Chris Berezai, Coldstream, Dunbar United, East of Scotland League, Football, groundhopping, GroundhopUK, League, New Countess Park, Non League, Scotland
Saturday 18th March 2023 ko 11:15
East of Scotland League Division One
DUNBAR UNITED 0
McFarlane sent off 22 (dangerous play)
Walker penalty saved 80
Hare sent off 90 (violent conduct)
COLDSTREAM 1 (Briggs 77)
We limped into Saturday both literally and figuratively. Robyn was rather sore after her fall down the stand at Tynecastle and the car’s clutch was clearly on its way out, sticking in the down position when I really didn’t want it to. I headed along the M8 towards Hermiston Gait, and hoped.
I’d been to Dunbar before, a long-ago holiday in the late 2000’s and somehow avoided even seeing New Countess Park, let alone seeing a game there. There was a certain amount of time keeping to be observed here, there was a “Parkrun” taking place adjacent to the ground, one or two hoppers took part, but if you got your timing right, you caught that sweet spot between the runners leaving and the football crowd arriving. We had prebooked tickets and programmes to hand out, so got lucky!
There’s a lot to like about the ground, not least the stand, paid for the supporters. And judging by the amount of those in evidence, Dunbar are going places, and I lost count of how many of them told me that Josh Walker had scored for Aberdeen against Bayern Munich at Pittodrie back in 2008! I do wonder whether they hexed him!
You can’t help but notice the East Coast main line behind the goal to the extent that just about everyone tee’d up a shot with a train in the background. We were even treated to the trainspotters letting everyone know that the Midland Pullman was due, and a few minutes late, it did blast through. I smiled, and along with just about everyone else, took aim with the camera….
That’s not to say that the game wasn’t well worth watching. At kick off it looked like a nailed on home win, with Dunbar boasting 100% home record, with Coldstream fourth from bottom, one place above the relegation zone. The loss of Mike McFarlane, dismissed for a high challenge changed everything, costing Dunbar their impetus, but even then I thought they’d find a way to prevail. But then Stuart Briggs found enough space in the box to fire home, and suddenly an unlikely away win looked on.
But then Liam Gregory was hauled down in the Coldstream box, and up stepped the man who’d scored against Bayern Munich, at Pittodrie. But not on a March hop game in Spring 2023 it transpired, his effort producing a heroic save from Matt Hall, who pulled off a series of wonderful saves to preserve his team’s lead. It was one of the best single goal games you could hope to see, even Willis Hare’s lashing out saw him collect the 4th red of the hop in only its second game!
I’m sure it won’t derail (!) Dunbar’s Championship push, all teams experience freak results after all. As a final train whizzed by the final whistle went, and the travellers made for their transport. I allowed myself to linger for a few seconds, I really enjoyed Dunbar’s company for those brief couple of hours, and I’ll look forward to seeing them again, as an away club on a future hop.