Bo’ness United defender Ross Campbell waited over 20 years for a hat-trick – and then two arrived in the one week.
Forget buses, it was goals the big centre half was after, his dream completed and then some after netting an incredible double treble in back-to-back games against Tweedmouth Rangers and Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale.
“It’s nice to score but it [scoring two hat-tricks] was very unexpected,” said Campbell, ahead of visiting Crossgates Primrose tomorrow. “Around 80-odd minutes into the second game I was just asking folk ‘What is actually happening? How come I’ve scored two hat-tricks in one week?’. It gives me confidence for every other set-piece and I’m now expected score. Andy Shirra [assistant manager] was saying to me the other night that he was disappointed I didn’t score last weekend.
“My dad [Steven] has watched me for 20-odd years and that’s me just scored a hat-trick. The boys have been calling me a goal machine. Anytime I score at training, they are saying ‘Oh, he’s at it again’.
“We have worked on a few things at set-pieces, we’ve mixed it up a bit which has been quite good and the deliveries have been good, which always helps. I’ve always been dangerous at set-pieces but I just happened to get lucky two games in a row; my first and second ever hat-trick both in the one week.”
It’s not just goals Campbell is after, however. The 31-year-old believes the Newtown Park men should be up there challenging for the East of Scotland Conference B title – deemed the toughest of the three sections – in their first season after making the move from the Juniors.
He continued: “Our experience of it [EoS] so far has been quite good. It’s a bit different. One week you could be having a tough week against a decent side and the next you are scoring ten. I think that will take a wee while to get used to.
“We want to win the league this season. We’ve kind of been pegged behind the likes of Bonnyrigg [Rose] and Lothian Thistle based on performance last year. You don’t just want to be in the top five, you want to be the winner. I think that has to be the target, especially for a club and a team like ours. We definitely have the talent to do it so why not?”
Elsewhere, in Conference A, Dunbar United host Peebles Rovers after a shock 4-1 victory away to Linlithgow Rose in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup last week.
Seasiders boss Geoff Jones says they can’t afford to get carried away with that result. He said: “Trying to keep the guys’ feet on the ground has been the most difficult thing – and my own feet on the ground! It’s been a good week but we need to move on. We had a great attitude on Saturday so now we need to replicate that. It’s the replication of that, mentally, that is important because players are strange creatures. I was one myself and, depending on who you are playing, your attitude changes.
“I’ve had a report on Peebles and it’s going to be a right hard game but they’re not Linlithgow and trying to get the players to approach the game in the same manner is going to be the key for us.
“It’s going to be one of those seasons where you just don’t know what you’re facing. We need to make sure that we prepare right for every game.”
In Conference C, Edinburgh United host Camelon Juniors at Paties Road with the home side seeking their first league points of the new season. League leaders Preston Athletic visit Jeanfield Swifts on a high after a thrilling 4-3 victory over Blackburn United in midweek.