Match date: 3rd of December Kickoff: 14.30 pm

Newtongrange Star 1  Dunbar United   3

With Newtongrange Star only one point behind Dunbar United in the League and sitting in third position, this away game was never going to be an easy fixture for Dunbar on a ground where they tasted success last season for the first time in 50 years.

The hosts were on familiar lines with six ex Dunbar United players in their squad along with their Manager, Chris King, another favourite during his time at New Countess Park.

Dunbar were without the suspended Willis Hare and Jonny Grotlin was at his sister’s wedding but their task was not made any easier when both Liam Gregory and Josh Walker pulled up injured in the pre match warm up causing the Dunbar management to alter their starting eleven.

The hosts started the game in determined fashion chasing and harrying every ball and thought they had scored in the fourth minute after Adam Nelson’s free kick on the right sailed into the net without touching anyone,  but the goal was disallowed as the referee had made it clear before the kick was taken that it was an indirect one.

Dean Ballantyne went close after good work from Ally Elliott on the right before Elliott himself might have done better from a narrow angle. Dunbar eventually settled and Cammy Dawson had a shot saved after great work from Ben Bathgate on the left. Darren Handling then went on a great run through the centre but his shot deflected off Steven Tait for a corner.

Minutes later and Ben Bathgate beat the offside trap before forcing Nitten’s keeper Liam McCathie into a great full stretch save . Bob Berry then saw a shot bounce off the top of the crossbar as Dunbar probed for an opening.

With play raging from end to end Sean Brennan brought of a great save from Newtongrange Star’s Ryan Ferguson with the keeper seeing the ball late through a ruck of players before Darren Handling played in Ben Bathgate in Dunbar’s next attack but the Dunbar midfielder was caught in two minds with only the keeper to beat and his shot went inches wide.

The deadlock was finally broken in the 39th minute after a high looping cross from the right by Bob Berry was headed powerfully into the net by Cammy Dawson who beat his marker at the far post and it was the visitors who went into the break with a slender one goal lead.

One minute after the restart Dunbar increased their lead to two when Bob Berry’s whipped corner went straight in at the top corner to extend the Seasiders lead.

Chris Robertson drifted past three Dunbar defenders as Newtongrange tried to get a foothold in the game but his cut back went astray before being cleared to safety.

Dunbar scored again in the 52nd minute after the hard working Ben Bathgate went on a mazy run on the right and cut inside almost on the goal line before sending in a low cross which was easily touched home by Darren Handling leaving the hosts with a mountain to climb.

Ryan Ferguson again went close for Newtongrange before Sean Brennan again denied him with a fine save with his legs. The referee was struggling to keep control with some meaty tackles from both sides creeping into the play and several players picked up bookings as the referee began to clamp down.

The home side threw everything at Dunbar but the Dunbar defence stood solid and were giving little away. Sean Guiney headed wide from a Liam Peden cross before Cammy Dawson almost capitalised on a poor clearance by the Nitten keeper but his shot drifted wide with the keeper beaten.

Ten minutes from full time Newtongrange Star were awarded a penalty after Jack Gillan was brought down inside the box by Dean Whitson and Liam Mcintosh scored from the spot kick to give them a life line.

Plenty of effort for the remaining minutes along with six added minutes of injury time played but no clear cut chances were created and Dunbar saw out the game well picking up another three well deserved points in their League campaign.

Every Dunbar player can be proud of their performance today working tirelessly as a team at a ground which has not been kind to them in the past, but still a long way to go before anything is decided with no doubt a lot of twists and turns along the way.

After three away games Dunbar return to New Countess Park next Saturday with Leith Athletic the visitors in another League match with kick off at 2.30pm. Tickets for the match are on sale now via the club’s Fanbase app:

Newtongrange Star :- Liam McCathie, Ryan Ferguson, Chris Robertson, Adam Nelson, Steven Tait, Dean Ballantyne, Andy Muir, Liam Peden, Ally Elliott, Sean Guiney, Ryan Porteous.

Substitutes :- Jack Gillan, Liam McIntosh, Shaun Conlon, Dan McBay, Michael Jones, Nick Rendall, Devlin Wraith (GK).

Dunbar United :- Sean Brennan, James Redpath, Michael McFarlane, Grant Thomson, Bob Berry, Cammy Dawson, Darren Handling, Ben Bathgate, Fraser Neave, Aaron Congalton, Dean Whitson.

Substitutes :- Declan Hannan (GK), Shaun Miller, Gregor Goldie, Johnny Edmond.

Referee :- Richard Macartney

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.

Photos by Dave Black and Gordon Maitland.

Mon the Seasiders!