Match date: 6th July 2021 Kickoff: 19:30

Dunbar’s fifth pre-season friendly was played in front of a larger than usual crowd at New Countess Park, this time led by coach Eck Christie who was assisted with several senior players to cover the Manager’s holiday absence against a young Hibernian XI, and despite the constant rain, both sides played good entertaining football in a four goal thriller.

Hibs were fresh from a 5-3 win over Lowland League side Civil Service Strollers whilst Dunbar were struggling to gain any consistency from their four earlier games.

Hibs Ethan Laidlaw and Murray Aitken both had shots saved well by Laing in the Dunbar goal before Dunbar’s Fraser McLaren’s header was saved at the other end by Hibs Trialist keeper and in the 20th minute Dunbar had the ball in the net after Edmond combined well with McLaren but the goal was ruled out as offside.

Hibs best chance came in the 33rd minute when Robbie Hamilton skipped past two challenges on the left and fired across goal but Dunbar’s young Trialist cleared off the goal line. Johnny Edmond headed one past for Dunbar as play swung from end to end and Ethan Laidlaw might have done better with a rising shot for Hibs.

Six minutes before the break Dunbar opened the scoring when Johnny Edmond sent Fraser McLaren racing down the wing and as he cut inside his shot took a wicked deflection of a Hibs defender striking the Hibs keeper before nestling in the net much to the delight of the home support.

Jamie Devlin replaced Fraser McLaren in the Dunbar attack after the restart and within two minutes the visitors almost equalised when Connor Young’s free kick brought out a brilliant save from Daniel Laing. In the 55th minute Dunbar almost increased their lead when a curling shot from 30 yards by Ben Bathgate rebounded off the crossbar before Edmond’s shot was blocked then Fraser Neave fired over the bar.

Hibs equalised in their next attack when a delicate chip from defence was left by the Dunbar defence but Robbie Hamilton timed his diagonal run to perfection before controlling the ball and firing low into the net.

Three minutes later and Dunbar regained the lead following good play between their Trialist and Fraser Neave saw the latter square the ball for Johnny Edmond to slide in and fire home his first goal in Dunbar colours after signing from Preston Athletic. Hibs almost equalised straight away when Dunbar’s Trialist back headed into the path of Robbie Hamilton but Daniel Laing recovered well in the Dunbar goal and turned the ball round for a corner.

Both sides rang the changes utilising their squads to get more game time before Dunbar substitute Andy Jones sent Johnny Edmond clear in on goal but the young striker tried to pick his spot and saw the Hibs keeper deny him a second goal. Hibs equalised again in the 72nd minute after gaining a free kick on the edge of the box before Connor Young fired an unstoppable free kick over the wall and into the net leaving the Dunbar keeper stranded.

Still the play raged from end to end and Dunbar went close with shots from Darren Handling and Fraser Neave testing the Hibs keeper before Michael McFarlane saw his header saved on the line. With the rain finally relenting the referee blew for full time and brought a very entertaining game to an end.

A draw was probably a fair result on the night with a marked improvement in Dunbar’s performance from their earlier games. They looked a completely different team creating numerous chances and working hard for each other against a very well drilled Hibs team under the guidance of Gareth Evans.

Dunbar travel to Coldstream on Saturday then complete their pre-season campaign next Tuesday night for another glamour tie, this time a Hearts XI visit New Countess Park with a 7.30 pm kick off.

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Michael McFarlane, Trialist, Grant Thomson, Bob Berry, Fraser McLaren, Darren Handling, Ben Bathgate, Johnny Edmond, Fraser Neave, Trialist.

Substitutes :- Keith Tait, Jamie Devlin, Andy Jones, Michael Fairnie, Nicky Weir.

Hibernian XI :- Trialist, Trialist, Trialist, Jacob Blaney, Jayden Fairley, Oscar MacIntyre, Murray Aitken, Robbie Hamilton, Connor Young, Josh O’Connor, Ethan Laidlaw.

Substitutes : – Rudi Morotnikov, Innes Lawson, Brodie Watt, Gregor Fordyce.

Referee :- Jonathan Gall

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood
Photos by Gordon Maitland