Bathgate went into their Centenary Cup 2nd Round tie in good spirits and determined to proceed following their exit from the Logan cup the previous week. It was a bright start from Bathgate, taking advantage of home advantage and pressing the game into the Dunbar half for the majority of the opening period. For all the possession it took around ten minutes for the first real chance to be created, Mark Neil using his pace on the right flank to beat two defenders to a ball in behind, Neil then played a low ball across the face of goal, Lewis making a run to the front post dummied the ball and the in rushing Coulter looked certain to score from 7 yards only to mis-time his shot and basically stop the ball rather than hitting it, the result being a scrambled clearance from Dunbar.
Moments later, Coulter and Nisbet combined on the left before Coulter crossed to the back post where Lewis met the ball on the run and stretch only to see his volley slide past the post from a tight angle. The game was becoming attack versus defence when Bathgate finally took the lead, forceful play from Jack and Love led to some space for Lewis to slide the ball into the box and send Love in on the keeper, he took a touch to steady himself before mis-hitting his shot across the goal, the ball was knocked into the air by the recovering defender only for Pettigrew to meet it with a header on the penalty spot and guide the ball into the unguarded net.
Bathgate were keen to press home their advantage and couple of chances came and went in between a few Dunbar break away’ s that didn’t create any clear chances but opened up enough space to cause concern in the home ranks. It wasn’t long before Bathgate added a second however, Nisbet made his way down the left, he played the ball forward and continued his run inside to the edge of the box where he was found with a return pass, taking a touch to open space he then clipped a shot into the far corner over the keeper’s despairing dive.
A third goal might have come for Bathgate before half time which would probably have been merited, McTaggart making an interception in his own box playing the ball out and continuing his run to find himself with a return pass as he hurtled into the Dunbar box, unfortunately the keeper made a good save to deny what would have been a superb individual goal. Right on the 45th minute Dunbar played a neat one two on the Bathgate right from a throw in, with space the ball was crossed deep to the striker at the back post who headed goalwards only for Clark to make a good save but have no luck as the ball landed straight back at the strikers feet to stroke it home with Clark grounded from the initial save. Half time 2-1.
The second half began with Bathgate determined to put a wider margin between the two teams but it was Dubar who were holding the ball early in the second half without creating the clear chance they were looking for. After about 10 minutes Bathgate began to reassert themselves and push Dunbar back. A couple of chances arrived from corners Coulter having a header cleared off the line and Pettigrew heading over before Mark Neil added a third, winning a high ball on the half way line, Neil flicked it onto Lewis who held the ball up and waited for support, the first to arrive was Neil who had followed his header, as he made the run Lewis weighted his through ball perfectly in behind the defence, Neil ran onto it before slotting it under the keeper for the third goal.
Not to be out done Lewis was quick to add a fourth, good play on the right from McMillan saw his cross only half cleared, the ball was knocked to the edge of the box where Jack played it to Lewis who smashed an angled drive high into the left hand corner of the net. Dunbar played a couple of dangerous balls across goal that may have resulted in more had the defending not been so vigilant before Bathgate rounded off a good day when McMillan hit the bye line and cut the ball back for the in-coming Lyndsey to strike a thunderous shot high into the net for his first and customary goal of the season to make it 5-1.
The final moments saw Bell squander a guilt edged chance from 6 yards as Bathgate progressed to the 3rd round.
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