Bo’ness all but secure Super League title

Bo'ness winger Nikki Walker tries to get the better of Ross Hamilton. Pic: Ian Georgeson
Bo'ness winger Nikki Walker tries to get the better of Ross Hamilton. Pic: Ian Georgeson
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Bo’ness United’s Kieran Anderson compared himself to Manchester United’s former goalscoring super-sub Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after he notched the winner which all but secured his side the Super League title.

The 19-year-old forward struck with five minutes remaining after just coming on the park to keep Bo’ness three points clear of second-placed Linlithgow Rose.

The BUs just need a point from their remaining two games against Lochee United on Wednesday night, followed by Rose on Saturday to be crowned champions. However, their superior goal difference of 12 means they could probably fall to two defeats and still come away title victors.

A delighted Anderson, who took his goal tally to five in the league, said: “I felt I could get a goal when I came on as they were looking a bit tired. I’m more of an impact player than a starter, a bit like Solskjaer. Everyone in the dressing room is delighted.”

His manager, Allan McGonigal, felt the goal wasn’t going to come after his side passed up several chances to open the scoring.

“It was one of those days where we created numerous chances, but they just seemed to be falling by the post. The goalie didn’t have to make many saves and I thought it maybe wasn’t going to be our day.

“All credit to the boys though, what a resilience they have. Kieran’s came up and scored the goal at the end, and you seen what it meant to everybody round the football park; it was just magic.”

Bo’ness started well in Fife and Darren Gribben tested home keeper Stuart Hall from distance on three minutes, before Stewart Devine’s curling effort from the edge of the box flashed just wide.

Nicky Walker then had a great chance to take the lead after Steven Hislop held the ball up before setting the winger free, but a last-ditch tackle from Michael Lee blocked the winger’s strike.

The visitors continued to force the opener, but had to be careful as Hill of Beath posed problems on the counter, with striker Gareth Wardlaw causing no end of trouble for Bo’ness.

Wardlaw was battling well in the air and he could strike a ball well too with an effort from the edge of the box which Mark Peat got down to save.

For all the pressure from Bo’ness, it was the home side who had the best chance of the half on 38 minutes.

Wardlaw beat the offside trap and motored in one-on-one with Peat, but he dragged his shot inches wide of the far post.

Bo’ness created four chances within a minute to take the lead at the beginning of the second-half. Gribben released Walker who tried to shoot under the legs of Hall, but saw his shot blocked. The rebound fell to Robert Sloan on the edge of the area, however a Hill of Beath defender threw himself in front of the strike, before Chris Donnelly’s effort brought a corner, which he headed just wide.

The missed opportunities were beginning to frustrate the Bo’ness faithful, who were well aware that Linlithgow were in command against Lochee, and their mood was almost made worse when the home side broke on the counter with 15 minutes remaining.

Wardlaw broke down the right and crossed for strike partner Greig Smith who was free in the box, but Peat confidently came out to gather.

McGonigal introduced Zander Miller and Kieran Anderson for Hislop and Gribben on 81 minutes and just four minutes later the two youngsters linked up for the winner.

Defender Campbell, himself only 21 years-old, launched a high ball forward which Miller flicked on for Anderson to run onto and the attacker rounded Beath keeper Hall before knocking into the empty net.

Hill of Beath: Hall, Lee, Alum, Dair, Adam, Renton, Wright (Brewster), Adamson, Hay, Smith, Wardlaw (Shaw)

Bo’ness United: Peat, Devine, Hunter, Campbell, Snowdon, Murphy (Craig Scott), Sloan, Donnelly, Walker, Gribben (Anderson), Hislop (Miller)