South East Region (483)
With the hosts missing several key players for the originally scheduled Sunday fixture, Dunbar sportingly agreed to travel across the Lothians and into the Pentlands for a Thursday fixture at Bog Road, Penicuik. This was certainly no meaningless end of season fixture with Dunbar sitting two points above their hosts as both teams vied for third spot in their final league game of the season. The travel gods conspired against the East Lothian side who encountered traffic problems en route, but the Dunbar fleet of cars skipped through Dalkeith and arrived in time for a short warm-up before the planned kick-off time.
With Brunton suffering a bruised foot while practising his rabona in his own living room, Readman unavailable and Gallagher’s kit and boots stranded on the wrong side of a freshly painted staircase, the Seasiders travelled with a fired-up squad of just 12 players.
Dunbar had taken the honours in the league game played earlier in the season but this looked a much-changed Cuik who looked a physically strong side, and had put together a good sequence of results of late.
Indeed, the first half was short on real quality but it was an engrossing match with a great physical battle and a very vociferous home crowd which cheered and appealed for every decision. This seemed to spur on the Dunbar players as much as the home players and the visiting crowd rose to the occasion too.
Dunbar were playing down the slope to begin with but were largely restricted to long-range efforts on goal. Foggo was put through but his shot from range was easily gathered by the home keeper. Penicuik had their first effort when Knox was adjudged to have overstepped the mark and brought down his opponent at the edge of the box. Purves savoured his first touch of the match and he too collected with ease in the visiting goal. Dunbar’s main threat stemmed from the right with an attacking full-back in McLean always keen to link and overlap with Cooper ahead of him.
Foggo was adjudged offside when the first bit of quality appeared with a neat through-ball from Dixon. Knox and Sutherland in the centre of the park were controlling the midfield battleground and they both had similar opportunities within a few minutes – winning the ball, advancing forwards and shooting from range. On both occasions, the keeper positioned himself well and saved with ease.
The best chance of the half fell Dunbar’s way when the home keeper gathered a pass-back with Twist putting him under all sorts of pressure. Foggo tapped to Dixon whose low shot was charged down. This was met by the kind of celebration from the home touchline normally associated with a cup final winning goal.
Dunbar were largely untroubled at the back. McLean looked completely at home in the right-back area, Hall was winning tackles and distributing well, while Pickles showed how key he is to this team, stepping in to the sweeper role after playing right wing, centre midfield and full-back over the last few weeks. Hood, then Beddell-Jones, at left full-back were effective in cutting out the main threat from the home side – the skilful and pacy right winger who looked capable of causing problems.
Despite dictating play and dominating territorial possession, it was the home side who took the lead against the run of play. A ball from the midfield was played through to the right winger who took full advantage of the fact there were no linesmen and sprinted through and finished well into the far corner. The half time whistle blew with the home side 1-0 up.
Dunbar have faced this situation before and such is their strength of character and great teamwork, they looked unfazed at half time but certainly up for the challenge.
Indeed, there were only two minutes played of the second half when Twist outfoxed his man and was crudely stopped in his tracks. From out on the right, Mclean delivered a superb ball in. It soared towards the back post where the unlucky number five, with Knox breathing down his neck, could do nothing but knock it past his own keeper. This time is was Dunbar’s time to celebrate enthusiastically.
Dunbar looked like threatening again when the keeper spilled a shot. Knox was in attendance but the referee gave the benefit of the doubt to the keeper and awarded a free kick.
The second half turned out to be as exciting as any game witnessed this season. The Dunbar coaches picked up on a slower-paced back four and brought Hood back into the midfield, with Cooper and Dixon forming a very pacy attack. In defence, Pickles and Hall won ball after ball while Mclean tackled and distributed with some style while Beddell-Jones continued where he left off last week. The match reporter’s pen ran dry before writing out how many times he made a crucial challenge or won a tackle when odds looked against him. There was still ink in the pen and able to record a fantastic Beddell-Jones clearance header from under the crossbar as the home side looked to gain advantage from the wind and the slope.
Penicuik then took the lead – they had a series of corners and looked a threat. Hood managed a bullet header from the near post from one of them that sent him spinning while on another, the ball was cleared out. The Dunbar defence pushed up, and the midfielder simply lobbed it back in towards the Dunbar goal. Keeper Purves has rescued his teammates on a number of occasions this season but he momentarily took his eyes off the ball, watching the striker in an offside position instead and he could only palm the ball back into the net. Such is the respect the players have for their keeper, they were quick to rally around and help him erase the error.
Dunbar equalised a few minutes later and, in fact, Purves had a hand in the goal. His accurate kick saw Dixon with extra spring in his step bravely win a header. It was route one; with Dixon flicking on. Cooper anticipated the aerial win and was through on it in a flash. His first touch looked heavy but such is his pace, his second touch regained control while the third was a delightful flick over the keeper Messi-esque style with his so-called weaker left foot. Both teams were up for it now and the noise from the crowd grew louder. Dunbar looked to use their one substitute to give some of the key workers a five minute breather – Hood, Foggo, Twist then Knox all rotated in and out of the action.
Shortly afterwards, a long diagonal ball from the passing expert Sutherland saw Cooper burst up the left. The keeper brought him down from wide out and fully 25 yards from the goal.
Foggo marched up with one thing on his mind. He has been in this situation before but even the Dunbar crowd could not believe the manner in which he blasted his effort long, hard and true into the far top corner of the net and silence the home crowd. Dunbar had taken the lead for the first time in the game with the whole team involved in the goal celebrations.
Dunbar looked to see the game out now and Beddell-Jones and Pickles in particular threw their bodies on the line as Penicuik pushed bodies forward. With a minute of the game remaining, another dangerous corner was delivered and a flick of the left leg saw the ball diverted rather fortuitously past the diving Purves and into the corner of the net for the equalising goal.
Dunbar maturely held on with Beddell-Jones cleverly drawing a foul from his opponent, and the referee’s whistle sparked scenes of celebration as the Dunbar side clinched thirrd place. The 3-3 final scoreline was a fair result with both teams putting in a mountain of work.
The Dunbar celebration was worthy given the fact the young Dunbar side were second bottom with one point from their first seven games. It has been an incredible turnaround and one which makes the start of the new season all the more exciting.
East Kilbride lifted the East of Scotland FA Under 20 Knockout Cup with a 6-2 victory over Edinburgh University at Marine Drive Playing Fields. With just one point separating the teams in the league table, it was all set to be a close game but Kilby came away with a convincing victory. The two teams had met in the Challenge Cup semi-final the previous month, with Edinburgh Uni triumphing on that occasion.
After eight minutes, the ball was being exchanged in tight spaces out on Edinburgh Uni’s right midfield and a pass inside from East Kilbride was met first time with an instep to put a curling ball down the left channel. Lewis McDonald made the run and latched onto the ball, drifting in on goal at pace and coming inside with a smart bit of footwork to make the angle and curving the ball outwards and towards the top corner and out of the reach of the keeper. It was one nil to East Kilbride.
Shortly after, McDonald muscled the ball free for another opportunity, cleverly disguising the shot and beating the keeper only to see it drift wide of the upright. Despite the desperate and dazzling opening it appeared as though East Kilbride had confidence in their passing and ability to get the ball into dangerous areas and certainly the potency lay squarely at the feet of McDonald. Soon he was combining with Vinnie Newlands neatly laying it inside in the area with a back heel but the defence closed in around his team mate and the chance was gone.
After 25 minutes Ross McKechnie went on a mazey run inside but slipped. McDonald was on hand to rescued it though and laid it back to Harry Mitchell whose shot went over the bar. Only two minutes later persistence paid off and McDonald had scored again with a fine finish close in on goal. Two nil to Kilbride and his teammates were over to congratulate him for making a big dent in the games likely outcome.
Now the Uni came forward swiftly. A cross came in and the striker headed it into the top corner to pull a goal back.
After 35 minutes, Kilby came forward with McDonald involved once again. They very nearly scored but it was Edinburgh University who were finding their feet and making deep incisive attacks down both wings.
At the break the teams go in with East Kilbride worth the slender lead and it all to play for in the second half.
Half time: East Kilbride 2-1 Edinburgh University
A few minutes into the second half, Jordan Craig whipped in a great cross which was met by the striker, but the header looped narrowly over the crossbar.
Shortly after though Craig sent in a quality corner and a powerful Craig Howie header from close range put East Kilbride two goals up.
Then, Craig received the ball and lined up a left-footed shot which fired past the Uni goalkeeper.
On the hour mark, the Uni nearly scored after a fine run but Kilby keeper Martin McCabe was equal to the shot.
The game slowed down but Edinburgh were still probing. A cross caused problems in the Kilby defence but went just wide of the target.
It was a truly awesome goal that saw East Kilbride make it 5-1 and clinch the game. After an excellent passing move between three Kilby players, Mitchell played in Howie who finished with aplomb dummying a shot before waltzing into the goal.
Edinburgh Uni pulled a goal back with 20 minutes remaining and it was a grand reward for their persistence. A fine finish into the net nestled into the far post.
Five minutes later, East Kilbride head a ball on to the bar after great play and then some frustrations from both sides came out in the form of fouls and yellows before Kilbride go close again.
John Diack went clear onto a through ball and was foiled by the keeper but only a few seconds after he was still alive to a bouncing ball and he volleyed it sweetly and it was always going in. It was one of those shots that you hope will go in because it is going to be a great goal to watch and as much as the keeper did well he could only grace the dipping curl which took the ball under the bar for the game to be formerly victorious for Kilbride and fulfilling to Diack who no doubt will remember that goal for a while! The game finished at 6-2 and with a flurry of outstanding saves at the end as McCabe tipping balls onto the bar East Kilbride celebrated a trophy win on what turned into a glorious evening and an equally quality game.
Despite this mammoth task Dunbar started the game very brightly. They retained possession well and kept the ball on the ground with a strong wind blowing across the pitch. Knox and Sutherland looked sharp and eager to take the game to their opponents.
Dunbar were linking well with Cooper and Foggo on the flanks benefitting from great passing from the middle of the park while Mclean and Dixon look to be forging a strong understanding in attack. Dunbar looked solid in defence and forced the much sought after Makovora deep to seek out the ball.
Makovora is attracting the attention of several Pro-Youth teams and credit to the Dunbar defence for restricting the pacy striker to just one goal over the two games played over the last week, although his class was evident for all to see.
Dunbar played out the first 10 minutes in control and created the first opportunity, a Knox shot from range heading wide. Tranent did start to gain possession of their own, and forced the first corner of the game which Purves came and collected. He was called into action a minute later when he was sharp off his line to block a Tranent effort.
Despite controlling the opening quarter, Dunbar conceded the opening goal. With Dunbar on the attack, a quick counter saw a long ball played up to halfway – a ball through found the Tranent striker who continue through and scored into the corner of the net. There were calls for offside, with the travelling support voicing their displeasure.
Their frustration was short-lived when Sutherland showed his class, winning the ball in midfield then feeding Mclean. Mclean turned and threaded his pass through the eye of a needle, with his strike partner Dixon on to it in a flash and slotting home in style.
Dunbar then committed the cardinal sin of conceding with a minute of equalising. A Tranent ball was played into the box and Purves in goal came but was beaten by a flick past him and he pulled the striker down. The visiting keeper earned a yellow card for his challenge, and dived to his right as the centre half coolly smashed the penalty straight down the middle.
With five minutes to go to half time Purves was called into the action more and more and he produced a class save as he came off his line to meet the striker. He could do nothing to prevent Tranent’s 3rd though – a corner was cleared to the edge of the box where the super-cool Tranent number six took one touch to control and his second was fired straight into the corner of the net.
With seconds to go to half time, it was the danger man Makovora who finally got his name on the scoring sheets. He out-paced the Dunbar defence and coolly lobbed the visiting keeper. Dunbar headed into the break four goals to one down, when they had been on top for long periods of the half.
Half Time: Tranent Colts 4-1 Dunbar United Colts
Dunbar kicked off the second half in similar manner to the first – they were quicker out the blocks and playing well. Cooper was now causing problems galore and he played the ball to Dixon who evaded the defender with a superb touch – his ball in was cleared to Sutherland who smashed the ball wide of the target.
Seconds later and Dixon was again the danger man as he was brought down on the edge of the box. Dixon made sure he was taking it and his strike wasn’t the cleanest but with the keeper going down early, the free-kick was curled over the wall, bouncing over the keeper and into the corner of the net.
Tranent effectively killed the contest by scoring the next goal. The ball was swung over from the left, and the right winger nodded it back with the striker first on to it to make it 5-2. Sutherland showed how hard he was working as he was forced off the pitch after an elbow to his nose. He wiped himself down and returned to the midfield battleground.
Tranent were finding gaps now with Dunbar players looking tired. Brunton, Hall and Pickles had been superb all game with Knox winning everything in the middle. Twist came on and performed in a manner expected for someone who is eager to play every second of every game while Beddell-Jones and Hood look like scrapping over a left full back slot with competition for places all over the pitch.
Purves as well continued from his cup final heroics when he produced one world class save to block a Makovora point-blank effort then was straight back up to block the rebound, drawing applause from both sets of supporters.
With tired legs showing in the home defence, Tranent added a 6th. Pickles slipped as he was about to clear, with the left winger picking it up and softly placing it under the keeper’s body, and it eventually inched over the line.
A well-deserved league title for the home side but a gutsy, and more importantly, return to the passing and good football that the Dunbar fans have become accustomed to.
Four points from their two games left will see Dunbar Utd Colts clinch third place in a remarkable season turnaround, starting with a trip to Forrester’s High school, Edinburgh and a game against bottom of the table Salvesen CFC.
Full Time: Tranenet Colts 6-2 Dunbar United Colts
Craigroyston BC 2003 took part in the ESF Festival of Football over the weekend. Playing in a total of four games against teams from up and down the country, Craigie started well chalking up a 3-1 in their first game against Blantyre.
In the second match against Dundee West, Craigie flew out the traps coming in 3-0 at half time, with a Dundee player injured in the first half and no substitutes Craigroyston offered to take a player off and play six against six to allow the Dundee player a rest, a great show of sporting friendship. But it was Dundee who commanded the second half and took the game 4-3, however the two teams have already been in touch to play a two games friendship match at each ground.
Craigie once again dominated their third game on Saturday when they played Port Glasgow winning 3-0 although some great saves from both keepers ultimately ensured this result.
In the final game of the day Peterhead and Craigie held each other to a 2-2 draw and bringing a close to the first day of football.
The final morning of football was pouring down with rain, and in the first match Craigie started slow, allowing Duloch to take advantage. At half time Craigie were down 3-0 and needed to picked up. They performed much better in the second half against a team who had dominated the tournament but the game finished 5-1 to Duloch who were a very good team indeed.
In the final tournament match Craigie took on Rowallan and the match and once again Craigie performed the way they can and took the game 3-1. The boys ended the tournament winning three, drawing one and losing two.
These weekends are not all about the winning and the tournament was successful in team bonding, fair play and much more...even the team anthem will be something we will always remember. The clubs team picture for the weekend can be viewed on Facebook and any likes would be greatly appreciated (to help the club win a new set of kits).
An attempt will be made in Edinburgh in July to create a new world record for a continuous game of football. 100 hours non-stop play is the target for 37 former pupils of The Mary Erskine School and Stewart's Melvillle College at the four-day event at the palatial stadium at Spartans Community Football Academy.
The bid to create a new record will be overseen by representatives from The Guinness Book of Records and this event is being held to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Craig Gowans in an incident at the trading grounds.
The tragic death of this brilliant 17-year-old boy happened while he was at Little Kerse, the training ground of Falkirk FC on July 8, 2005. Since then, the dearly loved son of Sheila and John Gowans has been constantly remembered by his parents, brothers Darren and Dean, and his lovely sister, Lyndsay, with the creation of The Craig Gowans Memorial Fund.
Over the 10 years since Craig's death, the family and army of friends have helped raise incredible sums of money for charities. Among these The Sick Kids Hospital Friends Foundation. And this year all cash raised is earmarked again for the Sick Kids FF particularly so as a new very modern hospital is currently being built at Little France in the East of Edinburgh. So, the stage is set for the creation of a new world record and Craig's two brothers and sister are among those taking part.
To donate, click here.