East Region South Division
Saturday 29th April 2017
Dunbar United 1
Blackburn United 0
forty five minutes opened with combative midfielder Fraser Spence having to be replaced due to the recurrence of an injury that had kept him out in recent weeks. The game, nonetheless, was beginning to shape up in Blackburn's favour, and only composed defending by Tait when chesting a dangerous Campbell delivery back to his 'keeper denied Andy McQuillan a clear sight of goal. Sixty seconds later McQuillan and Ross Donnelly combined for Donnelly to get clear but the advancing Johnstone was able to save as he tried to lift the ball over him. At the other end Grant slipped a pass inside to Tait but his angled shot flew over. McQuillan then got in on the left but from a tightening angle Johnstone saved his effort and the ball was uncerimoniously cleared. Grant then hit the byeline for the Seasiders but Devlin's header was easily enough held by Gavin King. However, with just over ten minutes remaining the next header directed towards the Blackburn goal found it's target, Chris King delivering a free-kick to the back post where centre-half GIBSON nodded into the net much to the delight of the home support. Little more than ninety seconds later Blackburn were presented with the perfect opportunity to get back into the game when goalscorer Gibson brought down Donnelly in the act of shooting. After the miscreant was booked when he might very well have seen red, Johnstone guessed correctly to save Craig Young's spot kick. Moments later and Blackburn really should have been awarded a second penalty when Ingram fell on the ball on the edge of the six yard box and used his hands to ensure it wouldn't break out to any of several Blackburn players hovering for just such an eventuality. Inexplicably, referee Mr. Lindsay saw the offence as one merely punishable by an indirect free-kick around seven yards out which the Seasiders, with every man back on the line, managed to clear. With Blackburn now piling on the pressure Johnstone was again the hosts hero when brilliantly touching a Donnelly head flick that looked goalbound over the junction of post and bar. With that, Dunbar held out for the remainder of added time for a valuable win that means they need claim only one point from their two remaing games to claim the South Division title.
Blackburn United line-up: King, Williamson (Cormack 87), Herriot, Mildren, Drummond, Spence (Fleming 51), Donnelly, Young, McQuillan, Campbell, Marshall (Gowans 90) Subs (not used): Hutton, Meekison
Dunbar United line-up: Johnstone, Kean, Tait, Gordon, Gibson, Moffat, Ingram, King, Ballantyne, Handling, Grant Subs: Devlin, Young, Subasic, Smith, McCathie
Referee: Mr. Kevin Lindsay
South Division Table.....
(Top Six @ Full Time)
Match highlights click here
( © Jim McQuillan )
Blackburn made the long journey down the east coast
seeking a win that would wrap up the South Division title but in the knowledge that failure to secure all three points would leave the door ajar for their hosts to claim the championship. In an edgy first half chances were very much at a premium, although the hosts did come close early when Chris King's free-kick hit the side netting. Ballantyne then got the better of John Drummond for what turned out to be just about the only time in the afternoon but his shot was saved comfortably enough by Gavin King. A dangerous looking Danny Campbell free-kick was then pushed out by Johnstone for a corner that didn't come to anything much as the interval arrived with defences on top and the scoreline as tight as it was at kick-off.
Things didn't start well for Blackburn as the second
Match photographs click here
( © Fiona McGinty )