The Gentlemen of Dunbar O45s vs Queen’s Park O45s – NCIE @ 11am Result: 2-1

The exertions of playing three games in the past week showed a bit in the O45 legs yesterday but we were still well worth the three points. The form table in O45’s football has changed since the O35’s season ended; Queen’s Park were much better for drafting in a few over 45 players from their O35s squads. Anyway, comfortable games in our run-in wouldn’t be doing us any favours.

We started brightly and settled into our game but they were competing well and breaking up play in midfield. Their five man defense dropped deep whenever we got possession and proved tricky to break down. They played a tall guy up front and kept launching long balls which our backs dealt with effectively. Soon we settled and started putting some good moves together then a fine delivery by Ade was met with a good run and finish by Keith Payne’s head for 1-0.

It stayed that way until half way through the second half when we didn’t track their midfield player’s run down our left, he got to the byline and put in a good cross to ‘tall guy’ who scored. The player who crossed the ball had pulled his hamstring and went off. Long balls? A pulled hamstring? A player off? Deja vu?

At 1-1 their tails were up and as we walked back a few heads went down … . in disbelief as much as anything! Bally redoubled his efforts in midfield and lifted the team. Graham was always showing for the ball and really started making his passes count. Another fine cross, well timed movement to meet it and another good finish by Keith Payne’s head for 2-1; his head was having a great game!!!! Queen’s Park took off a midfielder and put on an extra forward. We stuck to our game and were winning the midfield battles so it was encouraging when their new forward was quickly dropped back into midfield. They settled to playing the long ball when they won possession and their keeper kept launching high balls, a couple of which got through but Jason came out well and handled superbly.

It was closer than we expected but we kept our shape and adjusted well. We could have got frustrated and started chasing the game but we kept our discipline, our belief was always there and the GoDs have got the quality to create enough chances to win games.

Man of the match has to go to Keith Payne’s head (!) for those two goals but a special mention to Bally for stepping up and giving us that bit of inspiration when we needed it.

A big shout out for Ade who was playing his last game of the season yesterday (he’s got to go to the UK). Thirteen goals for the season and two big penalty saves in his four outstanding performances in goal. And that run and header (from Matt Tilbury’s cross) in the game against Maccabi A has got to be right up there for goal of the season. He’s always been there on match days and is a Dunbar GoD through and through. Thanks for all you’ve done helping us to play ourselves into this position. Safe travels.

Next Sunday’s like a cup final for us. A huge game against second place Maccabi A. They’re one point and one goal ahead of us in the table so only a win will do. The league is big so the final is a straight play off between first and second. Can it get any better? Come on the GoDs!