Match date: 20th November 2021 Kickoff: 2.00 pm

After last week’s historic win at Newtongrange the Dunbar management team stuck to the same starting eleven for their first ever visit to the artificial surface at Dalgety Bay Sports Centre in Fife,  and with both sides positioned mid table in the League a close encounter was anticipated.

The home side began on the front foot and went close with early efforts from Greig Spence and Kieran Annandale before Dunbar finally created an opening in the tenth minute with Andy Jones shooting high over the bar. Minutes later Ben Bathgate had a deft touch saved by Mitchell in the Swifts goal before Greig Spence brought a fine save from Ryan Mack in the Dunbar goal.

With both sides probing for an opening on the tricky surface,  the best chance of the half fell to Dunbar in the 25th minute when Andy Jones and Jamie Devlin linked up on the left with Jones shot parried out by the home keeper into the path of Dan Purves but he was denied a goal by another fine save from the Swifts keeper.

Minutes later Jamie Devlin had a shot saved as Dunbar settled more into the game, but the experienced Greig Spence was always causing problems to the Dunbar defence with his movement up front and just before the break his initial shot was saved well by Ryan Mack with the second ball cleared off the Dunbar goal line.

No scoring at the break with all to play for in the second half but Dunbar started the second half without the influential Dean Whitson in the centre defence after picking up a back injury and Michael McFarlane was drafted into the heart of the defence.

Within minutes of the restart Greig Spence was again denied by Ryan Mack,  but the Swifts striker eventually broke the stalemate in the 51st minute after being played in by Ronan McMurchie with the Dunbar defence appealing for offside but Spence fired into the corner of the net to give the Swifts the lead.

Two minutes later,  Spence scored his second after a shot from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection off Dunbar’s Scott Hay before nestling in the back of the net.

Dunbar went close when Jamie Devlin’s header from a corner was cleared off the line before the Swifts scored again in the 64th minute after some slack defending allowed Spence a shot from what looked an offside position,  but although Ryan Mack did well to save it the rebound fell kindly for Charlie Simpson to stroke home with the Dunbar defence static.

It looked all over for the visitors,  but three minutes later Ben Bathgate gave them a life line when he cut in from the left and fired high into the net giving the Swifts keeper no chance and making the score 3-1.

Dunbar’s hopes finally faded twenty minutes from time after a long throw-in was not dealt with and Mack parried out another Swifts effort only to see the alert Greig Spence prod the ball over the line from close range for his own hat trick and Swifts fourth goal of the afternoon.

Dunbar pushed on to the end but the resolute Swifts defence was giving little away before the game ended on a sour note for Dunbar with their goalscorer Ben Bathgate being helped off the pitch after a nasty looking head knock.

A disappointing result for Dunbar who struggled in defence after Dean Whitson’s injury and resulted in probably one of their worst displays of the season.

Big problems for the Dunbar management to turn things around with two important home games coming up starting with League leaders Penicuik Athletic visiting New Countess Park on Saturday with a 2.30 pm kick off.  Tickets for the game against Penicuik are on sale via the club’s Fanbase app:

The Swifts :- Neil Mitchell, Michael Paterson, Kieran Annandale, Charlie Simpson, Callum Deas, Brodie Strang, Liam Kelly, Ryan Mauchlen, Ronan McMurchie, Pat Scullion, Greig Spence.

Substitutes :- Shay Brough, Dan Thomson, Callum Murray, Davin Kaye, Tommy Simpson, Ryan Cowie, Tam Graham.

Dunbar United :- Ryan Mack, Grant Thomson, Dean Whitson, Scott Hay, Bob Berry, Darren Smith, Ben Bathgate, Fraser Neave, Jamie Devlin, Andy Jones, Daniel Purves.

Substitutes :- Daniel Laing, Michael McFarlane, Kieran Ingram, Fraser McLaren, Darren Handling, Nicky Weir.

Referee :- Kenny Brown.

Asst Refs :- Paul Hanlon, Scott Binnie.

Match report courtesy of Laurie Wood.