Broxburn urged to take belief from fine win at Bo'ness

Broxburn Athletic boss Max Christie hailed his players for their resilience after they deservedly left Newtown Park with all three points.

Monday, 6th March 2017, 5:30 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:07 am
Broxburns Darren Cole rises to win a header. Pic: Lisa Ferguson

Christie’s side shouldn’t have had to defend so much in the second half, however, after a first period in which they dominated. Bo’ness could’ve had little complaint had the visitors been three or four ahead at the break as they carved open the home defence time and time again.

Broxburn moved up three places to sixth in the Super League as a result of Saturday’s 1-0 victory and Christie hopes it has given his players belief that they can compete with the top four ahead of a trip to league leaders Kelty Hearts this weekend. “It was a good win,” said Christie. “I think we were due that. We’ve been threatening that and finally we’ve done it. I think we’ve got a good team but we had to come and prove it and I think in the past we’ve not been able to cope with the physical side of games, playing your bigger Junior teams.

“We should’ve been about three up at half-time. We were always going to have to defend and we were able to defend our area better. We battled in the second half and we were dogged in defence. They didn’t cut us open and we were always a danger on the break. We should’ve scored more in the second half – we are always a real threat going forward.

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“Hopefully, we’ll take belief and go to Kelty next week and go and get a result there.”

Broxburn showed greater urgency than their hosts from the off and could’ve been ahead inside the opening minute with striker Kieran Anderson through, but he sent his effort just wide. A defensive mix-up after five minutes summed up Bo’ness’ lacklustre start. There was little communication as left-back Ross Philp left the ball for Stuart Hunter but, as he stood off it, Zander Miller nipped in and Philp clumsily brought the striker down.

Anderson’s spot-kick and follow-up were saved expertly by goalkeeper Andy Murphy, but the Bo’ness stopper didn’t cover himself in glory from the resultant corner as Grant Gavin got the final touch to send the ball over the line with Murphy stranded.

Miller should’ve made it two on 24 minutes after a flowing moved kicked off by Anderson’s crossfield pass which Ross Nimmo crossed in, only for Miller to miss the target when well placed.

Nick Locke then looked certain to score just minutes later as Broxburn carved open the home defence again, but he sent his shot wide when through on goal.

The BUs had yet to trouble their former goalkeeper Connor Wallace once but could have been level on the stroke of half-time. Philp’s cross found Michael Gemmell in space but his effort from close range was well stopped by Wallace.

Home boss Allan McGonigal made a double switch at the break as he looked to inject some fresh impetus into his side.

One substitute introduced, Fraser Eddington, almost made an instant impact when he got on the end of Jack Simpson’s pass. Wallace came off his line and the striker slid in, only to screw his shot inches wide.

Colin Strickland thought he’d got the leveller on 64 minutes with a fine chipped attempt with Wallace off his line, only to be denied by the crossbar.

On the counter, Locke should’ve sealed the points after Anderson’s shot from range wasn’t held by Murphy but he sent his header over.

The home side continued to drive forward in the hunt for an equaliser their manager thought they deserved, but couldn’t break down a resolute visiting rearguard.

Bo’ness boss McGonigal felt his side were unlucky not to get a point as they missed the chance to cut Kelty’s lead at the top.

He said: “The way we started the game was poor and they were the better team. I think we showed them too much respect.

“We didn’t start until the 46th minute and played really well in the second half. But for bad finishing, bad luck and good goalkeeping, we would’ve got an equaliser.

“If we had got a goal I think we would’ve gone on to win the game.”

Bo’ness United: Murphy, Gemmell, Simpson, El-Zubaidi (Snowdon), Hunter, MacLennan, Smith (Eddington), Philp, Strickland, Sloan, Scullion (Donnelly).

Broxburn Athletic: Wallace, Purves, Cole, Patterson, Gavin, Linton, Nimmo (Gribben), Scott, Miller, Locke, Anderson (Browne).