Match date: 28th July 2021 Kickoff: 7.45 pm

Dunbar United travelled to Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale’s temporary ground at Ainslie Park, Edinburgh on Wednesday night looking to bounce back from Saturday’s narrow defeat against Camelon, but with the home side looking to kickstart their season and playing on an artificial surface, it was never going to be an easy game.

The home side dictated the early play and were playing some neat football without creating any clear-cut chances, but it was the visitors who found the net in the 10th minute with Jamie Devlin heading home a Fraser Neave cross, but the goal was ruled to be offside. Matthew Dalglish had a shot blocked by Michael McFarlane and Michael Mbewe forced Daniel Laing in the Dunbar goal to save at his feet as Lothian Thistle pressed for an opening.

The breakthrough came in the 22nd minute when Grant Thomson’s low cross was missed by a defender and Ben Bathgate did well to dig the ball out from under his feet and slam the ball into the net from close range to score his first goal in Dunbar colours since signing from Preston Athletic and send the visitors into a one goal lead.

The home side continued to press looking for a quick response and Mbewe was forced wide by Dean Whitson before bringing out a good save from the Dunbar keeper who minutes later turned a 25-yard screamer from Niall Doherty onto the post and away for a corner kick. Mbewe went close again before Thomas Penker tried his luck from distance but again Laing was up to the task and Dunbar went in at the break with a slender lead.

Again, the home side dominated possession in the opening minutes of the second half and their pressure paid off in the 51st minute when Sean Lally headed home when unmarked from a corner kick to make the score 1-1.

Kieran Ingram, who was on a booking, was replaced in the Dunbar side by Michael Fairnie and within two minutes of the change, Dunbar had restored their lead when Andy Jones unleashed a screamer from the edge of the box which went in of the underside of the bar giving the home keeper no chance at all.

Fraser McLaren and Keith Tait replaced Jamie Devlin and Ben Bathgate in the Dunbar side as the visitors began to dictate and they might have increased their lead further 13 minutes from time when Evan Fleming played in Andy Jones on the left and after beating his marker his chipped shot clipped the top of the crossbar. Thistle were dangerous on the counter attacks, but the Dunbar defence was well organised by Michael McFarlane and Dean Whitson and giving little away at the back.

Grant Thomson shot inches wide after being played in by Fraser McLaren before Andy Jones clinched all three points for the visitors five minutes from the end after he ran on to Fraser Neave’s through ball, held off his defender and fired low under the advancing keeper for his second goal of the night and his fourth of the Season.

Another fine away win for Dunbar who got back to winning ways straight away with a workman like performance against a gutsy home side who will cause others a few upsets during the season but this win moves Dunbar up to fourth position in the League with nine points from their opening four games.

Another hard game away from home this Saturday for Dunbar when they travel to Perth to play Jeanfield Swifts with kick off at 2.30pm.


Lothian Thistle HV :- Jack Stewart, Michael Deland, Sean Lally, Kenny O’Brien, Joe Murray, Joe Viola, Sam Daniel, Michael Mbewe, Thomas Penker, Matthew Dalglish, Niall Doherty.

Substitutes :- Errol Douglas, Louis Signorini, Scott Donald.

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Grant Thomson, Dean Whitson, Michael McFarlane, Kieran Ingram, Fraser Neave, Ben Bathgate, Bob Berry, Jamie Devlin, Andy Jones, Evan Fleming.

Substitutes :- John Johnstone, Darren Handling, Fraser McLaren, Johnny Edmond, Keith Tait, Michael Fairnie, Nicky Weir.


Referee :- George Calder.

Assistant Referees :- Kyle Charles, Steven King.


Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood and photos by Gordon Maitland.