Bo’ness United 2
Linlithgow Rose 1
BO’NESS boy Ian Nimmo led the wild celebrations in the home dressing-room after this “sweet” Scottish Junior Cup win, then thanked the Linlithgow fans for not giving him a hard time on a day when Andy Shirra was public enemy No. 1 on his return to Newtown Park.
Goals from John Stewart and Stewart Devine secured victory for Paul Ronald’s new-look side in a mouth-watering first-round clash, the change of manager at Bo’ness in the summer bringing a welcome change of luck after they had lost three times to their arch-rivals last season.
The celebrations on the pitch and noise emanating from the dressing-room after the final whistle summed up exactly what it meant to Bo’ness and it was certainly a day to savour for Nimmo, the sponsors’ man of the match.
The midfielder was at Linlithgow last season and enjoyed his time there, but he lives in Bo’ness and jumped at the chance to be among Ronald’s summer recruits after he took over the helm in the wake of Willie Newbigging’s departure.
“It was a sweet win – massive for the club because there is no bigger stage than the Scottish Cup,” said Nimmo. “It is even better for me being a local boy and also having played for Linlithgow last season.” Shirra, who left Bo’ness in the summer to sign for Linlithgow, receieved a hard time from the home fans, every touch being met with a chorus of boos and cries of “Judas”. By contrast, it almost seemed to go unnoticed by the visiting fans that Nimmo was wearing Bo’ness blue.
“I did feel a bit bad for Andy at the start, but when you are out on the park you don’t really hear anything,” he added. “I had a good bond with the Lithgae fans last year, but it was time for me to move on and it has been a good move.”
Having been denied by the crossbar and generally been the sharper side, Bo’ness deserved the half-time lead given to them by Stewart, the former Aberdeen kid steering the ball home after Nicky Walker had capitalised on a lapse by the experienced Scott Walker.
By the same token, it was no more than Linlithgow deserved for their lively start to the second-half when they equalised through Tommy Coyne, who got on the end of a Mark Tyrrell free-kick to score with a glancing header.
But the home side secured victory when Devine scored with a free-kick that took a wicked deflection, though it was difficult to disagree with Linlithgow boss Davie Baikie, who felt it had been awarded incorrectly by referee Andrew Dallas on a day when the son of former top referee Hugh was definitely card happy.
It was no real surprise, then, that the game didn’t finish with a full quota of players on the pitch, though the straight red cards handed to both Jay Shields of Bo’ness and Linlithgow’s Paul Hagan after a second-half altercation were probably a bit harsh.
Coming hot on the heels of a 4-0 win at Fort William in the SFA’s version of the Scottish Cup, this result indicates that Bo’ness look to have made a shrewd move in appointing former Queens Park player Ronald. “It is a great result for the club,” beamed the Bo’ness boss. And the noise being generated in the home dressing-room? “If it was a game of tiddlywinks, I think the boys would be happy if they beat Linlithgow,” he added.
Bo’ness United: Christie, Snowdon, Devine (Reilly 84), Gibb, Hunter, Shields, Nimmo (Hay 77), Duffy, Walker, Stewart (Watt 84), Donnelly. Subs: Tarditi, Guy, Ure, Allen.
Linlithgow Rose: Hay, Benton, Nelson, Tyrrell, Walker, Ruari MacLennan (Roddy MacLennan 77), McArthur, Shirra, Herd (Strickland 68), Coyne, Hagen. Subs: Smith, Fleming, Brown, Manson, Allison.
Referee: A Dallas.