Bo’ness United striker Darren Gribben has fired a warning to their Super League title rivals by insisting: “We haven’t even started yet.”
The BUs recorded their fourth win of the season at Olivebank to consolidate their position at the top of the table ahead of Carnoustie Panmure where they currently hold a two-point lead ahead of last season’s champions Kelty Hearts.
The visitors were too strong for a Musselburgh side – who are shadow of their former selves – their starting XI containing just two players that started last season’s Junior Cup final.
And, despite their superiority as Bo’ness racked up three first-half goals, Gribben believes the Newtown Park men have still got a lot more to offer as they look to secure their fourth Super League crown in seven seasons. “We’ve not even started yet this season,” he said.
“Even on Saturday we were just alright, we weren’t brilliant. It’s a hard place to come and we were quite happy with 3-0 – in the second half we never really went for it.
“It’s a bit early [to talk about silverware] so talk to me when we’ve played 20 games and we are still top of the league. It’s everybody’s aim to win something.”
Bo’ness had conceded the first goal in their opening five Super League fixtures, but they were desperate to get off to a better start this time and found themselves three goals to the good inside the opening 25 minutes.
Musselburgh keeper Ross Combe, a recent loan signing from Easthouses Lily, denied Nicky Walker with a fine stop after eight minutes when the former Spartans player looked set to score.
However, Combe could do nothing to prevent Bo’ness taking the lead two minutes later as Gribben outfoxed him with a cheeky Panenka spot-kick after John Hall’s clumsy challenge on the lively Darren Cummings left referee Craig Ferguson with no option but to award a penalty.
Bo’ness’ front three of Walker, Gribben and Cummings was causing a new-look Burgh defence all sorts of trouble and it was no surprise when Allan McGonigal’s side made it two just a minute later.
Ian Nimmo played a high ball out left to Gribben who controlled it expertly first time before sending a low cross to the back post where Cummings was on hand to poke home, as full-back Jack Bruce tried in vain to clear the ball off the line.
The home side came close to a response when Steven Thomson’s 25-yard free-kick was inches away from creeping under Bo’ness keeper Scott Christie’s crossbar, but the hosts soon found themselves three goals down.
Gribben was on hand to fire past Combe from inside the area after Burgh defender Gary Hamilton had seemingly averted the danger, but his clearance went straight into the forward’s path and he tucked home.
Stevie McLeish’s Burgh showed a marked improvement after the break and Bo’ness defender Connor McGregor had to be alert to clear off his line when Hamilton’s header from Thomson’s corner looked net-bound on 55 minutes.
Bo’ness looked content to allow the home side time on the ball and weren’t too concerned with throwing bodies forward as they limited their hosts to few opportunities in front of goal. They did net a fourth five minutes from time though, as substitute Mark Cowan pounced on the rebound from Robert Sloan’s low drive after Combe could only parry the former Hearts youngster’s 35-yard free-kick.
The BUs new assistant manager Steve Pittman, the former Broxburn manager, was delighted with the performance and revealed he joined the club to win silverware after a six-year stay at Albyn Park.
“We played with a good tempo and every one of them was excellent,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time here so far. I came here to win trophies and if I don’t I’ll be very disappointed. I’m looking to win every game we go into and with the squad of players we’ve got here, I don’t see why we can’t win everything.”
Musselburgh Athletic: Combe, Christie, Hamilton, Conaghan, Jamieson, Thomson, Hall, Bracks, Swanney, Bruce, Palizcka.
Bo’ness United: Christie, McGregor (Morrison), Sloan, Campbell, Hunter, Nimmo, Walker, Philp, Cummings (Moutinho), Gemmell, Gribben (Cowan).