Bo’ness United defender Stuart Hunter felt the final scoreline flattered the League Two leaders as his side had been competitive for the majority of the William Hill Scottish Cup fourth-round tie.
The Super League champions’ dream of becoming the first Junior club to reach the last 16 fell at the final hurdle, despite being in control for the majority of the first half. They were unlucky to go in behind at half-time, after Darren Gribben had a goal ruled out for offside.
“5-0 is disappointing, but I don’t think it was that type of game,” said Hunter. “I felt we were well in the game for 60 minutes and I think we were the better team in the first half.
“We definitely didn’t deserve to be losing at half-time. We needed to take the chances when we were in the ascendancy and we never done that.”
Centre-back Hunter believes the cup run could be the catalyst to get the BUs back up the league. He said: “We’ve had a wee bit of a stuttering start [in the league], although we’ve done well in the cup competitions. Hopefully the boys will take a lot from this.”
The home side should have gone ahead after just two minutes. Gribben played in youngster Kieran Anderson, but he skied is effort over the bar from eight yards. Nicky Walker then tried his luck from the edge of the box after cutting inside – his drilled shot across goal fired just wide.
Arbroath had been pegged back for 25 minutes but they finally tested Bo’ness keeper Mark Peat when striker Simon Murray got a shot away at the near post, but it was straight at the former Red Lichties stopper.
Peat was at fault just two minutes later however, as Arbroath took the lead. Bobby Linn saw his strike blocked by defender Ross Campbell, the ball bobbled up and a hesitant Peat was caught in two minds and Murray nipped in. Bo’ness thought they had equalised on 35 minutes after Scott Pittman played in Gribben and he slotted home, but the far side linesman raised his flag.
The BUs started the second half much in the same vain as the first, but a crazy eight minutes which began on 67 minutes, inevitably ended their fairy ale cup run. Murray flicked over Peat who was slow in coming off his line and strike partner Paul McManus latched onto it before finding the net from three yards out for Arbroath’s second of the afternoon.
A minute later and it was three. Adam Hunter found Murray who was in acres of space and he struck past Peat from the edge of the box for his double. Then, as Bo’ness pushed forward to gain some reprieve, substitute left-back Craig Johnstone swung a ball down the left wing which Murray ran onto before calmly rounding Peat for his hat-trick. McManus then rounded off the scoring on 75 minutes.
Arbroath boss Allan Moore said: “I think our fitness levels in the second half, and the wee bit quality we have, put them on the back foot.”
Bo’ness United: Peat, Snowdon, Donnelly (Scott), Campbell, Hunter, Nimmo, Walker, Philp, Anderson (Cowan), Pittman, Gribben.
Arbroath: McCallum, Little, McBride, Nicoll, El-Zubaidi, Whatley, Linn, Hunter, McManus (Stewart), Murray (Buchan), Lowdon (Johnstone).