Bo’ness left it late to finish the job they started last week, winning this Scottish Junior Cup fourth-round replay thanks to a double from striker Steven Hislop and a man-of-the-match performance from Nicky Walker.
It was a remarkable day for Walker, starting with a drive through to Hampden to appeal in person against his sending off last week. If he’d failed with the appeal he’d have been banned for the afternoon fixture and who knows what the outcome would have been then.
The two sides had drawn 1-1 last week and Bo’ness started sluggishly here with no clear idea of how to overcome a stuffy Violet defence. And it was the visitors who deservedly took the lead after 39 minutes. Grant Lawson threaded a ball through the Bo’ness defence to Stewart McConnachie, who looked in an offside position, but he slid the ball past Jordan Allan in the Bo’ness goal. The home supporters weren’t happy and shouted their disapproval as the sides left the field for half time.
The second half again saw Bo’ness fail to hit the expected heights and again the supporters weren’t slow to let their feeling be known. All that changed though in the 67th minute with a piece of magic from Walker. After switching wings from right to left he lobbed the ball over out-rushing keeper Hutchison and into the net for the equaliser. It was at this point that Steve Hislop took a grip of the game. Ian Nimmo played a ball out to him on the wing and he drove in on goal before curling the ball past the keeper on 75 minutes. Then in the 80th minute Hislop scored again. Sub Allan Lawson cut along the bye-line before releasing Hislop, who turned the ball into the net off the Hutchison’s body.
Bo’ness were now cruising, the crowd were off their backs and the players relaxed. Lawson then got on the scoresheet himself with just two minutes to go. James Donaldson made the goal with a great cut back and Lawson was at the back post to slam the ball high into the net from six yards.
It ended a game that will undoubtedly be etched in Walker’s memory for many years. “It’s been a day I won’t forget in a hurry,” admitted the player.
“I had trouble getting to Hampden for 10 o’clock but pleased that I got the appeal. It was then a rush to get back and prepare for the game and to be told I was man of the match finished the day off completely.
“It was announced over the tannoy five minutes before the end of the game and I was immediately hooked but at the end of the day it was a good second half performance from everyone.”
Bo’ness boss McGonigal was just relieved at the final result. “We got there in the end, but made hard work of it. They are a good side and we had to be careful but possibly we were too careful in the first half.
“The second took care of itself and I’m just happy to be going to play Rob Roy next Saturday.”
Two-goal hero Hislop was equally delighted to get this fixture out of the way. “I think we learned a lot from our performance. We’ll have to do a lot better next week because Rob Roy are going great in the West Super League.”
Bo’ness United: Allen, Snowdon, Devine, Kennedy, White Nimmo, Walker (Scanlon), McAvoy, Hislop, C Donaldson (Hay, Lawson), J Donaldson. Subs: Cane, Birnstig.
Dundee Violet: Hutchison, Logan, Milton, Sturrock, Thomson, Conway, Lawson, Ballantyne (O Connor), Duell, McConnachie, Duffy (Szpak). Subs: Bonella, Gibb, Sime.