minute, Stone had to look sharp to stop a Dean Whitson header entering the net at the back post from a Darren Smith corner. Hearts broke up the other end and Jayden Ferguson clipped the ball over Dowie only for Grant Thomson to hook the ball off the line from right underneath the bar.

With 40 minutes having been played, the Dunbar Trialist was replaced with Jordan Hopkinson up front for Dunbar. It had the desired effect. A ball was played in from the right-hand side and it was substitute, JORDAN HOPKINSON on hand to turn and fire the ball into the bottom corner to give the home side a 1-0 half time lead.

There were no changes for Dunbar at half time whilst Hearts brought on a fresh pair of gloves with Liam McFarlane taking over between the sticks.  MacAulay Tait tried his luck from range with a shot from just outside the box but Dowie was on hand to touch the ball over the bar.

James Wilson and Callum Sandilands came on for Hearts with Jayden Ferguson and Murray Thomas making way. Dunbar sent on Bob Berry, Jamie Devlin, Kerr Allan and Ben Bathgate with Grant Thomson, Cammy Dawson, Aaron Congalton and Dean Smith taking seats.

In the 65th minute, Hearts equalised. Bailey Dall had been industrious all afternoon, ploughing a furlough up the left wing and from one such incursion, he sent over a low cross into the middle where it was met perfectly by AIDAN DENHOLM and the Hearts captain side footed home low under Shea Dowie in the home goal.

More changes in the Hearts team as Bailey Dall, MacAulay Tait and Harry Gordon were replaced with Adam Forrester, Bobby McLuckie and Harvey Chisholm and it was the later, Chisholm, who was next to try Dowie but the Dunbar keeper once again stood his ground and got in a good block.

A little bit of controversy was to follow when Jamie Devlin chased a through ball and was hauled back by Adam Forrester.  The assistant referee did flag for the foul and the referee waved the flag down again, giving Dunbar nothing. The assistant insisted to the crowd gathered near-by that “it was a foul all day long”.

Two further Hearts changes saw Ethan Drysdale replace Finlay Pollock and Rocco Friel replace Cammy Logan. Two minutes later, in the 78th minute, Hearts took a lead they would not relinquish. After having a good game, a poor clearance by Shea Dowie was returned with interest by JAMES WILSON and dropped into

the empty net with the Dunbar goalie stranded.

In the 83rd minute, Liam McFarlane misjudged a cross from the Dunbar right and Jamie Devlin was waiting just behind him but the angle and Luke Rathie conspired to force the Dunbar man too wide and the chance was lost.

With just a couple of minutes remaining, Rocco Friel had a volley on target for Hearts but Shea Dowie was able to parry and catch at the second attempt.  Dunbar will be happy with the performance but the circumstances of the winning goal were a little chaotic.

Michael McFarlane was the outstanding player again and Jordan Hopkinson took his goal well. The lads now have 7 days before Arniston Rangers come visiting next Saturday before Hibs a week on Tuesday round off the pre-season fixtures. Tickets for the match are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app.

Dunbar United :- Shea Dowie, James Redpath, Michael McFarlane, Grant Thomson, Cammy Dawson, Darren Handling, Trialist, Shaun Miller, Aaron Congalton, Darren Smith, Dean Whitson.

Substitutes :- Sean Brennan, Kerr Allan, Jamie Devlin, Bob Berry, Liam Gregory, Ben Bathgate, Jordan Hopkinson.

Heart of Midlothian FC :- Harry Stone, Cammy Logan, Bailey Dall, Luke Rathie, Aaron Darge, MacAulay Tait, Aidan Denholm, Harry Gordon, Jayden Ferguson, Finlay Pollock, Murray Thomas.

Substitutes :- Liam McFarlane, Callum Sandilands, Bobby McLuckie, Adam Forrester, Ethan Drysdale, Harvey Chisholm, Rocco Friel, James Wilson.

Referee :- Fraser Bushell.

Assistant referees: – Stephen Divers & Emmanuelle Hignant.

Photos by Dave Black and Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!