Bo’ness advanced into the semifinals of the Alex Jack Cup in impressive fashion, setting the stage for a tantalising showdown against the winners of the Whitburn vs. Ariston Rangers clash. With key players such as MacKay, Snedden, and Simpson resting on the bench, the reshuffled line-up, featuring Shanks, Turnbull, and Shearer, did not disappoint. Paterson donned the captain’s armband, leading the charge. Facing a resurgent Newburgh side, Bo’ness secured a resounding 7-2 victory, propelled by Shearer’s sensational hat-trick.
From the first whistle, Bo’ness displayed their intent, with MacDonald having an early shot blocked in the box. Robertson then exhibited his skill, dribbling past two defenders, but his cross was deflected out for a corner.
MacDonald was involved again moments later, deftly manoeuvring into the box. Shearer received the ball, turned, and unleashed a shot, but it was diligently defended by Newburgh.
Newburgh launched a promising attack when a gap opened in the Bo’ness box following slick play near the corner flag. A clever pass found Newburgh’s No. 2 on the edge of the 18-yard box, but his shot narrowly sailed over the bar.
Bo’ness took the lead on the 13-minute mark through Main’s brilliant dink over the keeper, following a well-crafted move down the right flank.
However, Newburgh responded swiftly, equalising just two minutes later. A loose pass from Paterson was seized by Newburgh’s No. 9, who unleashed a fierce shot from the edge of the D that eluded Currid.
Newburgh then threatened to take the lead, first with an awkward-to-control shot that sailed past the post, and then with a pass across goal that Mitchell expertly defended to prevent a shot.
MacDonald was determined to make his mark and did so on 32 minutes. Advancing into the box, he outwitted the onrushing keeper, calmly slotting the ball into the far right corner to secure a well-deserved goal.
Bo’ness earned a penalty in the 37th minute, as a beautifully chipped pass over the defence from R. Weir sparked a race between Shearer and the keeper. Shearer reached the ball first, and the keeper’s challenge brought him down. The referee promptly awarded a spot kick.
Shearer confidently dispatched the penalty with his right foot, sending it past the diving keeper’s right, who guessed correctly but couldn’t get a hand to the ball.
A minute later, Bo’ness extended their lead to 4-1. Weir tenaciously won a 50/50 ball and played Shearer inside the box, allowing him to fire a shot from the corner of the 6-yard box.
MacDonald came close to adding another on the cusp of half-time, as he danced into the box with the ball at his feet. Despite sidestepping the diving keeper, his subsequent shot somehow flew wide of the post when a goal seemed certain.
The first half concluded with Bo’ness leading 4-1.
The second half saw Main squander a chance to put the game beyond doubt as his effort rolled just wide of the keeper’s left post.
Shearer completed his hat-trick 12 minutes into the second half. Robertson initiated a pass down the left flank, spotting Shearer in the box with ample time to emphatically slot the ball home, marking a memorable achievement.
On the 61-minute mark, Newburgh reduced the deficit with a delightful glancing header from their No. 11. The cross into the box and header left Currid with no chance, earning applause from both sets of fans.
Subsequent substitutions saw MacDonald and R. Weir make way for Mackay and Snedden.
Robertson, unwilling to miss out on the scoring, bolstered his goal tally on 79 minutes. Main played a crucial role, crafting a chance down the right. He evaded his marker, found space on the edge of the 18-yard box, and delivered a pinpoint cross to Robertson at the back post. Robertson thundered a volley home from close range.
With ten minutes remaining, Shearer left the pitch, making way for Meechan, and Robertson was replaced by Simpson.
As the match drew to a close, Bo’ness continued to create opportunities. A corner found Paterson in the box, who rose to meet the ball and headed it on to Meechan. With his back to goal, Meechan flicked the ball up and acrobatically used his right foot to stretch and guide it past the diving keeper’s right post. It was an unorthodox yet impressive finish.
Incredibly, Bo’ness had four more chances in the closing minutes, with Mitchell hitting the post, Robertson seeing his effort deflected for a corner, Mitchell again trying his luck from long range, and Sharples blasting over from close range as the final whistle sounded.
Bo’ness delivered a convincing home win, showcasing the management team’s adeptness in mixing up the starting lineup. It was encouraging to see new strikers contributing to four of the goals, setting a positive tone for the team’s aspirations.
Final Score: Bo’ness Athletic 7 – 2 Newburgh
The Alex Jack Cup Quarter Final