Match date: 25th June 2022 Kickoff: 3.00pm

After a six week break, Dunbar United were back in action in a Testimonial game for Grant Thomson who has made 336 appearances during his spell at the club.  Born in Kirkcaldy, his then hometown boyhood heroes, Raith Rovers from the Scottish Championship were the opponents and new manager Ian Murray named a very strong squad for his first competitive game since taking over at the club.

Dunbar United had three trialists and four ex players named amongst their twenty man squad and a healthy crowd of over 400 watched the game in glorious sunshine.

Right from the kick off the visitors dominated and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after 13 minutes when ex Hibernian striker Jamie Gullan scored from close range. Two minutes later Gullan scored again this time from the penalty spot after a foul inside the box.  Aidan Connolly went close with a low shot from the right before Sean Brennan in the Dunbar goal saved well from another Raith effort.

The home keeper was beaten again in the 26th minute when Dylan Easton fired home an unstoppable shot from fully 30 yards, and five minutes later Aidan Connolly tapped home from close range after some great work from Dylan Easton on the left wing.

Sean Brennan kept the scoreline intact with some great saves from Aidan Connolly, Jamie Gullan and Sam Stanton,  and it was obvious that all the Raith players were trying to make an impression on their new manager as they kept a high tempo up throughout the game.

Dunbar made nine changes after the restart with Grant Thomson and Darren Handling the only survivors from the first half and within five minutes Dunbar’s second new keeper Shea Dowie  did well to save Dario Zanatta’s shot at full stretch. Jamie Gullan went close but his shot went wide before the visitors made three changes.

Dunbar went close in the 63rd minute after Darren Handling was fouled on the right and James Redpath’s free kick was just missed at the back post by Dean Whitson.  However in the next minute Raith increased their lead to five when ex Aberdeen striker Ethan Ross dribbled past two Dunbar defenders before firing low into the corner.

Twelve minutes from time some excellent work from Dario Zanatta on the left saw Kieran Mitchell volley home his cross at the back post and make the score 6-0 to the visitors.

Dunbar finally scored a consolation goal in the 84th minute when new signing James Redpath fired home from fully 40 yards with the Raith keeper trying desperately to get back on his goal line but the ball sailed over his head and nestled into the top corner of the net for his first goal in Dunbar colours and become the first Dunbar player to score in the new black and white coloured nets.

The same player almost scored again in their next attack after linking well with one of their Trialists but this time his right footed shot went inches wide. Right on the final whistle Raith Rovers scored again after their Trialist was first to react to a long diagonal ball and he fired past Dowie in the Dunbar goal to make the final score Dunbar United 1 Raith Rovers 7.

Dunbar put up a spirited display against a very strong Raith Rovers team who were well marshalled at the back by ex Scotland and Hearts internationalist Christophe Berra and their pace and sharpness in attack was evident from the start.

Dunbar’s next game is against Berwick Rangers at home on Tuesday 5th July for the Paul Hampshire Memorial Cul with a 7.30 pm kick off.

Dunbar United :- Sean Brennan, Willis Hare, Grant Thomson, Kerr Allan, Steven Tait, Ben Bathgate, Bob Berry, Darren Handling, Liam Gregory, Trialist, Fraser McLaren. 

Substitutes :- Shea Dowie, Keith Tait, Dean Whitson, James Redpath, Trialist, Trialist, Kieran Ingram, Cammy Dawson and Jordan Hopkinson.

Raith Rovers :-  Robbie Thomson, Ross Millen, Liam Dick, Greig Young, Christophe Berra, Aidan Connolly, Dylan Easton, Sam Stanton, Scott Brown, Jamie Gullan, Dario Zanatta. 

Substitutes :- Andy McNeil, Aaron Arnott, Ethan Ross, Kieran Mitchell, Luke Mahady, Quinn Coulson, Trialist.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Dave Black and Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!