Substitute Corey Thomson denied Whitehill Welfare a draw with his late strike, earning Dalbeattie Star a 1-0 win last Wednesday.
Both sides had numerous chances to clinch the points. However, just when it looked like the game would end goalless, Thomson came off the bench to snatch the winner, bundling the ball home from a knock down to hand Star their second win in four days and move them out of the relegation zone in the Lowland League. Welfare remain in 12th a point behind Edinburgh University.
Both sides settled well with Welfare having the benefit of a strong wind at their back. The first chance fell to Star though when Lewis Sloan found space inside the visitors’ penalty area but his left foot shot flashed across goal and wide of the far post.
Just after the half hour Vinnie Parker came to the home side’s rescue when he was off his line quickly to smother the ball as Whitehill threatened to breakthrough. They began to make use of the conditions as they stepped up the pressure. Six minutes from the break Parker produced a terrific save to fingertip a Stephen Manson shot over the bar.
With almost the last shot off the half Welfare again went close but they missed the target by inches from a 25 yard free kick. It was now Star’s turn to have the wind at their back and two minutes after the restart they almost broke the deadlock. Mark McKenna made an excellent interception and played in Tommy Muir but his shot from the edge of the box just missed the target.
Two minutes later though it was Welfare who had the best chance so far when Star made a mess of clearing a corner and the ball fell to Josh Morris but his volley from close range flew over the crossbar. It was a whirlwind start to the second half and Star was soon back on the offensive and again they went close as a Liam Park throw in was nodded to Sloan whose volley looked net-bound until it hit a defender although he probably didn’t know a lot about it.
Star began to turn the screw looking for the elusive goal that would surely clinch the points, and just when it looked like they would have to settle for a draw the long awaited strike arrived. McKenna picked out substitute Jamie McHarrie at the far post with an inch perfect cross and from a tight angle he elected to nod the ball back across the six yard line rather than go direct for goal. It was the correct decision though as he set up fellow sub Thomson who from close range was able to bundle the ball over the line.