Bathgate came into this match on the back of a good Scottish Cup win the week before but knew getting back to league action would be a sterner test of the squad. Considering the rain that had fallen in the days and morning off the match it was surprise to everyone to see how little the water had effected the pitch. The match began with both teams testing one another out without much action near either goal. After about 5 minutes Bathgate began to take control in the midfield and make passes forward to bring the strikers into play, this resulted in the first shot of the day being dragged wide by Smith on his first start.
After 12 minutes Bathgate took the lead when Love, slid a pass down the inside left channel for his midfield partner Pettigrew, as he ran into the box his first time shot was blocked by the sliding defender, unfortunately for Cramond the ball stuck between the two players and with Pettigrew the only one standing he took control of the ball and curled it around the keeper and in off the far post for the first goal of the day. This goal buoyed Bathgate and McMillan also on his first start, struck and excellent shot from the edge of the box but the Cramond keeper made a very good diving save at the expense of a corner. It wasn’t long however until Bathgate scored their second, this time McMillan cutting in from the right, collected a pass from Smith and curling the ball around the keeper and into the corner with his left foot.
Cramond up to this point were causing problems with long balls down their left and chasing flick-on’s, twice their strikers seemed to be advancing towards goal only for good sliding tackles from McMahon and McKie to thwart them. They did have a goal chopped off for offside when a free kick was played into the box and headered home from 8 yards. A few minutes later Cramond were reduced to 10 men when Mark Neil got onto a pass down the inside left channel, Neil caught the ball about 5 yards from the bye-line, turned back and cut across the box to make an angle to shoot, as he did so he slipped and the Cramond defender challenged him, winning the ball, unfortunately Mark was in full swing to shoot and caught the defender. A tangle then occurred on the ground before arms were raised, the result being Neil booked and the Cramond player sent off for what the referee deemed as an elbow on Neil on the ground.
A minute or so later Neil was sent through one on one with the keeper by Smith but probably still pumped from the previous incident slashed his shot wide with the keeper advancing. At half time Bathgate led 2-0. As the second half began Bathgate expected a reaction from Cramond but what they got was extremely unexpected as Calrk in the Bathgate goal had been fairly quiet in the first half. Cramond won a corner on their right, the ball was swung into the six yard box where their centre half connected only for the ball to bounce of a Bathgate back spin into the air and evade Welsh on the line. This gave Cramond a shot in the arm and a few minutes later it was 2-2 with the same player connecting from a corner in the same place, only this time there was debate about whether it had crossed the line as Welsh hooked it clear but the referee awarded the goal and within minutes it was 3-2 to Cramond as a third corner in succession was headed home by the same player.
Bathgate were shell shocked and could have lost another goal before the 60 minutes mark had passed. A couple of substitutions were made McCraw and Gilbert coming on but it was around 70 minutes before Bathgate began to react, first Pettigrew failed to hit the target with a free header from a McMahon free kick then McCraw beat the keeper with a close range shot only for the ball to get caught between a defenders legs 2 yards from goal, somehow he kept control of it and knocked it out for a corner with Neil close to finishing it off.
Finally, Bathgate made their extra man count when a corner from the left was cleared to the edge of the box, McMahon mis-hit his shot and it fell for Coulter 8 yards out, he side stepped the sliding defender before slotting low into the corner for an equaliser. A shot from Gilbert to two break away chances offered Bathgate’s best opportunities in the closing stages but a winner would not come and everyone was left to rue a disasters 10 minute spell at the beginning of the second half the turned 3 points into 1.
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