South East Region (482)
English Premiership giant Manchester United have handed a trial to 16 year old Livingston starlet, Matthew Knox. The forward has impressed a number of scouts and had interest from other Premiership outfits including Everton, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea.
In fact, Knox has already been at Merseyside on trial at Liverpool and Everton, as well as with Tottenham. The teenager has now travelled to Manchester and will spend the next week trying to catch the eye amongst the Manchester United coaches.
While the young forward has a lot of work to do, he already has a record to his name. He became Livingston's youngest ever player in their 4-1 victory away to St Mirren on boxing day, taking the record from Celtic's Leigh Griffiths. Knox's record now stands at 16 years and four days.
Knox has been at the club since he was 11 and was given his chance by former Celtic, Portsmouth, and Dunfermline striker Mark Burchill who is now the manager at Livingston FC.
The 3G carpet at Dunbar is an excellent surface to play on, but the match kicked off in cool, damp, dreich conditions with a steady drizzle tormenting the supporters.
Dunbar were missing Knox who was on the piste for a week, while top scorer from last season Dixon looks like missing a few weeks with Osgood-Schlatter disease which has troubled him for much of the campaign. The home team number 1 Purves picked up the Captains armband for the first time this season in recognition of continued excellent performances.
Dunbar were strong from the start and had obviously been missing their football. They created their first chance of the match with only a few minutes played Cooper weaving some magic down the left before sliding Renton in. The keeper was out quick to thwart the young striker.
Kielty returned to the Dunbar midfield and he was keen to take the game by the neck very early. He was showing lots of good touches and he was joined by Pickles who shows such versatility and has played in a number of positions for Dunbar. The key ball players Foggo and Twist made up the rest of the midfield as Dunbar fielded an offensive looking team.
5 minutes played and Dunbar did open the scoring. Pickles delivered an exquisite and superbly timed through ball, setting Renton on his way. Renton was on it in a flash and fired home the opener.
Dunbar were controlling possession but slightly wasteful with it. They were patient and full backs Hood and Ford were again showing great support options while Hall and Smillie formed a new centre half pairing. Both are very comfortable with the ball at their feet and looked secure with any balls heading their way.
Dunbar’s next opportunity came from a dead ball with Kielty firing in a free kick from 25 yards out that the keeper comfortably dealt with. Foggo and Cooper were winning the battle against their full backs and Dunbar won a series of corners but they didn’t look like creating clear-cut chances. Such is football that with 5 minutes to go to half time, Gala raced up the field for their first attack of the match. With the Dunbar midfield stranded up-field, the ball bounced around the Dunbar box before the Gala striker poked home beyond a grounded keeper Purves.
But, before the referee thought about blowing for half time, Twist won the ball in midfield with Renton sitting right on the shoulder of the last man, ready for that through ball. Kielty delivered and so did Renton as Dunbar turned around 2 goals to 1 up.
Half Time: Dunbar United Colts 2-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers Colts
Dunbar were forced into a re-shuffle at the break with Cooper complaining of a hamstring niggle while Sutherland came on to his favoured left back position, with Hood pushing further forward.
Such was Sutherlands impact in the game that Dunbar would score a further 3 goals after the break, with all of them coming from the left of the pitch. Mclean was also on after looking sharp in training during the week.
Dunbar were again patient in possession, and unlucky not to stretch their lead early in the half. Sutherland travelled down the left and put Renton down the wing. Renton lost his marker and his ball in saw Hood and Twist get in each other’s way and the chance was wasted.
Sutherland picked up the ball minutes later and as the gap opened up in front of him, memories of his strike against Earlston were clearly running through his mind. He struck a really clean shot from full-on 30 yards that unluckily cannoned back off the crossbar. Instead, he would be satisfied with being a part of the next goal when he passed into Mclean. He linked with Hood who slotted Renton down the line again – he played a great ball into the middle with Mclean continuing his run and guiding the ball home with his left foot with such calmness and assurance.
Balmforth-Tait joined the party and Dunbar made a few positional changes with Pickles reverting to sweeper and Hall asked to sit in front of his back 4. This move looked good for Dunbar as they looked to close the game out with some good possession play.
Number 4 was on its way and again it stemmed from the left. Sutherland turned his man with some great footwork, slid in a great pass down the line for Renton to run on to. Renton made his way into the box before unselfishly laying the ball into the path of Twist who passed the ball into the net for his 4th of the campaign.
Number five arrived late in the game with the ball breaking at the edge of the box. Renton hit the ball first time and he could not have hit it cleaner – his 20 yarder soaring into the top corner of the net to top off a great day for the pacy marksman. A hat-trick for Renton and his 41st of the campaign while credit goes to the braw lads of Gala for sticking with it on a day when they travelled with the bare minimum of 11 players on a big pitch.
Full Time: Dunbar United Colts 5-1 Gala Fairydean Rovers Colts
It is a return to cup action for the Seasiders when they host Hutchison Vale Colts in the David Innes Cup next weekend. This is the first meeting of the two teams and the winner earns a place in the semi-final of this competition.
Every team wants to win every game and competition they play in, and when we asked McBeath about the priorities he has in regards to league over cup, or vice-versa, he feels there is no such thing as priorities. "We want to win trophies, so of course the cup games are just as important, but we do not prioritise any one competition"
McBeaths' phone was ringing non-stop throughout pre-season with players wishing to join the prestigious Hutchison Vale. Many new signings were made and the head coach is very pleased with the quality he acquired and high interest from trialists during the summer, the head coach can be very pleased with the added quality acquired throughout the sunny season. One of the newcomers, striker Lucas Hoenigmann, has added six hat-tricks to his tally in the season, and is one of the many great players responsible for the current success achieve at Hutchinson Vale Colts Under 14's.
The goals were set-up with a light frost sitting on the surface but by kick off time, the pitch was soft and looked tricky to play on. Dunbar defied these conditions and settled from the start. The Rhymers had been out of action for a number of weeks and the Seasiders looked to expose this rustiness early on. Within minutes of the kick off Hood looked lively down the left and Renton was presented with the first chance of the match but could only put it over the bar.
5 minutes in and a great passing move did see the deadlock broken. Knox picked up the ball in midfield and shipped it wide to Hood. His through ball found Renton skipping by his marker – the move was slick and Renton squared for Twist who simply passed the ball into the net to round off an excellent move.
Dunbar were dominating early possession and all players were involved. Sutherland and Ford were pushing high from the full-back position and overloading the Rhymers defence. Brunton, Hall, Smillie and Knox sat in the middle as Dunbar patiently built from back to front. Pickles was employed further up the pitch and he was a good foil for Ford who was bursting forward from right back with increasing regularity.
Dunbar doubled their lead with 10 minutes played. A sharp pass from Smillie to the feet of striker Renton saw the frontman control the ball before turning a great pass round the corner as Knox burst through from his own half. He continued his run all the way into the box and finished well, showing great energy and composure.
Dunbar were aware the Rhymers were rusty and used their substitues well, rolling players on and off, early in the game.
The Earlston team settled into the game at last and showed good shape and strong defending. They were neat and tidy in possession and with Dunbar defending high, did have a few chances at goal. On one occasion, Brunton recovered well to put in a challenge as the striker shaped to shoot while Purves showed his strength lies in dealing with a 1 v 1 and emerged on top as the Blues number 9 worked his way into the box.
Jones and Mclean were introduced to the Dunbar team and such is the Dunbar strength, there was no break in the pattern or passing of the ‘home’ team. Renton was unusually wasteful in front of goals although Dodds in the Earlston goal was having a good game.
Half time approached as Dunbar carved a final chance. A well-worked short corner routine between Renton and Jones saw the ball worked into the middle – Hood knocked the ball down but Knox dragged his effort wide.
Half Time: Earlston Rhymers 0-2 Dunbar United Colts
Dunbar brought Foggo and Balmforth-Tait on in the second period and Dunbar started the half brightly again. Foggo linked with Twist who slipped Mclean in with a great pass – Mclean, now playing further forward, could only shoot over the bar.
Another exquisite through ball from Twist found Knox and this time the big man made no mistake. He shot with the outside of his right foot and the ball sneaked under the Rhymers keeper and into the corner of the net.
It should be noted at this stage that the referee was enjoying a particularly good game. He was clearly a good listener as he could be heard praising and encouraging both sets of players, and calling them by their first name. It certainly contributed to a game played in very good spirits. He also agreed to the game going ahead in Dunbar and he showed no signs of jet lag with his performance (Selkirk are GMT – 10 years).
Dunbar were stringing plenty of passes together and Balmforth-Tait and Foggo down the right were linking brilliantly. In fact, Balmforth-Tait at right back was playing like Alves, pushing forwards and I’m guessing a pass completion rate of at least 99.9%.
Dunbar produced chances but were finding an inspired keeper in Dodds keeping the Rhymers in it. Mclean was put through and the Earlston number 1 showed bravery as he saved at the feet of the Seasiders forward. Next to be denied was Smillie – Renton swung a corner in and to all on the touchlines, it looked like a Smillie bullet header was goal bound but Dodds threw himself at it and saved brilliantly.
He could do nothing to prevent Dunbar scoring a 4th. Twist and Foggo drew the keeper, and a neat pass inside to Mclean saw him turn and fire into the empty net.
The best save of the game was still to come when Renton found space in the box, his shot across goal looked destined to stretch the net but Dodds dived low and his hand kept the busy Renton at bay.
Renton was not to be denied however and he never likes to go a game without a goal. His endeavour was finally rewarded as he struck home Dunbar’s fifth of the game and his 38th of the season.
Earlston were still looking to play and their team shape was very good throughout. They still looked dangerous on the attack and Jones and Pickles were quick to cover on a few occasions, while Jones was watchful as he made his way across from left back to make a great clearing tackle down the middle. Purves was keen to keep a clean sheet and despite long periods of inactivity was on hand to produce good saves when called upon.
Dunbar played with great maturity and with very patient football. They never once deviated from their passing game and created numerous chances. Missing in the Dunbar armoury this season has been a Sutherland pile-driver. The talented left footer only scores spectacular goals and he decided to treat the crowd to a special that has been left in the locker for too long. Taking possession from outside the box he unleashed a fierce effort that rocketed into the far corner of the net for his first of the season.
Even rarer than hen’s teeth are goals from Dunbar right back Ford. He was attacking well throughout and found himself in the box with Dunbar’s last attack of the game – he didn’t know quite when to shoot and found himself on the ground with the Rhymers defender puzzled as to how Ford got there. The referee said nothing and blew for full time.
Full Time: Earlston Rhymers 0-6 Dunbar United Colts
It is league action and a home fixture for the Dunny boys in their final game of 2015 when AC Oxgangs visit Hallhill on Sunday 20thDecember.
Cold, frosty, and a frozen 3G for this Division 2 clash which Windsor got underway. Both teams were on decent runs and would be keen to keep the momentum going. Redhall created the first chance as good work between Josh Slow-clayton and Antony Little ended with Sam Donachie flicking the ball wide of the target.
Windsor had a great chance to take the lead but Redhall keeper Ryan Green was out to superbly save the effort from the Windsor midfielder who had burst into the box. A Redhall free kick from Calum Henderson had the Windsor keeping sprawling about before the ball was eventually cleared. Grant Doyle and Little then combined but Grant hurried his shot instead of showing more composure and the ball flew wide.
Both sides were cancelling each other out as the tackles were fierce and the chances limited. Redhall won a free kick on the edge of the Windsor area after Slow-clayton was fouled. He dusted himself down, hit the free kick into the wall and his follow up effort was well wide of the target.
Half time: Musselburgh Windsor 0-0 Redhall Star YFC
Into the second half and it was Windsor who started to take control. Marc Hannah and Ewan Mitchell were holding the Redhall defence together as the pressure increased. Green was called upon with a fine diving save at the feet of the Windsor forward. The midfield battle was swinging in favour of the home side but no clearcut chances were being created.
Green was called into action as he gathered in a shot from 20 yards as Anderson was then yellow carded for a trip on the Windsor playing charging forward. The free kick into the area was well held by Green. The visitors were struggling to get a foothold in the game and went behind from their own free kick. An free kick from outside the Redhall area was lost by Slow-clayton. Windsor poured forward and a neat pass through the midfield had the striker through on goal. The shot was slipped past Green as he advanced from his goal, into the net for the first goal to Windsor.
Redhall reacted with three changes in an attempt to get back into the game. Pass over the top had Donachie racing onto the ball but his shot from distance was just wide of the target with the keeper beaten. A spark from the visitors. Slow-clayton was then strangely yellow carded for a tackle which wasn’t even given as a free kick and no one had even claimed foul.
Robbie Campbell and Tommy Hendry were starting to have an influence on the game and a dangerous cross from Hendry was scrambled behind for a corner. Henderson threw in the corner which just evaded Donachie. Redhall were having a go and from their next attack they should have levelled the game. Campbell and slow-clayton exchanged passes with the final ball finding Donachie, 12 yards from goal. Donachie controlled but fired straight at the keeper with the rebound falling to Hendry who also fired his effort straight at the keeper. Redhall should have levelled.
Windsor were content to sit in and hit on the break. Neat piece of skill from the Windsor winger created a chance as he burst down the left wing but his final cross into the area was well claimed by Green. Redhall poured forward in search of the equaliser as Adam Robertson fired in a shot from 25 yards. A cross from Adam Shortiss ended with the Windsor keeper dropping the ball. A Redhall leg was on the end of it but Windsor scrambled the ball clear as the home side held on for the points.
Full time: Musselburgh Windsor 1-0 Redhall Star YFC
Not the best performance from Redhall as too many were off their game today. Disappointing for the unbeaten run to come to an end so tamely. The game itself was a little disappointing as both teams failed to create many chances. Once Windsor led they were content to sit in and protect