WEST LOTHIAN A LEAGUE: Sunday 27 August, 2017, Craigswood, Livingston

Bathgate Thistle’s league campaign began with a hard-earned win over Broxburn Colts in a difficult encounter at Craigswood. Despite fashioning a 2-0 lead, Thistle’s Under-17s were pegged back to 2-2 before another two goals secured their victory.

Billy netted once in each half for the boys in blue, with Dylan and Kieran O the other scorers. Broxburn fought tenaciously to get themselves back into the game and their frustration was clear at full-time.

After a patient opening in which Bathgate kept possession of the ball, Dylan opened the scoring. He scampered forward from the middle of the park to convert Billy’s low cross from close range. The midfielder then supplied a through ball for Billy to turn and evade two opponents before nestling a tidy finish in the net.

IMG-20170827-WA0001Broxburn reduced the deficit to 2-1 shortly before half-time after a slight defensive mix-up. That ensured a nervy start to the second half for Thistle. When a header at the back post levelled the scores at 2-2, it was no great surprise.

Bathgate’s response was emphatic, however. Kieran C’s penetrating run down the right ended with a low cross which Kieran O slid home. Then Billy lofted a beautiful goal over the Broxburn goalkeeper to give his team a 4-2 advantage.

A late penalty, plus the sending off of Bathgate right-back Kieran C, restored a touch of hope for Colts but the home team held out to take three deserved points. Sean, Ross, Dylan, Gregor, Bailey and Billy all enjoyed impressive performances in blue as the league season started victoriously.