Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v Haddington Athletic
Competition: Under 13's SERYFL Division 3
Venue: Halhill, Dunbar
On a glorious winter’s morning in Dunbar, a local derby was on the menu with both teams looking to win the bragging rights after Haddington won the early season league encounter while Dunbar were victorious over their rivals in the George Salmon Cup.
With barely a breath of wind, the match kicked off and understandably, both teams looked cagey with passes going astray and possession surrendered easily. Dunbar did force the early chances with an early corner causing some minor panic in the Hi-Hi defence.
With both teams keen on a passing game, the first clear-cut chance surprisingly came via route one with keeper Purves’ long clearance sending striker Dixon galloping clear. The on-form striker was through on goal but saw the visiting keeper save bravely.
Dixon made amends minutes later however when he again sprung the offside trap. His effort was saved but he was quick to latch onto the rebound and smash home and open the scoring.
Haddington were beginning to win the midfield battle and they were keen to get their number nine Campbell on the ball as often as possible.
It was Campbell the creator for the equalising goal when he sprung up on the left hand side, expertly dribbling past Mclean and Hall before crossing the ball for the Haddington midfielder Holman to smash home and level things up.
Dunbar had a few openings shortly after and the game was well-matched with defences on top at this stage.
Haddington however, would take the lead when again it was the dangerous number nine Campbell who was left unmarked in the box, and with the home defence frozen with arms aloft claiming offside, he collected the pass and fired into the bottom corner.
Dunbar had an opportunity to level things up when Foggo found Twist down the right and his first time cross to Cooper was again well saved by the Haddington keeper. Haddington would go into the break with a slender 2-1 lead.
Half Time : Dunbar United Colts 1-2 Haddington Athletic
Team talks were low key at half time with both teams serving up some good football and little need for change.
The second half kicked off and Dunbar certainly looked the hungrier of the two teams. A tactical switch saw Cooper move to the right of the front three and this was successful with Mclean, Pickles, Cooper and Dixon linking up well down the right.
The next goal was crucial and it was the home team that looked the likeliest to grab it. Sure enough, Sutherland won the ball in the midfield, his pass sent Cooper down the right whose cross was only half cleared to Dixon whose eyes lit up and he expertly found the corner of the net.
Dunbar were keeping good shape and Mclean, Brunton, Hall and Hood were defending for their lives, while Gallagher was introduced for Foggo to stretch the game.
Dixon was the main threat and his work-rate was effective in giving Dunbar the lead. He worked back and won the tackle from the centre half – his quick pass found Pickles and he simply passed the ball calmly into the far corner of the goal, bouncing in off the inside of the post to fire up the home crowd.
Dunbar were first to most tackles by now, and were certainly looking the hungrier and more determined to win.
However, Haddington were still dangerous and Brunton performed heroics with a double-block to prevent an equaliser.
Purves was kept busy and was showing safe hands throughout.
Haddington did equalise and it was somewhat fortunate. Hood seemed unlucky when he was adjudged to have fouled his opponent when to most it appeared that he won the ball. Midfielder Lyall swung in a ball, striker Smith flicked up his back leg, catching the ball and sending it spiralling it over the home keeper.
Dunbar were still calm and to all looking on still looked like the side in control. Sure enough, minutes after Haddington equalised, striker Dixon marginally beat the offside trap, continuing his rich vein of form and completing another hat-trick for the club. This was his 26th goal of a prolific season for the young striker.
Minutes later and it looked like Dunbar were finally putting the game to bed. Dixon again saw a shot blocked, but Cooper absolutely smashed the rebound into the top corner of the net to again send the home crowd wild and open up a two goal lead for the first time in the match..
With five minutes to go, Dunbar faltered slightly with the Hi-Hi pushing on in search of late goals. Mclean was lucky to escape a booking for a late tackle on his opposite number, before Haddington did silence the home crowd when a ball was not cleared in the Dunbar box and Campbell struck his second for Haddington and reduce the deficit to 1.
With nerves jangling, a hard and late tackle by Twist saw him pick up his first booking of the season, and give the away side one last chance to punt the ball into the box. Haddington delivered long but there was only ever one winner and Hood was that man – bravely jumping and heading clear, before the referee decided enough was enough and ended the torment for the home crowd and let them begin to celebrate their sixth league win on the bounce.
Full Time : Dunbar United Colts 5-4 Haddington Athletic