Stand-in Bo’ness United captain Stuart Hunter believes their East of Scotland Cup victory can spur the Newtown Park men onto more glory next season.
The BUs ended their long wait for knockout success with Hunter having been on the losing side of three cup finals since he joined the club from Bathgate in 2008. Ironically, his last taste of cup silverware was with the Creamery Park outfit at the end of the 2007/08 season when they won the Scottish Junior Cup.
Bo’ness were dominant for much of the final against a spirited Dundonald Bluebell side who will join Bo’ness in the top flight next season having won the Premier League title.
The final scoreline flattered the BUs, perhaps, as they scored four goals in the final 12 minutes of action – Dundonald’s equaliser breathing life into Alan McGonigal’s side who had struggled to net a decisive second goal.
“It was 2008 since the club last won a trophy and for a club the size of Bo’ness we need to be winning trophies every year,” said Hunter, who wore the captain’s armband with skipper Chris Donnelly on holiday.
“That’s the expectation that we put on ourselves. From the commitment we get from the people that run the club and the support we get from the fans, we deserve to give them at least one trophy a season.
“It’s the finals you want to get to and you want to lift trophies – nobody really remembers runners-up.
“It helps when the manager is trying to attract new players to the club. I seen a lot of faces here that have been linked with the club and because this is the last game, these players are coming here and are maybe undecided about what they are going to do.
“They’ll want to be part of days like this and go out and win trophies. After a long season it’s always nice to end it with a trophy.”
Bo’ness were on the front foot from the off as they forced a corner-kick inside the opening minute. Their first real opportunity in front of goal didn’t arrive until the 19th minute, however. The lively Ross Philp played a quick one-two with Marty Wright on the edge of the box, his shot on target but blocked by a Bluebell defender.
Scott Gibb should’ve bulged the net when presented with the chance from eight yards out but he sent his half-volley over the Dundonald bar.
Dundonald gradually started to carve out opportunities of their own and were competing well against their Super League opponents.
However, they were undone on the half hour mark when Philp was brought down by Jason Quinn in the area and Will Snowdon dispatched his penalty kick with aplomb.
Scott Lawrie had Dundonald’s best chance of the half and should really have done better after Gregg Meikle flicked on, but he snatched at his effort and sent his attempt well wide.
Stewart Devine thought he had doubled Bo’ness’ lead nine minutes into the second half. The left-back cushioned a shot towards the top corner after Nicky Walker’s ball to the backpost, the ball bounced off the inside of the post and rolled along the line, with Philp unable to prod it home.
They were punished as a result with Dundonald grabbing an equaliser on 69 minutes. Callum Young sent a high ball to the back post which looked set to bounce into the net past Scott Christie, but Scott Orrock made sure as he headed in.
That seemed to fire a sense of urgency through the Bo’ness ranks and they restored their lead nine minutes later as Wright’s corner was powered into the net via the head of Hunter.
Philp did well to nick possession off right-back Stuart Wilson on the byline before cutting the ball back for Walker to make it three with six minutes to go.
Winger Walker then made it a quickfire double for himself as he rounded goalkeeper Mikey Couser before rolling the ball into the empty net.
Bo’ness No.1 Christie was taken off with brother Calum Christie given the final minute of action. His first and only involvement led to the fifth goal – the keeper sending a long ball upfield which Fraser Eddington flicked on for Wright, who rolled the ball under Couser.
Bo’ness United: S Christie (C Christie), Snowdon, Devine, Campbell, Hunter, Gibb, Walker, Philp, Wright, Sloan (Eddington), Gemmell.
Dundonald Bluebell: Couser, Wilson, Hendry, Quinn, Mayne, Wallace, Grady, Orrock, Lawrie, Meikle (Anthony), Young.