Bo’ness United crashed out of the Alex Jack cup after losing an ill-tempered match at Olivebank against Musselburgh Athletic on Saturday, writes Kevin McAlpine.
United paid the price for a slow start and the dismissal of two key players on Saturday as they lost for the first time this season.
Bo’ness went a goal down on 11 minutes. Connor Thomson sent in a cross from the left wing and despite having four defenders for company, club legend Mathu King had all the time he needed to control the ball and send a low finish past Andy Murphy.
Musselburgh were all over Bo’ness and came close to doubling their advantage when Evans rampaged through the BU midfield and sent over an inviting ball across the face of goal which King couldn’t quite get on the end of.
United rallied midway through the half and the goal frame came to the rescue for the home side when Chris Donnelly’s header from an Iain Syme cross was tipped onto the bar by Paul Grant.
The brief revival was fleeting, and Musselburgh soon reasserted their dominance on proceedings and doubled their advantage through the excellent Thomson.
The forward advanced unchallenged from midfield and unleashed a superb strike from 25 yards into the top corner.
The task to come back from two behind got even harder for the visitors on the half hour when Stuart Hunter (left) was red carded after a coming together on the touchline with Evans.
A deserved dismissal and things were to from bad to worse for Bo’ness when the influential Michael Gemmell was forced off injured after a horrible looking head knock incurred during an accidental collision with Murphy.
Despite the growing list of setbacks Bo’ness managed to give themselves hope when they pulled one back deep into first half stoppage time.
Tom Grant sent an inviting free-kick into the area and substitute Will Snowdon was on hand to send a controlled volley into the net.
Bo’ness almost grabbed an equaliser right at the start of the second half when Donnelly was released on the right wing and his low cross was knocked just past his own post by Jordan Orru.
The visitors were competing well despite the numerical disadvantage but hopes of a comeback were all but quashed 10 minutes into the half when Donnelly received his marching orders after a firm tackle.
A melee ensued involving nearly every player and the only action taken by the officials was a straight red for the BU skipper.
There was a large penalty claim after a clear handball in the Musselburgh box, but referee Addy was unmoved and shortly afterwards the home side made the game safe with a wind-assisted third goal.
Jordan Orru’s hopeful cross flew over Murphy and found the net.
Bo’ness created a number of half chances late on, none were converted however and Musselburgh saw it out to qualify for the quarter-finals.
Bo’ness: Murphy, Syme, Stevenson, Hewitt, Hunter, Nimmo (Comrie), Gemmell (Snowdon), Grant, Donnelly, Morgan and McKenzie.
Unused: Keast and Mooney.