Pace's hitmen kick off the season on fire

Dunipace's new-look strike force got off to the perfect start on Saturday, with all three strikers getting on the scoresheet against Newtongrange Star.

By Ben Kearney
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 3:38 pm

Danny Smith’s side defeated the recently-relegated visitors 3-1 at Westfield Park – with Joe McGuckin, Martin France and Marty Wright grabbing the goals on the opening day of the East of Scotland Football League first division campaign.

"That was the most pleasing part for me, seeing all of the forwards score and link-up so well,” Smith said of the victory. “Against a decent side, we really worked well as a unit.

"Getting three points on the opening day sets you up well and it is a big thing for me actually, I think it can do a lot for you getting off the mark straight away.

Dunipace opened the league campaign with a 3-1 victory over recently relegated Newtongrange Star on Saturday afternoon (Photos: Scott Louden)

“In the second half our play was excellent and I think for the spectators it was a great match to watch. They were a totally new side for us and it was a learning process too.”

The Pace followed that up with another impressive victory on Tuesday night, defeating Lochore Welfare 2-1 away from home to move onto six points, and joint top of the division.

Liam McCroary and Marty Wright scored the goals in Fife.

Smith added that the first week of the campaign was key in his eyes to how his team will fare this year.

Martin France, who scored and assisted twice, looks to beat his man out wide

“The first three games are crucial for us, it is a big week in terms of who we are playing.

“Both league matches have been against tough opponents who will be up there at the end of the season.”

Attention for Smith’s side now turns to East of Scotland Qualifying Cup duty with a local derby in the first round on Saturday.

The Denny outfit make the very short trip to neighbours Camelon Juniors.

Captain Danny Ashe goes in for a header

“They will be interesting and it will be a physical test for the guys,” Smith said ahead of the first round tie. “We’ve got that depth now that minus key players we can still pick up a result.

"We’ve shown that so far and going into the cup tie we should get a few faces back.

“It might take a different type of individual to get you through a match like this.

“The wins so far have come without our top goalscorer and possibly our best midfielder in Jordan Herron who is nearing a return.”