Two late goals secured Dunalba’s place in the draw for the third round of the Foster’s Scottish Amateur Sunday Trophy as they shrugged off Alnwickhill 2-0 at Meggetland.
Killer goals from Lukhsz Karbowski and Jason McGinness clinched victory for the Lothian and Edinburgh Premier 1 side, who were pushed hard for the majority of the game by their Division 1 counterparts.
The early exchanges of the game were not a sight to behold as both sides struggled to get a passing game going or any penetration in the final third.
The first real action of the came after 26 minutes. Dunalba were attacking and when a cross came in from the right, all 22 players must have thought a header was bound for the net.
Alnwickhill No. 1 Chanda Shula had other ideas, though ,and produced a fantastic right-handed reactionary save and followed it up with another great stop, the referee blowing for offside in any case. “Save of the season!” shouted the coaches of Alnwickhill from the touchline.
A minute later, it was Alnwickhill’s turn to feel anguish at the rival goalkeeper’s heroics as Jordan Bale was denied by Steven Mutch. Bale had nipped into the box after good play on the left and his effort was blocked by Mutch with his legs.
Alnwickhill were looking the more threatening of the two sides as the game edged closer to the break, and only the woodwork denied them the lead.
Bale fed Dean Millar in the box and his toe-poke hammered off the goalkeeper’s right hand post, with Dunalba’s defence blocking a follow-up effort from Liam Day.
The second half came around and the play was very much similar to the first section of the opening 45 minutes. Despite the gap of two divisions between the teams, no gulf was evident on the field. Indeed, Division 1 Alnwickhill went agonisingly close to scoring shortly after the break.
It was that man Bale again, who burst into the 18-yard box from the right wing, advancing towards the goal before unleashing a powerful drive which struck the crossbar before being cleared. It was so unlucky for the forward who was working tirelessly up top as the lone striker.
As the game wore on, Dunalba were in the ascendency and it was Connaire Wallace’s shot at hitting the crossbar this time. With around 77 minutes played, Wallace saw his left-footed attempt from the edge of the ‘D’ cannon off the junction of crossbar and post and booted to safety.
Dunalba got that all elusive opening goal just four minutes later, though, through substitute Karbowski. The ball was fed across from the right to the midfielder and he unleashed an unstoppable strike that flew past Shula into the back of the net.
Dunalba celebrated wildly and perhaps their level of delight represented how important that goal was at a crucial time of the match.
Alnwickhill tried in vain to get an equaliser knowing they had around ten minutes left to stay in the competition. Their forward balls were rushed, though, as their frustration at losing such an important goal showed.
With seconds left to play, Dunalba got a killer second through McGinness after excellent work on the edge of the box. The ball was zipped to the playmaker around 15 yards from goal, and his composed finish beat the advancing Shula to make it 2-0.