Linlithgow 0 v 6 Bathgate Thistle
29 March 2014 – Linlithgow Sports Centre
Team; Jake, David, Ross, Shaun, Leon, Sam, Lewis, Ben, Connor, Aidan, Harry. Subs; James, Danny, Scott, Sam, Ryan, Robbie
Bathgate are starting with 2 up front this morning. James is back in the squad and starts on the bench, but Bally is sitting this one out with an injury. It’s cold and misty but Bathgate get off to hot start with a goal after just 5 minutes, Connor flights in a corner and Shaun is on hand with a header to bullet it home. Linlithgow 0 v 1 Bathgate. Linlithgow get a chance to level almost immediately but Jake comes off his line to save at the striker’s feet.
Bathgate are the better side, but passing is difficult on this pitch, the ball is bobbling around making it difficult to bring it down or to control and pass it. There’s a period of 15 minutes of scrappy play with Linlithgow successfully breaking up play but never threatening the Bathgate goal
On the 20 minute mark, Aidan breaks forward into the box but the Linlithgow defender makes an unorthodox tackle with his head while the ball is on the ground and snuffs out the chance.
Connor coolly finishes to put Bathgate 2 goals up on 25 minutes. Harry wins the ball on the half way line and finds Aidan with a neat pass. Aidan has good vision to identify Connor’s run. He has a one on one and he makes no mistake with a side foot finish, it’s a lovely goal
Robbie replaces Sam on the half hour mark. Lewis floats in a corner which hits the crossbar, the keeper was beaten there, that was unlucky. The ref blows for half time and it’s Linlithgow 0 v 2 Bathgate
Harry makes way for Scott as the second half kicks off. Bathgate come out strongly, there’s some great work by Ben on the right hand side who lays it off to Robbie who goes very close with strong shot that is just over. Moments later, Aidan is through one on one with the keeper and he slides it home. Bathgate go 3 up.
Bathgate have been putting in lots of work on set pieces during training. That hard work is paying off as they are threatening to score at every set piece opportunity. Connor’s second corner of the day results in another goal and it’s a stunning finish from Robbie. He rises above everyone on the penalty spot and powers a header to the back post and in to the net, it’s a text book finish. Linlithgow 0 v 4 Bathgate
Bathgate change things around with Lewis, Ben and David making way for James, Danny & Ryan. Shaun is playing in defence today but he is finishing like a striker. He gets his second goal of the game from another corner from Connor. It’s a great volley, the keeper was well beaten.
Harry and Sam are back on with Aidan and Connor taking a break.
Both teams are committed and every loose ball is being challenged for. James has added some grit in midfield and is showing some tenacity to win the ball and build play from midfield. The ball breaks free at the edge of the box and Danny goes close with a great shot, hit low and hard which is just inches wide. 55 minutes in and Bathgate are 6 up. Scott and Harry combine well, the ball breaks free and Harry is first to it, he beats the keeper and puts it over the line.
Leon has put in a great shift and he comes off to be replaced by David
Bathgate are beginning to stretch Linlithgow, Robbie, James and Scott are releasing the ball early. Unfortunately this not only catches out the Linlithgow defence but also the referee who blows for offside when on 2 occasions Harry is very obviously onside.
The referee blows for full time. It’s particularly pleasing for our defence Jake, Leon, Ross, Shaun, David to keep a clean sheet. Overall it’s a convincing win