Match date: 3rd September 2022 Kickoff: 2.30 pm

Kennoway Star Hearts  2    Dunbar United  3

Dunbar United made the long journey to Fife on Saturday when they visited Treaton Park, the home of Kennoway Star Hearts for only the second time in their history. A strong wind and a quite considerable slope on the pitch made conditions difficult in a vital League game for both sides.

Dean Whitson was unavailable for the visitors and Grant Thomson returned to the defence with Darren Smith and Ben Bathgate starting the game with Jonny Grotlin and Shaun Miller on the bench.

Not a lot between the sides in the opening exchanges with Dunbar playing up the slope,  but a well worked corner in the 8th minute saw Darren Handling combining well with Ben Bathgate whose well weighted pass found Darren Smith lurking on the edge of the box and his low struck shot nestled neatly into the bottom corner to give Dunbar an early lead.

Minutes later Cammy Dawson fired a chance over the bar before the hosts had a chance in the 20th minute when Sean Brennan sliced his clearance outside his box but got back and brilliantly saved the Kennoway shot. Ten minutes later and it was the Kennoway keeper who brought off a tremendous save from Cammy Dawson’s header after an inch perfect cross from James Redpath.

The Fife side still pushed forward down the slope and struck the top of the crossbar from a free kick before Dunbar went close at the other end when Bob Berry’s cross was headed against the inside of the post by Ben Bathgate and somehow failed to cross the goal line before the referee brought the first half to an end with Dunbar holding on to their slender lead.

Cammy Dawson saw a header go inches past just after the restart before the hosts went close on two occasions with Dylan Walker just failing to connect from a low right wing cross and then Murray Black forcing Sean Brennan into a near post save.

Darren Handling missed a great chance to increase the Dunbar lead in the 56th minute when he ran clear with only the keeper to beat but again Kyle Moran in the Kennoway goal denied the midfielder.

Dunbar then made a triple substitution with Bathgate, Redpath and Neave being replaced by McFarlane, Grotlin and Congalton and the move almost paid off right away when Michael McFarlane’s cross was headed strongly goalwards by Jonny Grotlin but again Moran saved well.

Cammy Dawson and Willis Hare both went close as Dunbar began to dominate and the second goal duly arrived in the 73rd minute after some persistent play by Michael McFarlane ended with Aaron Congalton crossing to the back post where Cammy Dawson controlled the ball before curling the ball into the bottom corner for his third goal in two games.

Two minutes later and this time Dawson was the provider after anticipating a long ball then playing in Jonny Grotlin who saw the keeper of his line and casually lobbed the ball over him from fully fifteen yards to send the visitors into a well deserved three goal lead.

Kennoway to their credit never gave up and pulled a goal back six minutes from time after some poor Dunbar defending allowed a young Trialist to slot home from a narrow angle on the left.

Brennan saved well deep into injury time from a deflected shot as the home side threatened again but they still managed to score a second goal three minutes into injury time after Dylan Walker fired home after yet another Dunbar defensive error and the scoreline of 3-2 for Dunbar flattered the home side.

Another hard earned three points for Dunbar who appeared to take their foot off the pedal when three goals up before having once again to grind out the result,  but with other results in the League going their way,  Dunbar now sit proudly in pole position after only five games.

Cup competitions take place for their next two games starting on Saturday when Preston Athletic are the visitors to New Countess Park in a Second Round South Challenge Cup match with kick off at 2.30pm. Tickets for Saturday’s match are now on sale via the club’s fanbase app.

Kennoway Star Hearts :- Kyle Moran, Jay Watson, Jamie McLelland, Logan Young, Sean Cunningham, Alan Higgins, Jason Watson, Liam Gartshore, Dylan walker, Harris Kay, Murray Black.

Substitutes :- Craig Doctor, Trialist, Jake Grady, Kyle Stark.

Dunbar United :- Sean Brennan, James Redpath, Kerr Allan, Grant Thomson, Bob Berry, Cammy Dawson, Darren Handling, Ben Bathgate, Fraser Neave, Willis Hare, Darren Smith.

Substitutes :- Declan Hannan, Michael McFarlane, Jonny Grotlin, Jordan Hopkinson, Shaun Miller, Aaron Congalton.

Referee :- Kevin Murray.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!