WITH injury concerns prior to kick-off, both Beattie and Carnegie were given late fitness tests. Thankfully both passed and were able to take their place in the starting 11.
Bo’ness were known to be a hard physical side and this certainly proved to be the case as this match progressed. Club immediately went on the attack in this all action fourth round tie and were troubling the Bo’ness defence on every occasion.
A flurry of corner kicks eventually saw them take the lead in four minutes. With some great movement in the box, a perfectly flighted flag kick from Clark saw Waddell bullet a header high into the net.
Bo’ness were already showing signs, at this early stage, of losing their discipline with the referee having to caution a couple of their players for reckless tackles. It was just prior to half-time when Bo’ness found themselves reduced to 10 men when a bout of retaliation resulted in their number 10 being shown a straight red card.
Half-time: Lads’ Club 1, Bo’nesss United 0.
With Bastow replacing Wilson at the break, the second half followed the same pattern as the first with both sides continuing to put in crunching tackles and play being confined to a midfield battle. To their credit, Club continued to keep their discipline when all else around them was degenerating into a farce when the referee had no option to send off another Bo’ness player for foul and abusive language.
With the visitors now down to nine, this seemed to panic the Club, who lost all sense of the good football that everyone knows they can play.
However, after another surging run from the tireless Beattie, he was finally upended inside the box for a penalty on 50 minutes which he duly converted. Bo’ness, at this stage, were playing the better football and pulled a goal back to set the tie up for an exciting finale.
This was certainly to be the case when with minutes to go, they scored again to make it 2-2 and the fear was that there was going to be extra-time. Once again the referee was at the centre of things when he sent yet another Bo’ness player off for foul and abusive language.
There was a forced change just after this when another scything challenge, this time on Quinn, went unnoticed by the referee. He was replaced by Mowatt.
With both sides now mentally preparing for extra-time it took a mammoth effort from Beattie to change events.
With Bo’ness pushing everyone forward in an effort to finish the tie, Beattie picked the ball up just outside his own box and drove forward avoiding some late challenges on the way. With Clark and Paterson in support, Beattie pushed the ball wide right to Clark and then continued his run into the box. Clark dispatched a pinpoint return to Beattie who found the back of the net with the final kick of the ball to the utter relief to all concerned on the Arbroath line.
With Bo’ness claiming offside, and furious at the decision, the referee consequently blew for full-time. Some disgraceful behaviour then followed from the Bo’ness players and coaching staff. However, the Lads’ Club side kept their discipline in check and should be proud of the way they conducted themselves throughout.
All the Lads’ Club players should be proud of the way they battled to earn this important victory. Keeping their discipline was an important factor in this game and should be applauded for their efforts.
The squad, once again, entertained their visitors at the Cricket Club.