Eventful Five Minutes Turns Match In Seasiders Favour

Dunbar United 4 Hermes 0

Report by Gordon Baird

This match was fairly uneventful in terms of goal scoring chances until five minutes before half time when everything changed. Firstly, Ballantyne chipped stand in goalkeeper Smith from the edge of the box, to put the home side ahead. A minute later Hermes’ Brown saw red for a trip on the edge of the box – denying a goal scoring opportunity –  before Ballantyne added a killer second direct from the resultant free kick.

The visitors fielded a makeshift team because of work commitments but had defended well for most of the first half before that few minutes proved to be the turning point of the game. Hermes put up a brave show in the second half with ten men but, were well beaten before Strachan saw red for a second yellow late on.

Hermes from the North Region McBookie.com Super League made the long trip from Bridge of Don to face Dunbar United in this Scottish Junior Cup Third Round Replay. The sides drew 1-1 in the first encounter last Saturday when the “Seasider’s” came from behind and knew that the tie would be played to its conclusion today – penalties would be taken if the sides drew again.

Dunbar are having a decent debutant season in the McBookie.com East Premier League and sit just below half way, losing 5 of their 12 games. Dunbar lifted the Junior Cup in 1961 and they have defeated Dunipace away in the First Round and then Ardrossan Winton Rovers, again away, in the Second Round of this year’s renewal. Hermes received a first-round bye then defeated Blairgowrie at home in Round Two. The Aberdeen side sit third in their league and have tasted defeat only once in the league this campaign.

Dunbar were first on the attack on a bitterly cold afternoon and Kean fired a dangerous ball across the face of the goal in their first attack. After 5 minutes, Ballantyne had a half chance when he got on the end of a cross but couldn’t find the target. Minutes later Motion has a shot from range, but it was wide.

After 15 minutes Innes had a shot at goal for Hermes but, it was a very poor effort. There was then a long stoppage while Strachan received treatment for a head injury which was bleeding. The big defender retuned to the action sporting a different number on a clean shirt!

After 35 minutes, Dunbar produced the best move of the game. Young and Kean combined well on the right and when the latter crossed, McLaren headed wide at full stretch. At the other end Hermes’ Stevenson played in Innes but, McCathie saved well in the United goal. After 39 minutes United’s Ballantyne combined with Young who crossed but, McLaren couldn’t quite get on the end.

Referee Colin Whyte then had a busy few minutes booking three players – two from Hermes and one from Dunbar. Next Hermes won a free kick in a good spot, but Strachan blasted the chance well over. With 45 minutes on the clock the home side went ahead when BALLANTYNE chipped Smith in the visitor’s goal, from the edge of the box.

With a few minutes added for the earlier injury there was time for Collinson to have a good chance for Hermes which he put just wide. Play raged to the other end and with a Dunbar player racing in on goal, Brown tripped him on the edge of the box. Referee Whyte deemed a straight red card appropriate and as a double punishment, BALLANTYNE fired the free kick home to put United two up.

The scoreline was harsh on Hermes who had created little but looked solid enough at the back. Their goalkeeper Smith was a regular left back and their defence had coped well with home attack and protected the stand in goalkeeper.

Half Time: Dunbar United 2 Hermes 0

There were no changes at the break but after 48 minutes United made a change with Gillon coming on to replace Handling. Hermes started the second period with real purpose and after 50 minutes nearly pulled a goal back. Stevenson found Innes, but his shot was saved, and he couldn’t convert the rebound.

Dunbar were always going to be dangerous on the counter attack as Hermes pushed forward and created chances. After 51 minutes McLaren fired a shot over before Ballantyne raced in on goal. Instead of electing to shoot and complete his hat trick, he squared the ball, but it didn’t find a team mate.

However, after 61 minutes United added a third. YOUNG cut into the box from the right and passed the ball past the stranded Smith. The tie looked over now.
After 64 minutes Dunbar should have had a fourth but, Tait was in two minds as to cross or shoot. Eventually the full back did neither and the chance was lost. A minute later Ballantyne had a great chance, but Smith saved well.

With 66 minutes played Dunbar were out of sight. McLAREN found himself in on Smith and he slipped it past the inexperienced keeper.

Dunbar had further half chances, but ten-man Hermes held out to keep the score respectable.
With 5 minutes remaining Hermes were reduced to ten men. Strachan received a second yellow which meant red, after a fracas which saw players from both sides yellow carded.
Dunbar deserved the victory and were well served by McLaren and Ballantyne up front and Tait at left back. They might well have scored more against a defence which lost key players and fielded an inexperienced goalkeeper.

Hermes were clearly struggling with players missing and down to the bare bones with only two substitutes. They didn’t help their cause with indiscipline, but they put up a spirited performance despite being down to ten men for half the game.

Dunbar Utd join fellow East Lothian Premier League Haddington Athletic in Round four but we must wait to see if Musselburgh can join them as their tie with Hurlford was a victim of the cold weather.

Dunbar Utd: McCathie, Kean, S Tait, Thomson, Moffat, Ingram, Young, Motion, McLaren, Ballantyne, Handling. Subs: Szemis, K Tait, Young, Gillon, Smith.

Hermes: Smith, Nash, Durno, McKenzie, Stevenson, Alexander, Collinson, Innes, Strachan, Brown, Pirie. Subs: Joni, McAllister.

Referee: Colin Whyte. Assistants: Kevin Lindsay & Nelson Silva.

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