Bo’ness United midfielder Ian Nimmo hailed his side’s fighting spirit as they ended a two-game losing run by securing a 2-1 victory at Newtongrange to keep themselves in the Super League title race.
Defeats by Bonnyrigg Rose and Camelon had left Bo’ness trailing in what Nimmo believes is a title race that will go down to the wire with several teams challenging for top spot – unlike last season when Kelty Hearts lead for most of the campaign.
The 27-year-old, an unlikely first scorer with a low piledriver, is hoping his colleagues can string several wins together and take command at the top of the table.
“We realised that we had let ourselves down the last few weeks so we had to dig in and fight for each other. We were a lot better, we went back to basics a bit and we worked hard for each other. That’s what we’ve got to do for the rest of the season and if we do that, we won’t be far away with winning trophies.
“Everybody is beating everybody in this league and we won’t win every game, but nobody else will win every game this year. It will go down to the wire that’s for sure and there are four or five teams that will be involved with it.
“Nobody is taking their chance to go clear at the top as everybody is dropping points. If we can get four or five wins ... hopefully we’re a team that can do that.”
The result was a major blow to Newtongrange’s ambitions of challenging for title, with the New Victoria Park men now ten points adrift of top spot in 11th.
The home side were much better after the interval though, in control of large periods, but despite their grip on possession and territory, they created few clear cut chances.
They gave themselves an uphill task with their slow start to the match, allowing Bo’ness to take an early lead after 13 minutes. Nimmo was positioned some 20 yards from goal and after receiving a pass from Marty Wright, drilled a low left-footed strike into the bottom corner.
The goal seemed to waken Star up and they responded well. Matti King had the perfect opportunity to pull level from Craig Thomson’s low ball from the right, but he fluffed his attempt from 12 yards.
Striker Kris Renton was just inches away with an effort from outside the box which he arrowed low, only to see it come off the outside of the post, much to the relief of Bo’ness keeper Scott Christie.
Bo’ness doubled their advantage on 27 minutes with defender Will Snowdon claiming the final touch amongst a goalmouth scramble after keeper Keiron Renton couldn’t hold on to Darren Gribben’s free-kick.
Robert Sloan should have put the game to bed when he blazed over from close range with Renton out of position after Chris Donnelly had drawn him in.
Star were left wondering how the ball managed to stay out when Gary Cherrie’s speculative strike from 30 yards struck the bar before hitting the back of Christie, but it somehow bounced away from goal to safety.
Gribben trumped Sloan with the miss of the game early in the second half after Donnelly had cut the ball back from the byline, with the striker completely missing an open goal from four yards out.
Newtongrange were starting to dictate play with Bo’ness quite happy to defend their lead. Thomson was putting in dangerous crosses from his right-back berth, but more often than not a Bo’ness head was able to clear.
Renton gave Star hope with a neatly taken volley from distance which dipped past Christie into the bottom corner after 71 minutes, but Star weren’t able to create much more and Bo’ness saw out the match comfortably.
Newtongrange boss Alan Miller felt his side were unlucky not come away with a point.
“I feel a wee bit aggrieved that we never got something out of the game with a strong second-half performance, but I think that Bo’ness definitely started the game the better team.
“I thought we put them under a lot of pressure the whole of the second half and if we continue to play like that, we’ll be fine.”
Newtongrange Star: Keiron Renton, Thomson, Tulloch, Tolmie, Dunn, Currie, King (Motion), Cherrie, Kris Renton, Coult (McManus) , Cropley.
Bo’ness United: Christie, Snowdon, Sloan, Campbell, Morrison, Nimmo, Gemmell, Philp, Donnelly, Wright (Moutinho), Gribben (Walker).