Grange 2 v 6 Bathgate Thistle

14 March 2015, Zetland Park, Grangemouth.  League Match

Line Up; Jake, Leon, James, David, Scott, Sean, Connor, Bally, Sam, Bailey, Harry.  Subs; Lewis & Ross

Aidan is out today ill, but otherwise the coaches have a full squad to choose from.  The match kicks off late after a mix up over the pitch.  When the game does get going, it is on a surface that is only marginally more firm than quicksand.  Before the match, the coaches emphasized the need to keep the ball moving today, the surface isn’t going to allow elaborate dribbling or short passing.  Nevertheless the boys are keen to get back into action.  This is just the 7th league game for Bathgate this season, less than any other side in the league.

Grange make a bright start to the match with the first attack, but it is broken up by James.  Bathgate quickly take control thereafter, and the deadlock is broken after just 3 minutes; a burst of speed sets Connor off down the left, he cuts inside and shoots hard and low across the Grange keeper to net in the far left corner.  The blues go 2 up after 9 minutes when Sean finds Bailey with a great pass, Bailey rounds the keeper and slots it home into any empty net.  Grange 0 v 2 Bathgate.

Connor looks to be in top form today, he sends in a great cross with lots of pace on it and the Grange defender can’t do anything but deflect it into his own net for an OG, the Blues are 3 goals to the good.  Bally’s doing some great work on the opposite wing and constantly probing the Grange defence, he slides the ball to Bailey who has two shots on goal, both are blocked but the ball falls to Harry at the back post who knocks it home.   Grange 0 v 4 Bathgate.

Connor and Harry combine to score again, but the referee disallows it because of offside, that was a close call.  Bathgate maintain their momentum and just past the half hour mark, Bailey dribbles his way into the box and shoots.  The keeper gets a hand to it but can’t prevent Bailey from following up and scoring.  Bathgate are now 5 up.

The referee blows for half time and it;s Grange 0 v 5 Bathgate

With just 1 minute into the second half, the pitch plays it’s part in the next goal. Players on both sides have been struggling to control the ball on the uneven surface, and the ball takes a freak bounce to hit a Bathgate defender’s hand.  The free kick is just outside the box and it is hit with precision and power into the top left hand corner.  Jake does well to even get close to it.  Grange 1 v 6 Bathgate

Bathgate are piling the pressure on now and the Grange keeper is the busiest player on the park, but the blues just can’t seem to find the net to further extend their lead.  Against the run of play Grange break forward, the Grange striker finds himself 1 on 1 with Jake who makes a great save but he can’t prevent the striker from getting to the rebound to score a late consolation goal. When the referee blows the final whistle it’s Grange 2 v 6 Bathgate.

In the end, it was a convincing win for Bathgate.  The pitch was far from perfect and the tempo dropped a little in the second half but the boys played well and it is a valuable 2 points on the board. Well done


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