WEST LOTHIAN YOUTH LEAGUE: Sunday 14 August, 2016, Kirkfieldbank

A tense start to the league campaign saw Bathgate emerge narrow winners from their opening-day trip to Kirkfield. Although missing several players still on holiday, Thistle showed excellent resilience to win what was a keenly-contested affair.

Bathgate2Yet they had to come from behind twice in the process. Kirkfield opened the scoring after 15 minutes with a textbook finish at the near post, however Gregor drove home Bathgate’s equaliser a few minutes later. The game was an even match at 1-1 and Kirkfield deservedly moved ahead for a second time after the break.

Bathgate then lifted the pace and again restored parity through midfielder Kieran. Minutes later, a foul on Bailey inside the penalty area saw David step up to score from the spot. Billy put the visitors 4-2 up with a header from Dylan’s cross, and at that point the boys in blue looked to have done enough.

Kirkfield weren’t finished and they reduced the deficit to 4-3 with just minutes remaining. Thankfully, Bathgate saw the game out to begin their 2016/17 league campaign with a hard-earned three points.