Broxburn Ath Colts 4 v 4 Bathgate Thistle
Monday 4 May – League – Stewartfield Broxburn
Starting Line Up; Jake, Leon, James, Sean, David, Sam, Bally, Connor, Bailey, Lewis, Harry. Subs; Elliot, Aidan, Scott, Ross
There’s an air of both excitement and trepidation about tonight’s match. The talk before the match is all about tactics and how might Bathgate manage to curtail a strong and physical Broxburn side who ran out 6-1 winners the last time. The sides are scheduled to meet in upcoming league and county cup finals so both sides will be trying to get an edge going into these important games.
Straight from the kick off, Bathgate set out their intent with a high tempo pressing game but it’s Broxburn who take the initiative with much of the play in Thistle territory. On 7 minutes Broxburn break the deadlock. They win a soft free kick just inside the Bathgate half and loft the ball in. It’s headed on and comes off a Thistle midfielder; the ball rebounds straight to the opposition no.10 who clinically finishes it off.
Broxburn can’t believe their luck when they double their lead just 30 seconds later, the Broxburn no.9 clinically finishes with a curling right foot shot across goal. You’ve got to applaud the accurate finish, Jake had no chance. Broxburn 2 v 0 Bathgate. Jake is called in action just 2 minutes later to save at the feet of an oncoming Broxburn striker. Bathgate start to get some momentum, with some neat passing. On 15 minutes Harry wins a free kick after being crudely taken out by one of the Broxburn defenders. Connor steps up to it, he strikes it perfectly and it floats over the keeper and in. Bathgate have pulled themselves back into the game. Broxburn 2 v 1 Bathgate.
Bathgate now have the upper hand and the Broxburn keeper pulls off a stunning save from a Bailey shot. The Bathgate defence are looking strong, doubling up to support one another when needed. Sean is marshalling the Broxburn danger man no.24, David is captain today and he’s sweeping up anything that gets past Leon, James or Sean. Leon is probing down the left flank and getting forward whenever he can.
Lewis goes agonisingly close on 33 minutes with a great strike but the keeper palms it over. Against the run of play, Broxburn extend their lead on 35 minutes. They win a corner and their defender no.6 is first to it. He heads back across goal, the second ball falls to no.2 and he scores from close range. It’s a similar goal to the first one with Broxburn responding quickest to the second ball. Bathgate didn’t deserve that; it’s a sore one on the stroke of half time. A special mention is needed for Thistle’s midfielders; Bally, Sam and Connor are working their socks off to close down space and get the ball back whenever we lose possession.
HT Broxburn 3 v 1 Bathgate
Thistle shake off their disappointment with that late goal before the break and come out energized and it takes just 2 minutes to pull a goal back. Bailey weaves his way to the bye line and crosses in to the 6 yard box. Sam is first to it and strikes towards goal but it’s blocked, it breaks to Lewis and he smashes it in from close range despite the attention of several Broxburn defenders.
Bathgate’s tails are up now and on 41 minutes a Lewis corner is nodded in by Bailey, it’s a great finish right into the top corner to make it Broxburn 3 v 3 Bathgate….what a match! Broxburn are still looking dangerous though and they have a great chance on 41 minutes, their danger man no.24 manages to lose Sean. He beats the last defender and slides the ball past Jake, he turns to celebrate but Sean appears from nowhere to clear off the line. Sean made up an amazing amount of ground to clear that and the sideline reacts as if Bathgate have scored…..incredible.
Thistle have been working really hard and it’s time to make some changes, Harry, Lewis and Sam make way for Aidan, Scott and Ross. Bathgate take the lead for the first time on 55 minutes, Connor leaves the Broxburn no.6 defender for dead and cuts back across the box, Ross has made a run into the box but the ball has gone behind him but he manages to curl his foot around the ball and guide it into the net. The Thistle players go crazy and Ross ends up at the bottom of a huge pile of players. Broxburn 3 v 4 Bathgate. During all the commotion the Broxburn no.24 is booked and then substituted at which he flings his shirt to the ground. The Broxburn keeper also seems to have been hurt in the move which led to the goal and he is removed from the action too.
Broxburn go straight on the attack and Jake pulls off a acrobatic save to tip an accurate, well placed shot onto the post. It’s now going from end to end and Leon tries his luck with a shot from well outside the area. The Broxburn keeper is well beaten but it crashes off the bar.
Just as it’s looking like Bathgate have pulled off result of the season to come back from 2 goals down against the league leaders; then Broxburn strike back. A near post cross is headed in for Broxburn’s equalizer. There’s barely time for the match to restart and it ends; Broxburn 4 v 4 Bathgate
What a breathtaking match; Thistle were outstanding from start to finish, playing the better football and they arguably deserved the result. Great thanks also go to the support on the sidelines, it was a great turnout and you spurred the boys on. Well done everyone. There’s another massive match on Saturday versus Armadale, which gives Thistle the opportunity to leapfrog Petersburn for third place in the table
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