Bo’ness delivered an absolute masterclass today, clinching their spot in the Alex Jack Cup final with a resounding 3-0 victory over Arniston Rangers in a showdown that set the pitch ablaze despite the frosty conditions.
The clash ignited in an early kick-off as Bo’ness, with their latest recruit, Godwin Kangni-Soukpe, making an electrifying debut, stormed into the match. M. Weir, Snedden, and MacDonald emerged as the heroes, sealing a spectacular win that seemed improbable initially due to patches of frozen grass threatening to derail the showdown.
Yet, the game pushed on, and from the outset, Bo’ness commanded the field, basking in the glow of the sun during the opening half. It was a period peppered with frustration as loose passes between the defence and midfield cast shadows over their play. Despite this, early opportunities surfaced for Bo’ness, with the youthful dynamo Godwin causing havoc down the wings. Snedden unleashed a thunderous shot from a distance, narrowly missing the target.
Arniston, however, attempted to break the deadlock, testing Currid with a swift header, only to be thwarted by an offside call from the vigilant referee. The pace intensified, with both sides eager to make their mark. In the 19th minute, a tantalizing corner from Robertson met M. Weir’s head, but the ball soared over the bar, leaving the Bo’ness faithful gasping.
As the game unfolded, Bo’ness gained momentum. Godwin’s mesmerizing footwork down the right flank created an opening, delivering a tantalizing pass into the 6-yard box, but the subsequent strike from Roberston veered off target.
Persistence paid off for Bo’ness when M. Weir orchestrated a breakthrough, evading the offside trap from a sublime Snedden pass. With a single touch to control, M. Weir unleashed a left-footed thunderbolt, leaving the Arniston keeper helpless and the visiting fans erupting with relief.
Bo’ness continued to press forward, with MacDonald and Robertson taking shots at goal, but luck eluded them until Snedden capitalized on a defensive clearance, chesting down a clearance and launching a sensational left-footed strike. A slight deflection off Arniston’s no. 5 saw the ball loop into the net, leaving the keeper stranded.
As the first half concluded, Bo’ness held a commanding lead, but the game remained wide open.
The second half commenced with Bo’ness maintaining their offensive onslaught. Debutant Godwin made way for R. Weir in the 50th minute, as wave after wave of attacks crashed against Arniston’s defence. A well-placed free-kick by Robertson was spotted far too late by the Arniston keeper who could only ger a hand to it, resulting in an easy tap-in for MacDonald, further solidifying Bo’ness’s dominance.
With victory all but sealed, Bo’ness tactically substituted Robertson for Simpson, looking to secure their position. Ogilvie nearly added a fourth with a skillful run into the box, only to be denied by a remarkable save from the Arniston stopper’s strong hand.
In a bid for consolation, Arniston earned a penalty in the dying minutes. However, Currid, determined to preserve his clean sheet, dived to his left, not only stopping the shot but firmly securing the ball, denying Arniston any reprieve.
The final moments ticked away, confirming Bo’ness’s progression to the final, setting the stage for an electrifying clash against Heriot Watt University.
A special mention is reserved for the indomitable Bo’ness defence of Shanks, Paterson, Woodburn, and Mitchell, who showcased sheer resilience in a remarkable final 60-minute spell, repelling every challenge with unwavering determination.
Final Score: Arniston Rangers 0 – 3 Bo’ness Athletic
The Alex Jack Cup Semi Final