Match date: 5th of August 2023 Kickoff: 14.30 pm

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1  Dunbar United 3

Dunbar’s second away game on the trot, and their third league game of the season, took them across the water to Hill of Beath’s Keirs Park. Not usually a happy hunting ground for the Seasiders, however many Dunbar fans will not quickly forget the 1-0 win and the goal of the season candidate from Lloyd Fiddler a few seasons back.

The two sides have had contrasting starts to the season with Haws registering a 5-1 thrashing by Tynecastle before a 3-2 midweek win over Luncarty. Dunbar have had two sound victories on their return to the Premier Division with Dundonald beaten by a 4-1 scoreline and title favourites Sauchie at Beechwood Park by 7 goals to 2.

Dunbar were quickest out of the blocks with James Redpath firing a free kick from just outside the box over the bar after just 2 minutes. Then 10 minutes later, a Redpath clearance looked like it had left the field of play, but playing to the whistle, Gregor Goldie pounced on the ball and fired a shot low towards the front post, forcing a save from Brett Young in the Haws goal.

With 15 minutes on the clock, Taylor Hendry was fouled at the edge of the box by Conar Barney. Once again, up stepped James Redpath to flight the ball, left footed- over the wall but the sprawling Brett Young was once again his equal.

Midway through the first half, Stuart Love, could consider himself a lucky lad to not be booked after going in exceptionally high on Michael Barfoot. The Dunbar midfielder was able to continue after treatment. Taylor Hendry was the first booking of the afternoon for a late challenge on Jordan Tosh. Then just a minute later, Hill of Beath had their first real chance of the afternoon.

Michael Watt lofted a corner to the back post where Sean Brennan was waiting to punch the ball clear. It fell for Jordan Tosh on the edge of the box but his volley whistled wide of the target.

In the 30th minute, Dunbar were awarded a penalty when a Ben Bathgate cross from the right bye line found Liam Gregory on the opposite wing. The Dunbar winger’s shot was handled by Michael Fleming, who was promptly booked and TAYLOR HENDRY made no mistake from the spot, slamming the ball into the net half way up the keepers right hand post.

The next chance fell to Brandon Luke for the home side but his effort was straight at Sean Brennan and the Dunbar goalkeeper treated it almost like a pass back. The Dunbar lead was extended just before halt time and it was a thing of beauty. LIAM GREGORY picked up the ball on the left-wing bye line, cut inside the already booked Fleming, jumped over the challenge of Michael Watt and smashed the ball home from the tightest of tight angles across the face of goal to make it 0-2 to the visitors.

The same play nearly made it 0-3 before half time with a shot from 20 yards out but the Haws keeper had to look alert to touch the ball over the bar. With the last chance of the half, Hill of Beath thought they had a decent penalty claim, but the match official thought otherwise and it remained two nil to the visitors at half time.

The second half started with no changes to either team. Within a minute of the restart, Gregr Goldie was through on a long ball but Brett Young did well to anticipate this and advanced from his line to boot the ball clear to safety.

Taylor Hendry was the first player to be substituted when a foot injury brought his involvement to a premature end. His replacement was Johnny Edmond. With 55 minutes on the clock, Liam Gregory, from out on the left, crossed to the back post for Johnny Edmond but there was just too much on the cross and the chance was lost.

Ben Bathgate then ran onto a long ball forward but he was once again beaten to the loose ball by the alert Haws goalkeeper. But a minute later, Hill of Beath reduced the deficit. Michael Watt surged forward, skipping the challenges of Dean Whitson and James Redpath. His through ball found on loan from Cowdenbeath, captain CALLUM MURRAY who looked up and swept the ball into the net. The game was back on and the clean sheet was gone.

The middle section of the half saw a succession of petty fouls and infringements that lead to bookings. James Redpath was booked for a push on Michael Fleming after the Haws defender upended Liam Gregory.He was quickly joined in the referee’s notebook by Brandon Luke, who was booked for a high challenge on Michael Barfoot and then Jordan Tosh for a shuddering and late tackle on Grant Thomson.

There were also a couple of penalty claims at either end of the pitch before the half time whistle went but referee Tommi Kerr thought that neither warranted a spot kick.

Darren Handling and Aaron Congalton replaced Gregor Goldie and Ben Bathgate for Dunbar, and Johnathan Galloway replaced Scott Clapperton for Hill of Beath as both sides continued to shuffle their packs.

Adam Uphill was then booked for Hill of Beath as he took out Darren Handling on his way to goal. It was, arguably, a last man challenge. It was certainly cynical and could have quite easily been a red card.

With less than 15 minutes to play, the already booked James Redpath was withdrawn and replaced with Gordon Harris in the Dunbar defence. In the very next attack, Dunbar could have had another penalty. A half cleared corner found Grant Thomson in the box. His stab towards goal was weak but the Dunbar captain was clattered by Conal Barney but no penalty was awarded.

Hill of Beath rang the changes with Calum Adamson and Robert Murdoch coming on for Jordan Tosh and Stephen Day. But what happened next will go down in the Dunbar history books. The shot from Callum Murray was tame and easily gathered by SEAN BRENNAN.

With everyone moving upfield, Sean had time to roll the ball on the ground and launch it from the edge of his own box, where it soared over the head of Johnny Edmond and his marker, took a bounce over the far advanced Brett Young, his opposite number in the Haws goal, and over his head and into the net behind him. Dunbar goalkeeper, Sean Brennan, had scored from his own box.

And just to prove he was still doing the day job, Sean Brennan still had time to save a header on target by Stuart Love from going into the net from a free kick.

A third win on the spin for last season’s First Division champions and 14 goals for and 4 goals against after just 3 competitive games. Next Saturday, Dunbar United are back at home with Jeanfield Swifts visiting from Perth. Tickets for the match are on sale via Fanbase:

Hill of Beath Hawthorn :- Brett Young, Michael Fleming, Conar Barney, Michael Watt, Adam Uphill, Scott Clapperton, Jordan Tosh, Brandon Luke, Stuart Love, Callum Murray ©, Stephen Day.

Substitutes :- Calum Adamson, Daniel Baur, Nicholas Rendall, Robert Murdoch, Ethan Bauld, Johnathan Galloway, Blair Penman.

Dunbar United :- Sean Brennan, James Redpath, Dean Whitson, Grant Thomson ©, Michael Barfoot, Gregor Goldie, Bob Berry, Liam Gregory, Ben Bathgate, Taylor Hendry, Kyle Somers.

Substitutes :- Trialist, Michael McFarlane, Johnny Edmond, Darren Handling, Gordon Harris, Fraser Neave, Aaron Congalton.

Referee :- Tommi Kerr

Assistants: – Bradley Blackley & Gianluca Marin

Photos by Dave Black Cue Snap Photograhy, please click on the Facebook link for the photos:

“Mon the Seasiders”