The Scottish Cup tie against Spartans was eagerly anticipated by the 2002s. The starting eleven; Daniel, Graham, Callum S, Luke, Adam, Aidan, Jack, Callum G, Owen T, Shea and Shaun.
Bathgate started this cup tie in their usual manner, in their opponents half!
As early as the 2nd minute the first save was brought out of the keeper. Some fine midfield play between Graham and Shaun allowed Callum G an early run at goal. The goalie was sharp enough to run out and produce a fine save.
Callum G was enjoying the freedom of the right and was receiving some hefty tackles.
A 10th minute free kick, awarded after another heavy tackle on Callum G, was taken by Shaun. The ball was around 15 yards from goal, 2 yards from the edge of the pitch. His left foot shot thumped off the bar and out for a goal kick.
In the 11th minute, Aidan collected a midfield ball. A slick pass to Callum G and he’s off towards goal like an arrow to a bulls-eye. His well struck shot hits the post and lands in the keepers arms.
Spartans first venture into the Bathgate half arrives in 15 minutes. A free kick comes through the centre of defence, however, Callum S shows his usual composure, blocking well and sending the ball back into Spartans territory. Owen T picks up the ball and sends a ball through to Adam but this attack is thwarted by Spartans.
In 24 minutes, Shea sets off down the right wing. When he reaches the goal line, he cuts back to Callum G, who lays the ball to Shaun. Shaun looked likely to score but the ball sails over the bar.
Bathgate pressure was relentless. Their interplay was intricate and thoughtful, wasting few passes. However, all their influence was lost when Spartans managed to break-out.
The ball broke loose in 25 minutes and was picked up by Spartans. The Bathgate defence were unusually slow to react to a through ball and the Spartans forward was off towards goal. His low shot to his right tucked just inside Daniel’s lefthand post. A dejected Daniel’s first touch was to pick the ball out the net, 1 – 0 to Spartans!
It was obvious Bathgate were not going to let this set back deject them, as the game was constantly played for the next 5 minutes in Spartans half. Their effort was compensated in the 30th minute.
Strong play by Owen T and Shaun on the left allows Shaun to pass to Graham. The ball is perfect and Graham takes it in his stride, letting fly from 30 yards into the net, 1 – 1.
HT 1- 1
Their half time team talk was obviously very motivational. Directly from the kick off, the ball was taken down the right, laid off to Shea, who passes to Callum G and Bathgate now lead 1 – 2.
Bathgate now have a determination and the pressure now is constant and is further rewarded in the 5th minute.
Strong play by Shaun and Adam, neither of them being intimidated by the strong challenges, allows a prefect pass to be released to Shea. Shea keeps calm and scores low into the bottom right corner, 1 -3.
Jack, who had been distributing the ball well, persists in midfield, then releases Shaun on the left. Shaun crosses low across goal and in the fifteenth minute, Callum G taps-in for 1 – 4.
Spartans were still trying to make a game of this tie. However, anytime they come through Callum S, Luke and Graham are more than capable of defending of the highest calibre.
Ciaran comes on for Daniel in goal.
A quick free kick from Adam in 20 minutes and Shaun runs in from the left. His shot going just wide.
The 22nd minute brings Lewis, Owen S, Nathan and Callum M on as subs.
Immediately after coming on, Lewis picks up the ball and shoots. His shot is blocked and the loose ball is collected by Nathan, who fires high.
Aidan tackles a midfielder, then releases Owen S who runs in on goal. The keeper is quickly off his line and manages to block Owen’s shot.
Bathgate pressure from midfield continues and in 25 minutes, Graham passes to Lewis who passes to Nathan, who strikes a fine ball in for 1 – 5.
A short pass back brought Ciaran into action unexpectedly. Ciaran was quickly off his line to engage with the forward. The ball breaks and the Spartans forward strikes the ball towards goal. However, this time lady luck is with Bathgate, as the ball strikes the post and rebounds into Ciarans arms.
The final action is started by Callum S in the left back position. There were several passes in midfield, with the ball finally going forward for Owen S, who passes perfectly to Nathan to finish for 1 – 6.
Another fine win, which needed a lot of strength and determination from all the Bathgate boys.