2002s Regional Cup V Hutchison Vale at Meadowbank

Starting 11: Daniel, Graham, Callum S, Luke, Adam, Aidan, Jack, Callum G, Owen T, Shea and Shaun.

After last week’s welcome win in the Scottish, it was back to Regional Cup business for the Bathgate boys.

The early pressure in this game, as in most, came from Bathgate. Shaun collected a free kick on the left wing. He took on the defence, beat three defenders before being upended. It didn’t look good for the team when Shaun limped off 2 minutes later. Unfortunately, Shaun would take no further part in the game. Nathan came on and Callum G switched to the left.

In the 7th minute the Bathgate defence, usually so strong and sure, was all at sixes and sevens. The outcome of wrong decisions and indecisiveness was a penalty to Hutchie. The kick was taken to Daniel’s left. Although Daniel managed to touch the ball up with his left hand, the ball hit off the underside of the bar and into the net, for 1 – 0.

Two minutes later Bathgate were awarded a free kick 25 yds out and 5 yds in from the touch line. Adam carried out his usual assessment of the situation and we expected the ball to thunder into the net. However, Adam didn’t connect in his usual assured manner and the ball sailed over the bar.

In the tenth minute, Owen T picked up the ball after some good left wing play by Callum G. Owen T then slipped past a defender, letting fly with a fine shot which the keeper held well.

Another set of misfortunes beset the defence in the 14th minute. This let another Hutchie attack through and a fine finish from the Hutchie forward doubled their lead to 2 – 0

It was now the Hutchie show, with their defence solid and their midfield supplying some excellent balls through to their eager forwards. Their terrific play, In the 17th, showed Daniel was still alert as he collected a strong shot to his left.

The Hutchie pressure continued and in the 28th minute Daniel had a fine one-on-one which he pushed to his right. Callum S swept the loose ball clear.

From the Callum S clearance Bathgate built up a good attack. Shea showed some confidence by taking on several defenders. However, the Hutchie defence were strong and the attack was brought to a halt.

Luke was looking strong again in defence. His tackle in the 31st minute took the ball from an attacker and brought him into some space in the midfield. He released Callum G on the right who ran up the line for 40 yds. However, more strong defending from Hutchie and the ball was over the goal line for a goal kick.

Jack was frustrated as most of his tackles were being awarded as free kicks to Hutchie. Aidan was working tirelessly and showing himself in all corners of the park. Graham was assured and Callum S was composed. All this hard work, from all the team, finally paid a dividend for the Bathgate boys.

In the 33rd minute, an Adam throw-in on the left was tapped back to him around the half way line. Adam surged forward for some 10 yds and then let fly was his lethal left foot from 30yds. The ball flew across goal and bulged into the far side of the net for 2 – 1.

HT 2 -1

The late first half goal and the coaches’ half time team talk brought the Bathgate boys out in a stronger frame of mind. The midfield, defence and attack were working as a unit for the first time in the game. However, another setback happened when Luke took a knock and had to be taken off, bringing his game to an end. Jamie came on and was competent in all he was asked for the rest of the game.

Just when it looked like the Bathgate boys were going to position themselves for a fightback, a sucker punch came their way in the 10th minute. A soft corner was conceded on the left. The corner was taken quickly with the ball flying into the centre of the box. The only player who wanted the ball was a Hutchie player, who rose above the defence unchallenged, heading in for 3 – 1.

In 15 minutes, Nathan took a right wing corner which flew across the six yard box, just missing the outstretched Owen S and Lewis.

The final significant Bathgate attack came in 25 minutes. Adam and Aidan combined to release Lewis, whos’ fine shot brought an excellent save from the underworked Hutchie goalie.

Ciaran, who had replaced Daniel, showed some fine positioning, making a couple of good saves in a ten minute period.

The team have had a relatively easy run for some weeks now. However, the players must listen to their coaches and ensure they put in the hard work needed on the training field. They also have to concentrate for all the game, showing 100% commitment throughout the game. Otherwise, they’ll always find it hard when they come up against strong opposition.

FT 3 – 1

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