A solitary Brian Morgan strike helped Bo’ness United see off Sauchie 1-0 to maintain their unbeaten start to the Premier Division campaign, writes Kevin McAlpine.
Bo’ness came into Saturday on the back of a four-match winning run in the league, all by a single goal margin, and it was to be another tight match at Newtown Park.
Bo’ness gaffer Max Christie bolstered his squad pre-match with the acquisition of Kelty Hearts forward Brian Ritchie who went straight into the side, and he also had the rare luxury of a full bench to choose from.
The game was five minutes old when Brian Morgan grabbed his 11th goal of the season, on his 50 th appearance for the club.
A Devon Jacobs throw-in was flicked on by debutant Ritchie and the unmarked Morgan easily nodded the ball home at the far post to net against his former club.
Sauchie’s S Dolan and Langton both had efforts blocked after a Turnbull corner caused chaos in the Bo’ness box.
Sauchie keeper D Dolan then beat away a Chris Donnelly effort after a trademark dribble from the BU captain saw him evade two challenges and bear down on goal.
Bo’ness attacked again when Morgan’s pass found Tom Grant who cut inside and got off a swerving effort which was well held by Dolan.
Grant again came close from fully 30 yards after Morgan and Dolan chased a through ball with the ball breaking kindly to the winger who tried his luck from distance, the ball however drifted over the bar.
The visitors should have gone in level at the interval after a superb driven McCaughie corner was met by the unmarked Finlayson who should have at the very least hit the target.
S Dolan fired over a half volley in the opening moments of the second half for Sauchie. The visitors spurned an outstanding opportunity to level on the hour when Langton raced clear of a static Bo’ness backline and his teasing cross was met by Faulds who saw his header crash of the post.
McCaughie seized upon the rebound but was denied by an outstanding goal-line block by Jacobs.
D Dolan then pulled off two stunning saves from long distance efforts from Grant and Donnelly.
With seconds remaining in the 90 minutes, Ross Campbell was agonisingly close to doubling the lead for Bo’ness when his header from a Morgan corner struck the base of the post before being cleared to safety.
Bo’ness were mightily relieved after an astonishing miss by Sauchie forward McCaughie who blasted the ball out of the park with the goal gaping after a miscued Cummings shot fell kindly to him a few yards out.
Bo’ness: Murphy, Jacobs, Stevenson, Hunter, Campbell, Comrie, Gemmell, Morgan, Grant (Syme), Ritchie (McKenzie) and Donnelly. Unused: Adamson, Snowdon, Nimmo, Keast and Henderson.
The win keeps Bo’ness at the top of the table with 24 points from 10 games ahead of this Saturday’s home league game against Hill of Beath Hawthorne, kick-off 2.30pm.