Tranent Juniors 3 Bo’ness United 2
Report by Gordon Baird
Tranent Juniors progressed to the D J Laing East of Scotland Cup Quarter Finals at the expense of Bo’ness United with a solid performance in which they surrendered a two-goal lead, but then hit back quickly to earn a deserved victory. The Juniors took their third Super League scalp this season and their reward is to host Broxburn Athletic in the next round.
D J Laing East of Scotland Cup Holders Bo’ness United, travelled to Foresters Park in the 3rd Round of this year’s competition, on the back of their heaviest defeat of the season at Dundonald Bluebell. The Super League giants have had a mixed season but look assured of a top five finish in the league and retain an interest in both the local cups.
In this season’s competition, they have accounted for both Dalkeith Thistle and Linlithgow Rose on penalties. Tranent have surged up the table after their managerial change and are now secure in the top half, after last season’s promotion. The Juniors saw off both Super League Fauldhouse United and Dundonald (again winning both times on penalties) to reach the quarter finals.
Tranent were quickly on the attack in front of a large, boisterous crowd and won an early corner which was cleared. However, after five minutes the home side took the lead. Good interplay amongst Smith, Manson and Miller provided an opening for WATTERS, who confidently fired home past the helpless Murphy.
United were stunned by the opener and slow to match TRANENT’s pace and energy despite lots of possession. Their first sight of goal came after 8 minutes from a Simpson free kick, which Jackson fumbled but quickly recovered at the second attempt.
Tranent were showing a real cutting edge after Miller tried a shot from range. After ten minutes, and much to the crowds delight, they doubled their lead. Manson had a great run across the goal and when he squared the ball to MILLER, he forced the ball home at the second attempt.
Tranent were obviously happy with their advantage and sat on their lead a little. This gave the visitors a foothold in the game and the bulk of the possession and they started to show some Super League quality with Simpson busy in midfield. After 34 minutes, they nearly opened their account.
A Simpson free kick was not cleared properly and when the ball was played back across goal, it was headed over. Minutes later Wright was through on goal but Jackson was alert to the danger. Nevertheless, the warning signs were there and a goal came. After 40 minutes, United won a corner on the left and Simpson delivered to the far post where the unmarked SNOWDON skilfully side footed the ball home.
In added time at the end of the half, Philip fired just wide from a good position and it promised to be a difficult second half for the home team! Tranent deserved their half time lead but as the half progressed United started to find their attacking edge and began to dominate as Tranent slipped out of the game a little.
Half Time: Tranent Juniors 2 Bo’ness United 1
Neither side made any changes at the break and again Tranent were straight onto the attack. Kanye Patterson had a great run before finding Miller but his effort was cleared.
United had learned from the first 45 minutes and again enjoyed most possession in the early stages of the half, winning free kicks and corners which Tranent did well to defend. The home defence found the height of Hunter a problem and he won a number of headers in the box.
After 65 minutes the visitors drew level. They won a free kick on the right which saw Miller booked. Substitute Sloan delivered a superb cross which WRIGHT met perfectly and gave Jackson no chance with his angled header.
Tranent made a double substitution before the restart, withdrawing Fiddler and Manson and sending on Smeaton and Hawkins, and it paid off immediately. In their next attack, there was a push on the edge of the box. Referee Calder pointed to the spot and MILLER stepped up to give Murphy no chance with the kick. Minutes Later Tranent could have increased their lead. Hunter was robbed by Smeaton and the ball fell to Miller but his effort was blocked.
Bo’ness were aware of the clock running down and threw men forward but Tranent were coping well at the back with Todd and Kerr solid and looked dangerous on the break. Miller had another effort blocked after good play by Kanye Patterson.
With five minutes remaining, United had a great chance but Keast somehow put it over from under the bar. It was to be their last good chance and Tranent held out as the light faded.
Tranent deserved their victory. As expected Bo’ness had most of the possession but carried far less threat than the home side and although they passed the ball well it was sideways most of the time. The visitor’s defence struggled to cope with Tranent’s pace up front and the home side took their chances. This was a good team effort from Tranent against a far more experienced side.
Next for Tranent is a visit to Whitburn Juniors and Bo’ness look to end a poor run when they entertain relegation threatened Musselburgh Athletic. Tranent: Jackson, Christie, Watters, Kerr, Todd, Smith, Miller, J Patterson, Manson, K Patterson, Fiddler. Subs: Robertson, Smeaton, Hawkins.
Bo’ness: Murphy, Gemmell, Snowdon, El Zubaidi, Hunter, Ruari MacLennan, Eddington, Philp, Strickland, Simpson, Wright. Subs: Campbell, Donnelly, Keats, Scullion, Sloan.
Referee: George Calder.