Striker shortage has cost Bo’ness Utd dear

Allan McGonigal
Allan McGonigal
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Bo’ness United boss Allan McGonigal feels his side would be sitting top of the Super League table and closing in on the title if they had a 20-goal-a-season striker.

The defending champions are still in the hunt for top spot, although leaders Kelty Hearts know that three wins from their remaining three fixtures will secure their first Super League crown. Kelty have yet to host joint-second Bo’ness, but even a win for the BUs in that match might not be enough to retain the title, given they have another six must-win games.

If Kelty win the title, McGonigal will have no qualms about it, but he is adamant that goals are all his side have missed this season, given they’ve recorded 11 clean sheets from their last 12 league matches.

“If we had a striker this year who would’ve scored 20 goals plus then we would’ve been winning the league,” he said. “For whatever reason, whether it be illness or injury, my strikers haven’t scored the goals that we would’ve expected them to.

“We’ve punched above our weight in terms of us not having that type of player to score a lot of goals. The other teams around us all have big goal-scorers and we just haven’t had that this season. We could still beat Kelty and not the win the league because it could all go down to goal difference. If they do win it, it won’t be down to luck, it will be down to them being the best and most consistent team.”

McGonigal has enlisted the help of close friend Steve Pittman, who recently ended his six-year spell as manager of Broxburn Athletic, to identify signing targets for the remainder of the current campaign.

“We’re probably looking to bring in two strikers, maybe three, two midfield players, a defender and a goalkeeper,” said McGonigal. “We need to bring players in and freshen the squad up. Hopefully we can find the missing pieces of the jigsaw. I can’t knock the players in how they’ve done, we’ve just not had a striker that’s scored that many goals.”

Bo’ness are without defender Stuart Hunter and winger Nicky Walker for the visit of Lochee United tomorrow. The duo both have hamstring injuries and might not play again for the BUs this season.

Elsewhere in the Super League, Junior Cup finalists Musselburgh Athletic travel to Fauldhouse United, while Penicuik Athletic will be looking to get back to winning ways after two defeats when they host Hill of Beath Hawthorn, and 
Bonnyrigg Rose visit Sauchie.