August 31, 2013
Score: 1 - 2
Jags Disappoint with Lacklustre Display
LEAFA Premier Division 2
Bathgate went into their 4th match of the season full of confidence having won the previous 3 league games. East Calder were the visitors who have also had a very good start to the season. The match began at a fairly frantic pace with neither side creating anything clear cut in the early stages. With the wind blowing down the pitch East Calder were keen to take advantage of having it at their backs and were pressing high and sending a lot of balls on top of the Bathgate defence.
The first real chance was created on the edge of the Bathgate box but the chance was snatched at and ball flew harmlessly wide when it looked like Clark in goal would be tested. At this point Bathgate were not making any impression as an attacking force and this was giving East Calder the opportunity to keep the home defence deep and continue to put balls into the box from free kicks and long throws. Two throws in quick succession resulted in the ball not being fully cleared and offering openings for shots at goal, the second time it was not passed up by the Calder forward who forced an excellent diving save from Clark in goals.
Approaching the half hour mark and Calder’s pressure eventually told, a ball into the box was controlled by the forward who turned and had a shot which was blocked by Coulter, as the ball spun around it found it’s way back to the same forward who again spun only for the shot to again be blocked by Coulter but seconds later it was third time lucky, Bathgate still hadn’t got the ball clear, Calder made their way to the bye-line, the cut back found the forward 8 yards out, this time his shot beat Coulter but not Clark who made an excellent save only to see the ball get caught in the wind as it spun into the air, the wind carried it towards goal and it was bundled into the net by the Calder player following up much to the annoyance of Lewis who was trying in vain to clear from under his own bar.
The goal seemed to shock Bathgate into life and they were level within 4 minutes, when their first constructive piece of play in the Calder half resulted in Davey winning a corner on the left, Jack took it and McCraw won it only to see his header saved on the line but Davey was on hand to slam the ball home on the stretch from 2 yards. Bathgate took a boost from this and through Davey, Neil and McCraw were beginning to get in behind the Calder defence but the final pass would not come to creat a second before half time.
As the second half started Bathgate were looking to force Calder back in much the same way they had been in the first half, using the wind at their backs but the plan never materialised as Calder got a good foot hold in the game early in the half and built from there. The game was fairly even as a midfield battle broke out but few chances were being created by either side.
It wasn’t until the 65th minute that the first chance presented itself and was taken by the Calder forward. A cross from their right was over hit but was picked up on the left, the ball into the box was deflected into the path of the striker coming from the edge of the box, he hit his shot that first went through the legs of Coulter and hitting the leg of McMahon, who was trying to block, on it’s way to the bottom corner, wrong footing Clark in goals.
Bathgate tried to press on for their second equaliser of the day but the more they tried the harder it seemed to become, it wasn’t until the dying minutes that a ball across the goal offered Park an opportunity that he was beaten to in the box with the resulting corner showing some indecision in the Calder defence that was eventually relieved by the referees whistle to signal a foul. The game ended a few minutes later with Bathgate frustrated by their performance and the result it produced, Calder taking the game 2-1 and deserving of the 3 points.