Fixture: Currie Star Blue v Dunbar United Colts
Competition: U13's SERYFA Division 3
British Summer time has apparently arrived with the only clues on a cold, damp day at Meggetland, Edinburgh being the tired faces as the lads looked to be suffering bed withdrawal and a sense of loss with the clocks sneaking forward during the night.
There had been heavy overnight rain and as the Dunbar players walked from the sports complex they could only look longingly at the lush, green cambered 4G playing surface booked for the local girls’ team. Instead, they headed for the mud bath ‘grass’ pitches with the looming grey clouds doing nothing to cheer on the 3 visiting coaches.
If these conditions suggested a halt to the passing game we have come to expect from this young Dunbar team, the spectators were in for a shock, with the visitors instead producing one of their best passing and one-touch footballing displays for some time in a show of total football.
The game kicked off and Currie Star Blue were first on the attack, winning a corner in the opening minute. Dunbar cleared and they were straight up the field to win a corner of their own.
The first signs of the passing on display were produced by Sutherland when he carved the first clear-cut chance – a defence splitting through ball for Cooper to run onto. The pitch played its part here as Cooper headed for goal. The ball bounced around and he went for the chip over the keeper, with the home team number 1 equal to it and producing a world-class save, which he would replicate throughout the match.
A minute later and Cooper again was marching into the box. This time his cross was met by the hands of a home defender and a penalty was awarded. The referee did well to identify signs of a penalty spot, and with regular taker Hall marching forward, it was Foggo instead who was awarded the honour in an attempt to get him back onto the scoring charts. This did not go to plan with the normally reliable Foggo pulling the spot-kick wide of the left hand post.
Dunbar put this out of their minds and opened the scoring two minutes later. Foggo, playing in the middle of the park, did not let the miss affect him as he played the ball to Twist – he played it straight in to Mclean who turned the ball round the corner for his strike partner Dixon to collect and smash into the roof of the net. It was a wonderfully created goal. On the 10 minute mark, Dunbar then created an opportunity which would have gone down as goal of the season – it was a real back-to-front move, with Purves in goal rolling out to Hall at the back. He passed to Sutherland in the midfield, out to Cooper, who slotted it through for Mclean to fire wide. This was a sign of how the game would go and Dunbar were clearly playing with real confidence.
They scored their second goal with only 13 minutes on the clock – Cooper this time through on goal and passing the ball into the corner of the net.
Two minutes later and man of the match Sutherland created the third. The Dunbar Fabregas played another inch perfect through ball and birthday boy Dixon thanked him by dispatching the ball past the unlucky home keeper.
Still the opportunities flowed and the next attack saw a Cooper pass evade Mclean running in but Twist timed his march into the box to perfection only to see his shot superbly parried wide.
Dunbar sent on Beddell-Jones for Twist as the skipper bravely fought off a cold to start the match but tired on a heavy, big pitch. Cooper was switched to the right with Jones on the left – the switch doing nothing to keep Cooper from his assist role and his look-up and ball across found his usual target Dixon. The striker had his back to goal but a great turn created the space he needed to smash home for his hat-trick. Dunbar could smell blood here and Readman and Hood were keen to involve themselves in attack, as they overloaded the wide areas in search for more goals.
There was still time for Dixon to grab his fourth and Dunbar’s fifth of the game just before half time. Beddell-Jones cut in from the left, passed to Sutherland and the first time pass sent Dixon through. He took the shot early with his left foot and fired across the goal into the corner of the net despite a cynical barge into his back from the frustrated home defender.
Half Time : Currie Star Blue 0-5 Dunbar United Colts
The second half continued in a similar manner to the first. The visitors can be commended though for sticking to a passing game when it would be all too easy to attempt to get on the scoring sheet. Williams and Tait were introduced, and the two full-backs and Brunton and Hall in the middle were heavily involved as Dunbar patiently and maturely went backwards to retain possession and wait for an opening.
The 6th goal of the game was down to the fight of Dixon as he battled for possession. He won the ball from the defender and passed through for Mclean who slotted home.
Dixon himself could have done better minutes later when a lovely cross from the left foot of Beddell-Jones found the striker unmarked in the box – his header went over the bar instead.
Another patient passing move from a quickly taken corner saw Foggo, Cooper, Hall and Tait combine before Tait’s ball in saw Dixon’s effort again superbly saved. Every time the keeper looked to have made the save of the game but they kept getting better and better. Foggo was the next to be denied by a keeper who looked to be playing the game of his life – Foggo’s sweetly struck top corner bound effort unbelievably tipped over. Purves could only look on enviously, desperate for some action.
Dunbar did march on and the seventh was slightly fortunate. The ball was cleared out to Cooper and what looked to be a pass into the box instead deceived the defender and keeper as it made its way past everyone and into the corner of the net for his 17th goal of the season.
The 8th arrived with an unlikely assist. A corner was played into the box and Hall was in there for his aerial threat. Instead, the ball was played to the feet of the centre half, and with eyes in the back of his head, he back-heeled it into Dixon who finished with the outside of his right foot – the ball bending in just in time to bounce in from the inside of the post. This was the young striker’s 5th goal of the game and 38th of the season. He was denied a double-hat-trick opportunity on his birthday with the Coach opting to withdraw the player and return Twist to the action instead.
The goals scored were of real high quality but Dunbar were not finished there. Beddell-Jones scored number 9 when he collected the ball from just inside the visitor’s half. He sensibly elected to go alone as the two strikers were offside, and with the defence retreating, he unleashed a powerful drive into the far corner. The pitch prevented any elaborate acrobatic celebrations.
With minutes remaining, Cooper was brought down 30 yards from goal, in a challenge more appropriate to the neighbouring rugby pitch. Foggo eyed up the target but Hall stepped up instead. In an effort to match his father’s goal-scoring feat of ‘that’ cup-final 23 years ago, he launched the ball over the wall and into the far top corner of the net, with the spectators left frustrated at leaving their video camera phones in their pockets.
Full Time : Currie Star Blue 0-9 Dunbar Utd Colts
So, 11 in 12 wins now for the Dunbar team who can rest easy over Easter, re-charge the batteries ready for the final assault on a top 3 finish. Credit to Currie Star Blue who refused to let their heads go down.