Cup double-header coming up for Bo'ness Athletic

Bo’ness Athletic manager Willie Irvine believes his young squad can continue to impress this season and will bounce back from their defeat by local rivals Syngenta last weekend.

Thursday, 14th October 2021, 2:19 pm
Bo'ness Athletic manager Willie Irvine. Photographer: Scott Louden

That 2-1 defeat in East of Scotland Football League first division conference X was a sore one to take, he says, with Athletic’s Fraser Currid saving a penalty when the match was level and looking to be a tight affair.

Free-scoring forward Tiwi Daramola equalised after a dubious early away goal, but the second half saw a late winner from lower-league stalwart Andy Rodgers.

Irvine lamented the loss of two important players before the match, saying: “Blair Woodburn and Grant Rose were both out, which was a big blow, as we have a small squad.

“Blair has played every minute for us at the back basically, so when you pull someone like that out, it upsets the whole team.

“Big Rose is a presence for us up top as well, so we were down to the bare bones.”

Looking back at the match, he added: “The first goal was two yards offside. There is no linesman, so it is hard to take as the referee can’t really be sure.”

Athletic face Gartcairn tomorrow night in the South Challenge Cup, and Irvine admits the West of Scotland Football League side will be a different type of opponent.

He said: “They have a strong team with guys who have played at a much higher level for most of their careers. It is a chance for us to progress and it will be a good occasion under the lights.“Cup matches are always easy to get players up for, and having two so quickly brings a fair bit of excitement.”

On Saturday, October 23, the Athletic boss will lead his team out in the Alex Jack Cup semi-final, a contest offering a coveted route into the Scottish Cup for its winners.

Crossgates Primrose host Irvine’s side after defeating Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts 5-3 in the last round. The other semi-final sees Luncarty face Leith Athletic.

Irvine is looking forward to the match, saying: “It’s a big one for us. I think people forgot just how new our club is. We have only been around for two years or so and the progress made since then has been great.

"Hopefully, we can go into that game after progressing this weekend as well.”