League leaders Bo’ness face Newtongrange

Former Livingston player Steven Hislop, left, is fit again for Bo'ness and available to play
Former Livingston player Steven Hislop, left, is fit again for Bo'ness and available to play
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Bo’ness manager Alan McGonigal is desperate to see his league leaders maintain their perfect start to the Super League season.

The Newtown Park side have won all three of their games, conceding only one goal in the process. However, they face a stern test of their credentials tomorrow when they host 
newly-promoted Newtongrange, whose only dropped points so far came in a goalless draw with Bonnyrigg, in which they played an hour with ten men.

McGonigal said: “We’ve got off to a good start this year, but it’s very early days. Newtongrange have had a good start to their campaign, so the game is well set up. Both sides will be going for the win.

“I’m looking for consistency in our performances every week. It’s no good playing well for three out of four games. We need to build up a momentum and keep playing at a high standard.”

After such a good start to the season, it is inevitable that Bo’ness fans will be eagerly awaiting the derby matches against champions Linlithgow later in the season. McGonigal, however, said: “I’m not even thinking about the Linlithgow games. I’ll let the supporters worry about them.”

McGonigal can call on a full-strength squad tomorrow, with veteran striker Steven Hislop available again after a back injury. The former Ross County, Inverness, Livingston and Raith Rovers forward is relishing the prospect of facing a club close to his heart this weekend.

He said: “Newtongrange were my dad’s team and he still has a lot of friends there, so we’re looking forward to meeting up with the supporters we both know from his days there.”

Hislop knows, with his side having made such a strong start, he will have a job on his hands forcing his way back into the starting line-up. “The lads have had a great start to the league,” he said. “We’ve been scoring a lot of goals, the same as last season, but the big difference this season is that we’ve tightened things up at the back and conceded a lot less. Hopefully I’ll get on the field tomorrow, but the gaffer has brought in a lot of talent and the competition for places is fierce. Everyone’s on their toes making sure they’re fit and ready for action. It’s a big game for us.”

Elsewhere in the Super league, Linlithgow face a tough test at home to Kelty, who have bounced back from a poor start to their campaign. Linlithgow were forced all the way last week against Ballingry in a sign that they won’t have it as easy as last season.

Bonnyrigg will be hoping to kick-start their title bid after drawing three of their first four games. Such form won’t be enough to win them the race for the flag come May, so they will be hoping to get things going tomorrow with victory at home to Lochee United, a game they should be expected to win.

Musselburgh are in Armadale looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat at home to Broxburn, but, it will be a real test for Davy McGlynn’s men. Volunteer Park is tight and boss Jim Henderson uses that to his advantage. Teams take time to get used to Armadale’s pitch and by then it’s often too late.

Broxburn are at home to Super League new boys Ballingry and on a high after beating Musselburgh last Saturday. Burn boss Steve Pittman believes his side have the ability to win the title, and so far this season his optimism hasn’t looked misplaced. No side has dominated them and if they continue to take points at places like Musselburgh, then they could be in the shake-up at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Broxburn have placed striker Lee Johnston and goalkeeper Charles Clark on the transfer list.