Match date: 23rd October 2021 Kickoff: 3.00 pm

Another home game for Dunbar in this Scottish Cup Second Round match and another bumper crowd inside New Countess Park hoping to witness another historic day in the history of the club.  The flags around the ground were blowing in the breeze and the surroundings looked immaculate in the lead up to the game and with the teams welcomed onto the pitch by a guard of honour from Dunbar United Colts the stage was set for another great day.

A quiet start to the game with both sides probing for openings finally came alive in the 11th minute when Darren Handling won a corner for Dunbar and Andy Jones corner was headed goalwards  by Johnny Edmond but Thistle’s Tom Penker cleared the ball of the goal line to deny Dunbar a goal.

Another Dunbar corner in the 25th minute was cleared only as far as Evan Fleming on the left and his deceptive cross caused havoc in the visitors defence with Penker colliding with his goalkeeper and the loose ball not falling kindly for Dunbar.  Tom Penker had to be replaced in the Lothian side by Louis Signorini after suffering a suspected broken ankle.

Minutes later and Dunbar’s luck was again not shining on them after Darren Handling drove into the box and his shot was deflected off Michael Deland on to the crossbar with the Lothian defence beaten before Handling controlled the rebound and was brought down inside the box but the referee waved the penalty claims aside.

Dunbar continued to create the better chances,  although Lothian Thistle had a lot of possession and Joe Viola’s shot was palmed away by Daniel Laing in the Dunbar goal before Errol Douglas and Louis Signorini again tested the Dunbar keeper before the break.

Three minutes after the restart Dunbar were awarded a penalty when Darren Smith ran on to Johnny Edmond’s pass but was clumsily brought down inside the box. Dunbar’s captain Fraser McLaren stepped forward but his spot kick struck the crossbar before going over for a goal kick.

With both sides still looking for the breakthrough the visitors thought they had scored in the 56th minute when Signorini’s shot was tucked home by another player almost on the goal line but the referee disallowed it for offside.

Fraser McLaren and Andy Jones were replaced on the hour mark by Jamie Devlin and Ben Bathgate as the Dunbar management tried to freshen things up and ten minutes later the change paid dividends when Ben Bathgate read Edmond’s head flick but was brought down inside the box by a Lothian Thistle defender for a second Dunbar penalty. Jamie Devlin confidently sent the keeper the wrong way from the spot kick and gave the hosts a slender 1-0 lead.

Five minutes later and the visitors had a great chance to level the scores from the penalty spot after Joe Viola was fouled inside the box but Errol Douglas wasted the chance by blasting the spot kick high over the bar.

The visitors pushed on in the final fifteen minutes forcing Dunbar to defend deeply but some resolute defending kept them at bay and with Dunbar dangerous on the counter attack the game could have swung either way.

In the final minute Thistle’s pressure finally paid off when Errol Douglas headed a Dillon Moore cross into the net for a well deserved equaliser and silenced the big home support. Deep into injury time they had the ball in the net again but the referee disallowed the goal for a blatant push on the Dunbar keeper.

Probably a fair result at the end of the day with Dunbar not quite reaching their own high standards against a well organised Lothian Thistle side but all to play for next weekend with the replay at Ainslie Park, Edinburgh with kick off again at 3pm.  Now the added incentive of facing Edinburgh City in the third round next month at New Countess Park beckons.  Tickets for the replay are now on sale via Lothian Thistle’s Fanbase app:

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

Substitutes :- Ryan Mack, Jordan Purves, Scott Hay, Grant Thomson, Michael Fairnie, Fraser Neave, Ben Bathgate, Dan Purves, Jamie Devlin.

Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale :- Ruairidh Adams, Dillon Moore, Michael Deland, Sean Lally, Kenny O’Brien, Errol Douglas, Joe Viola, Sam Daniel, Niall Docherty, Tom Penker, Sandy Cunningham.

Substitutes :- Jack Stewart, Paul Crawford, Matthew Dalgleish, Sean Cumming, Michael Mbewe, Louis Signorini, Iain Laver.

Referee :- Paul Timmons

Asst Referees :- Danny Mackinnon, James Taylor.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood

Photos by David Black. 

Mon the Seasiders!