High five for Links United as they notch fine victory

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Links UNITED eased to a 5-1 win against Dunalbar in the Lothian and Edinburgh Amateur FA Edinburgh West Division at Saughton Park.

Four goals in the first half helped Links on their way and David Pool scored two goals after his hat-trick in a game just three days earlier.

The match became more even in the second half, but Dunalbar had already sustained too much damage to make a comeback.

Links got their first goal early. After seven minutes, John MacKay’s long ball was not dealt with by the Dunalbar defence, and Gregor Campbell picked up the ball 20 yards from goal and hit a low shot which nestled into the bottom left corner.

Just three minutes later, Links doubled their lead. Mark Dickson’s deep free kick met the head of Pool, and he diverted the ball into the right of the net, hitting the post before bouncing in.

After 37 minutes, Campbell played a through ball into the path of Daniel Smith who chipped the ball over onrushing Dunalbar goalkeeper Keiran Quinn, but the ball rebounded off the crossbar. Smith made no mistake with the rebound, finishing into an open goal.

On the verge of half-time, Links added their fourth in bizarre circumstances when right back Colin Kay launched a deep cross that bounced over Quinn into the goal.

Into the second half and Dunalbar managed to pull a goal back. Campbell felled Phil Hogan in the left of the penalty area and Kenny McKenzie placed his penalty into the left of the goal.

Two minutes later, Links scored their final goal through another penalty. Campbell was fouled by Fergus Wilson and Pool stepped up and put the ball to the left of Quinn.

Gary McCardle, the Links United manager, was pleased with his team’s performance and is hoping for a good season.

He said: “It was a comfortable win and it’s due to the fact we’ve got a big squad and everybody’s getting their chance.

“The players don’t want to lose their place and that’s our big advantage at the moment. There were some good goals. We switched off a little bit in the second half, but I think that’s because we were comfortable.

“We’re aiming for promotion this season and hopefully get to a couple of cup finals. We’ve got a couple of decent draws in the cups against hard teams, but it’s good to test ourselves.”

Dunalbar captain Fergus Wilson was unhappy with his team’s performance. “We were pretty poor,” he said. “It was played on a bad pitch and we really struggled.”

Links United: Gordon Stuart, Mark Dickson, Colin Kay, John MacKay, Faron Gribben, Daniel Smith, Danny Bee, David Pool, Gregor Campbell, Scott Ross, Chris Jack, Terry Philbin, Derek Sands, Robert Hood, Gary Craig.

Dunalbar: Keiran Quinn, Iain Laidlaw, Fergus Wilson, Murdo Steven, Dario Valente, Callum Robertson, Michael Scott, Jamie Di Sotto, Kenny McKenzie, Aden Donaldson, Scott McDonald, Gregg Marr, Andy Garland, Phil Hogan.