Match date: 6th August 2022 Kickoff: 14.30 pm

Dunbar United 2      Whitehill Welfare FC   0

Dunbar’s first home league game of the season saw very familiar visitors to New Countess Park in the shape of fellow relegated side, Whitehill Welfare. The Welfare did not have their motivation to seek, coming into this game on the back of a 5-1 defeat from Luncarty.

Dunbar were once again short on players with Grant Thomson fit enough for the bench and Shaun Miller, Kerr Allan, Liam Gregory, Ben Bathgate and Evan Fleming all missing. On the positive side, striker Gregor Goldie and midfielder Daniel Hall made the step up from the Dunbar United FC Under 20’s side to take their place on the bench.

It would be fair to say that the visitors had the better of the opening exchanges and it was Welfare’s Ryan Weir that had the first real shot on goal after 10 minutes, but Sean Brennan was equal to his 20-yard pile driver.

Just after the quarter hour mark, Dunbar were handed a gilt edged chance when Robbie Dowie misjudged the bounce of the ball. Cammy Dawson was behind him and nipped in to steal the ball only to see his shot go flying beyond the back post.

At the other end, Aaron Congalton was caught in possession and was robbed by Paul Tansey, but the former Penicuik man’s shot was straight at Sean Brennan. The Dunbar keeper wasted no time in releasing Jordan Hopkinson down the left wing. He cut in from the wing and shot wide of goal with Ryan Mack not getting anything on the shot.

With 10 minutes until halftime, Welfare earned a corner that produced an almighty stramas  that concluded with Sean Brennan diving amidst the boots and coming out with the ball. Then, in the 42nd minute, Dunbar took the lead.  A free kick was awarded, and winger Jordan Hopkinson poked the ball into the back of the net.

The Whitehill keeper and captain were both incensed and complained bitterly to the referee before the game restarted and there was more displeasure headed his way as the teams departed the pitch at half time from Whitehill manager Andrew Kidd.

There were no subs at half time as both teams decided to stick with the personnel that had been sent out originally. In the 48th minute, Whitehill nearly scored an equaliser and it came from Dunbar stopping after Darren Handling was fouled. The referee, behind play, saw nothing wrong and the visitors broke away quickly to the other end of the pitch.

It was once again, Paul Tansey that cut in from the left wing and saw Sean Brennan make a superb block. At the other end, Jordan Hopkinson beat the Welfare offside trap, but with only Ryan Mack to beat, he fired his shot at the former Seasiders keeper.

Darren Smith and Johnny Edmond replaced Fraser Neave and Cammy Dawson for Dunbar as Kevin Haynes looked to change the shape and make sure of the three points on offer. Darren Smith was quick into the action and he set up James Redpath, who probably struck his shot too cleanly and forced Ryan Mack into a good save.

Whitehill sent on Jack Stewart and Liam Ireland, with Sean Hancock and Sonny Swanson taking a seat but it was the hosts who had the next chance. Darren Handling fed Jordan Hopkinson but his shot was high, wide and handsome.

In the 74th minute, Dunbar strengthened their grip on the 3 points with a second and better worked goal. Aaron Congalton fired over a corner kick to the back post where Bob Berry returned the ball to Dean Whitson who helped the ball back into the mix and Michael McFarlane was on hand in the centre to head the ball into the net.

Still time for Dunbar to blood some youngsters as 16 year old Daniel Hall was first to progress from the bench, replacing Jordan Hopkinson. With less than 10 minutes remaining, Michael McFarlane went on a rampaging run up the middle and fed Johnny Edmond, whose excellent first-time shot was palmed away by Ryan Mack.

Another Congalton corner nearly created a third goal for Dunbar but Dean Whitson decided to try the quick route to goal himself and was just off target with his near post header.

Ewan McKinlay and Ciaran Vaughan came on for Whitehill as they looked to throw everything at Dunbar, Ryan Weir and Paul Tansey being withdrawn. Whitehill nearly pulled a goal back with only 4 minutes remaining. Ciaran Vaughan chased a ball up the right wing and turned James Redpath before firing low towards the near corner, only to once again see Sean Brennan make a superb block with his feet.

In the 89th minute, Fyn Connor became the first and only booking of the afternoon. After complaining that Darren Handling should be booked for a foul, he earned his own yellow card for dissent.

For Dunbar, 17 year old Gregor Goldie replaced Darren Handling as the clock ran down to the 90 minutes, thus becoming the second Under 20’s player to make his 1st team league debut.

Dunbar’s next game is this Saturday at New Countess Park against Burntisland Shipyard FC. Tickets for the game are now on sale via the club’s Fanbase app:

Dunbar United : – Sean Brennan, James Redpath, Michael McFarlane, Bob Berry, Cammy Dawson, Darren Handling, Jordan Hopkinson, Fraser Neave, Willis Hare, Aaron Congalton, Dean Whitson.

Substitutes : – Shea Dowie (gk), Grant Thomson, Dan Hall, Gregor Goldie, Johnny Edmond, Darren Smith.

Whitehill Welfare FC :- Ryan Mack, Adam Zajac, Lewis Collins, Robbie Dowie, Josh Walker, Declan Henry, Ryan Weir, Paul Tansey, Sean Hancock, Fyn Connor, Sonny Swanson.

Substitutes :- Marc Anderson (gk), Jack Stewart, Liam Ireland, Tyler O’Neill, Dene Shields, Ciaran Vaughan, Ewan McKinlay.

Referee: – Thomas Hüberr.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!