Match date: 15th January 2022 Kickoff: 2.30 pm

Dunbar United      1        Newtongrange Star     1

Newtongrange Star were the visitors to New Countess Park on Saturday on the back of a morale boosting win against Musselburgh Athletic last weekend in their fight to avoid relegation,  whilst Dunbar United were looking for a League double over their opponents after a convincing win at Newtongrange in November.

On a perfect day for football it was Dunbar who created the first chance after seven minutes when a cross from the left by Bob Berry was met at the back post by Grant Thomson who did well to keep his shot down,  but the ball struck ex Dunbar favourite Liam Peden on the goal line with the defender not knowing a lot about it before being cleared to safety.

Dunbar again went close when Ben Bathgate got between two Newtongrange defenders following a menacing Darren Handling cross,  but the youngster lobbed his shot just over the crossbar.

Minutes later the visitors threatened when Ethan Dougall drove inside from the left,  but his shot was turned on to the post by Daniel Laing in the Dunbar goal before going out for a corner.  Quite a scrappy first half ended with Shaun Conlon firing high over the bar with neither side able to find the net.

Dunbar made a substitution on the restart with new loan signing Jaciz Balde replacing Ben Bathgate but the youngster only lasted barely a minute after going down in agony from a nonchalant challenge from Star’s Liam Peden and had to be carried from the pitch after a lengthy stoppage and was himself replaced by Nicky Weir.

Within a minute from coming on, a great move between Johnny Edmond and Nicky Weir ended with Andy Jones striking the outside of the post with the Star defence static and six minutes later Weir headed past from a Jones corner.

The Dunbar pressure finally paid off in the 57th minute when Bob Berry’s cross from the left was volleyed high into the net by the hard working Darren Smith with the midfielder finally scoring his first goal in Dunbar colours since signing earlier in the season from Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.

Johnny Edmond and Nicky Weir both had shots saved by Sean Brennan in the visitors goal as Dunbar looked to increase their lead, but with twenty minutes remaining Newtongrange were given a life line after Liall Smith was upended inside the box by Michael McFarlane, and Steven Froud stepped forward to send the Dunbar keeper the wrong way from the resultant penalty and level the score at 1-1.

The visitors might well have taken the lead twelve minutes from time when Steven Froud’s head flick from a corner was brilliantly saved at point blank range by Daniel Laing but Dunbar regrouped and totally dictated for the final ten minutes.

Johnny Edmond had a header cleared off the line by ex Dunbar captain Steven Tait before Nicky Weir  watched his shot scrambled to safety.  Five minutes from time Kieran Ingram was unlucky to see his goal bound shot deflected off a Star player and trickle inches wide before Nicky Weir and Andy Jones both fired over the bar before the referee blew for full time.

Dunbar will be a little disappointed with the draw after creating the more clear cut chances,  but the visitors will no doubt create upsets against other sides before the end of the season. Dunbar’s next game is in a fortnight’s time at home to Dundonald Bluebell with kick-off at 2.30 pm. Tickets for the game are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app:

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Grant Thomson, Bob Berry, Michael McFarlane, Dean Whitson, Kieran Ingram, Ben Bathgate, Darren Handling, Johnny Edmond, Darren Smith, Andy Jones.

Substitutes :- Ryan Mack, Jamie Devlin, Scott Hay, Nicky Weir, Jaciz Balde.

Newtongrange Star :- Sean Brennan, Alex Webb, Liam Peden, Craig Reid, Steven Tait, Shaun Conlon, Liall Smith, Ryan Porteous, Ethan Dougall, Andrew Muir, Steven Froud.

Substitutes :- Liam McCathie, Gary Hamilton, Liam McIntosh, Jack Gillan, Ali Forster, Ryan Turner, Michael Jones.

Referee :- Andy Gamble.

Asst Referees :-  Konrad Spalony, Jack Leslie

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.