Bo’ness United 2
Lochee United 4
TEN-MAN Bo’ness look to have blown their chances of winning the Super League title for a third time with an inept performance against a Lochee side who turned the tables on them with a devastating second half display.
And Bo’ness boss Paul Ronald, who kept his players inside for half an hour after the game, was not a happy man. “That was a really poor performance from us. The players are hurting in there because the crowd were criticising them, but they have to take that on the chin.
“They like the praise when it’s due so they must also expect to take the shouts when it’s not good. We let the supporters down and they don’t deserve a display like that.”
The game got off to a cracking start with both sides pushing hard for an opener. Bo’ness were on top for the first 15 minutes but a terrible mistake from Stuart Hunter opened the way for Lochee. His pass back to keeper Scott Christie was short. Christie came racing out from his goal but fouled Jon Voight in the box. Christie was sent off and Bo’ness had to replace central defender Steve Reilly with substitute keeper Jordan Allen.
Allen immediately faced a spot kick from Graeme Hay but he saved brilliantly, pushing Hay’s effort over the bar. And it was the ten men of Bo’ness who took the lead. An Ian Nimmo free kick from the left was slid over the line at the back post by John Stewart and Bon’ess dominated until half-time.
Lochee came out for the second half with a different attitude. They pushed from the start and grabbed an equaliser with only five minutes played. A free kick from the right found Graeme Hay at the back post. His effort came back from the underside of the bar to Phil McGuire who slammed the ball home. Ten minutes later and Lochee were in front. Craig Robertson took a corner from the right, again to the back post where Hay, all on his own, headed the ball into the net.
Lochee were now rampant and a third goal came only a couple of minutes later. Jon Voight slipped a great ball through to Grant Lawson who strode forward before sliding the ball past the keeper. The early season form enjoyed by Boness was now a distant memory as Lochee ran riot, adding a fourth goal with five minutes to go. A long clearance from the heart of their defence caused havoc. Goalkeeper Jordan Allen came out form his goal line shouting to claim the ball. The home defence left it to him, but he mistimed his run allowing Voight to head over him and into an empty net.
Bo’ness tried hard to get something from the game and did pull a goal back deep into injury time, substitute striker Kevin Watt latching on to a Chris Hamilton cut back, but by then it was too late and the referee blew for time in a game Bo’ness will want to forget. However, they have a huge game coming up next Wednesday against the side who now look favourites to take the title for the first time, Bonnyrigg, and manager Ronald has a big job to lift the players before that game.
“We have to dig deep now,” he added, “but until we are sure we can’t win the title then we’ll keep fighting. Saturday’s game was a shocker and we can’t play like that next week. We lost goals from set pieces and we shouldn’t be doing that. We now have four games to go and that’s twelve points to play for. It’s now up to us to fight for those points and hopefully get the result we all want.”
For Lochee manager Paul Ritchie it was a terrific result and one which means they will be playing Super League football next season. “There was pressure on us in the run because we were still in danger of being relegated, but this result means we’re safe..”
Bo’ness: Christie, Snowdon, Hunter, Gibb, Reilly (Allen), Canning, Hamilton, Nimmo, Walker (Plenderleith), Donnelly, Stewart (Watt). Subs: Shields, Hay, Gribben, Duffy.
Lochee: Vanderley, Brown, McGuire, Hay, Bannon, Cargill (Irons), Grant, Robertson (O Leary), Gallagher, Voigt, Lawson. Subs: Kirk, Blackwood, Krobot.