Defensive lapses costly for Duns with seventh league loss

James Brydon scores for Duns to make it 1-1 but was later sent off.
James Brydon scores for Duns to make it 1-1 but was later sent off.
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DUNS manager Neil Oliver bemoaned his side’s defending as the Dingers suffered their seventh defeat in just 12 league games.

The visitors showed plenty heart to pull themselves level twice in the first half, but were unable to grab a third equaliser as both teams finished with ten men.

Oliver said: “We played some good stuff but conceded three silly goals which have cost us.

“We have lost three centre halves this season for various reasons and we have struggled to replace them.”

Duns went into the game in good heart, having defeated Selkirk and drawn with First Division favourites Leith Athletic in their two previous games.

But they fell behind after just 11 minutes as stopper Scott Lumsden hesitated with Grant Gass’ free kick, allowing Colin Jeffrey to toe-poke home.

Teenager Marc Berry seems to be growing into his midfield role with the Fairies, and twice he jinked and weaved past Duns right back Mark Weatherburn, only for Lumsden to deny him on both occasions.

The battle between Berry and Weatherburn then continued at the other end of the pitch, with the Duns defender finding himself ten yards out and ready to score, only for Berry to produce a superb challenge.

However, the Dingers did not have to wait long for their 34th minute equaliser, as ex-Aberdeen midfielder Conor Devaney’s dangerous cross was saved by Elliot Turnbull, only for the ball to land at the feet of James Brydon, who tapped home from a couple of yards out.

Just three minutes later and the home side were back in front, thanks to a superb goal by Scott Nightingale, who controlled a long ball perfectly and powered a low shot beyond Lumsden.

Just as it appeared Gala would go in 2-1 up at half time, Duns pulled level again with another sweet goal.

A lovely passing move involving Brydon, Weatherburn and Aiden Lauder saw the latter sidefoot past Turnbull.

The second half picked up where the first left off, with another goal on 54 minutes. This time Hay burst through Duns’ defence and was pulled down by Lumsden.

Referee Gavin Thomson made the correct decision to award the spot kick and not send off the Duns number one, as Hay had lost control of the ball when he collided with the keeper.

Gass converted the penalty and then played a part in Duns going down to ten men as Brydon kicked out at the Gala midfielder and was shown a straight red card.

But the hosts don’t do comfortable wins, and when Gary Lothian fouled Lauder after an hour for his second yellow card, Gala were left to hold out for the remaining 30 minutes.

The nearest Duns came to a third equaliser was a Weatherburn cross which almost found the top corner of Turnbull’s net but was inches wide of the target.

Duns: S. Lumsden, M. Weatherburn, R. Burns, M. Stewart, G. Renton (B. Chisholm 45), A. Douglas, G. Waddell, C. Devaney, A. Lauder, K. Lee, J. Brydon.