Bo’ness boss hails character of his team after win at Broxburn

Michael Gemmell fires home Bo'ness United's second goal at Broxburn. Picture: Toby Williams
Michael Gemmell fires home Bo'ness United's second goal at Broxburn. Picture: Toby Williams
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Bo’ness United manager Allan McGonigal will happily grind out victories if it means his side are challenging for the Super League title come the end of the season.

The Newtown Park men don’t have a great record at Broxburn’s Albyn Park but they took all three points on Saturday in a hard-fought 3-1 victory against a stuffy home side to keep in touch with league leaders Kelty Hearts.

It was a perfect afternoon for football on Broxburn’s artificial surface with little in the way of wind, but hopes of an entertaining match didn’t materialise in a game which won’t live long in the memory despite four goals being scored.

“It’s a really tough place to come and to get a result here is always a bonus that’s for sure,” said McGonigal.

“We were flat, particularly in the first half. We scored a goal from a set piece and we didn’t look like scoring in the first half, then we gave them a goal back after a comedy of errors. It was sluggish all over the park.

“In the second half it didn’t get much better. We brought on Fraser [Eddington] and Marty Wright and we improved. The third goal added a bit of a gloss to the result.

“We are building momentum and confidence. There’s loads of ways you can win football games, sometimes you win with a wee bit style and flair and other times you’ve just got to grind them out – and that was one of those.

“There’s nobody going to give you three points in this league that’s for sure. We just have to keep doing what we’re doing and the more players we can get back the better we’ll be and the stronger we’ll be.”

Bo’ness midfielder Michael Gemmell, who fired the visitors into a second-half lead with a stylish volley, admits they’ll have to rely on other teams taking points off Kelty if they are to have any hope of catching the relentless Fife outfit who are unbeaten in their opening 13 leagues games.

He said: “Ultimately we can’t do anything about Bonnyrigg and Kelty, we just have to hope other teams can take points off them. Hopefully we can keep winning and try and catch them.

“We’ve still to play Kelty twice. They are heavy favourites, they’ve started fantastic but hopefully we can string a couple of results together and you never know.”

The home side contained five former Bo’ness players in their starting line-up, most notably striker Darren Gribben who was making his debut for Max Christie’s team having signed from Arthurlie on Friday.

Gribben didn’t have an afternoon to remember however, the striker starved of service as Broxburn, who are the second top goalscorers in the Super League, created little.

Bo’ness striker Colin Strickland headed the visitors in front on 14 minutes from Stewart Devine’s corner, but their lead lasted a mere minute as former BU forward Kieran Anderson threaded a pass through for Ross Nimmo and his effort trickled over the line past goalkeeper Scott Christie.

Industrious midfield man Gemmell isn’t known for his goalscoring exploits but he displayed fine striking instinct when the ball fell to him on 60 minutes – his sweet volley from 14 yards finding the bottom corner.

The victory was sealed 11 minutes from time as two substitutes combined. Fraser Eddington’s cross to the back post found Marty Wright who sent a first-time volley back across goal into the bottom corner past former BU keeper Connor Wallace.

Broxburn boss Christie was disappointed with their forward play, with his side creating little, he said: “We didn’t play well. I thought there wasn’t much in the first half and we defended well. That was a positive, but our forward play was poor. Going forward we’re normally a lot more fluid than we were today. Our energy levels and movement were poor.

“We’ve got good players but if we’re going to get better we need to start beating the so-called bigger teams.”

Broxburn Athletic: Wallace, Locke, Cole, Patterson, Purves, Scott, Nimmo, Richards (Downie), Gribben (Millar), Miller, Anderson

Bo’ness United: Christie, Gemmell, Devine, Gibb, Hunter, Roddy MacLennan, Strickland (Eddington), Philp, Keast, Snowdon (Campbell), Roddy MacLennan (Wright)