The Saturday Amateurs went into their final pre-season match having had a decent record so far in pre-season, last year’s Sunday Scottish Cup final team The Harvester being the only team to register a win against them. Thistle however stumbled out of the blocks and whilst always being the side playing the football they never imposed themselves on West Lothian. It was the home side who took the lead, a ball over the top catching out the defence and the strike gave Clark in goals no chance as he fired into the corner.
Thistle responded quickly with a fine goal, a neat succession of passes involving McMeeking, Jack, Davey and Nisbet seen Jack have a chance and he coolly slotted the ball home.
The 2nd started badly for Thistle as they gave away a cheap goal, the defence getting caught too tight and the west Lothian forward robbed Coulter of the ball and fired West Lothian into the lead.
That was about the last time West Lothian had any real sight at goal as Bathgate were awoken from their slumber and took the game to the hosts asserting pressure and moving much better off the ball. The equaliser came when Bathgate were awarded a penalty and Pettigrew took it, just…Southall reacted quckest and the keepers parry was knocked into the net. Thistle made a few substitutions Neil, Craig, Bruce and McKie all coming on and it was from the first, Mark Neil, that Bathgate took the lead some pressing paying dividends giving him the opportunity to fire the ball in. Goals followed in quick succession as Thistle put the foot down and they looked a far busier hard working side in the 2nd half.
Neil Davey was on hand to increase the lead with a sublime chip round the keeper, Davey admitting later he ‘kinda meant it’. The next came from a throw in as Pettigew in the box controlled with his right and volleyed into the top corner with his left. A nice goal from the veteran and took Bathgate’s lead to 3. Substitute Bruce then showed a poachers instinct as he knocked in a cross from Coulter as West Lothian wilted at the back.
The 2nd half rout was completed minutes later when a Bruce shot fell to Jack and at the edge of the box and he took his time and picked his spot to curl the 7th into the right hand side of the net.
A good run out for boys before next weeks big league kick off against Uphall with decent performances from back to front. If we can play with the same energy, hunger and movement as we did in the second we’ll do fine.
Goals: Jack (2), Southall, Neil, Davey, Pettigrew, Bruce