BOB MALCOLM LEAGUE CUP: Sunday 24 April, 2016, Bathgate Sports Centre

Black 4While Bathgate’s recent displays have brought a deluge of goals, their defensive resolve has perhaps gone under the radar. It rose to the fore at the weekend in a strong and disciplined display against Broxburn Athletic United.

Four goals were dispatched at the other end but the determination and diligence of the Thistle defence earned them a deserved clean sheet. With John in goal for the first half and Jake guarding the net after the break, chances of a Broxburn goal were slim. The keepers were expertly protected by a defence including James, Ross, David, Darren and Leon.

Black 5Billy put Bathgate ahead with only a few minutes on the clock, his left foot again producing some magic at the vital moment. Bailey chose his less-favoured right foot for a finish of sheer class for the second goal.

With the outside of his boot, the striker impishly flicked the ball over the advancing Broxburn goalkeeper and into the corner of the net from 18 yards.

Bailey then turned provider for Dylan, who got forward from midfield to take the striker’s pass and stroke a left-footed finish home from ten yards for his team’s third goal.

The impetus firmly belonged to Bathgate as they led 3-0 at the break. Billy wasn’t finished there, though. He sprinted in behind the Broxburn defence with 25 minutes left and calmly slotted the ball home. A 4-0 scoreline didn’t flatter the home side but a clean sheet in defence was just as pleasing.