Bo’ness give Garry O’Connor and Co the heave-ho

Scott Pittman holds off Garry O'Connor. Picture: Stuart Cobley

Scott Pittman holds off Garry O'Connor. Picture: Stuart Cobley

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Bo’ness United assistant manager Gary Wilcox hailed his players for dealing with former Hibs and Scotland hitman Garry O’Connor.

The BUs put in a “fine” team performance to defeat Selkirk and move into the Scottish Cup second round.

A double from Darren Gribben in between strikes by Chris Donnelly and Scott Pittman ensured the Super League side would progress at the hands of their Lowland League counterparts and Wilcox said: “The surface didn’t suit our passing style of football, but our experience saw us through.

“Selkirk battled well, but we dug deep and performed well to get the result we needed. Our defenders dealt well with Garry O’Connor and it was fine team performance from the players.”

The visitors took the lead after ten minutes. Will Snowdon swung in a free-kick which Paul Murphy nodded towards goal and Donnelly reacted quickly to stab home from close range.

Selkirk looked to respond immediately and O’Connor had an opportunity, but scuffed his shot from 20 yards when in a good position, and moments later he almost stole in to capitalise on some hesitant defending, but Snowdon did well to clear his goal-bound effort behind for a corner.

Gribben fired narrowly over after running onto a Donnelly flick and Selkirk responded with a Julio Tonelle drive from distance that Mark Peat saved.

Bo’ness almost doubled their advantage on 25 minutes when a Murphy header was saved and the clearance came to Gribben, whose long-range effort crashed off the bar, only for the ball to fall to Murphy who put it in, though the flag was up for offside.

The lead was increased on 33 minutes when Snowdon played the ball down the line to Donnelly, who showed great strength to hold off his marker and put in a fine cross that Gribben nodded home.

After the break Bo’ness continued to dominate and Murphy and Stuart Hunter both went close with efforts from set pieces. The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and on 50 minutes Nicky Walker passed to Gribben whose shot was well saved and the rebound came to Ross Philp, who somehow had his attempt deflected wide for a corner. Selkirk failed to clear the corner and the ball came to Gribben whose cross found the head of Murphy, forcing a good save from Jamie Newman, and seconds later Gribben shot narrowly wide.

Bo’ness were completely controlling the midfield with Selkirk resorting to long balls to O’Connor, who was being well shackled, and on the hour, more good play from Bo’ness, saw Nicky Walker put in a dangerous cross that Donnelly nearly got on the end of with the keeper stranded.

Selkirk finally got back on the offensive with a Phil Addison long-rang drive that Peat did well to save and when the rebound broke to Daryl Johnston, Peat was quickly and bravely down at his feet to block.

The killer third goal for Bo’ness in 79 minutes when Pittman played the ball wide to Snowdon and his cross came to Gribben, who calmly slotted home for his second of the afternoon.

The scoring was completed on 84 minutes as Walker got to the ball before the outrushing keeper, passed it to Pittman and he rolled it into empty net.

Bo’ness: Peat, Snowdon, Leiper, Campbell, Hunter, Murphy, Walker, Philp (Sloan) Donnelly (Miller) Pittman (A Scott) Gribben. Subs not used: Anderson, C Scott, Devine, Wallace.

Selkirk: Newman, Milven, Guiney, Johnston, McInally (See) Tonelle, Samson (C Scott) Addison, O’Connor, Orain, Huteau (Anderson). Subs not used: McKenzie, R Scott, Battle, Stewart.