Dunbar Colts came under the weather as they lost 4-1 to North Berwick Colts in a SERYFA League Division 2 match.
With monsoon rain threatening the start of play, both teams gathered in the shelter of their changing rooms to talk about their game plans rather than face a pre-game drenching. The referee’s arrival seemed to bring relief from the rain and the teams kicked off with the it stopping almost exactly in time.
Dunbar could not have started better – a tackle was won in midfield by Knox, and he passed to McLean, who showed great vision to send Cooper running down the right – he looked as if he was tackled by his full back, but he emerged with the ball again and cut the ball back for Knox, who slammed it into the corner of the net.
The Seasiders then committed the cardinal sin of conceding almost straight from kickoff. Hall won his tackle, but when the ball broke loose, the Dunbar defence could only watch as it was nudged through for the North Berwick striker to latch onto and dispatch into the corner.
The first 20 minutes were a good match-up, with Dunbar edging the play. Kielty went close with a great free-kick which came back off the bar and fell safely into the arms of the visiting keeper.
In the move of the half, Kinghorn took possession from the opposing left back and passed inside to McLean, who again sent Cooper scampering. His cross saw the keeper just take the ball from Dixon in a well-contested fifty-fifty.
Seconds later, and Knox sent his opposite number flying in a tackle. The free kick allowed a lengthy stoppage and treatment for the visiting keeper who had clearly not shaken off the challenge.
This delay aided the visitors and for the remainder of the half, the home team struggled to retain possession with the two North Berwick centre halves looking particularly strong and pacy and the midfield winning more than their fair share of possession. The away side did have the ball in the net just before half time, but it was correctly ruled out for offside.
The second half was a more open affair and simply a matter of North Berwick taking their chances. This was a good lesson for the Dunbar team: in this division, games are so hotly contested and evenly matched that the odd goal will certainly be decisive.
Renton was given the first chance of the half where he was first onto a goal kick – he took the ball forward, but shot wide of the target. Kielty, Knox and Mclean were finding Renton with ease now and the right hand side was a threat. Dunbar were inches from going in front when a great ball down the line from Smillie was taken further by Renton before delivering a great cross in – striker Dixon bravely stuck his head on it and the post stopped what would have been a great goal.
Such was the luck for the home side that North Berwick strolled up the pitch and scored – the ball looked to be marshalled out by Hall, but as it stuck in the turf, the winger nicked the ball, cut it back and the visitors were in front.
This knocked the stuffing out of the home team, but in an effort to change things, Readman, Hood and Brunton were thrown on to combat the North Berwick midfield. Dunbar forced several corners, the visiting defence stood strong, however.
Instead, it was the visitors who would stretch their lead. A pass back by Smillie saw Purves kick out to the North Berwick striker. He showed great composure to fire in the third. Shell-shocked, a combination of poor marking and a clever finishing saw North Berwick score a fourth – a corner was swung in, and the unmarked North Berwick attacker volleyed home.
Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 1-4 North Berwick Colts
The away side returned to North Berwick with their perfect league record intact while the home team could only take minor comfort in the fact that this was an evenly contested game with the scoreline flattering the opposition. Looking at the cup draws, this may be the first of many meetings between the two teams this season.
There will be cup action again at the weekend, when Dunbar United Colts entertain Leith Athletic Colts in the first round of the all-division Kenny McLean Cup.