Match date: 16th April 2022 Kickoff: 15.00 pm

Musselburgh Athletic FC   1   Dunbar United   3

Dunbar travelled to Olivebank, Musselburgh on Saturday looking to continue their four game unbeaten run and pick up some crucial League points in their quest to move away from the bottom five relegation places.

Darren Smith was missing through illness and was replaced in the Dunbar side by Michael McFarlane, whilst Musselburgh Athletic’s manager Joe Hamill named himself in their starting eleven.

Dunbar dictated from the start and went close in the tenth minute when Jamie Devlin’s shot was blocked by Hamill for a corner,  which Bob Berry headed inches wide.  Seven minutes later Jamie Devlin headed wide from Fraser Neave’s cross with the Musselburgh defence static.

A quick counter attack by Dunbar in the next minute saw Darren Handling win yet another corner which Dean Whitson headed back across the face of the Musselburgh goal before being cleared,  then Connor Thomson fired wide in a rare Musselburgh attack. Steven Thomson picked up an injury on the half hour mark and was replaced in the Dunbar midfield by Ben Bathgate.

Just as it looked as if Dunbar might regret their missed chances they opened the scoring in the 32nd minute after an Andy Jones shot had been brilliantly tipped over for a corner by Ross Macrae in the home goal,  and when the corner was cleared for a throw in,  Michael McFarlane’s long throw in was flicked on to the back post where Jamie Devlin side footed the ball into the net for his third goal in the last three games.

Three minutes later and another McFarlane long throw-in was headed inches wide by Ben Bathgate before some great interplay between Darren Handling and Ben Bathgate saw Jamie Devlin at full stretch miss the cross by a fraction with the goal at his mercy.

Five minutes before the break Andy Jones shot was deflected into Jamie Devlin’s path, but his shot went inches wide before the same two players linked up again three minutes later with Devlin heading the ball forward for Andy Jones to volley home for Dunbar’s second goal to end his own recent goal drought.

A tremendous first half performance for Dunbar going in at the break with a two goal margin,  and if they had taken all their chances it should have been a lot more.

Musselburgh began the second half on the front foot with Matthew Knox firing a free kick over the bar and Gregor Woods heading a Dean Ballantyne cross wide before they replaced Dean Ballantyne and Jordan Smith with the more experienced Mattu King and Darren Downie in attack.

Bob Berry went close with a Dunbar free kick before they increased their lead in the 58th minute after some persistent play by Ben Bathgate won them a corner and Michael McFarlane capped a tremendous afternoon heading home at the back post to make the score 3-0 for Dunbar.

Darren Downie had a shot cleared by Daniel Laing’s feet as the home side tried to get a foothold in the game and Mattu King fired wide when well placed before both sides rang the changes.

Five minutes before time,  a mix up in the Dunbar defence saw Darren Downie pull a goal back for the hosts at the second attempt after Laing had parried his first attempt and in their next attack Connor Thomson’s shot was tipped over the bar brilliantly by Laing for a corner which was headed down by Downie,  but Evan Fleming was on hand to clear the ball off the Dunbar goal line.

Dunbar saw out the remaining time well and deservedly picked up all three League points at Musselburgh for the first time since May 2005,  when ironically Dunbar’s Manager Kevin Haynes was on the scoresheet.  One of Dunbar’s best performances of the season with every player playing their part.

Three welcome points moves Dunbar up to tenth position in the League with only five matches remaining to play,  but they move on quickly to Tuesday night when they travel to play title chasing Tranent Juniors FC at Foresters Park with kick off at 7.30 pm in a game that Tranent must win to maintain their title challenge.

Musselburgh Athletic :- Ross Macrae, Matthew Knox, Jordan Orru, Jackie Myles, Joe Hamill, Connor Thomson, Liam Reid, Lewis White, Lloyd Fiddler, Dean Ballantyne, Jordan Smith.

Substitutes :- Ben Reilly, Mattu King, Gregor Woods, Darren Downie, Matthew Sipowicz.

Dunbar United :- Daniel Laing, Michael McFarlane, Grant Thomson, Dean Whitson, Evan Fleming, Bob Berry, Fraser Neave, Steven Thomson, Andy Jones, Darren Handling, Jamie Devlin.

Substitutes :- Ryan Mack, Jaciz Balde, Scott Hay, Ben Bathgate, Kieran Ingram.

Referee :- Terry Ormiston.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Gordon Maitland.