Those brave enough to face the elements at Millfield last Saturday were rewarded with one of the best fighting performances produced by the Hi Hi’s in recent years. Something had to give as third placed Dunipace arrived in Haddington in good form and hadn’t lost a league match since August. On the other hand Haddington’s unbeaten run in league matches goes back to March 2020 with Covid playing a part in two truncated seasons. Manager Scott Bonar was again missing several key players and brought back Mark Shields and Jack Neilson, from loan spells, to join Robbie King on the bench. The weather forecast proved to be accurate, following a fine morning the rain started at lunchtime and soon turned to snow. Despite the conditions a good crowd of 170 were huddled under the covered enclosure as the floodlights were switched on for kick off. Dunipace came flying out the traps and had the home side pinned back in the opening minutes. Haddington struggled to clear their lines and the visitors were rewarded when Robbie Stirling was beaten by a low shot in the 4th minute. The post came to Stirling’s rescue just before Jones finished off a nice move for a 7th minute equaliser. There was controversy in the 15th minute when a crossfield run by Corey Robertson ended when he clashed with an opponent on front of the Dunipace technical area. It was difficult to see exactly what happened through the snow but the outcry from the sidelines was enough to influence the referee to produce a red card. So the Hi Hi’s had to play 75 minutes a man down. They shocked Dunipace when they took the lead through McGarry on the half hour mark, and they fought hard to hold their lead until half time. The second half saw Dunipace in the ascendancy as they chased the equaliser. They forced numerous corners and there were some close calls around Stirling’s goal but the crowd responded to the Hi Hi’s brave defensive efforts and every player gave their all in protecting their narrow lead. The half was characterised by lots of selfless running and well timed challenges as the visitors grew increasingly frustrated in the face of such stubborn resistance. The crowd sensed a home victory was a distinct possibility and the home supporters got right behind the side as they applauded a brave effort and there was elation in the Hi Hi’s camp when the referee blew for full time. This win keeps Haddington four points ahead of Leith Athletic at the top of Conference A. There’s still a lot of football to be played before the championship is settled but Haddington seem determined to hold onto top spot.