Bo’ness in hunt for all prizes after defeat of Linlithgow

Stuart Hunter rises high above Gary Thom to head clear. Pic: David Lamb
Stuart Hunter rises high above Gary Thom to head clear. Pic: David Lamb
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After disposing of rivals Linlithgow Rose 3-0 in their own backyard, Bo’ness United defender Stuart Hunter believes the Newtown Park men should have their sights on a quadruple.

The big defender was a rock at the heart of a visiting defence, while he displayed his aerial prowess in the home box with a bullet header to give the BUs the lead.

Hunter couldn’t believe Bo’ness were ahead at the interval after a first half in which they were second best. But, after taking the spoils in the derby clash, he reckons they should be challenging for all the top honours this season.

“Bonnyrigg will be a right test for us next week but if we’ve got aspirations of winning the league...” said Hunter.

“With the team that we’ve got we should be trying to win the league, Scottish Cup, East of Scotland and the Fife and Lothians.

“Going in at half-time 1-0 ahead flattered us, I think they were the far better side in the first half, we never really got to grips with the game.

“I thought the second was a completely different game. [Richard] Barnard pulled off at least three or four world-class saves and the boys really dug in.

“They’ve got a lot of fantastic players, a good set up and a good manager, which again shows you the level of achievement to come down here and win 3-0. It sets a marker that that’s the way we need to play.

“Effort has never been a problem on our part, it’s just a wee bit of quality that we’ve been lacking in certain games. I thought some of the boys had it today and to be honest it could have been a lot more in the end.”

Colin Strickland, Roddy and Ruari MacLennan all started for Bo’ness as they returned to Prestonfield for the first time after switching allegiances in the summer.

The BUs made a quick start and could have been ahead inside the first minute if Ross Philp had directed his shot either side of Rose keeper Barnard.

Graham Weir then had a big chance for the hosts but he was denied from point-blank range by on-loan Hamilton Accies keeper Darren Jamieson.

Roddy MacLennan was eager to prove a point on his return to his former club and he came inches away from a spectacular opener on 15 minutes but the ball drifted over.

Bo’ness hadn’t been at their best but they found themselves ahead at the break as Hunter was given the freedom of Linlithgow to power a header past Barnard from Robert Sloan’s corner kick.

They were 3-0 up just five minutes into the second half as two goals back-to-back dealt Rose a killer blow.

Ross Campbell again exploited Rose’s lack of height as he leaped to head in Ruari MacLennan’s corner, before Fraser Keast slotted home less than 60 seconds later as the home side capitulated.

Home boss David McGlynn brought on strikers Tommy Coyne and Conor Kelly in a desperate bid to get back into the match, but for the remainder of the second half it was goalkeeper Barnard who produced save after save to keep the scoreline to a minimum.

McGlynn rued his side’s inability to find the opener in a first period he felt they were in control of.

He said: “We had a ten-minute spell after the second half when we just fell to pieces but the first half was very pleasing. You’ve got to take your chances in big games and we had two or three to go in front.

“To go in 1-0 behind was hard to take.

“Allan [McGonigal, Bo’ness boss] was probably looking round after 50 minutes thinking ‘how are we winning 3-0?’ Because there wasn’t three goals in the game.”

Linlithgow Rose: Barnard, B Donaldson, R Donaldson (Hamill), Mackenzie, Thom, Beaumont, Batchelor (Kelly), Shirra, Weir, Kelbie (Coyne), Gray

Bo’ness United: Jamieson, Gemmell, Donnelly, Millar (Sloan), Hunter, Campbell, Keast, Philp, Strickland (Walker), Ruari MacLennan, Roddy MacLennan (Wright)