Bo’ness United crashed out of the Scottish Junior Cup in bizarre and controversial circumstances after the referee wrongly sent the match to extra time.
The BUs drew 2-2 with Blantyre Vics in this third-round replay at Newtown Park, with the rules stating that the tie should go straight to penalties. However, match official Chris Graham – despite the protestations of both teams as they knew there was no way the game could be finished in rapidly fading light – called for extra time. They managed 15 minutes in now near darkness before the referee’s supervisor Ian Fyfe intervened and demanded penalties were played. Blantyre went on to win the shoot-out 4-3.
Bo’ness manager Allan McGonigal said: “Over the two games we created enough chances to win, so we only have ourselves to blame. The fiasco at the end was typical of our day. We gifted the two goals and their keeper looked like saving every spot-kick we took. I don’t know if we will protest – that’s up to the Committee – but the SJFA won’t do us any favours.”
There was plenty of drama in the regulation 90 minutes before the controversy of extra time began. Blantyre took the lead against the run of play when Martin McLaughlin curled a shot into the net after 47 minutes. Bo’ness equalised in the 78th minute with a header from Ross Campbell and took the lead only three minutes later when Fraser Keast slipped the ball home from a corner. Blantyre, however, drew level with almost the last touch of the ball when Kieron Coleman headed home. Then the farce began ...
Bo’ness: Clark, Gemmell, Devine, Campbell, Hunter, Ru MacLennan, Strickland, Philp, Keast, Simpson, Ro MacLennan. Subs: Columbine, Eddington, Sloan, Snowdon, Wright.
Blantyre: Law, Tierney, McLaughlin, McMahon, Coleman, Jones, Giffen, O’Donnell, Kerr, Campbell, White. Subs: Craig, McKechnie, Marriott.