WEST LOTHIAN YOUTH LEAGUE: Thursday 5 May, 2016, Forth Sports Centre
A RESILIENT display and some fine first-half goals saw Bathgate take three points from a potentially tricky midweek visit to Forth. The victory propelled the West Lothian club to second in the league table as their fine recent run of form continued.
Jay opened the scoring only minutes into the match with a beautiful lofted finish from Dylan’s through pass. However, Forth quickly equalised. John produced a fine stop in the Bathgate goal but the goalkeeper couldn’t prevent the ball spinning up and over his head and into the empty net.
The visitors were unperturbed at being pegged back and quickly retook the lead. Dylan set off on a driving run to the byline and, from his cutback, Bailey stroked the ball into the far corner of the net with his left foot.
Forth were then awarded a penalty for pushing inside the penalty area, but the Bathgate camp breathed a sigh of relief when their captain’s spot-kick struck the crossbar. Moments later, the game was put beyond the home side.
Leon collected a loose ball just inside the Forth penalty area with his back to goal. Dragging it with the sole of his boot, he turned and took two touches to create space before lashing the goal of the night into the net from around 18 yards. It was his third strike in two games after a double two nights previously against West Fife.
The second half required Bathgate to be stubborn in defence to see the game out. Darren, Sean, Ross, Leon and James were all up to the task. The boys in blue had further chances to score but didn’t convert, whilst at the other end John’s save from a one-versus-one situation denied Forth any chance to get back into the game.