WEST LOTHIAN A LEAGUE: Sunday 8 January, 2017, Bankton Community Complex, Livingston

The New Year started convincingly for Bathgate with a 6-2 victory away at Murieston United. Six different players etched their names on the scoresheet in a fairly one-sided affair as the Livingston club were swept aside.

Craig opened the scoring on 16 minutes by charging forward from midfield to convert Gregor’s cross at the back post. Darren then doubled the visitors’ advantage in a similar move, this time getting to Elliot’s delivery from the left.

That put Thistle in command and they scored a third before the interval. James placed an intelligent header in behind the United defence for Bailey, who sprinted in and finished with aplomb.

Sam got in on the act after half-time with Bathgate’s fourth. As Bailey linked with Billy and Leon, the midfielder made a lung-bursting run into the box to prod home Bailey’s eventual cross from close range.

btcfc1The goal of the game was produced by Billy, who came off the bench at half-time. He meandered past four opponents and into the Murieston penalty area before an impish low finish from the tightest of angles.

Some slack play in midfield and defence saw United score twice in two minutes to reduce the deficit.

Nonetheless, the final result was put beyond doubt as full-time approached. Dylan, another Bathgate substitute, got himself on the end of a free-kick to score his team’s sixth goal and round off an impressive overall team display.