Top listeners:

skip_previous skip_next
00:00 00:00
playlist_play chevron_left
  • cover play_arrow

    Black Diamond FM Listen Live


Derek hall’s report on this game, Arniston Rangers v Dalkeith Thistle on 5th February

todayFebruary 7, 2022


Arniston Rangers 4-0 Dalkeith Thistle

With Kings Park still unavailable after last weeks storm, this reverse fixture saw Dalkeith make the short journey up the hill to Gorebridge to face Arniston and with both clubs getting positive results recently, this looked an attractive match, although horrendous weather conditions saw the game go ahead only after a 1pm pitch inspection. Three minutes in and a nice ball forward by Elliot Grieve saw Tom Davies round Thistle keeper Shea Dowie but he was forced wide and his driven cross into the Thistle penalty area was cleared out to Ian Ballantyne whose 22 yard drive was deflected over the top. The resultant corner saw efforts from Leon Bell and Grieve both blocked before the ball fell to Daniel Greig and his right foot effort from just inside the box had keeper Dowie diving low to his left to make the save. Dalkeith responded and on six minutes, a lovely floated back post cross from Ross Aitchison picked out Jack Burrows and his powerful header from around nine yards went just over. Davies raced down the left flank for Arniston but a superb covering tackle by Ronan Clelland snuffed out the danger before at the other end, Darren Leslie fed Jack Morgan and his angled right foot drive flashed past with Thistle looking for a corner off the fingertips of home keeper James McQueen. Referee Kevin Lindsay took exception to the protests from the Dalkeith sideline and a stern warning was meted out to keep things quieter. On 18 minutes, a terrific slide rule pass from Connor Dyet saw Morgan again get to the Arniston goal line but his cross was way long before Scott Waterson then gave away a needles foul on Ballantyne which allowed Clelland to deliver an inswinging cross into the Rangers box but Greig was up highest to head strongly clear. After 20 minutes, Bell played a nice ball inside to Davies and from just inside the box, his thunderous left foot drive brought out a trememdous tip over at full stretch from Dalkeith keeper Dowie as both sides continued to create good chances. The corner dropped just inside the Thistle goal area and first to react was Grieve who turned to hook the ball home from around five yards despite a hand from Dowie and the home side were ahead after 21 minutes. Arniston had their tails up now and a nice cross from wide left by Bell almost picked out Ryan Moore six yards out but he just couldn’t get a telling contact and this was then followed up by another excellent save from Dowie who was out to block from Davies just inside the penalty area as the home side looked to press home their advantage. Dyet won a corner off Michael Fairnie for the visitors and Clelland’s inswinger was cleared out to Morgan whose left foot shot from just inside the box was blocked before it troubled keeper McQueen. A nice threaded pass by Aitchison on 29 minutes saw Leslie cut the ball back to the edge of the Rangers penalty area but again Duncan Muir’s right foot drive was off target but Dalkeith looked dangerous, particularly when attacking down their right wing and less than 60 seconds later, Muir flashed a 15 yard header wide from a Morgan cross in what was now a really enjoyable contest. After 32 minutes, Thistle’s Callum Bielski became the games first yellow card for a blatant shirt pull in midfield which left referee Lindsay little option but to go to his pocket. The free kick was cleared out wide of the penalty area where Thistle’s Fairnie then also impeded his opponent and the yellow card was on display once again. In truth, Arniston then made a complete mess of the free kick but the ball skewed across the face of the Thistle penalty area to Davies who had lost his man and was in acres of space and looked to be picking his spot, only for Greig Callaghan to appear from nowhere with a fantastic recovery tackle to knock the ball to safety. Aitchison and Dyet again combined for Thistle down the right flank before finding Leslie and his placed effort from around 27 yards saw home keeper McQueen take no chances as he tipped the ball over the bar with 34 minutes gone. As half time approached, Arniston captain Moore received a warning from the referee for complaining about the non award of a free kick, with referee Lindsay having penalised an earlier infringement on a Dalkeith player but Leslie’s long range set piece went well over. A minute from the break, the hard working Davies once again got himself right into the Rangers penalty area but his low shot from a very tight angle was turned behind by Thistle keeper Dowie, who had also had a really good first half. As the half time whistle went, it was Arniston who had their noses in front and had probably created the better chances overall, but Dalkeith had also created a number of openings and the upcoming second half was nicely poised.
Thistle manager Jock Landells didn’t hang around and looked to make a couple of positive changes at half time as Matthew Johnston and Cammy Leslie were brought on. An early Arniston free kick saw a Greig header cleared straight back to him and his return header looped right into the arms of Dowie and within seconds, Morgan was into the Rangers box where Grieve played his tackle off the Dalkeith winger and out for a goal kick. After 49 minutes, D Leslie went down just inside the Arniston penalty area but referee Lindsay decided the Thistle winger had exaggerated his fall and he received a yellow card for simulation rather than the spot kick he had clearly been hoping for. A minute later, a long pass caught the Thistle defence on their heels and Davies was through one on one with keeper Dowie and he managed to toe end the ball past the onrushing keeper but the ball trundled somewhat tamely a couple of yards wide of the left hand post. After 53 minutes, Greig launched a long throw right into the heart of the Thistle penalty area but there were no takers as the ball bounced across the goal area. However nine minutes into the second half, the home side doubled their advantage with a move initiated down the left flank by Bell and when his cross escaped the fingertips of keeper Dowie, who was left hopelessly exposed, Ballantyne was there to flick his header home from six yards for a debut goal. Clelland tried to respond for the visitors with a dangerous free kick into the Rangers penalty area but keeper McQueen’s handling was secure. After 59 minutes, Moore had the ball in the net again for Arniston as he turned home a first time Waterson pass, but referee Lindsay was right there and offside was the verdict, as it was a minute later when Michael Kennedy also failed to time his run to beat the Dalkeith defensive back line. Arniston captain Moore then became the home sides first caution for a foul in midfield, having previously been spoken to by the referee. On 61 minutes, Davies did manage to break the Thistle back line and cut back inside, but his angled left foot curling effort was easily dealt with by keeper Dowie, and at the other end, Clelland tried to find Johnston with an inviting back post cross but the ball drifted behind. Two minutes later, another Clelland cross saw Arniston keeper McQueen make heavy weather of knocking the ball away rather than holding on to it, but perhaps conditions played a part in him misjudging the flight of the ball. A foul by Dalkeith’s Burrows then saw Clelland warned by the referee for passing a comment on the decision but the free kick was cleared and Dalkeith quickly counter attacked with Morgan trying to catch keeper McQueen out as he curled an effort from the edge of the box which the keeper knocked down at his near post before then smothering the loose ball. After 68 minutes, Callaghan of Dalkeith was cautioned for batting the ball down with his hand in midfield and at the same stoppage in play, Thistle replaced Muir with Josh Davidson. Two minutes later, a ball to the edge of the Arniston penalty area saw C Leslie lose his marker with a fantastic turn outside and he was unlucky to see his low right foot drive go across the face of goal and just wide, a lovely piece of skill. Arniston also brought on Declan Knox and Michael Johnson for the final 20 or so minutes and they arrived to see Morgan get down the left flank for Thistle and his initial cutback was blocked by Ryan Walker with Johnston then waiting on the ball coming to him allowing Bell to make the clearance. Johnson then set up a chance for Ballantyne but his shot from distance was always rising. However, with 77 minutes gone, the contest looked to be over as Moore broke through the Dalkeith back line and as keeper Dowie came out to meet him, he squared the ball to Moffat who cooly stepped inside the last defender before slotting home from around 12 yards. Referee Lindsay was then approached by Thistle’s Clelland and a comment was passed which immediately saw a straight red card brandished and Dalkeith would finish the game with ten men. Ten minutes from time, Arniston brought on Dre Horsburgh for James Peggie and shortly after, a nice Burrows header from a D Leslie free kick slipped just past the base of McQueen’s left post as Dalkeith continued to look for what would almost certainly now be a consolation strike. Five minutes from time, the scoring was completed when a corner kick was headed off the underside of the crossbar, possibly by Grieve, and there was Moore to tap home the rebound from about a yard and around the same time, Arniston debutant Ballantyne was replaced by Kieran Weighand. A minute from time, Dalkeith’s Johnston took the legs out from under his opponent and it was little surprise to see the yellow card come out once more. In the end, the scoreline will suggest this was a comfortable victory for the home side but in truth the big difference today was the clinical finishing of a home side who look to be playing with all the confidence which a good run of results brings and I’m sure next Saturday’s game simply can’t come quickly enough for Arniston, no matter who their opponents are. Dalkeith will look back on this game and wonder how they managed to get into so many good attacking positions, particularly down the flanks, and yet fail to breach their opponents back line even once, and the adage that you will probably play worse and take something from a game in the future would definitely seem to apply here. However, great credit must go to both teams for providing some really decent entertainment in truly awful conditions, it couldn’t have been easy at any time out there.

Written by: Russell Aitken

Similar posts


January 2024 Sports Recap

Links so you can listen to the sports programmes on Black Diamond FM

todayJanuary 22, 2024