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Derek Hall’s Report on the Ormiston v Dunbar United game on Tuesday 4th May

todayMay 5, 2022


Ormiston 0-0 Dunbar United

A League Cup tie with nothing other than pride at stake at Meadowbank in Ormiston but an East Lothian derby is always worth watching and the home side would enjoy testing themselves against a Dunbar United team with a few unfamiliar faces in the starting line up. A Michael McFarlane cross saw home keeper Kieran Beveridge make a confident catch under a bit of pressure inside his goal area after three minutes. At the other end, a good defensive header by Ryan McKenzie from a Daniel Nichol corner eased the pressure on the visitors defence. Matthew Underhill then found Ben Pritchett and he laid the ball back for Jack Murray to fire over and just seconds later, a quick Scott Walker throw in saw Nichol lean back on his shot which went well over, but this was some early promise for Ormiston. Evan Fleming was finding space down the left flank for Dunbar and he found Ryan Young whose cross went long but was quickly returned by McFarlane and Johnny Edmond was only 12 yards out but chose to try to find a team mate rather than heading for goal and the chance was lost. On ten minutes, Dunbar captain Grant Thomson strode forward and powered in a drive from fully 35 yards which went a yard over. With 13 minutes gone, Edmond went down with nobody near him, perhaps having turned an ankle, and Dunbar had to bring on Andy Jones to replace him. A minute later, Daniel Hall came forward for United and got the ball onto his left foot but his low drive from 22 yards drifted wide of the far post. Fleming and Bob Berry then played a nice one two down the left and the cut back saw Adam Dougan take no chances for the home side as he conceded the corner. Berry whipped over the set piece and Fraser McLaren wasn’t too far away with his near post header as he did well under some pressure. Dunbar were having a decent spell and Hall found McLaren inside the box and he swivelled before firing in a drive from fourteen yards which was blocked. After 20 minutes, Dylan Hamilton fed a nice ball for Pritchett to chase near the United goal line, but he seemed unaware McKenzie was behind him and was easily dispossessed and Dunbar moved the ball swiftly to the other end where substitute Jones fired a 22 yard left foot drive over the bar. After 23 minutes, Underhill went down inside the centre circle with a head knock and left the field after treatment but thankfully, he was able to return. On his return, Underhill moved onto a through ball down the left but Thomson stuck with him and was able to tidy up for Dunbar. Jones, Young and Fleming fashioned a decent move for Dunbar but it ended up with another long cross which was once again taken confidently by home keeper Beveridge. The Ormiston keeper was again called into action after 32 minutes when another Fleming pass looked for Jones but Beveridge was quickly out of his box to clear the danger. Fleming then took a quick throw in and Jones tried a snap shot on the half volley but this one took off on him and sailed well over. A strong challenge in midfield after 33 minutes saw Dunbar’s Kieran Ingram and Murray of Ormiston on the ground but both were able to shake the knocks off and carry on. Underhill then forced McKenzie into conceding another corner for Ormiston and Nichol’s corner to the back post looking for Dougan brought out a good catch from Dunbar keeper Ryan Mack who hadn’t seen much action up to that point. After 41 minutes, Underhill got down the inside left channel for Ormiston and laid the ball across for Walker who took a touch before curling in a 20 yard left foot drive but Mack has his angles right and was able to beat the shot down before grabbing it at the second attempt. Two minutes from the break, McLaren got down the right flank to the goal line for the visitors and his inviting low cross towards Young saw Rhys Young of Ormiston make a vital clearing challenge on the six yard line when any touch from the Dunbar man might have paid dividends. With half time looming, a speculative long cross towards the back post had Ormiston keeper Beveridge back peddling and the keeper was delighted to see the ball just clear the bar and end up on the roof of the net. Two minutes into stoppage time, another United corner saw Berry whip the ball towards the near post and Jones got across his marker but could only flash his seven yard header wide of the target. Half time saw the teams unable to be separated and with the pressure off in this game, there was probably a number of encouraging signs and performances for both managers to consider at the break.
The interval saw a number of personnel changes as Ormiston brought on Donald Dickson for Murray whilst Dunbar went with a double switch, Ben Bathgate and Andy Collins taking to the field for Young and Hall. An early mistake by Young saw Jones with a chance to put the cross in for Dunbar, but keeper Beveridge was there once again with a safe pair of hands. McFarlane sent Bathgate to the goal line for United but Hamilton made an excellent sliding block for the concession of a corner which came to nothing. Bathgate looped a long ball down the right and McLaren tried an ambitious snap shot on the half volley from a very acute angle but Beveridge was right behind the drive. McFarlane then worked hard to get a cross over from the right flank which was headed down by Jones and almost dropped for McLaren before being cleared, but the visitors had taken some early control of proceedings in the second period. However on 53 minutes, a poor ball from McFarlane was intercepted by Underhill and his through ball to Dickson was only just over hit as Ormiston looked to profit from the mistake. A minute later, a cross by Young took a deflection and looped up into the United box and the final touch by Nichol only slipped a yard wide. Dickson had looked lively on the Ormiston right flank since coming on and another strong run saw Berry turn the ball behind for a corner as Ormiston looked to exert some pressure of their own. Reece Cochrane swung the set piece to the back post but Dougan just couldn’t grow enough to get a header on target. However on 58 minutes, United missed an excellent opportunity as another lovely McFarlane cross saw Jones completely free but he sent his 14 yard diving header over the top and for the first time in the match, the Ormiston defence were posted missing but hadn’t been punished, and a minute later, Jones sent another 20 yard left foot drive over the home crossbar. After 62 minutes, a mistimed and somewhat clumsy challenge right on the touchline on Ingram by Cochrane saw the Ormiston left back cautioned by referee Evan Cairns and there were very few complaints as the yellow card was shown. After 64 minutes, Ormiston created probably their best chance of the match as a lovely head flick wide from Underhill sent Dickson down the right and he worked hard to get to the goal line before pulling the ball back to Walker whose first time right foot drive along the ground looked to be on target but was blocked behind by a United body. The corner from Cochrane went long but was eventually worked back to Kacper Korpalski and his unorthodox spiralling high ball dropped right at the near post and forced United keeper Mack to tip the ball behind. Nichol swung his corner to the back post where keeper Mack was able to knock the ball down and grab it on the ground at the second attempt. After 66 minutes, Dunbar replaced McKenzie with Ruaridh Munro and he was on just in time to see earlier substitute Collins send a twenty yard snap shot a yard wide of the Ormiston goal. Underhill and Thomson challenged for possession wide of the Dunbar box and it was the United captain who was penalised for handball after going to ground but when the set piece dropped for Pritchett, his drive was blocked by the resolute Dunbar defence. Walker then went down injured near the touchline for Ormiston on 70 minutes and despite initially playing on, he was soon replaced by Zac Scally. Nichol wasn’t far away with a 25 yard drive for the home side and then the same player sent Scally scampering down the left flank and he skinned Munro before sending over a low driven cross which was turned wide at the near post by Dickson from around six yards with the home side looking for a corner but referee Cairns was unmoved. Twelve minutes from time, Dunbar went to their bench for the final time and replaced keeper Mack with a trialist keeper, Declan Hannan. Jones tried to make space on the edge of the Ormiston penalty area but a good challenge from Pritchett back helping his defence stabbed the ball away. Eight minutes from time, Ormiston made their own double change as Cochrane and Pritchett departed and on in their place came Blair Short and Josh Winnik. Five minutes from time, a through ball split the Ormiston defence and McLaren raced into the penalty area but keeper Beveridge sprinted from his line to dive at the forwards feet and pull off a brilliant save. Four minutes from time, the home side had a real let off when Bathgate worked the ball to Jones and his placed left foot drive along the ground from just inside the box took a slight deflection which took it onto the base of Beveridge’s right hand post and when the ball ran to another United player, the flag was immediately up for offside. A minute into stoppage time, Nichol worked his way into the Dunbar box and from the tightest of angles, he flashed his left foot drive across the face of the United goal but wide of the far post. Honours even in the gathering gloom at full time and at the end of what had been an enjoyable contest, there were certainly encouraging moments and performances for both sides to reflect on as these teams come towards the end of a tough season.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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