Robert Sloan glad he didn’t have to go back in goal

Robert Sloan gets a header on target last night. Picture:                   www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
Robert Sloan gets a header on target last night. Picture: www.alanmurrayphotography.co.uk
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Former Hearts youngster Robert Sloan was relieved to be back in his familiar role in the heart of the Bo’ness United midfield last night after a goalkeeping crisis on Saturday resulted in him going between the sticks.

The 31-year-old was handed the No.1 jersey by manager Allan McGonigal away to Sauchie with first-choice goalkeeper Mark Peat injured and back-up goalies Connor Wallace and Stewart Baillie unavailable.

Sloan, who came through the ranks at Tynecastle under current current Director of Football Craig Levein, incredibly kept a clean sheet at Beechwood Park as they played out a 0-0 draw.

Standing at 5ft 8in, Sloan is one of the smallest players at Newtown Park and he admitted the size of the goal frame shocked him at first, he said: “I stood in the goals at Sauchie and I was looking about me and the goals were massive, I was thinking ‘Aw what have I done here’.

“It was pretty last minute as we were just warming up when we found out we needed a keeper. He [McGonigal] asked us who had played in goals before and I said ‘Aye when I was younger’ and I just got told to do my best. It actually didn’t work out too bad and I was quite fortunate that I never had too much to do, I just had a couple of saves to make. I was just doing my best to help the team.

“Luckily I wasn’t needed last night so I was relieved to be back in midfield. I’ve probably not done myself justice in the last dozen games, I should be doing better, so I was happy to be back in the team and contribute to a great result.”

The BUs swept aside local rivals Linlithgow Rose 3-1 to book their place in the quarter-finals of the East of Scotland Cup and will host Jeanfield Swifts in the last eight.

Winger Nicky Walker should have had the home side ahead in the opening minute, but squandered a great chance after he had been played in behind the Rose defence.

Bo’ness were dealt a blow when Darren Gribben was taken off after pulling his hamstring after just three minutes, however they recovered to take an early lead.

Substitute Kieran Anderson swung in a corner-kick which defender Ross Campbell sent goalwards and Ross Philp knocked in from close range.

Philp made it two on 25 minutes with a sublime solo effort. The midfielder shrugged over several challenges from well outside the box, before sliding the ball past Scott Christie and in off the far post from just inside the area.

Linlithgow began the second period determined to pull a goal back as they pressed their hosts, but a great diving stop from keeper Baillie thwarted striker Kevin Kelbie.

Rose were undone by an error from keeper Christie on 66 minutes however, as Anderson’s low strike from 20 yards slipped through his grasp and between his legs for a crucial third. Roddy MacLennan scrambled a goal back seven minutes later, but it was too late for Rose.

Rose boss Danny Smith said: “I was very disappointed with our performance in the first half, because we didn’t show how we can play and we allowed Bo’ness to get a foothold in the game and made it very hard for ourselves.

“The second half was a bit more encouraging.

“I thought if we could’ve got a goal when we were on top we would’ve been back in it, but the opposite thing happened and we lost a third goal.

“You need to get the next goal when you are 2-0 down and unfortunately it went the opposite way. I think that deflated everybody when that happened.”

Bo’ness United: Baillie, Murphy, Devine, Campbell, Leiper, Nimmo, Walker (Cowan), Philp, Sloan, Donnelly, Gribben (Anderson).

Linlithgow Rose: Christie, Thom, McKillen, Tyrrell, Ovenstone, Ruari MacLennan, Kelly, Batchelor, Strickland (Coyne), Kelbie, Roddy MacLennan.