FOOTBALL fans packed the new £100,000 stand at the home of Dunbar United for its first ever game.

The Seasiders welcomed a Hearts team managed by former Scotland international Steven Naismith to New Countess Park as the stand was officially opened.

Major sponsor Gary Scougall, of Eve Coaches Ltd, and Councillor Norman Hampshire, who lives in the town and is leader of East Lothian Council, were on hand to open the Eve Dunbar United Community Stand ahead of the 1pm kick-off on July 16.

The stand project, completed by national firm Stadium Solutions – which has created stands for many football clubs, including English Premier League sides Aston Villa and Brighton and Hove Albion – had been planned for more than 20 years.

Stuart Robertson, chairman of the county club, was delighted to see the dream become a reality.

He said: "The Eve Dunbar United Community Stand was full, at capacity with 200 spectators, although it was Lifeboat Day.

"There were 320 at the friendly game which, in context, with everything on, was a good crowd.

"It all looked really positive when we were 1-0 up at half-time."

East Lothian Courier: Hearts came from a goal down to win 2-1 in a pre-season friendly against Dunbar United at New Countess Park

Hearts came from a goal down to win 2-1 in a pre-season friendly against Dunbar United at New Countess Park

The hosts had led at the interval thanks to a strike from man of the match Jordan Hopkinson.

Mr Robertson said that Stadium Solutions' actual build had taken about three weeks, with groundwork by local firm AG Thomson & Sons.

"It all looked like a giant Meccano set before its erection," he added.

"The hard part was the fundraising."

Mr Robertson told the Courier: "While I may have led the project, three people have been absolutely critical to its success: Callum Porteous, Dougie Gray and Tommy Foggo have been fantastic."

Hearts featured Harry Stone, Cammy Logan and Finlay Pollock, who have all played first-team senior football, as well as Aberlady's Arron Darge – younger brother of Scotland rugby union international Rory.

Strikes from Aidan Denholm and James Wilson turned the game on its head and gave the Jambos a 2-1 victory.

Posting on Facebook after the game, the club said: "A massive thank you to both Gary Scougall of Eve Coaches Ltd, the main sponsor of this project and a long-term main sponsor of our club, and Councillor Norman Hampshire, leader of East Lothian Council, who, alongside the Alexander Amos Trust and our community of supporters, were the major backers of our stand project."

Dunbar United supporters got the project off the ground with £1,000, raised originally for a memorial bench for George Foggo and fellow life member Malcolm Jones.