Match date: 21st August 2021 Kickoff: 2.30pm

Not the greatest of days to be playing football with rain falling continuously from early morning but the pitch at Prestonfield held up well and the fixture was never in any doubt of being called off.

Dunbar were dealt an early blow when loan signing Dean Whitson was recalled early by his parent club Tranent causing a reshuffle in the Dunbar defence,  but Dan Purves started on the bench after agreeing to a short period on loan from Berwick Rangers.

The hosts started on the front foot and Jack Ogilvie fired an early chance over the bar before Tommy Coyne tested the Dunbar keeper with a deft header from a right wing cross.

The pressure paid off in the 14th minute when Alan Docherty controlled a pass from the left made space for himself and fired a low shot into the bottom corner from fully twenty yards to give the hosts a deserved one goal lead.

Two minutes later and Tommy Coyne looked to have increased their lead with a thunderbolt from 30 yards which somehow was saved at full stretch by Dunbar keeper Daniel Laing. Dunbar replied with a flowing move between Darren Handling and Andy Jones resulting in Johnny Edmond flicking the ball into the net but the goal was disallowed supposedly for offside much to the dismay of the travelling support.

Linlithgow increased their lead five minutes before the interval with almost a carbon copy of their first goal when Alan Docherty beat his marker and fired home from the edge of the box.

Dunbar might have went further behind in the next minute when a long range effort from Mark Stowe rebounded from the post with Daniel Laing clearly not expecting the shot but the keeper redeemed himself in the next attack when he denied Docherty a hat trick with a fine save turning the shot away for a corner.

Six minutes after the restart things got worse for the visitors when Linlithgow’s Jack Ogilvie fired a low cross to the back post where Tommy Coyne stroked home with ease to make the score 3-0.

Just before the hour mark Andy Jones curled a shot goalwards for the visitors but it was cleared of the line with the keeper beaten then the same player agonisingly watched his shot strike the underside of the bar and bounce downwards onto the line before being cleared.

Linlithgow were awarded a free kick just outside the box in the 64th minute and such was Dunbar’s luck that Gary Thom’s shot took a wicked deflection of the defensive wall sending the keeper wrong footed and the ball ended up in the net giving Linlithgow a four goal lead.

Two minutes later Dunbar pulled a goal back when Grant Thomson’s cross was fired home by Johnny Edmond inside the box but Linlithgow continued to press and were awarded a penalty kick fourteen minutes from time when Thomson was adjudged to have fouled Mark Stowe inside the box and Tommy Coyne sent Dunbar’s keeper the wrong way from the spot to make the score 5-1.

Dunbar to their credit never gave up and substitutes Dan Purves and Jamie Devlin both went close with Devlin’s head flick again cleared of the line. Right at the death Johnny Edmond connected well with a Dan Purves cross but his header went over the bar when in a great position.

Not Dunbar’s best day with their heaviest League defeat of the season,  but two heavy defeats when their on loan defender was missing during his loan spell tells its own story. One player who must get a special mention this week was Darren Handling who was playing in central midfield and was back to his brilliant best.

Hopefully the Dunbar management will be able to turn things around next weekend when high flying Broxburn Athletic return to New Countess Park for Dunbar’s first ever Scottish Cup match, and no doubt they will be looking to avenge their League defeat at the same venue earlier in the season with the action kicking off at 3pm.

Tickets for the Scottish Cup challenge against Broxburn Athletic, are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app:

Linlithgow Rose :- Dean Shaw, Scott Stevenson, Gary Thom, David Brownlie, Mark Stowe, Ruiradh McLennan, Alan Docherty, Tommy Coyne, Willis Hare, Jack Ogilvie, Dean Cairns.

Substitutes :- Lewis McMinn, Dan Nimmo, Alan Sneddon, Thomas Halleran, Luke Watt.

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Grant Thomson, Kieran Ingram, Michael McFarlane, Jordan Purves, Nicky Weir, Bob Berry, Darren Handling, Andy Jones, Johnny Edmond, Fraser McLaren.

Substitutes :- Evan Fleming, Scott Hay, Michael Fairnie, Fraser Neave, Jamie Devlin, Dan Purves, John Johnstone.

Referee :- Alastair Grieve.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by David Black and Gordon Maitland.