Gritty performace from Thistle

Trailing by a goal at half time a severely depleted Dalkeith Thistle squad dug deep to turn things around with a gritty second half performance against Jeanfield Swifts.

First Jay Hunter pulled a goal back from the penalty spot and then Darren Flynn found the back of the net to set the Jags on their winning way.

The Jags were without Pusledzki, Morris, Little, Veyrinc, Ozgun and Mida which made spaces available for Main and Murray and a surprise slot up front for centre half David Liddle.

The home side started off with the bulk of the possession and took the lead after just five minutes when Jay Hunter was harshly deemed to have committed a foul on the edge of the box. Fraser Smith stepped up to send his effort into the back of the net courtesy of a deflection off the defensive wall.

Moments later McKinlay danced his way through the Dalkeith box but shot wide into the side netting from an acute angle.

The Jags struggled to breakdown a stubborn home defence, that was until the 27th minute when Jay Hunter managed to get a header on target but well saved by the home keeper.

The home side almost made it 2-0 ten minutes later but Robertson’s header flashed wide. The Jags were starting to exert a little pressure of their own but at half time it remained 1-0 to the home side.

Into the second-half and the Jags upped a gear forcing the play with some great play from Lally and McNaughton on the either flank. A series of corners were won but came to nothing and then on 61 minutes came the equaliser that the Jags were looking for. Callum McNeil crossed from just inside the Jeanfield half and when Lally touched it on into the path of McNaughton, the Dalkeith man was brought crashing to the ground in the area. Jay Hunter stepped up to send the Jeanfield keeper the wrong way and restore parity. Minutes later and the Jags were claiming another penalty when a Michael Linton shot was clearly handled by a defender in an attempt to block the shot but the referee waived play on.

The Jags were knocking on the door forcing the play and chances came and went for Lally and Flynn then on 81 minutes came the winning goal. The home side once again failed to deal with a cross ball and when Lally touched a cross onto Flynn the little striker’s shot found the back of the net via slight deflection.

With that the game was on knife-edge. Again The Jags went close, this time through Jay Hunter as his shot from 30 yards sailed just past the post.

Deep deep into stoppage time the home side were desperate to get something from the match and the Jags had to thank Dawid Paterek for a fantastic point blank save in the tense final moments. But the Jags held out for a win that puts them just two points off the top spot in the league. Final score - Jeanfield Swifts 1, Dalkeith Thistle 2.

Dalkeith Thistle: Paterek, McNeil, Main, Gavin, Hunter, McNaughton, Lally, Murray, Linton, Liddle, Flynn. Subs: Paterson, McQueen, Waters, Pennycuik.