Saturday 11 January – Petersburn 4 v 3 Bathgate
Starting line Up; Jake, Ryan, David, Cammy, Leon, Ben, Scott, Bally, Sam, Connor, Aidan
Subs; Ross, Harry, Lewis
It’s a freezing cold morning and the artificial surface is covered in a heavy frost but it’s sufficiently thawed by kick off time for the match to go ahead.
Petersburn start the match strongly and go a goal up after just 5 minutes. A neat angled pass enables their striker to beat offside and get in behind our defence. Jake races out off his line and makes a good save, getting a hand to the shot but despite David’s best efforts the striker pounces on the rebound to knock the ball into the empty net.
Our defence are being kept busy and there is very little fluency to the game. Both sides are struggling to maintain possession and play is frequently breaking down.
Bathgate edge their way back into the match and we pull level after 15 minutes. Scott and Aidan combine well; Scott strikes a lovely shot that’s goal bound until a deflection diverts it wide. Connor takes the corner kick, a Petersburn defender makes a great stop off the line to prevent a certain goal. The pressure is starting to build and Scott scores from the resulting corner. He meets the ball at the edge of the 6 yard box and diverts it into the net to score from an acute angle. That makes it 1-1.
Bathgate are on top now and capitalise with another goal just 3 minutes later. Bally makes a strong challenge and wins the ball in the middle of the park. He passes to Connor, who plays in Aidan. Aidan beats the defender and strikes a lovely shot from the left hand edge of the box in to the opposite corner. It’s 1-2 in Bathgate’s favour now and we’re looking good
Leon is taken off after 20 minutes to be replaced by Lewis. He’s in a bit pain after straining his back going in for a header.
Jake’s in good form today and makes a great save from a long range effort at the 22 minute mark. Unfortunately his name goes into the referee’s book on 32 minute though. He gets a yellow card, but he’s taken one for the team by racing out of his box to prevent a good goal scoring chance. The ref blows for half time and Bathgate are still in front 1-2….it’s looking promising
Sub – Harry is switched for Aidan and the second half kicks off. Unfortunately it’s a repeat of the first half and Bathgate lose a goal after just 5 minutes. The Petersburn striker rides two tackles and powers home a shot to bring the teams level at 2-2
Sub – Ross comes on for Bally
Jake makes an outstanding save after 52 minutes. A powerful, looping strike from well outside the box. It looks like it’s in all the way but Jake gets a strong hand to it and prevents a certain goal.
Petersburn go back in front after 56 minutes, they quickly counter attack and shoot on goal. Jake makes the save, but the ball bounces loose and Petersburn get to it first. It’s an easy side foot from outside the box into an empty net. Petersburn are in front 3-2.
Petersburn are high on confidence now and Bathgate are struggling to contain them. We’re not able to hold the ball up to help our defence. They score again to make three in a row. It’s an almost identical goal to the last one. That makes it 4-2.
Sub – Aidan replaces Ben. Harry has a good chance and gets in past the defenders but knocks the ball too far in front and the keeper gets to it first. He gets another chance soon afterwards but this time he keeps his composure to chip the keeper to get us back into the game 4-3.
The goal gets Bathgate going again, it’s exactly what we’re needing time is running out. Bathgate are looking confident again and we’re applying lots of pressure to try to take something from the match. Lewis does well and breaks free down the right, his strike beats the keeper but flashes across the goal, Connor sprints in at the back post but can’t direct it goalward.
The final action sees Petersburn desperately clear the ball from a corner and the referee blows for full time. It’s been a close match and could have gone either way but Petersburn probably edged it, deserving to win. The momentum we were able to build, didn’t last. A lack of rhythm in our passing often resulted in a ball being played forward without finding a Bathgate player, resulting in a loss of possession. Our opponents looked more hungry side, winning the 50/50s and being in the right place to pick up the loose balls.