Bo’ness ran out convincing 4-2 winners at home to Ballingry showing great character after being pegged back twice with a couple of debatable penalty decisions. Four super goals, each one better than the last, gave Alan McGonigal’s men a thoroughly deserved three points as they chase Super League leaders Linlithgow.
Bo’ness were fired up for this one and it was no surprise when they grabbed an early lead as Darren Gribben took a slide-rule pass from Scott Gibb before slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the net in the third minute. Bo’ness created chance after chance in the opening ten minutes of the game but couldn’t convert any more.
Ballingry were still dangerous on the break and equalised in the 11th minute with a debatable penalty from the referee. He ruled Stuart Hunter had blocked Marco Andrioni in the box when many at the game were baffled by the decision. Adam Moffat stepped up to send the keeper the wrong way.
Bo’ness piled on the pressure and Ballingry keeper Andy Murphy was in superb form to deny them the lead again.
Then, in the 35th minute, Bo’ness made the breakthrough their pressure demanded. A corner from Robert Sloan on the right was bulleted into the top corner by Hunter.
Bo’ness started the second half the same as the first, piling on the pressure. They had chances galore but Murphy in the visiting goal was holding out again and they were refused a point-blank penalty when Nicky Walker was sent flying. Then, when with the players arguing with the referee, Ballingry broke up the field. Lee Bryce broke into the Bo’ness penalty box and was sent flying by Scott Gibb. The referee blew for a penalty with the crowd going berserk after refusing them at the other end minutes earlier. Moffat kept his cool to score from the spot to bring the teams level again in the 52nd minute.
Bo’ness took the lead again just before the hour mark. Sloan sent over an inviting cross from the right and Moffat headed clear to Darren Gribben some 20 yards from goal. He controlled the ball before sliding a left-foot drive past the keeper.
A single-goal lead had been pulled back twice by the visitors so Bo’ness needed another goal to close the game out. Ballingry though had other ideas and Lee Bryce forced a super save from keeper Connor Wallace to deny them another equaliser. Ballingry’s hopes, however, were dented when Lee Bryce was sent off for with a double booking.
The last and best goal of the afternoon came in the dying minutes when substitute Andy Scott took a ball from Will Snowdon and chipped it into the top corner for a fabulous finish to the game.
McGonigal was delighted with the win, saying: “We played really really well but the referee took a hand in some of the decisions and could have ruined the game for us. We created plenty of chances and had to score really top goals to beat an inspired keeper.
It’s another three points for us but over the piece we deserved everything we got. We had Gribben and Walker out wide for us it paid dividends. Gribben had problems getting here and I told him we weren’t paying for a taxi but he was so determined to play that he asked his neighbour for a lift. That’s the character of the team.”
Ballingry boss Stevie Kay was not surprised with the result. “We had at least four players out and a trialist up front. We knew it was going to be hard but against a team like this we would need to be playing much much better.
“When I took over nine weeks ago we only had one signed player so it’s been hard attracting the type of player we need. But we won’t be playing a side like Bo’ness every week.”
Bo’ness: Wallace, Snowdon, Devine, Gibb, Hunter, Nimmo, Walker, Sloan (Scott), Hislop (Miller), Donnelly (T Jaconelli), Gribben. Subs: Murphy, B Jaconelli.
Ballingry: Murphy, Wilson, Conners, Carstairs, Sinclair (Campbell), Moffat, Fleming, Smith, Andrioni (Leslie), Blackadder, Bryce. Subs: Gordon, McMillan, Allison.