We're very pleased to confirm work began at Millfield late last week on the construction of a new toilet block, which will also incorporate a first aid room - the building represents by far our biggest single financial outlay in connection with our desire to achieve SFA entry-level licensing by March next year. If weather conditions are kind we expect work to be completed within a couple of months - meantime we'll be looking to progress with our compliance with the other requirements we hope will allow us SFA membership and Scottish Cup entry for season 2019/20. ... See MoreSee Less
Our committee's October birthdays keep on coming as today we wish "the youngster" Davie Bauld many happy returns as he celebrates his forty seventh! Thanks to Davie's wife Clare for her own post earlier, helping buck last week's blundering trend, and for letting us steal her pic. This is Davie's third season on the Hi Hi's scene, fair to say he's seen a few ups and downs already; as a practical man he's been a huge help to us with a few ground maintenance tasks, and now he and brother Willie are to qualify as first aiders we're expecting fewer player injuries as they put their new-found skills to the test.
All the best Davie, hope it's as good a day as you deserve! ... See MoreSee Less
Dalkeith Thistle 3 (Blake Wales 13, Lewis Sives own goal 47, Paul Tansey 90)
Haddington Athletic 2 (Andy Jones 43, Declan Quinn 57)
Our seventh Conference B fixture yesterday saw us at Kings Park in Dalkeith for the first time since last August, when we'd enjoyed a 6-0 victory against opposition we've generally had the better of in recent times. This was our third meeting of the season with the Jags, after two August encounters at Millfield - they'd won the first, a League Cup qualifying tie, by three goals to one, but in our first home league game we'd run out 4-2 winners. Two points separated the teams in the league table, with Dalkeith sitting on nine points compared to our seven.
A very wet Saturday morning proved no hindrance to the Kings Park playing surface, in decent condition despite an Under 20s fixture on the Friday evening, and come the afternoon conditions were nowhere near as bad as had been feared. Neither side was at full strength, however we were pleased to welcome back from injury the defensive trio of Ross King, captain George Cunningham and player-manager Joe Hamill, while there was a first start for 17 year old Under 20s midfielder Lewis Sives and latest signing Hamish Law again featured after a promising trialist debut at Bo'ness last week. Shaun Hill and Ali Simpson were both ruled out on account of one match bans. The home line-up included ex-Hi Hi in Michael Fairnie and Craig Wojtowycz, and up front they'd on-loan Penicuik Athletic striker Nico Salazar, the Colombian who netted a second half hat-trick against us at Penicuik Park on 18 August. Playing against us for the first time was 28 year old Irishman Conor Glenholmes, a futsal star not long ago signed by the Jags.
We'd a good early chance which almost resulted in the opening goal, with Grant Rose doing well on the left of the penalty area to set up Hamish Law, whose shot beat Easton in the home goal but went just the wrong side of the post. Dalkeith took the lead in the thirteenth minute when we failed to defend a corner from the right and allowed Blake Wales room to jump and head the ball towards the roof of the net. The first half wasn't the greatest spectacle Kings Park has witnessed by any means, but five minutes after we'd conceded we were unfortunate not to draw level when Law once more came very close - with Easton well off his line our new man chipped the ball towards goal but again the target was missed by a very narrow margin. A couple of minutes later Brad Hainey set Law free down the right and his low first-time delivery invited Andy Jones to shoot from around fifteen yards, but it was a bit too high and cleared the crossbar. Shortly after this Dalkeith could've benefited from a corner on the left which was headed on by McQueenie well in front of the near post, but the ball flew across the face of goal with no home players positioned to make the most of the chance. There weren't many notable incidents over the remainder of the first half, but with two minutes to go until the break we drew level with a great goal from Andy Jones which saw him overtake Scott Moffat at the top of the scoring charts - he claimed his ninth of the season after Andy McNeill in midfield sent a great ball over the home defence for Jones to run on to, coming in from the left with one thing in mind before sending his angled shot beyond Easton towards the bottom corner at the back post. Overall the scoreline at the interval was a fair reflection of the first forty five minutes' play, and left all to play for after the break.
Having ended the first half on the ascendancy our hopes were high we could go on and take all three points, but with barely two minutes played in the second half those hopes suffered a setback when opportunities to deal with a dangerous situation weren't taken, and a ball into the box was inadvertently diverted into the net off the head of young Lewis Sives. A couple of minutes later the first change of the afternoon saw Declan Quinn come off the bench to replace Hamish Law, who'd suffered a minor shoulder injury. Then in the fifty first minute the first yellow card of the afternoon went the way of Thistle right back McQueenie - referee Jonathan Gall has taken a little stick in many quarters for his seemingly card-happy ways in recent weeks but credit where it's due, his handling of this contest was pretty decent. We'd a chance on fifty five minutes when Ross King did well on the right of the penalty area before sending a ball into the six yard box which was parried by Easton, the loose ball just eluding Andy Jones but the assistant referee on the enclosure side had flagged for offside in any case. It took just another two minutes for the equaliser to materialise however, with King and Jones again involved. Jones' lay off to the overlapping King on the left allowed the latter to deliver a low ball into the box for Rose, who saw his shot blocked before the ball sat up invitingly for substitute Quinn, who from around ten yards out took a moment to compose himself before firing home. Not long after his goal the big striker looked to have hurt himself in a touchline challenge which saw him booked - fears of an injury related to his dislocated hip a couple of months back thankfully proved unfounded.
A good Rose run into the Dalkeith penalty area from the left raised hopes of a third Hi Hi's goal, but the on-loan Berwick Rangers striker looked indecisive when it came to the crunch and a Thistle defender slid in to clear the ball from his feet just in front of goal. A key moment occurred in the sixty sixth minute when we were awarded a penalty after McQueenie brought down former Thistle team-mate Darren Leslie, and with our second half performance having given encouragement to the Hi Hi's contingent watching it was hoped this would prove a springboard towards victory; alas Andy Jones' spot kick, struck well enough to Easton's left, was saved by the Thistle 'keeper. With eighteen minutes remaining Dalkeith made a substitution, with Salazar making way for Paul Tansey, briefly a Haddington player during our 2014/15 South Division championship season and always a threat, as evidenced by his four goals against us in the space of eleven August days at Millfield. Tansey had suffered an ankle injury in Thistle's previous outing, and it was clear on his introduction this continued to hamper him - nonetheless we'd cause to be wary when the ball went his way, and George Cunningham picked up a booking on seventy seven minutes for impeding his progress on the right. We'd a great chance to get in front with ten minutes left to play, but Jones' cross from the left corner was just a shade too high for Quinn to get his head to. Shortly afterwards Leslie, cramping up a little, made way for Jordan Cropley. As the clock ticked on a draw was looking an increasingly likely outcome, more so when with three minutes left good work by Rose on the left byeline set up Jones for a shot from the edge of the box, but it was a foot or two too high. In the ninetieth minute we could've snatched the lead after a neat flowing move forward from midfield involving several players, but the final ball in was hit just a little too hard and eluded Jones at the back post. Then, into the second minute of injury time, we suffered the sickening blow of conceding the winner, the goalscorer inevitably that man Tansey - a cross in from the left found him unmarked in the penalty area, where he'd to stoop slightly to get his head on the ball and direct it goalwards; the ball seemed to trickle in slow motion towards the net, just beyond the near post, with Sinky Inglis powerless to do anything about it. There was no time to bounce back from that blow, and so all three points went the way of our opponents.
The outcome needless to say was a sore on to take, particularly given we'd looked the better team in the second half - it could well have turned out differently had the penalty gone in but it wasn't to be. Looking at the positives, it was good to see the guys back from injury perform well, and Hamish Law again looked like a very decent acquisition. Lewis Sives did very well in his first ninety minutes at this level and looks sure to progress in the game. Overall there weren't any poor performances as such but our tendency to concede goals as frequently as we are at present is obviously a concern.
Dalkeith: Connar Easton, Ryan McQueenie, Michael Fairnie, Darren McGlashan, Blake Wales, Stephen Scott, Conor Glenholmes,Darren Smith, Nico Salazar, Craig Wojtowycz, Ross Connell. Subs: Paul Tansey, Cameron McBeth, Dean Apicella, Michael Hunter.
Hi Hi: Sinky Inglis, Brad Hainey, Ross King, Joe Hamill, George Cunningham, Andy McNeill, Darren Leslie, (Jordan Cropley S81), Lewis Sives, Grant Rose, Hamish Law, (Declan Quinn S49), Andy Jones. Unused subs: Owen Millar, Chris Cairney, Pinkie Tufail, David Simmonds (SG).