Stirling University v Bo’ness Athletic

In a gruelling clash at Stirling Uni, Bo’ness faced their first league defeat this season amid a rain-laden night. The strong wind, from right to left, added to the misery of the evening.

Bo’ness’s backline saw a makeshift setup, with R. Weir shifted from midfield to right-back, Simpson on the left , and Mitchell and the loaned talent, Wright, holding the fort in the middle.

At kick-off, Bo’ness held the wind advantage, and within a mere 94 seconds, they drew first blood. A brilliant clearance from Mackay found M. Weir on the right, just past the halfway line. R. Weir, now on defensive duty, embarked on a lung-busting run, delivered a crisp, low cross into the box, where MacDonald awaited, calmly slotting a left-footed effort past the Stirling Uni keeper from six yards.

MacDonald later attempted a long-range strike, following a deft header from Robertson, but his effort narrowly missed the target, just past the left post.

Moments after, Robertson won a free-kick from a rough challenge about 25 yards out. His attempt, however, posed no threat and sailed past the post.

A promising move by Stirling Uni saw MacKay dispossessed after a good pass by their no. 8, setting up their no. 9 for a shot from the edge of the 18-yard area, comfortably gathered by Bo’ness’s keeper, Currid.

A swift sequence initiated by a short corner from Robertson found its way to R. Weir, who delivered a tantalising cross. The unmarked Shearer met it with his head but couldn’t direct it on target, leaving it to sail agonisingly past the post once more.

Snedden showcased his skills, threading a sublime pass to M. Weir through a cluster of Stirling players. M. Weir surged down the left flank and whipped in a low-driven cross to Shearer, lurking just inside the six-yard box. A last-ditch sliding tackle from the Stirling defender cleared the danger to safety.

Another beautiful play unfolded on the left between Robertson and Shearer, resulting in a shot from Robertson, but yet again, a well-timed tackle deflected the ball into the keeper’s grateful arms.

As the half-hour mark approached, Bo’ness squandered their best chance to double their lead. A clever one-two between M. Weir and MacDonald saw Weir penetrate the box, ready to unleash a left-footed strike destined for the net. However, a superb save by the Stirling Uni keeper, who blocked the shot with his left foot, kept Bo’ness at bay.

Robertson was next to test the keeper’s mettle, winning a header down the left. A fortunate bounce allowed him to enter the box and fire a shot, but the keeper thwarted his efforts once more, smothering the ball.

A mesmerising twist by M. Weir left his marker bemused, enabling him to set up Shearer for a long-range effort from 25 yards out. The keeper, well-positioned, managed to tip the ball over the bar.

The first half concluded with Bo’ness ruing their missed opportunities to seize a commanding lead.

The second half commenced under equally dire weather conditions, this time favouring Stirling Uni. It proved a scrappy affair, with both sides struggling to control the ball on the slippery artificial turf, a consequence of the persistent rain.

In the 77th minute, Bo’ness finally threatened in the second half. A long ball over the top by MacKay reached Robertson on the flank. He exhibited fine control and skilfully manoeuvred towards the keeper. Although he managed to round the keeper, the referee ruled the ball had crossed the touchline before his subsequent pass to Shearer, disallowing the goal and awarding a goal kick.

A mere minute later, Stirling Uni celebrated an equalizer. A long pass from their own half found the Stirling no. 11 on the left flank. As R. Weir moved in to challenge, an unfortunate slip left the Stirling striker with ample time to line up a shot from approximately 23 yards out. Although Currid dove valiantly, he couldn’t quite reach the curling effort, and the ball nestled into the back of the net.

Frustration and despondency crept into Bo’ness, prompting the manager to introduce Ogilvie in place of MacDonald. In the 81st minute, they lodged a strong penalty claim when R. Weir appeared to be bundled to the ground inside the box, but the referee remained unmoved.

Stirling Uni seized the initiative in the final 10 minutes, threatening to take the lead. A loose ball in the box ventured perilously close to the penalty spot but ultimately trickled past the post, serving as a potent warning to Bo’ness.

One minute later, they paid the ultimate price. A throw-in, merely six yards from the goal line, was lofted into the box, finding the head of Stirling Uni’s no. 5, who directed it towards the Stirling no. 11, positioned approximately 16 yards out. He elegantly curled a shot into the top right-hand corner, leaving Currid with no chance of stopping it.

Bo’ness endeavored to find the equalizer, but time was not on their side. The referee’s whistle sounded, concluding the match with five minutes of added time.

An encouraging note from the game was the impressive performance of newcomer Wright, who joined on a short-term loan from Broxburn Athletic. Bo’ness now gears up for their upcoming clash against Arniston Rangers in the semi-final of the Alex Jack Cup.

Final Score: Stirling University 2 – 1 Bo’ness Athletic
The East of Scotland Second Division League Match No. 10

Bo’ness Athletic v Tweedmouth Rangers

In another league clash with Tweedmouth Rangers, Bo’ness emerged victorious, securing back-to-back wins in a match that saw an early taste of winter with chilling winds. Nevertheless, the adverse conditions failed to dampen the team’s performance, with four goals courtesy of Robertson, Shearer, M. Weir, and Ogilvie comfortably sealing victory.

Unlike the previous fixture, where Bo’ness conceded an early goal, this time they stood resolute, with two early chances falling to Robertson. In the opening minute, Robertson unleashed a low shot from outside the box, but it went straight at the keeper, who scooped up the effort. M. Weir then played a pass out to R. Weir on the right-hand side of the box, who squared it back to Robertson as he made a diagonal run across. However, his right-footed shot was blocked by the Tweedmouth defence and subsequently cleared.

Tweedmouth came close to a spectacular goal in the ninth minute when a cutback from the far right was met with a first-time shot from 20 yards out. Only the bar, possibly assisted by a fingertip save from Currid, denied the Tweedmouth player a remarkable strike.

In the tenth minute, Shearer appeared to have put Bo’ness ahead when he lofted the ball over the keeper into the net. Unfortunately, the celebration was cut short by an early offside whistle. Robertson attempted to break the deadlock once more from about 20 yards out, but this time his shot sailed high and wide of the target.

Not to be discouraged, Robertson, under similar circumstances, dribbled into the 18-yard box, cut back onto his right foot, and dispatched a shot into the net, at the keeper’s near post. It was a quintessential Robertson goal, showcasing his skills in the race for the club’s top scorer this season.

Shearer, keen to continue his prolific goal-scoring form, had a chance shortly after, outpacing the last defender. However, when faced with only the keeper to beat, his attempt appeared to come off his shin, resulting in a goal kick.

In the 18th minute, good work down the right from R. Weir saw him fake a pass, check back, and pick out M. Weir. With just a single touch, M. Weir guided the ball past the stranded keeper from six yards out.

Next, it was Shearer’s opportunity to get on the scoresheet, as he found himself unmarked inside the six-yard box during a corner. Unfortunately, his header lacked the necessary height and sailed over the bar. However, he rectified the situation 30 seconds later, making it 3-0. Shearer took a pass with his back to goal, deftly beat his marker, and fired an unstoppable right-footed shot past the Tweedmouth keeper.

Ryan Weir, this time on the left, delivered a cross-cum-shot that narrowly missed the far post. Notably, a penalty shout was missedn by the referee, who apparently did not see the apparent stamp on Weir by a Tweedmouth defender immediately after the shot.

The fourth goal arrived when Ogilvie, stationed at the back post, took advantage of a couple of deflected efforts from Robertson. Eventually, the ball fell to R. Weir, who laid off a pass to Mitchell. He lofted a pinpoint cross to Ogilvie at the far post, who emphatically slammed it home, marking Bo’ness’s final goal of the game.

Ogilvie had another chance to add to his tally, but he sent his shot just wide of the keeper’s far post. Robertson had the final opportunity of the first half with a free-kick from distance, but his effort sailed a few feet over the bar.

In the second half, Ogilvie was replaced by club captain MacKay. Tweedmouth looked to make their mark early, displaying good build-up play that led to a lay-off and a long-range shot from outside the box. However, the shot blazed well over the bar.

In the 62nd minute, Robertson, after taking a knock, made way for striker McAteer. Moments later, MacKay attempted his trademark long-distance strike from a layoff following a free-kick. However, his effort failed to trouble the Tweedmouth keeper.

The match took an unexpected turn when Bo’ness was reduced to ten men. Woodburn, typically reliable in defence, found himself shown the red card. A long ball heading towards the Bo’ness goal seemed comfortably handled by Woodburn. However, he collided with goalkeeper Currid, sending him to the ground. The loose ball was quickly scooped up by the Tweedmouth striker. Woodburn, seemingly, placed an arm over his shoulder and dragged him down, leading to the immediate awarding of a penalty and red card

The resulting penalty kick was calmly dispatched, sending Currid the wrong way, bringing the score to 4-1.

With Bo’ness down to ten men but with three points secured, Tweedmouth displayed a stronger performance in the second half, gaining greater control of the game. Nevertheless, the points had already been wrapped up in the first half.

Tweedmouth, despite their determined efforts, have proved to be challenging opponents over the two games. It is remarkable that they have yet to secure a single point this season. Bo’ness have now extended their lead at the top to eight points, with a game in hand over second and third place in the league.

Final Score: Bo’ness Athletic 4 – 1 Tweedmouth Rangers
The East of Scotland Second Division League Match No. 9