Bathgate Thistle 5 v 1 Blackburn United
Monday 27 April – League – Bathgate Sports Centre
Starting Line Up; Jake, Leon, James, Ross, Sean, David, Sam, Lewis, Connor, Elliot, Bailey. Subs; Harry, Aidan, Bally
There’s a lot to be said about the merits of summer football and Monday evening’s match proved a case in point. Parents watched our matches last week dressed in t-shirts. This week, the referee had to temporarily suspend play until a passing hail / snowstorm passed.
Bathgate versus Blackburn are always competitive matches and this is always a fixture to look forward to. The blues have a realistic chance of finishing 3rd in the league table but they’re going to battle for every single point with some tough opponents ahead. Thistle took the lead in 3 minutes following two consecutive corners. Connor hit a low hard corner to the near post, which deceived the Blackburn keeper. The keeper reacted late but got a foot to the ball, which caused a goalmouth scramble, eventually Bailey was able to get on the end of it to prod it over the line.
On 12 minutes Bathgate doubled their lead with first class counter attacking football. Blackburn won a free kick just outside the Bathgate box but the Thistle defenders are first to react. The ball is played to Bailey in the middle of the pitch and he holds off a couple of challenges to play in Connor who has made up lots of ground on the left wing. Connor’s pace leaves defenders in his wake and he expertly finishes with a left foot strike past the keeper to make it 2-0.
Blackburn are very much still in the game, their number 8 has lots of energy up front but he is just not getting the support from his team mates who are not able to get forward quickly enough in sufficient numbers. On 20 minutes, Jake makes a great one on one save when it looks like a certain goal. Blackburn win a corner from the play and it’s accurately driven in to the box right on the head on a Blackburn player who heads it home. 2-1 game on.
Thistle respond immediately and Harry latches on to a poor clearance, he takes the ball into the box and rounds the keeper to score for the blues 3-1. On the stroke of half time Bally shows some lovely footwork to create an opportunity for Harry at the edge of the box but the ball takes a deflection of a defender and falls at Bailey’s feet. He still has some work to do to, but he accurately finishes to put Bathgate 4-1 up at half time.
The sky darkens ominously at the start of the second half and it’s not long before a biting cold wind blows across the pitch and the rain, then snow and finally hail hit hard. The elements are proving to be a far harder opponent for each side rather than there opponent. The referee does the sensible thing and takes the players off the pitch to shelter under the trees for 5 minutes respite.
The boys by now are soaking wet and the biting cold is proving difficult to deal with. Rolling substitutions are being made to keep warm / recuperate. As such the quality of the game is impacted and there isn’t the same fluency we’ve seen in the first half. Bathgate are the better side and are on top, but are only able to score one more. Harry is on hand at the back post to neatly finish a loose ball from a Bathgate corner. The referee blows for full time and both sides post a hasty retreat to the warmth of the changing rooms
|1||Broxburn Ath Colts||13||13||0||0||26|
|2||Armadale Falcons Calcio||14||12||1||1||25|
|10||Murieston Utd Blue||15||1||1||13||3|