Match date: 12th February 2022 Kickoff: 2.30 pm

Dunbar United   1        Lothian Thistle H.V FC  4

With both sides evenly matched in the League table, three vital league points were at stake this afternoon when the sides met for the fourth time this season.  Again weather conditions were less than ideal with a strong gusty wind blowing towards the railway end.

A cagey opening for both sides with very little goalmouth action until the 14th minute when the visitors took the lead after a long clearance by the Trialist goalkeeper was flicked on by Errol Douglas leaving Niall Kemp space on the left to draw the Dunbar keeper before slotting the ball low into the net.

Eight minutes later and the visitors scored again after Joe Viola’s shot from the edge of the box was turned onto the post by Daniel Laing in the Dunbar goal, but Lewis Signorini was on hand to tap the rebound home from close range.

Dunbar were struggling to make any sort of impact against a well organised Thistle defence who wasted no time in turning defence into attack with their route one tactics,  but in the 38th minute they pulled a goal back when an Andy Jones cross was flicked on by Kieran Ingram to Darren Handling with his back to goal,  but he somehow swivelled and struck a beauty into the corner of the net to give Dunbar a lifeline.

Four minutes later and Johnny Edmond was left with only the keeper to beat but his lobbed attempt was parried by the keeper and cleared to safety by Michael Deland.

Just on the stroke of half time when Dunbar were beginning to insert some pressure,  the visitors struck again when Sandy Cunningham picked up the ball in midfield and drove forward unchallenged before unleashing a 25 yarder into the top corner giving the Dunbar keeper no chance. A real sickener for the hosts leaving them a mountain to climb in the second half.

Five minutes after the break Andy Jones had a shot which bounced of the head of the Trialist goalkeeper into the path of the inrushing Johnny Edmond,  but somehow the keeper recovered and cleared his shot miraculously with his legs which probably changed the outcome of the game.

Lots of changes for both sides with very little chances getting created,  and with so much at stake tempers began to fray resulting in four bookings as the referee struggled to keep control.

Nine minutes from time Darren Handling had a header from Grant Thomson’s cross saved by the keeper as the visitors were seeing the game out quite comfortably,  but in the 90th minute their 16 year old substitute Mason Renton, who ironically was the son of their Trialist goalkeeper,  sealed all three points for the Edinburgh side when his shot from the edge of the box was deflected past Dunbar’s keeper.

Deep into injury time the visitors were reduced to ten men when another substitute Joe Murray was sent off after only being on the field for four minutes for an offence that only the referee could explain.

Still more drama before the final whistle when Bob Berry’s free kick at the edge of the box struck the underside of the bar and bounced down on to the line with the visitors defence beaten but the ball bounced into the keepers arms to keep the score line intact.

A bad day at the office for Dunbar who never really got into the game after some decent performances in the last few games,  and with results at the bottom end of the table going against them they will have to improve dramatically in the remaining League games to ensure survival in a very closely fought League. Next up is the game against 4th placed Jeanfield Swifts,  tickets for the game are now on sale via the club’s Fanbase app.

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Grant Thomson, Michael McFarlane, Nicky Weir, Evan Fleming, Kieran Ingram, Darren Handling, Bob Berry, Darren Smith, Johnny Edmond and Andy Jones.

Substitutes :- Jamie Devlin, Ben Bathgate, Ryan Mack, Fraser Neave, Scott Hay, Jaciz Balde.

Lothian Thistle HV :- Trialist, Sean Lally, Michael Deland, Niall Docherty, Sean Guiney, Niall Kemp, Lewis Signorini, Joe Viola, Sandy Cunningham, Dylan Moore, Errol Douglas.

Substitutes :- Paul Crawford, Mason Renton, Ian Laver, Neil Smeaton, Ryan Findlay, Thomas Penker, Joe Murray.

Referee :- Colin Whyte.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.