The Saturday amateurs welcomed Dyce ITC Hydraulics AFC to Bathgate for their opening home pre-season friendly. It’s exciting times for the amateurs as few changes took place over the close season. Off the park Jamie Lewis has come back in and will join Chair Alan Bishop in shaping the club. On the management side there was always going to be changes as Bathgate stalwart Stephen ‘Stan’ Coulter retired from his player coach role for family reasons. Alan & Jamie wasted no time at all and brought in the experienced Roddy Macdonald and coach Callum Nimmo to work alongside James Drummond and David Bell.
There were some familiar faces in the Bathgate line up but making their debut for the thistle were Grant Macdonald who slotted in nicely and looked the part in both defence and attack. Nicky Miller came off the bench to trouble the Dyce defence and Stuart Wilson made his presence felt with a hand in the 3rd goal. Michael Tugman also made an appearance at the back and looked strong and comfortable on the ball. But it was his performance in the dressing room afterwards that caught the coaches eye….his Wham rendition going down well.
The first half was a hard fought affair with Thistle going up the hill. Chances were slim but there were good spells of football played all over the park at various times.
In the second half Bathgate’s fitness began to tell and the side, who always looked to pass, scored a goal from a set piece. A Precision ball from Nisbet was turned into the net by an unfortunate Dyce defender.
Shortly afterwards the 2nd goal arrived and it was the pick of the bunch. A diagonal pass from defence was played forward and a cross from the right me debutante MacDonald, who stretched at the back post to notch his first goal for the club.
The victory was sealed when Nicky Miller sprung the offside trap before making his way to the bye line to cut back for Mark Neil to (eventually) scramble the ball across the line. 🙂
Bathgate welcomed Dyce back to the Glenmavis Tavern afterwards for a few refreshments and a bite to eat. Bathgate hope to return the favour next year and to visit Dyce in what we hope can be become an annual event.
Good luck for the season ahead from all at Bathgate Thistle CFC.