Match date: 9th October 2021 Kickoff: 2.30 pm

On a miserable wet afternoon for football, a big crowd turned up once again at New Countess Park where League leaders Tranent were the visitors looking to keep up their strong title challenge.

Dunbar had Daniel Laing back in goal for this vital match with Michael McFarlane and Johnny Edmond recalled to the starting eleven.

A bit of early cat and mouse play with both sides probing for an opening with Dunbar creating a great chance after 15 minutes when Evan Fleming found Andy Jones in the centre with an inch perfect pass but the striker just could not get the ball from under his feet.

Tranent responded with Shaun Rutherford driving forward unchallenged but his thirty yard shot was brilliantly saved by Daniel Laing in the Dunbar goal.

Tranent began to take control, and Oban Anderson might have done better before Darren Smith intervened with a timely tackle before Matthew Knox’s low cross was deflected goal wards but saved well again by Daniel Laing. Minutes later the keeper had a great double save from Knox and Jamie Docherty to frustrate the away support even further.

The Tranent pressure eventually paid off in the 37th minute when a cross was only cleared by the Dunbar defence as far as Matthew Knox on the edge of the box and he calmly curled the ball into the top corner of the net to give Tranent a deserved lead.

Three minutes later and things were all square again after a Dunbar cross from the right deflected off a Tranent defender into the path of Andy Jones and the ex-Tranent striker wasted no time in blasting the ball home past Swain in the visitors goal to make the score 1-1.

Five minutes after the restart Jamie Devlin went close for Dunbar with a head flick from a Jones corner before the visitors regained the lead in the 57th minute when a low cross from the right was turned into his own net by Michael McFarlane with a Tranent forward ready to pounce.

Ben Miller wasted a great chance to seal victory ten minutes later when he headed wide with only the keeper to beat, but Dunbar rang the changes using four of their substitutes and almost immediately Fraser McLaren and Dan Purves combined well with Purves’s shot going inches wide.

With seventeen minutes left Dunbar equalised after some great play from Darren Smith saw Ben Bathgate dummy his cross for Andy Jones to control and fire home from the edge of the box for his second goal of the afternoon and his twelfth of the season.

Dunbar were beginning to edge it and two minutes later Tranent’s Oban Anderson was very lucky to only receive a booking after he fouled Andy Jones as he raced clear with only the keeper to beat.

Both sides went for the win in the final ten minutes with Wayne McIntosh heading a Tranent corner over the bar and Fraser McLaren anticipating Ben Bathgate’s head flick but denied by a brilliant save from the Tranent keeper.

Deep into injury time Dunbar might well have clinched the win when Fraser McLaren raced clear on the left with Dan Purves unmarked in the centre but the experienced Kevin Swain read the move well and saved brilliantly to deny Purves the chance.

Probably a draw was a fair result at the end of the day with credit to Dunbar for coming back from behind twice and almost clinching it at the death but two valuable points dropped by Tranent who continued their poor League form at New Countess Park since their last League win there in  September 2009.

With no League game scheduled for next weekend, Dunbar United’s attention now turns to their Scottish Cup Second Round match against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale at New Countess Park, Dunbar on 23rd October with a 3pm kick off. Tickets for the big game are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app:

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

Substitutes :- Ryan Mack, Ben Bathgate, Scott Hay, Jordan Purves, Dan Purves, Fraser McLaren, Fraser Neave.

Tranent Juniors :- Kevin Swain, Craig Stevenson, Shaun Rutherford, Dean Whitson, Bradley Donaldson, Steven Thomson, Sean Wringe, Matthew Knox, Jamie Docherty, Oban Anderson, Adam Watson.

Substitutes :- Ben Miller, Euan Greig, Wayne McIntosh, Ian Moffat, Kieran Somerville.

Referee :- Mark Harris

Asst Referees :- Hannah McLean, David Burns

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood

Photos by Gordon Maitland