Bathgate Thistle 7 v 2 Grange
Saturday 28 March – County Cup – Bathgate Sports Centre
Starting Line Up; Jake, Leon, James, David, Ross, Bally, Sean, Lewis, Connor, Aidan, Bailey. Subs; Harry, Sam, Scott & Gareth
Despite heavy rain overnight, the match goes ahead thanks to the coaches and parent volunteers who went out early to fork the pitch and to ensure that there was no standing water. Going into today’s game, both sides are familiar with one another having met in the league just two weeks ago.
The weather has brightened up considerably come kick off, but the wind is very strong and gusting. Grange win the toss and switch ends in order to take advantage of the conditions in the first half. Jake is called in to action almost immediately, racing off his line to win the ball against an oncoming Grange striker. Bathgate are pushing forward, despite the wind, and win an early corner. Connor takes it and Leon gets in front of his marker to side foot it, on the volley, past the keeper and into the net. Great goal, Bathgate Thistle 1 v 0 Grange
Bathgate are well on top with the vast majority of play in the Grange half. They’ve had 7 corners in the first 20 minutes, but they can’t make the superiority count. The Grange keeper manages to keep out Connor with a great save from a 1 to 1, then the post prevents Bailey from increasing Bathgate’s advantage. Lewis goes into the referee’s book after disagreeing with an offside decision.
It’s not until 26 minutes that Bathgate extend their lead, Connor’s cross rebounds back to him and he executes a skilful shot, with the outside of his foot, across the Grange keeper and into the opposite side of the net. Bathgate Thistle 2 v 0 Grange.
On 32 minutes, Bathgate carelessly lose possession from their own free kick. Grange counter attack down the right wing and the strikers shoots from an acute angle past Jake. The goal was against the run of play but it’s allowed Grange back into the game. Bathgate Thistle 2 v 1 Grange. The score stays the same and the teams go in 2 – 1 at half time, well done to the defence of Jake, Leon, David, James and Ross who’ve battled the opposition and the conditions to keep a clean sheet thus far.
Bathgate make a change at half time with David making way for Sam. The wind is picking up again and the rain is back on too, but at least the former is in Bathgate’s favour. Bathgate take advantage of this after just 2 minutes from the restart; Aidan has a shot from inside the 6 yard box, it’s saved but he follows up to fire it home. Bathgate Thistle 3 v 1 Grange.
On 44 minutes there is great interplay Ross and Lewis to set up Sam. Sam strikes the ball from outside of the box into the top right hand corner of the net for the goal of the day. The keeper had no chance. Bathgate Thistle 4 v 1 Grange. Just a minute later, Bally puts the game beyond doubt. He drills a low hard shot at the keeper, but the keeper can’t move his feet quickly enough and it hits the net. Bathgate Thistle 5 v 1 Grange. Bathgate make some changes with Bailey and Ross making way for Harry and Scott.
Grange aren’t giving up, they remain resilient and there is still a contest being fought. Their efforts pay dividends when they break quickly down the right hand wing. The striker cuts in and beats Jake with a strike from the edge of the box with a good finish. Bathgate Thistle 5 v 2 Grange.
In the final 3 minutes, Bailey then Leon both score to further extend Bathgate’s advantage with a final score of Bathgate Thistle 7 v 2 Grange.