Dunbar were in cup action for the second successive week, again drawing opposition from League Three. This time Dunbar were awarded a home tie against Leith Athletic who Dunbar had beaten home and away last season in two closely contested league matches.
Leith won the toss and decided to shoot downwind, with a stiff Westerly breeze blowing in the face of the home defence. Twist and Brunton were late call-offs for the home side through sickness.
For the opening five minutes Dunbar tried to assert early control but it was clear from the off that Leith had a composed and classy centre half with the number four matching the pace of Renton and Dixon as he ably covered his back line. Dunbar would have to be a bit smarter and they opened the scoring with seven minutes played. Knox charged into the box and he looked as if he was tripped – the referee was saved from making an early big call in the game when the ball broke to Renton who smashed home with his left foot.
The same player had a chance to extend the lead minutes later when Kielty delivered a killer ball but the keeper was out sharp to block the striker’s effort. Knox and Kielty were winning plenty of the possession in the Dunbar midfield while Cooper was often an outlet as he showed his talents and skill in a busy first half. Leith were slowly using the elements to their advantage however and Smillie, Pickles, Hall and Hood were clever enough to sit a bit deeper on the large pitch, with several through balls challenging the home defence. Purves was coming off his line quickly and distributing the ball well in tricky conditions.
Dixon was next to challenge the Leith goal but he was marginally adjudged to be offside. It was 26 minutes into the game before Dunbar did extend their lead. Cooper was the creator with a great run down the right, beating his full back before delivering a great ball across for Renton to slot home in to the corner of the net.
Dunbar perhaps relaxed too early when Purves was called on twice in as many minutes. He pulled off a great double save with superb technique, then a minute later and Leith broke the offside trap. The attacker was put through on goal with the odds favouring the striker – Purves defied the odds by again spreading himself and pulling off a great save.
With a minute to play before the break, Dunbar produced what was effectively the killer goal. Dixon dropped deep, spun round before playing a great ball through for Renton. Renton was as cool as ever and slotted home his 21st goal of the season with the calendar just about showing September. Dunbar had weathered the storm, or at the very least, the wind and turned round at half time three goals to the good.
With four subs ready and raring to go, Dunbar were able to freshen things up in the second half and introduced the pace of Kinghorn to bolster the attack, while Readman and Jones slotted in to the full back slots. Foggo looked as keen as mustard jogging on the pitch into the 10 role.
Knox was covering a lot of grass and it was no surprise that he would put himself among the scorers. Five minutes into the half and a run into the box, a turn and cool finish with his left foot under the keeper saw Dunbar start the half well. The biggest surprise for the home support was that it would take a further 10 minutes before they scored again at which point the floodgates did open. Renton delivered a corner, it was pushed out the right where Foggo struck a great shot over the keeper and into the roof of the net to get his season up and running. This buoyed Foggo who went on to have a great second half – dropping deep to win the ball as well as winning header after header. Dunbar will be hoping he sticks to the same performance-enhancing breakfast cereal prior to every game.
Leith did break their scoring duck eventually. With the Dunbar midfield caught up-field, Leith exposed a four-on-two although Purves again did everything possible to retain a clean sheet. Twice he saved from the striker but the ball broke to the Leith midfielder who made no mistake with the third rebound. In a flurry of scoring activity, Dixon’s creativity put Knox through and he scored his second of the match. Another lapse in concentration saw Leith grab a second in a mad few minutes.
Dunbar resettled and closed out the game in style. Jones and Readman were pushing forward and offering options galore on either flank while Smillie and Hood came on for the tiring Kielty and Knox who both performed brilliantly in the midfield engine-room.
Readman spotted a run from Kinghorn and his great ball through saw the winger touch it in front of him before lobbing the advancing keeper with a really classy lob. The conveyor belt of footballing talent emerging from the small village of Chirnside shows no sign of stopping any time soon.
Kinghorn became provider for the eighth Dunbar goal – his run down the left and ball in saw Dixon finally rewarded for his creativity and hard work as he slotted in on the volley. There was still time for Renton to hit the bar, and Kinghorn to put a volley wide when it looked easier to score before Kinghorn did fire home his second as he again outstripped his full back. He closed in towards goal and slammed home despite the defender’s best efforts on the line.
Hood was performing well in a central midfield role and he earned his first goal of the season as he pushed forward in to the box. He twisted one way, turned the other as he outfoxed the home defence before sliding home a great individual goal.
With a minute of the game left Kinghorn netted his second hat-trick in as many games as he replicated the Hood moves in the box – turning the defender inside out before slotting home.
The referee called time, ending the misery for the visiting defence. Dunbar won this game through tremendous application in the first half, before opening out in the second half and creating endless chances.
The cup competitions continue for this blossoming Dunbar side but they face a sterner challenge in the first round of the Wille Bauld Cup. This is another all-division cup with the Seasiders hosting fellow Division 2 side Currie Star.