Fixture: Salvesen CFC v Dunbar United Colts
Competition: U-13 SERYFA League Division 3
Venue: Forrester High School
Dunbar travelled to Forrester High School, playing on the 3G there for the second time in a month. This time, Salvesen CFC were the hosts while the strong wind remained from the last visit to this venue.
Dunbar took some time to get the ball on the ground and play to the conditions. The biggest surprise was that it took 18 minutes to open the scoring. Until then, it was a mix of great goalkeeping and poor finishing that kept the scores at 0-0. Cooper was first to test the keeper, breaking into the area after five minutes played but his shot was struck straight at the keeper. The keeper was forced to work harder minutes later when Twist and Pickles forged an opening down the right and the cross in found McLean who saw his effort parried wide. Pickles also saw a header saved by the keeper.
The next opportunity stemmed from a clearance from Hood at the back whose long ball saw Dixon through – his effort was blasted over the top as the striker looked too eager at adding to his goals tally for the season. McLean, Dixon and Pickles all saw further efforts lacking a bit of composure as the enthusiastic Dunbar team tried in vain to break down the stubborn Salvesen defence.
Dunbar did break the deadlock, and it stemmed from patient play from the full-back position. Twist won the ball at right back, cut into the middle, played it up to McLean who excels at finding his strike partner – sure enough, he played Dixon through and he did the rest, slotting home the opener.
This opened the floodgates for the visitors. The composure in the Dunbar attacks stemmed from Beddell-Jones, who was winning everything at left back, and Sutherland and Knox in the middle who were finally getting to grips with the conditions and aware of how much room they had.
The second goal came seconds after the first. Knox won the ball in the middle of the pitch, he strolled forward and played a great through-ball. Dixon was strong and held off his marker to fire his and Dunbar’s second of the game.
Dunbar were well on top and Purves, Hood and Brunton had minimal involvement. Dunbar were now camped in the opposition half and the third arrived with the same combination as the second. Knox to Dixon, and into the roof of the net to complete a quick-fire hat-trick.
Number four soon arrived and it was worth hanging around for. Sutherland picked the ball up from Twist close to the half way line. He pushed forward, and with a retreating defence and a wind behind him, he took aim and fired a 25-yard top-corner screamer that brought a smile to his face and that of the visiting support.
Dunbar sent on Marshall for McLean in attack. He was keen to get involved in the action and had one opportunity within seconds of arriving on the pitch. His nerves got the better of him and he shot straight at the keeper. He had calmed down by the time his second chance arrived – Beddell-Jones summing up his excellent half with a ball to Dixon who fed Marshall who took one touch then smashed high into the net for his first of the season.
Half Time: Salvesen CFC 0-5 Dunbar United Colts
Dunbar turned four goals to the good and opted to play a 3-5-2 formation for the second half. This would be their undoing for a while, with the Dunbar midfield pushing high up the pitch and the home keeper kicking long to an exposed back three.
Dunbar did start the half well, and Foggo came into the midfield. A free-kick from out on the right was delivered by Foggo with the clearance picked up by Marshall who shot wide.
Foggo was then adjudged offside with Dixon played through and the striker was frustrated to see his effort chalked off. Dunbar were sloppier in the second half although much of the better play stemmed from good link-up play on the right between Knox, Pickles and Twist.
Dunbar made it 6-0 when Twist played an infield pass to Sutherland. His vision picked out Dixon who slammed his fifthth goal of the game and the magic 50 for the season – a truly incredible effort from the skilful marksman.
Foggo was next to go close. He drifted in to the left wing and Cooper played him in as he cut back on the left corner of the box. His curling effort skimmed the top of the bar.
Dunbar went through a poor 10-minute spell which let the hosts into the game. The keeper could clearly kick long and Brunton and Pickles were letting the ball bounce in their half. Hood came on to cover an injury from Brunton and he too fell foul of the long ball. The keeper cleared long. Hood did well to slide in and block the first shot at goal but with the Dunbar midfield camped upfield, the Salvesen midfielder was lucky to gather the block, although there was no luck involved in the finish as he smashed past Purves in the visiting goal.
This should have served as warning to Dunbar but the plucky home side scored their second minutes later. A long ball was again involved, and from a similar break of the ball from the tackle, the Salvesen striker collected and dispatched in similar manner from the edge of the box to make it 6-2 to the visitors.
This did fire up Dunbar for the remainder of the game and they played out the remainder in control. They scored their seventh when Pickles and Twist played a one-two down the right – Twist slotted in Knox and the big midfielder fired a ferocious effort which the keeper did well to parry. However, Dixon always seems to be in the right place at the right time and from the keeper’s parry he nodded home for his fifth of the game and turned the coaches frowns upside down. The striker completed his double hat-trick in the last minute of the game when Twist again set him up and he calmly fired past the despondent home keeper.
The final game of the season sees a battle for third place with Penicuik hosting Dunbar. Penicuik sit two points below the East Lothian side in the table and so a win for either team would see them clinch the third place spot.
Full Time: Salvesen CFC 2-8 Dunbar United Colts