Bo’ness United continued their excellent home form with a 1-0 home victory against Fife side Hill of Beath Hawthorn, to keep United top of the EOS Premier Division, writes Kevin McAlpine.
Bo’ness were denied the opening goal in the 15th minute after a great goal-line clearance from Dair after Fraser Keast latched into a Stuart Hunter (pictured right) header and lobbed Donaldson in the Haws goal.
Elder and Watt had decent efforts held by Bo’ness keeper Andy Murphy as both teams enjoyed decent spells of possession.
Donaldson was the busier of the two goalkeepers however and he made two superb stops to firstly deny Keast from close range and then he saved bravely at the feet of Brian Ritchie who got on the end of a good Tom Grant cross.
There was a definite niggly undercurrent to the game in the first half and it was no surprise to those in attendance when the second period turned out to be a stormy affair.
The first flashpoint occurred in the 54th minute when Watt seized upon a slack Devon Jacobs throw-in and his dribble goalwards was unceremoniously halted by Hunter 25 yards out from goal.
Hill of Beath players swarmed the referee wanting Hunter to be shown a red card and it turned into a shoving match with players from both sides getting involved.
In the end it was two yellow cards apiece and a free-kick in a dangerous position for the Haws.
Reid stepped up and although his setpiece beat the wall, Andy Murphy saved at full stretch to tip the ball wide of the post.
Just after the hour mark Bo’ness finally broke the deadlock through Ritchie who picked up the ball with his back to goal and his flick goalward found the top corner with the goalie stranded.
Bo’ness were well on top now and it took a stunning save from Haws keeper Donaldson to tip over a Morgan free-kick and keep his team within reach.
With a little over 20 minutes remaining the visitors were reduced to 10 men after a needless kick out by Harrower on Keast after the BU front man turned the Haws midfielder inside his own half as the home side looked to hit the Haws on the break.
The visitors were inches away from levelling through a Watt half volley, but it was Bo’ness who were the likelier and they had a golden chance to extend their lead from the penalty spot after Leishman hauled down Ritchie after a slick Bo’ness attack.
Leishman received his marching orders for the infringement and up stepped Morgan who had already netted five penalties this season; Donaldson had other ideas though and he saved well to his right to keep the nine men in the game.
As you would expect, Bo’ness controlled the remainder of the 90 and had multiple efforts on goal, the best falling to Tom Grant who blazed over from close range after a fantastic passing move involving Ritchie, Keast and Syme to set up the chance.
Bo’ness: Murphy, Jacobs, Hunter, Snowdon (Syme), Campbell, Nimmo, Gemmell, Morgan, Ritchie (Donnelly), Grant and Keast.