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Monday, 28 September 2015 13:35

Classy KSQ keen to inspire kids with kits

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In a world that can be unfair and miserable at times, acts of kindheartedness and empathy often provide a silver lining. Teaching our children the importance of such values should be of particular interest to all of us.

It is refreshing and fantastic to see, then, that Kirkliston & South Queensferry Football Club are doing exactly that by sending old match kits to Vietnam to help poor and disadvantaged children.

James Mackay, club secretary of KSQ, told Youth Football Scotland how it came to pass:

"Over the years, we have built up quite a stock of old kit which we have always thought about what to do with it instead of keeping it lying in storage. The opportunity to send the kit to Vietnam came through a work colleague of one of our Parent Helpers. His colleague Malcolm Osborne spends a month every year teaching English in schools in Vietnam. There is no welfare state in Vietnam, so all education has to be paid for. Most of the children love football and dream of being the next Ronaldo or Wayne Rooney, so the volunteering teams out there like to get old Football strips to support the dreams and aspirations of the kids.”

While acknowledging KSQ are not known around the world as a high-profile club, Mackay still believes they can make a difference: "KSQ may not be Man Utd, but we as a club, from the committee, coaches, volunteers and kids love the idea of helping to create dreams for the kids and build on their love of football. There is also something very cool about inspiring kids on the other side of the world to play for Kirkliston & South Queensferry."

Upon being asked what KSQ want to achieve with their charitable act, Mackay explained: "Inspiration. It may be a grand ambition, but as KSQ we want to foster a lifelong love of football for everyone who is part of the club and beyond. Through sending out some of our old kit, we hope that it sends a message to kids elsewhere that football is a great sport for fostering good health, wellbeing and teamwork. We want to inspire kids anywhere to play football, enjoy it and dream big about what they can achieve in life."

He went on to detail KSQ’s social responsibility and is convinced that the club can act as a role model for both other clubs and its members, especially the children playing for it: "For the 300 kids, their parents or guardians and 50 volunteers across the club, we also want to inspire them to think big and feel part of a club that can and does help others. We are based in the heart of the Kirkliston and South Queensferry community and want to show the power we all have to make a difference, no matter how small, to the lives of others. It is also good for our kids to understand the wider world and how life is for others while inspiring them that they themselves can help and make things better for others.”

Fixture: Edinburgh City v Dunbar United Colts
Competition: Ian Mackay Cup
Venue: Forrester HS 3G
Date: 20th September 2015
Dunbar returned to Forrester HS for a League 2 cup game with Edinburgh City - the home side won the league game 1-0 in a very tight game played just a few weeks before.  The match was again played on the poor 3G surface which is suffering from a great deal of over playing and lack of maintenance which makes the surface slick and very hard. 
Still, the pitch was the same for both sides and there was no wind to contend with, which can make the slick surface even harder to deal with. 
Dunbar played in blue, and the air certainly threatened to turn a similar colour when the home team scored after just a few minutes played.  With Dunbar showing great maturity and discipline in holding a defensive line on the 18 yard box, the Edinburgh City striker found himself with the box to himself when a free-kick was flighted in.  It certainly looked offside but with the Dunbar defenders standing with arms raised, the City striker coolly controlled and shot the home side into the lead.
Dunbar were slow starters into the game and City edged the opening period without threatening Purves’ goal.  It took 17 minutes before Dunbar created a chance.  Kinghorn broke down the left, and his cross in was snatched at the last second by Wallace in the home goal before Dixon could strike. Dunbar did start edging the game and Smillie, Pickles, Hall and Brunton were doing well, building from the back, with Knox, Kielty and Foggo starting to edge the midfield.  Renton was looking the main threat and his pace down the right was beginning to expose the home team’s left back.  The final delivery into the box was evading the Dunbar attack when Dixon squared behind Knox in one move and a couple of Renton crosses were fired in too close to the keeper. 
City were still threatening, and they won a free kick 25 yards out.  Maposa in the home midfield set his sights and took aim with Purves diving to his right and producing another trademark world class save.
With half time approaching, Dixon was given another opportunity when put through but with the ball bouncing on the tricky surface, the keeper was out to produce a good stop.  In fact, the home keeper Wallace was looking very good in goal and it would take something special to beat him.  Step forward Owen Renton who produced arguably Dunbar’s goal of the season to date.  Foggo laid the ball back to him on the right edge of the box – he touched the ball ahead of him then curled the ball beautifully into the far top corner of the net to send the noisy Dunbar support wild. 
Half Time: Edinburgh City 1-1 Dunbar Utd Colts
The second half saw Readman introduced for Brunton and Twist on for Foggo.  Twist certainly looked as if he had a point to prove and he took little time in adding bite to the Dunbar midfield. 
Dunbar started the second half better and looked up for the task.  It was a surprise then that the home team took the lead and again it was from poor defending from a free kick.  A ball curled in saw the ball bounced off various heads before it was nodded towards the 6 yard box where the City striker was unmarked and gratefully nodded home. 
Dunbar almost equalised just after when a curling free kick from Kielty evaded everyone and the keeper was grateful to see it bounce off the post and out for a goal-kick.  Kielty tried to struggle on with a back injury but he was forced off with Smillie stepping into the middle of the park and Jones slotting into left full back.
The City back 4 were under pressure and they were restricted to long balls up from the keeper which the smallest man on the field, Jones, showed great desire and fight to win time and time again. 
In fact, Jones, Hall, Pickles and Readman were suddenly a more formidable unit and were defending well. 
Smillie was enjoying his midfield role and he was playing his best game in a Dunbar shirt.  His hard work and winning of the tackles was the source of the next chance.  He won the ball and passed by two City players before playing in Renton.  Renton turned his defender before again finding the home keeper on top of his game. 
Dixon was then presented with a golden opportunity to level things up.  Knox won the ball in midfield before playing in the striker.  Dixon has been in this position on so many occasions but this time he delayed and delayed and the keeper was out to save the ball at the striker’s feet. 
Dixon made amends just minutes later though with Twist the creator this time around.  Twist’s turn, run through and pass through saw Dixon strike first time.  The defender rushed back towards goal but h could do nothing to stop it going over the line and the scores were level once again.
Dunbar looked the more likely to score but the referee’s whistle signalled for extra time, causing panic in the faces of those who had tickets for the Hearts v Aberdeen game.

Full Time: Edinburgh City 2-2 Dunbar United Colts
The first period of extra time saw Dunbar create enough chances to win the game.  The ball broke to Knox in the box, he pushed the ball past the defender but from 6 yards out, he snatched at the effort and shot wide.  Knox used his strength and pace seconds later as he ran down the left.  He broke into the box and with Renton and Dixon screaming for it, the midfielder looked to make amends and smashed towards the corner of the goal.  Again, the home keeper was equal to it and pulled off a classy stop. 
The game was looking there for the taking for the visiting Dunbar side with the possession now being controlled by the team in blue.  However, the referee’s whistle blew with the teams still level for the final 10 minutes.
The second period of extra time saw Dunbar win a few corners, with Kinghorn turning in several great crosses.  The ball would not fall to a Dunbar striker, and Smillie and Knox were restricted to shots from range which did not trouble the home keeper. 
With 10 seconds of time remaining, the Dunbar Coaches were beginning to collect names for the penalty shoot-out.  City broke upfield with one last attack.  The referee decided Smillie’s tackle was an illegal one right on the edge of the box. 
If Carling made football cup-ties then they obviously only had Edinburgh City in mind as Maposa stepped up and delivered a perfect strike into the top right hand corner of the net to win the game for the home team.  Indeed, Dunbar kicked off and the referee blew for full time with Dunbar sinking to their knees in a feeling of pure shock at letting the game slip from their hands.  Again, this was an evenly matched game and a great lesson for the visitors in taking chances at this level.  So no Carling weekend for the Dunbar lads – in fact it had a feeling of warm Tennent’s lager about it, as they headed for home wondering what could have been. 

Full Time AET: Edinburgh City 3-2 Dunbar United Colts
Cup action continues for Dunbar with a venture though to West Lothian, as they play Armadale Falcons in the next round of the Scottish cup. 

As the season progresses, a clearer picture of the league hierarchy emerges. The weekend's matches in the West Lothian region saw continued brilliance, upsets, first victories and goals galore.

In the under-19s league, West Calder United inflicted the first league defeat of the season on Bathgate Thistle, scoring the only goal of the game. Unbeaten side Broxburn Athletic Colts laid down a marker as they brushed away Armadale CFC Colts 10-0. Further down, Uphall Diamonds managed to establish themselves in mid-table after their solid 2-0 victory against Central Football Academy. Diamonds are now level on points with Forth Community FC, who produced a great attacking display against Polbeth Utd, winning 9-3. Linlithgow Thistle, invincible so far and with games in hand, keep snapping at the heels of the leading pack after narrowly squeezing past Livingston Community FC.

Meanwhile, in the under-17s age group, Airdrie United Boys Club continued their flawless start to the campaign with a 5-3 victory against Broxburn Athletic Colts United. Livingston FCBC are slowly ascending in the league. Having played a fewer number of games than most of their opponents, they beat Broxburn Badgers 3-1 at the weekend and might yet hope to finish higher than in their current mid-table spot. Elsewhere, Polbeth United thumped Linlithgow Rose CFC Maroon in a commanding display. Mid Calder Colts managed to record their first win of the season, scoring three without reply against Linlithgow Rose CFC. There were points shared when two of the teams with perfect league records, Murieston Utd Blue and Bo’ness United Boys Club, met. Like Livingston, Bo’ness will also be hoping to capitalise on their games in hand.

The under-16s saw not just league but cup matches as well this weekend. Linlithgow Rose CFC dominated Edinburgh City in the SERYFA Regional Cup, scoring nine and conceding just one. In round two of the Scottish Cup, Shotts Victoria swatted away Haddington Athletic 7-0 to progress to the next round.

In the league, Blackburn Utd’s impressive start went on with a clear 6-0 win against Whitburn FCA Millennium. Their closest pursuers, Victoria FC, are breathing down their necks after their 4-2 victory at Whitburn Amber. In the interim, Broxburn Athletic Colts Utd have been dealt a blow to their hopes of challenging for top spot. Although they still have games in hand, they would have needed to win every game to reign in Blackburn and were narrowly beaten 2-1 by Murieston Utd Red at the weekend. Kirkfield Wallace got their first win of the season against Linlithgow Rose CFC Maroon, just about edging it 4-3. They will be hoping that this performance will push them on and stand them in good stead for the rest of the campaign. In Broxburn, Broxburn Athletic Colts turned on the style to emerge as the clear winners against Polbeth Utd, playing brilliantly and scoring a remarkable ten goals in the process.

On under-15s level, there was a Scottish Cup tie on display. Kirkfield Utd proved victorious against Salvesen CFC in their 5-0 success that saw them advance into the next stage.

In League A, Broxburn Athletic Colts carried on where they left off as they thumped Larkhall Thistle 5-1 and remain comfortably in first place. One of the teams most likely to run them close is Petersburn Thistle, who looked menacing in their 7-1 win at Forth Athletic. Broxburn Athletic Utd might also be in the mix after they edged out West Fife FC 4-3, bearing in mind that they still have a game in hand.

In under-15s League B, both Murieston Utd teams got good wins under their belts. With the Reds winning 6-2 at close rivals Linlithgow Rose Cfc and the Blues beating Harvey Juveniles 4-1, the Murieston sides are currently sitting joint top of the league. Unbeaten side Armadale Falcons triumphed 2-1 over East Calder Colts and might be looking to push ahead of their adversaries given they have played two fewer games than both of the leaders. Meanwhile, Polbeth Dynamos and Grangemouth BC were engaged in a fantastic mid-table clash that ended 4-2 to the Dynamos. This week’s most impressive team were no doubt Broxburn Badgers, who hammered Craigshill 9-0. And finally, Fauldhouse Foxes will be proud of their first win, a clear 6-0 thrashing of Shotts YMCA.

Further down in the under-14s leagues, Broxburn Colts White kept up their good form at the top of the A League, putting an astounding ten goals past Murieston United Red. Murieston United Blue, their closest rivals up to this point, have played two more games and are level on points with them thanks to their 3-2 victory over Gairdoch United FC Black. In the meantime, Bathgate Thistle CFC will be buoyed by their 6-2 success at home against Armadale Thistle; a result that keeps them near the leading duo. Pumpherston United managed to get out of the bottom three by scraping 1-0 past Broxburn Colts Red.

In the B League, previously untouchable side Kirkfield United FC fell to their first defeat of the season as they lost 2-0 against Linlithgow Rose CFC Maroon, their closest pursuers. Blackburn United sent a signal to all the other sides when they impressed in their 9-1 win against Armadale CFC Galaxy. And unbeaten Armadale Falcons rose to their challenge when they saw off Livingston CFC in an equally commanding 8-0. Linlithgow Rose CFC registered their first win of the season at Livingston CFC Maroon, scoring three goals and conceding one.

Elsewhere, in the under-13s section, A League leaders Bathgate Dynamo were not in league action this weekend as they hammered Blackburn United 9-0 in the first round of the Scottish Cup. Craigshill Thistle continue to pile on the pressure on them after their 5-0 win against Bathgate Thistle CFC. Similarly, Broxburn Athletic Colts Utd ensured that their rivals at the top of the table cannot rest with an emphatic 7-0 success against Murieston Utd Red. Broxburn Athletic Diamonds and Murieston Utd Blue established themselves in mid-table with a hard-fought 2-1 win against Boness Utd CFC and a 6-0 thumping of Linlithgow Rose CFC, respectively.

In the B League, unbeaten side Kirkfield Utd White narrowly defeated league leaders Armadale CFC Red 3-2 and took the top spot off them. Broxburn Athletic Colts are breathing down both of their necks as they beat Craigshill Thistle Red 3-1. Further down, Linlithgow Rose Maroon and Polbeth United will be delighted to have secured their first victories of the season after beating Mid Calder 4-3 and East Calder 5-2 in high-scoring affairs.

Apart from the first round of the SYFA Scottish Cup, there were league and other cup matches on display as well last weekend, rounding off an exciting two days.

In the under-21s league, Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw by Leith Athletic while Newtongrange Star YDA got a convincing 4-1 win against Newcraighall Leith.

Leith Athletic YFC, Salvesen CFC 98, Bonnyrigg Rose FC, Murieston United White, Dalkeith Thistle FC, Leith Athletic FC and Tynecastle FC were the lucky teams to go through to the next round in the Bob Bankier Trophy on under-19s level.

Meanwhile, Loanhead MYFC scraped past Edinburgh City with a narrow 1-0 win in the Federation of Hibs Supporters Cup while Hutchison Vale FC produced a dazzling performance, seeing off Longniddry Villa 8-0.

In Division 1, Currie Star FC stayed in sight of league leaders Tynecastle FC as they clinched second place with an 8-2 win against Spartans FC Reds. In the interim, Spartans FC can hope to top Division 2 after their emphatic 9-0 success against Penicuik Athletic YFC Blues – they are in second place with a game in hand. Dunbar United Colts established themselves in mid-table by beating Loanhead MYFC Colts 4-2.

The under-17s age group was mainly involved in the Victor Paris Bathrooms Cup. It proved to be a high-scoring affair, with Cockenzie Star and Hutchison Vale FC both scoring a remarkable nine goals each as they beat AC Oxgangs and Bonnyrigg Rose Reds, respectively. Haddington Athletic, Fernieside FC, Beechwood FC, Preston Athletic YFC and Division 1 leaders Spartans FC Reds also made it through to the next round.

Although most teams were in action in that competition on the weekend, Cavalry Park and Leith Athletic FC played out a closely contested action-packed Division 1 match as well, with the former getting their first win of the season under their belts by narrowly edging it 6-5.

In the first round of the Craig Gowans Memorial Cup, Loanhead MYFC thumped Star ‘A’ CYP 8-2.

The weekend proved to be drama-laden in the under-16s section. In the SPORTSassist South East Region Cup, Linlithgow Rose hammered Edinburgh City 9-1 while Cramond FC were clear winners against Spartans FC Blues, scoring five goals and keeping a clean sheet.

The Jackie Faichney Memorial Cup then saw several goal fests. Redhall Star YFC and Musselburgh Young Stars both scored eight as they went through to the next round. North Merchiston even went one step further and got an astounding nine goals while conceding none. Musselburgh Windsor FC and Preston Athletic YFC both advanced with narrow 3-2 victories while Edina Hibs BC and Hutchison Vale FC also progressed.

In the Colin Greenhill Memorial Cup, Blackhall Athletic beat Dunbar United Colts 4-1 and made it through to the third round.

Fauldhouse United extended their lead in Division 1 as they shared the spoils with Tynecastle FC. Elsewhere, Bonnyrigg Rose FC secured a mid-table spot as they won 2-1 against Leith Athletic FC.

In Division 2 of the under-16s section, Livingston FCBC confirmed their first place position with a clear 4-0 victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers.

Meanwhile, Penicuik Athletic YFC extended their lead at the top of Division 3, but will be looking over their shoulders as Edinburgh City are just a point off of them and have two games in hand. In other Division 3 games, Craigroyston BC and Currie FC drew 3-3 while Currie Star proved victorious against Cramond Blues in a 6-3 thriller.

Naturally, the under-15s age group saw a lot of action, too. Tynecastle FC, Edinburgh City Whites, Musselburgh Young Stars, Tranent Colts FC, North Edinburgh Wanderers, Leith Athletic FC, Hillfield Swifts, Gala Fairydean Rovers and AC Oxgangs all progressed in the Federation of Hearts Supporters Cup. It was a remarkable round, with 50 goals scored in just nine matches.

In the John McConnell Memorial Cup, Currie Star Colts won 5-2 at Edinburgh United while Dunbar United Colts proved hungry for goals as they scored seven and conceded just one against Spartan FC Whites. Edina Hibs CFC boosted their lead in Division 1 with a 1-1 draw against Longniddry Villa. Musselburgh Windsor FC came close to earning a valuable point against Edinburgh City Real, but eventually succumbed to a 3-2 defeat.

In Division 2, Kirkliston South Queensferry temporarily sit at the top after a good 3-0 win over Hutchison Vale Colts, although Peebles FC will be breathing down their necks with a game in hand. Tynecastle FC Colts and Currie Star FC got a point each after their 2-2 draw.

Leith Athletic Colts sit in first place of Division 3 after their 7-2 victory against Cramond FC. However, they too will feel the other teams with games in hand snapping at their heels. The other Division 3 match of the weekend saw Penicuik Athletic YFC Reds in red hot form, continuing their unbeaten run with a 6-2 success against Blackhall Athletic.

As far as the under-14s go, most teams competed in the Willie Bauld Cup at the weekend. Gala Fairydean Rovers Colts, Haddington Athletic, Bonnyrigg Rose FC, Fernieside FC, North Berwick Colts, Whitburn FCA Thistle, Tynecastle FC, Bonnyrigg Rose Colts, Leith Athletic Colts, Hutchison Vale Colts and Dunbar United Colts all advanced to the next stage.

Still, there were also a couple of league matches on display. In Division 1, Spartans FC could not close the distance to leaders Bonnyrigg Rose Colts, drawing 2-2 with Tynecastle FC Colts.

Division 2 produced two more draws as there were no winners in the matches between Edinburgh South FC and Peebles FC, and Penicuik Athletic YFC and Edinburgh City Reds.

Invincible so far, Edina Hibs CFC Greens and Craigroyston BC have both taken a maximum of points from their first five Division 3 matches, and they continued in that fashion at the weekend, thrashing Currie Star Colts 9-0 and Earlston Rhymers 5-1, respectively.

In the under-13s group, the Lothian Buses Cup was the prime competition contested at the weekend. Redpath Albion, Spartans FC, Salvesen CFC Reds, St. Bernards BC, Redhall Star YFC, AC Oxgangs Blacks, Laurieston Thistle, Edina Hibs CFC, Longniddry Villa, Cramond FC and Blackhall Athletic were all successful and went through.

The opening fixture of the Ken Ritchie Cup saw Edinburgh City Blacks batter Tranent Colts FC 9-0. Additionally, the Peter O’Neill Cup commenced as Leith Athletic A Team beat Musselburgh Windsor FC by two goals to one.

Furthermore, a couple of high-scoring matches took place in the under-13s leagues. In League D2, Musselburgh Windsor Blues proved too hot to handle for Peebles FC as they beat them 4-1.

In Division 3, Edinburgh South FC and Lochend YFC both stayed unbeaten and directly vying for the top spot, winning 9-2 against Currie FC and 7-5 against Spartans FC Whites, respectively. Arniston Rangers had too much for Musselburgh Young Stars Blues, who were beaten 4-1. In the last Division 3 fixture, AC Oxgangs Blues went level on points with Salvesen CFC after just about nicking it 6-5 against them in an exhiliarating encounter.

Finally, there were two Division 4 matches on show. Currie Star FC saw their chances of taking the top spot boosted after winning 9-0 against Calvary Park whereas leaders St. Bernards BC Mid Blues only managed a 5-5 draw against Craigroyston BC. Currie have a game in hand and will be looking to seize that advantage.

With the first round of the Scottish Cup underway last weekend, the teams involved seemed poised to get off to a flying start to the road to Airdrie, producing an action-packed two days.

Both Bonnyrigg Rose under-21s and Penicuik Athletic recorded narrow 3-2 wins as they edged past Albion Rovers and Tranent Juniors under-21s, respectively. Musselburgh Windsor turned on the style against Giffnock Swift, producing a resounding 6-0 win.

It proved a dramatic weekend for Kirkfield United and Musselburgh Young Stars under-17s, with the former team triumphing 4-2 after a thrilling finale in extra time.

Meanwhile, Tynecastle FC saw off Lanark United with an impressive 6-1 success, whereas Shotts Victoria thumped Haddington Athletic 7-0 in the under-16s section.

It was heartbreak for under-15s side Spartans FC Youth as they succumbed to a 4-3 defeat against Hutchison Vale FC after extra time. Simultaneously, Kirkfield United came out on top against Salvesen CFC, scoring five goals in a really dominant display.

There were another four cup matches in the under-14s age group. Bonnyrigg Rose Pumas went through after an exhiliarating 5-3 encounter against Spartans FC 2002. Elsewhere, Hutchison Vale FC and Edinburgh City FC edged narrow 1-0 wins against Bonnyrigg Rose Reds and AC Oxgangs respectively. Further six goals were scored in the last under-14s Scottish Cup match as Musselburgh Athletic got four to Spartans FC Colts two in another thriller of a game.

Finally, the under-13s section saw two utterly convincing victories, with Hutchison Vale FC and Spartans FC Reds both scoring a remarkable amount of goals each to see off their opponents Edinburgh City and Shotts YMCA. In the interim, Bonnyrigg Rose FC and Musselburgh Young Stars also went through to the next round, recording exciting 5-3 and 5-2 wins against Kirkliston South Queensferry and Leith Athletic FC.

Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v Currie Star
Competition: Under-14 Willie Bauld Cup
Date: 13/09/2015

Dunbar was the venue once more as the hosts entertained fellow Division 2 side Currie Star in the first round of the all-division Willie Bauld Cup.  This was the first ever meeting between the two sides at 11-a-side football. 

With conditions again perfect for free-flowing football, Dunbar adjusted team lines at the last minute with Sutherland  unable to recover from a hamstring injury sustained in PE on Friday, while striker Dixon boosted the home side by declaring himself available after falling off his bike in midweek and breaking a finger.  These are the sort of selection problems that Jose Mourinho,  Louis van Gaal and Brendan Rodgers have yet to experience albeit Rodgers would welcome the character shown by Dixon in making himself available.

Dunbar kicked off and were first out the blocks with a corner won in the first minute of the match.  Hood was up highest but could only head it wide.  The next 10 minutes saw some careless possession surrendered and the football treated as the proverbial hot potato.  Ben Knox was leading the way though and he settled the home sides nerve when he won the ball 25 yards out.  He charged to the edge of the box before striking the ball low into the bottom corner to continue his vein of scoring form.

Dunbar settled with this goal and started to play some of their best football of the season.  A flowing move involving Kielty, McLean, Cooper and Dixon saw the striker denied by the goalkeeper with the move deserving so much more.  Renton was finding joy on the left side and he beat his marker before swinging in a ball that somehow managed to evade Dixon and the stretching Knox who did well to make up the yards and get into a scoring position. 

Renton was next to test the goalkeeper and his shot was tipped over the bar. 

Dunbar stretched their lead with 21 minutes on the clock.  A corner swung in saw Smillie, Hood, Pickles and Knox charge into the box.  Hood somehow managed to make connection with the back of his head which directed the ball into the back of the net.

Dunbar were playing well now and Smillie and Cooper were linking well down the right.  Cooper looked to be rid of his nagging groin strain and his free running down the right were a thorn in the side of the visiting defence.  Pickles, Hall and Hood were largely untroubled in the home defence with keeper Purves a passenger for long periods of the half.

Dunbar’s third goal in the half came from some great closing down and defending from the front.  Currie Star were looking tidy and were trying to play it out from defence.  Renton and Dixon applied the pressure and when Dixon won possession from the centre half, he was quick to spot the keeper off his line. He fired over the marooned goal keeper and in to the empty net. 

In a case of deja vu from last week, the Seasiders would turn around with a three-goal cushion.

Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 3-0 Currie Star

The second half bore similarities to the last game with the Dunbar bench full of strong runners keen to make an impression and also take advantage of a tiring Currie Star defence.  Readman, Brunton, Twist, Foggo and Kinghorn all came on. 

The first goal in the second half always looked to be crucial and Dunbar were the ones to score in a great back to front move.  Keeper Purves sharply rolled the ball out to full back Hood.  Hood fed Kinghorn down the left with Knox surging forward from midfield.  Kinghorn spotted the run and slotted the ball into the path of the marauding midfielder. Knox still had work to do but he took the chance early and smashed the ball low to the keeper’s right for his sixth goal of the season. 

Dunbar soon made it five.  Renton was switched to the right and the Kelso lad galloped past his full back before serving an inch-perfect ball into the path of Kinghorn who smashed home from close range. 

Kinghorn turned provider for goal number 6.  With full back Hood still up from a corner, Kinghorn won the ball on the edge of the box, chipped it over the defence for Hood to run onto and grab his second of the game.

Dunbar were guilty of missing a few chances that their passing and possession play deserved with Kinghorn momentarily losing his golden touch in front of goal as he put a ball wide when faced with an open goal. 

With Dunbar pushing forwards and Currie Star still looking good when in possession, it was no surprise to see the visitors grab the next goal.  A nice ball through saw the left winger race on and slot past keeper Purves who was unlucky to see his goal breached. 

Dunbar were well on top however and Foggo, Twist, Dixon and Knox were pulling the strings. Dixon was unlucky to see his effort go wide when it again looked easier to score before 20-goal hero from last season Cooper finally broke his duck for this season.  The tricky winger surprised most by opening his account with a header.  A ball that had gone right across goal was recovered by Kinghorn and his cross saw Cooper expertly nod home. It looked a relief to Cooper who will do well to match his return from last season. 

Dunbar were not finished yet and they again scored from a patient back-to-front move which had the spectators ooing and aahing in delight.

Purves again began the move from his 18-yard box as he rolled it out to Readman in the full back position. His pass found Cooper down the right.  Cooper cut inside then threaded a pass through the eye of a needle a la Jonjo Shelvey as he spotted the run of Kinghorn. This time Kinghorn made no mistake – picking up the pass from Cooper, he fired home from the edge of the box to continue a goa scoring streak which has seen him net eight times in his last three games. 

Dunbar were relentless in attack while remaining ruthlessly efficient in defence.  Hall, Knox, Pickles and Kielty continue to benchmark consistently strong performances while the pace of Renton, Cooper, Kinghorn and Dixon remain the nightmare of most defences.  Best on the day for his quality of passing and build-up play from the back while scoring two from the left full back position was Hood who easily contributed his best performance of the season. Hood misses next week’s game for a trip to Blackpool with the Coaches surely deserving of a stick of rock or a ‘Kiss Me Quick’ hat from the generous youngster. Dunbar travel to Edinburgh City in the first round of the Division 2 Ian Mackay cup next Sunday having lost 1-0 to the team in a very closely contested league game there just a few weeks back.

Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 8-1 Currie Star
Monday, 07 September 2015 14:33

Goal crazy Dunbar progress in Cup

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Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v Leith Athletic
Competition: Kenny McLean Cup
Date: 06/09/2015

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. 

Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 3-0 Leith Athletic

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.

Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 9-2 Leith Athletic 

Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v North Berwick Colts
Competition: SERYFA League Division 2
Venue: Hallhill Sports Centre
Date: 01/09/2015

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.

Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 1-1 North Berwick Colts

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.

VIdeo highlights from the South East Region YFL D2 match held on Sunday 23rd August 2015 at Iron Mills Park, Dalkeith. To order the full match DVD, click here.

Fixture: Dunbar United Colts v Bonnyrigg Rose FC under-14s
Competition: South East Region YFL Division 2
Date: 16/08/2015

Dunbar hosted Bonnyrigg Rose FC in the season opener, looking to get their season off to a better start than last year when they took seven games before recording their first win.  They were faced with a minor injury crisis when 51-goal hero from last season Dixon dropped out with a knee injury with able deputies in attack Mclean and Foggo already unavailable. 

With playing conditions perfect, Dunbar opted to play on the large 11-a-side pitch hoping to utilise the pace of Cooper and Kinghorn down the flanks and Renton up top with Twist playing off him.

Smillie joined Kinghorn and Renton in making their competitive debuts for the home team. 

The first 10 minutes of the game was a competitive affair between two teams involved in what already looks like a close division.  The home side forged the first opening when Renton flicked the ball through for Twist who looked for the run from Cooper when a shot at goal may have been the better option. 

There were few opportunities but both teams looked to play good football with the quick counter attack of the visitors looking to stretch the defence of Smillie, Pickles, Hall and Sutherland while the home side were more patient in their build-up play.

The midfield was well contested and Knox and Kielty were beginning to make their mark for the seasiders with Kielty in particular looking close to unbeatable in the tackle while mixing the play up well with short and long passes. 

Bonnyrigg forced a couple of half chances with Smillie showing his defensive duties were as strong as his passing as he bravely headed clear. 

The opening goal came with only 10 minutes of the half remaining.  Knox won the ball in midfield, looked up and picked out the run of Renton.  Renton’s running off the ball was superb and the pass was threaded through as the young lad showed nerves of steel and calmly finished into the corner of the net to open his account in what already looks like a profitable goal-scoring campaign. 

Purves was called into action in the home goals and he was quick out of his box on a couple of occasions as the visitors searched for an equaliser. 

However, it was Dunbar who would stretch their lead – this time, a goal kick was pounced upon by striker Renton.  He still had work to do but his pace took him clear of the defence and his strike showed his first goal was no fluke with the ball finding the corner of the net for the second time. 

Dunbar looked to see the game through to half time but a rare loss of possession in midfield saw Bonnyrigg nick a goal back just before the break.  Possession was surrendered and a perfectly weighted pass through saw the Rose striker finish past keeper Purves in the home goal. 

Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 2-1 Bonnyrigg Rose

Half time saw Readman introduced at right back with flying winger Cooper struggling with a groin strain.  Smillie moved into the vacant right of midfield slot to demonstrate his versatility.  The opening five minutes of the second half saw a rejuvenated Rose forcing the pressure.  Clearly buoyed by the half time team talk they looked the more dangerous but Readman, Pickles, Hall and Sutherland looked strong in the tackle and determined to block any opportunities. 

In fact, Dunbar stretched their lead against the run of play.  Kinghorn demonstrated exactly why he was in the team with Sutherland sending the player clear down the left.  His pace took him beyond the full back and he had the vision as well as the skill to deliver the cross into the path of on-rushing striker Renton who crashed the ball home for his hat-trick and Dunbar’s third goal. 

Dunbar looked to have taken the sting out of the Rose attack with that goal and looked dangerous all over the park.  Hood was introduced on the right for a tiring Smillie who performed brilliantly on debut.  Hood’s first involvement saw him cut in from the right and try a curler into the opposite corner.  The visiting keeper pulled off a great stop. 

With 10 minutes now played in the second half, the Renton show was now in full flow.  Another threaded ball through saw the striker score his fourth of the game in similar circumstances as his first two.  A nervy looking Dixon watched on helplessly as the race for the golden boot looks to be a closer run thing this season.

Dunbar were hungry now and Knox was pushing forward.  He was unlucky to see an effort saved before Twist saw his celebration cut short with his effort chalked off for offside. 

Kielty was enjoying himself in the middle of the pitch now and showing his full range of passing as he began to run the show for the home team.  He was also unlucky to see a potential goal of the season contender chalked off when his free kick from full on 40 yards into the top corner of the net was ruled out, with the referee deciding that the free kick was indirect. 

Still Dunbar attacked and Renton was unlucky not to add a fifth when wonderful technique saw an effort from the outside of his foot drift just wide of the post. 

Dunbar still had defending to do and Pickles remained fully focussed in pulling out a goal saving tackle while Readman looked like putting any part of his body in the way of the visitors long range efforts.  Keeper Purves was equal to anything that did manage to escape the defender’s tackles. 

Dunbar closed the game out with two more goals.  Readman showed his ability in attack matched his defensive duties when a superb through ball found Renton who was enjoying his competitive duty more and more.  This time he had the skill and composure to round the keeper and knock his and Dunbar’s fifth into an empty net. 

The sixth goal from Dunbar came from another good passing move with Hood the executioner on this occasion and who else but Renton who marked a dream debut with his double hat-trick with another well-taken goal in a manner not too dissimilar to Van Nistelrooy in his pomp.

This was a great team performance from Dunbar with any number of players throwing their name into the hat for man of the match and certainly trying to ink their name on to the team sheet in a competitive squad.  Kielty ran the show for the home team but it would be difficult not to award the man of the match to a player who scored all six of the team goals while making his debut for the club. 

It doesn’t get any easier for the Dunbar side with a tricky visit to Musselburgh on Tuesday night as the games come thick and fast.

Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 6-1 Bonnyrigg Rose FC