Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v Penicuik Athletic YFC
Competition: Under 13's SERYFL "Division 3"
Venue: Hallhill, Dunbar
Sunday is fast becoming synonymous with one thing in 2015 – a Dunbar Utd Colts U13 home league victory. Penicuik were the latest team to arrive, ready to break a league run extending to 6 wins in a row.
Conditions were perfect for the sort of free-flowing, passing football we have come to expect from the young Dunbar side, and they clearly were in the mood for it, with 3 quick-fire goals in the opening 10 minutes of the game enough to startle their opponents and wake them from their journey across the Lothians.
The game kicked off and within seconds, Captain Twist signalled the home side’s intent when a slick passing move put him through on goal but he didn’t quite have his shooting boots at the ready and fired wide.
Keeper Purves in the home goal brushed up on his football rules knowledge when minutes later he collected a long ball through and picked up the ball. He dropped the ball to his feet but decided to pick it up again in an effort to go long. The ref had to give an indirect free kick, just inside the box. Twist again showed his early game desire and was quickest out to block the shot on goal.
This was the only first half scare for the Dunbar defence and the crowd were treated to some exciting football from the home side. The first goal arrived only four minutes in and it was striker Dixon who was through on goal. Such is his confidence that he took the shot early, and he guided the ball past the keeper with his weaker left foot. Two minutes later and Dixon again found himself in space in the box, this time he was able to hold the ball up, round the defender and smash it in to the roof of the net with his right foot this time.
Another two minutes played, and Dunbar would go three up. Knox on his return was beginning to dominate the midfield, and his eye for a pass saw him pick out Twist who corrected his earlier target finder and this time swept a great effort past the keeper into the bottom corner of the net.
Penicuik did well at this stage to contain a rampant Dunbar side. Their defence was re-organised and they began to battle hard for possession.
Any slight glimpses of an attack were swiftly removed with Hood and Hall in particular, outstanding in defence. Brunton was playing sweeper but had little to do such was the display of the players in front of him. McLean at right back was intelligent enough to realise that he had room to push forward and he was heavily involved in most of the good passing moves.
Dunbar had a couple of opportunities to kill the game at this stage and best move of the game saw Cooper on the left play a great one-two with Twist, he collected the return, passed the full-back and floated in a beautiful ball to the back post. Pickles stretched up but could not quite keep the header down and nodded over the bar.
They had one last move before the half time whistle when Sutherland and Knox combined to send Pickles clear, and his cross was cleared for a corner. The corner looked dangerous but Pencuik survived and the referee blew for half time with the home side 3 goals to the good.
Half Time : Dunbar United Colts 3-0 Penicuik Athletic YFC
As is often the case, the next goal was potentially crucial. This was emphasised to the Dunbar players but yet 2 minutes into the second half, Penicuik were awarded a free-kick out on the left. The free-kick was well-delivered from the left hand side of the pitch, hitting the bar directly, where it rebounded back to a Penicuik striker. The visiting player simply diverted it goal-wards, past keeper Purves. Defender Mclean did everything possible to reach across and volley the ball clear but the referee adjudged that the ball had crossed the line.
This was enough of a wake-up to the home side to realise they were in a game and on their next attack, Dixon was barged over in the box, and after a Balotelli style argument over who took the spot kick, Knox won the honour and dispatched the penalty into the right corner to make it 4-1.
Penicuik continued to battle and won a free-kick when Sutherland brought down his opponent. A well-struck free-kick round the wall brought out a great save from Purves and he tipped the ball round the post for a corner. From the resulting corner, Purves did not make much contact with the attempted punch clear, and the Penicuik striker gratefully nodded home to keep hope alive of a come-back.
The game was open now and Knox and Sutherland were controlling the midfield battle-ground while Pickles and Cooper were willing runners in attack as space opened up. Sure enough, 10 minutes into the half and Dixon dropped deep, controlled, and then sent a great ball down the left for Cooper to run onto. He sped past the defender and a composed finish saw him beat the keeper at his near post.
Dunbar settled now, and looked the more dangerous of the two teams. They won several corners and from another Pickles delivery, Mclean was the hungriest and he leapt like a salmon to loop a header over the unlucky ‘Cuik keeper.
Readman and Gallagher were brought on now and their fresh legs were exactly what the tiring visitors did not need. A Gallagher through ball saw Cooper marginally caught offside. From the free-kick, the goal-keeper failed to clear properly, and the ball fell to Dixon. The keeper could not have picked out a worse target than a striker who has bagged 3 hat-tricks in 3 games and 11 goals in his last 4. Sure enough, he controlled, advanced and the rest is history.
Dunbar did suffer another slightly unlucky call when minutes later they failed to play to the whistle. The ball appeared to be out of play on the right hand side and with Hood, Brunton and Hall all stopped and protesting, the ball was taken on by the winger, crossed into the box where the unmarked striker slotted home. Again, the goal sparked jubilant scenes on the visiting touchline.
Dunbar did have time to score two more goals. Both were well-made and as a result of some particularly unselfish play. Cooper was the creator of the 8th when he ran down the left, looked like he could take it on himself, but passed across to Pickles instead. His first touch was poor and fell behind him suggesting the best chance had gone. Instead he turned, and smashed the ball into the roof of the net, as the defenders closed in.
The final goal saw Dixon break down the right. He too looked like he could head for goal but a superb pass across saw Cooper awarded the freedom of Hallhill from the missing Penicuik defence and he had all the time in the world to control the ball and place it past the keeper to cap off a great morning’s work from this confident young Dunbar team.
So, a magnificent 7 wins in a row for the Dunbar side who entertain Currie Star Blue at fortress Hallhill in their next league fixture.
Full Time : Dunbar United Colts 9-3 Penicuik Athletic YFC