Saturday 27 May 2017, 14.30, Newtown Park

Bo’ness United versus Broxburn Athletic in the second semi-final of the Fife and Lothians Cup.

It’s the first time we’ve seen Bo’ness since they won the derby in September at Linlithgow.  They finished the season in third spot in the East Superleague, but well behind champions Kelty Hearts and Bonnyrigg Rose.

A disappointing season in many ways and this was their last remaining chance of picking up some silverware.

Bo’ness reached the semi-final by knocking out Bonnyrigg Rose (on penalties), Fauldhouse United and Linlithgow Rose.

We had been at Broxburn’s game at the beginning of May when they beat Bonnyrigg Rose and they went on to finish the Superleague season in eighth place.

Broxburn beat Bathgate Thistle, Newtongrange Star and Edinburgh United to get their semi-final berth.

There were around 350 in attendance.

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With 3 minutes gone, a Bo’ness cross to the back post found Philp, but off balance, he screwed his shot wide.

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Roddy MacLennan showed good close control in 6 minutes to create some space after he had received the ball from Keast near the Broxburn box, but his low shot was turned wide by Wallace.  There were Bo’ness claims for handball in the Broxburn box after Sloan had taken the corner, but nothing was given.

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Bo’ness won a free kick in 13 minutes after Anderson had jumped into Gemmell.  There was a delay in its taking while the referee had a word with the Broxburn bench.  Sloan curled the ball round the wall, but it was comfortable save by Wallace.

A long ball forward by Gribben in 15 minutes was flicked into the Bo’ness box by Locke, but Linton half volleyed well over the bar.

Roddy MacLennan burst into the Broxburn box in 17 minutes after a poor attempt by Cole to chest the ball back to keeper Wallace.  Wallace pulled down the attacker and while the referee initially seemed to be waiting to see how the play would develop, he blew his whistle for a penalty before Keast knocked the ball into the net.

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Wright stepped up to take the penalty but saw his effort well saved by Wallace.  The Bo’ness bench and fans were not happy with the referee.

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A powerful effort from Sloan from a free kick on the left in 19 minutes was only a couple of feet over the Broxburn bar.

Anderson took a corner for Broxburn in 24 minutes which was cleared as far as Gribben.  He played the ball inside for Cole who smashed a curling shot in off the post to give the away side the lead.

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A very high ball was played into the Broxburn box in 28 minutes by Simpson.  Hunter went up to challenge Wallace and a corner was awarded with the keeper left lying in a heap.

With 30 minutes gone, a one-two between Miller and Gribben almost had the former clean through, but Philp managed to get a foot in.

Bo’ness’ Gemmell picked up a booking in 31 minutes.

Gribben won the ball from Philp for Broxburn in 33 minutes.  With Bo’ness claiming a foul he carried on into the box where he went down.  He got straight back up, but it looked from where I was as if he may have been caught.

An error by Sloan in 35 minutes saw Miller breaking up the right for Broxburn.  With a team mate free at the back post, he tried to get the ball across, but with two defenders to get the ball past, the second managed to get the ball behind.  Broxburn won a further two corners and from the third, Anderson’s ball in saw Miller get there in front of Murphy, but he could only head over the bar.

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A corner for Bo’ness in 39 minutes was won by Campbell, but Baptie headed the ball off the line.  The ensuing melee in the box ended with Broxburn being awarded a free kick.

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With 3 minutes until half time, Gemmell was late with a tackle on Scott and was shown a second yellow card, reducing Bo’ness to ten men.

There was still time before the break for Broxburn to go close to grabbing a second, with Scott’s shot from the edge of the box producing a  diving save by Murphy.

One nil to Broxburn at the break and Bo’ness must have been very disappointed to be behind after a good start.  They could certainly claim to be hard done by in not being allowed to score rather than have their penalty, but Gemmell had looked rash in his challenge to be shown the red card.  Particularly when he had already been booked.  Broxburn had grown into the game and with an extra man and a lead, would have been confident going into the second half.

The opening minute of the second half saw Cole’s long throw into the box give Locke a chance for Broxburn, but Murphy blocked.  The ball eventually came to Miller who fired wide of the target.

It was the turn of the home bench to get a lecture from the referee in 47 minutes.

Murphy was shown a yellow card for handling outside the box in 49 minutes.  He was on the right hand side of it with no-one near him, so it seemed a strange one.  It was unclear from where I was if he had.  Cole took the free kick and the wall of Sloan and Ruari MacLennan split, with the ball going between them, which made Murphy’s save even better as he turned it around the post.

The resultant corner went right across the face of the goal, but nobody could get a touch.

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Anderson found Gribben on the right in 52 minutes as Broxburn came forward.  Simpson got across to block the ball behind.  Baptie’s corner came off the top of the bar before going over.

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A minute later and Anderson struck a stinging shot at the Bo’ness goal, but Murphy got his fingertips to the ball to turn it wide.

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An incredible effort from Broxburn’s Gribben from distance in 55 minutes sailed over the head of Murphy and hit the post and bar before it was cleared.  Gribben insisted it had gone over the line, but the officials didn’t agree.

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A good run by Wright into the Broxburn box in 56 minutes saw him go down under the challenge of Locke and he was shown the yellow card for diving.

Locke was booked himself two minutes later for bringing down Philp around 24 yards from goal.  Keast had a strike from there, but it didn’t unduly trouble Wallace.

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Miller made good progress on the left for Broxburn in 61 minutes and he played the ball inside for Scott who aimed for the far post, but put it wide.

Anderson burst past Sloan on the right in 62 minutes and took the ball round Murphy before firing into the net from a tight angle to double Broxburn’s lead.  It had been coming.

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This prompted Bo’ness to make all three substitutions to try and change the flow of the game.

Ruari MacLennan was booked in 64 minutes for dissent.

Miller had the ball in the net again for Broxburn in 65 minutes, but offside was given.

In 66 minutes, Philp became the next Bo’ness player to be shown the yellow card, for a foul on Locke.  It looked like Simpson joined him in 71 minutes, but I missed it.

Bo’ness attacked in 72 minutes, with MacLennan playing a pass to the right for Keast.  His cross into the middle was acrobatically volleyed by Smith, but it was off target.

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Miller robbed Philp of the ball in the Bo’ness half in 73 minutes and strode into the box, but Murphy blocked his shot and the rebound hit a defender and went wide.

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A great ball by Miller in 76 minutes picked out Anderson on the wing.  His cross found the head of Miller in the middle, but he could only direct it off target of the Bo’ness goal.

In 77 minutes Smith won a header for Bo’ness which sent Scullion running through on goal.  Cole managed to block, but Wallace made a bit of a meal of it and conceded a corner, which was cleared.

With Broxburn’s Linton receiving treatment in 80 minutes, they substituted Scott who seemed to have picked up a shoulder injury.

Broxburn’s Brown played the ball back to Richards in 81 minutes, but his shot from 20 yards was too high.

Broxburn were totally in control and in 82 minutes, Locke went past Simpson and Tierney before cutting the ball back for Miller who cleverly beat a defender before lashing home to make it three.

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Sloan’s corner in 85 minutes was tipped over by Wallace in the Broxburn goal.

A cross into the Broxburn box in 86 minutes was headed at goal by Keast, but Wallace managed to save with his foot.

With one minute left of the ninety, Keast was yellow carded for dissent.

There was one final attempt by Bo’ness in injury time when MacLennan’s shot from outside the box was well taken by Wallace.

A comfortable win for Broxburn who seemed to grow in confidence as the match progressed.  They played some fine football, particularly in the second half, and made the most of the extra man.  There could have been no complaints if they had won by even more.

A bad day at the office for Bo’ness who could point to the penalty decision in the first half as the turning point.  Gemmell’s sending off gave them too much to do and they looked a tired side long before the end.

For Bo’ness, keeper Murphy was the stand-out and it could have been even worse for them without his heroics.  Simpson put in a decent shift and Keast tried hard with little reward.

A lot of successes for Broxburn with Linton and Scott excellent in midfield and Cole and Baptie doing good work as attacking fullbacks.  Miller was excellent in his hold up play and fully merited his goal at the end.

Broxburn would meet Tranent in the final.

Full Time: Bo’ness United 0 Broxburn Athletic 3

Admission: £6

Bo’ness United: 21 Andrew Murphy, 8 Ross Philp, 4 Ross Campbell, 5 Stuart Hunter (Tierney 63), 10 Robert Sloan, 7 Roddy MacLennan (Smith 63), 6 Ruari MacLennan, 3 Jack Simpson, 2 Michael Gemmell, 9 Fraser Keast, 11 Marty Wright (Scullion 63). Subs: 12 Scott Gibb, 14 Conor Scullion, 15 Calum Smith, 16 Ross Tierney, GK Scott Ritchie.

Broxburn Athletic: 1 Connor Wallace, 2 Darren Cole, Gavin, Purves, 3 Ryan Baptie, 7 Darren Gribben (14 75), 6 Michael Linton, 8 Craig Scott (Brown 80), 10 Nicholas Locke, 12 Keiran Anderson, 9 Alexander Miller.  Subs: 11 Michael Brown, 14 Scott Richards, Scott McNaughton, Marcus Miller, Shaun Donaghue.

Referee: Colin Whyte

Programme: None.

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