Broxburn Athletic boss Chris Townsley relishing derby prospect after Covid-enforced lay-off

Broxburn Athletic boss Chris Townsley says a West Lothian derby clash with in-form Linlithgow Rose is the best possible fixture for his side to return to after a Covid enforced layoff.

By Scott Thomson
Thursday, 30th December 2021, 3:34 pm
Chris Townsley
Chris Townsley

The Albyn Park men haven’t played since December 11 with their East of Scotland Premier League clash against Tynecastle forced off a week before Christmas due to Covid issues in both squads.

Broxburn effectively shutdown for the two weeks to minimise the spread amongst their players and coaching staff, before returning to training on Tuesday night.

“We’ve been out of action for a few weeks but it’s going to happen to loads of clubs at some point, you just have to adapt to the situation.

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Gordon Herd

“I don’t see it changing anytime soon,” said Townsley.

“We were lucky before that it didn’t affect us too much. Thankfully all the boys were allright to be fair.

“The situation now is if one of my players wives, girlfriend or partner tests positive then the player will have to isolate.

“I thought we were past all of this, once we were back in and showering we thought we were almost back to normal.

“Hopefully everyone will be quite fresh. We had picked up a number of injuries just because it’s been quite stop-start in terms of a run of fixtures and it caught up with a few boys.”

Visitors Rose will be looking to maintain their title challenge with their 16th win in a row, while Broxburn, sitting in sixth place, are safe from relegation but are motivated to end that run.

Townsley continued: “Linlithgow are the form team, they’ve done great and there is no denying it.

“At the same time, it’s a great fixture for us to come back into. We will need to at our very best.

“It’s a local derby as well so it’s maybe for the best. If it was a mid-table fixture it would maybe be a bit flat, but we can’t afford to let that happen tomorrow or we will be in trouble.

“We know how capable they are and how good a team they are. Linlithgow’s team hasn’t changed that much, they are just on a crest of a wave and they are playing with confidence.

“That’s what I’ve said to the boys, ‘they are still all players that are at our level, they are just playing with real confidence’. We need to try and get after them.

“The motivation now, it sounds a bit bitter, is to stop teams above us winning the leagues or to relegate somebody.

“That is going to have to be our motivation – to take points of teams.

“The players have a point to prove that they should be in my plans for next season.”

Elsewhere, Dunbar United entertain bottom club Whitehill Welfare at New Countess Park.

The visitors can lift themselves off the foot of the table and will be looking to repeat their showing against Dunbar earlier in the season when they took all three points.

In 1st Division Conference A, leaders Haddington Athletic can stretch their advantage to four points over second place Leith Athletic as they face Ormiston in a local derby.