Bathgate Thistle 0 v 3 Victoria
15 March 2014 – Venue – Whitburn Academy
Team; Jake, Ryan, Ross, Shaun, Leon, Ben, Bally, Robbie, Connor, Aidan.
Subs; Harry, Danny, David, Scott, Sam
The pitch at Simpsons is off, so the match is being played on the artificial surface at Whitburn Academy. The pitch looks massive and the strong wind is going to have an impact on the game today. The teams last met in the second fixture of the season and Bathgate were the better side. We should have won on that occassion, but Victoria scored with the last kick of the ball to get the draw.
The match kicks off and Bathgate make a positive start, the early pressure forces two corners in succession. Lewis is the first to get a chance after good build up play between Aidan and Robbie. The next chance fails to Aidan who manages to edge in front of the last defender but the keeper rushes out to collect the ball.
The game is being played at a fast pace, unfortunately no one is able to put their foot on the ball to slow things down. As a result it’s a bit like a tennis match with the ball going backwards and forwards with neither team in possession for anything more than 3 passes
Victoria go close from a free kick, which is given for obstruction at the edge of the box following a corner. Their number 14 strikes the ball well but it’s just over the ball.
Robbie made a big difference to our midfield in the last match and he picks up the ball on the half way line and bursts forward with a superb run. He beats several players and gets to the edge of the box, but it’s one too many and he loses the ball before he can get a shot away.
The ref blows for half time and it’s 0-0. Bathgate have had more possession but haven’t been able to make any clear cut scoring opportunities. Both teams are committed and pretty evenly matched but most of the play is in the centre of the park with very few chances to either side
There are a couple of changes at half time, Ben makes way for Scott and Lewis is replaced by Sam. Within the first 5 minutes of the second half, Bathgate win a free kick. Connor takes it and flights it to the back post. The Victoria keeper comes off his line and gets a hand to it to take it off Ryan’s head.
10 minutes in to the second half and Bathgate make a couple of subs; Aidan and Ryan come off to make way for Harry and Danny. It’s marginal but Victoria are the stronger of the two sides at the start of the second half.
Goal – Victoria break the deadlock after 57 minutes. It comes from a corner, Jake makes a save but the Bathgate clearance falls to a Victoria player on the penalty spot. He calmly side foots it home into the corner of the net, it’s a great finish. Bathgate Thistle 0-1 Victoria.
Goal – It’s 2 in 2 minutes. A misplaced pass on the half way line falls to the Victoria No 14 who bursts through the Bathgate defence and chips Jake for goal number 2. That was a cool finish under pressure.
Bathgate change tactics and go to 3 at the back to try to salvage something from the game. Leon breaks forward in to the box and wins a corner. Bathgate win a second corner and Robbie knocks it on to Sam who has a strike on goal, but it’s only our second strike of the entire half. The Victoria defence are working well together to break down Bathgate attacks and limit opportunities. They aren’t allowing Bathgate any space.
Goal – Victoria have most of the possession now and add a third goal. They pounce on a short clearance and stick it away. It’s a bit harsh on Bathgate. The statistics tell the story though, Bathgate only manage 3 strikes on goal in the second half. Unfortunatley, none of these troubled the Victoria keeper.
It’s been a topsy turvy season, our last game saw our best performance, but today we failed to live up to expectations and didn’t reach anywhere near the standards we set in the last game. You win some, you lose some!