Bo’ness sub sparks team back to life with wonder goal

Arm wrestle: Murray Christie fouls Bryan Jaconelli of Bo'ness Utd. Picture: Joey Kelly
Arm wrestle: Murray Christie fouls Bryan Jaconelli of Bo'ness Utd. Picture: Joey Kelly
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A fantastic strike from Bo’ness substitute Darren Gribben stole the points from a Musselburgh side who dominated the game for long spells but lost out 2-1.

“That’s what you get from Darren, he can win games for you on his own. We were going nowhere until he came on and, with his first touch, scores a wonder goal,” was how Bo’ness boss Alan McGonigal summed up the afternoon.

Bo’ness were a lost cause until that substitution.

Musselburgh came to Newtown Park and dominated play in the tricky windy conditions and, no doubt, they will look back and wonder how they lost this game after scoring a super first-half goal and hitting the woodwork twice.

Gribben though, was the architect for a Bo’ness win. He had the vision to see what damage the wind and some self belief could do when he hit his screamer in the 73rd minute.

Musselburgh started the game with the wind at their backs and settled down better than the home side. In the tenth minute Michael McKenna raced onto a through ball from Mike Hunter to slam the ball against the foot of the post.

They had to wait only another five minutes before they took the lead with McKenna again to the fore. After being awarded a free-kick 30 yards out on the right, McKenna stepped up and powered in a drive which keeper Mark Peat could only palm into the net for a wonder goal.

McKenna, since being capped by Scotland Juniors, has taken another huge leap in confidence and continues to impress.

Musselburgh striker Mattu King then came close to firing his 100th goal for the club as he rounded the keeper in the 22nd minute but couldn’t find the net with his effort.

Bo’ness kicked off the second half with the wind at their backs but again it was Musselburgh who took the game by the scruff of the neck. Mattu King again had chances but there was always someone on the line to kick clear. Musselburgh full back Lewis Turner drove forward and with a superb drive hit the base of the post as Bo’ness appeared to wilt.

McGonigal sought to change things and he brought on Gribben and Nicky Walker in the 72nd minute.

Gribben immediately made his mark with his first touch of the ball. It was played out to him on the left wing and he looked up before curling a high looping ball which caught the wind and landed in the postage stamp corner of the net with the keeper helpless.

Bo’ness now had their backs up and took the game to the visitors. They had to wait only another five minutes before they took the lead. A corner from Nicky Walker wasn’t cleared by the Musselburgh defence leaving Chris Donnelly room to slide the ball low into the corner of the net following good work from Paul Hunter.

Bo’ness had to work hard to keep Musselburgh out but in the end it was another three valuable points for the Newtown Park side.

McGonigal said: “To be fare that’s what Darren Gribben does, he’s got that X factor about him. Some say he’s a lucky so-and-so but the more he practices the luckier he gets. Musselburgh were by far the better team but we are a different animal when we score a goal.”

Musselburgh boss David McGlynn wasn’t too unhappy.

“We scored a good goal and hit the woodwork twice and come away with nothing but I’m proud of the players because they should have won this game. We’ve a busy next few weeks ahead but if the players can keep the momentum going we’ll do all right. We’re on the right track and getting better every week.”

Bo’ness: Peat, Snowdon, Devine, Murphy, Hislop, Nimmo, Donnelly, Sloan (Walker), B Jaconelli (Gribben), T Jaconelli (Anderson), Scott. Subs: Connolly, Walker, Wallace.

Musselburgh: Adams, Turner, Christie, Hamilton, Miller, S Thomson, McKenna, Hunter, King (Sinclair), C Thomson, Myles. Subs: Moffat, Murray, Martin, Cornet.