WEST LOTHIAN A LEAGUE: Sunday 17 September, 2017, Bathgate Sports Centre

Hard work always brings rewards – a mantra evident in Bathgate’s victory over Kirkfield. Thistle’s endeavour and work rate earned them a deserved win on their home turf against one of the league’s toughest teams.

The hosts seized the initiative from kick-off, pressing United back inside their own territory. They took just a few minutes to open the scoring from the penalty spot. Kirkfield were reduced to ten men as deliberate handling inside the penalty box prevented a goal. Thankfully, Bailey tucked away the resultant penalty with aplomb.

BillThe lively Connor capitalised on a wayward clearance to rasp a shot high into the net and double Bathgate’s lead. He struck again soon after from one of several dangerous crosses delivered throughout the afternoon by Leon.

Kirkfield, though, reduced the deficit just moments from half-time to prompt speculation over whether the ten men could mount a comeback. It proved unfounded.

Billy entered the fray to influence a strong second-half display and claim two goals to secure a final score of 5-1. Yet it was not only Thistle’s forwards who thrived.

Connor in goal looked comfortable, as did Kieran, Matty, Sean, Ross and Leon in front of him. Dylan, Darren, Keeto and Craig orchestrated midfield with Gregor and Biddy missing.