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Derek Hall’s report – Edinburgh United v Boness United July 28th

todayAugust 13, 2021


Edinburgh University 1-6 Bo’ness United
A warm muggy evening at Peffermill and a clash between two Lowland League teams searching for a bit of form after a somewhat underwhelming start to the campaign for both Edinburgh University and their opponents, Bo’ness United. Two minutes had elapsed and a ball to the edge of the students penalty area saw Miller of Bo’ness penalised for a foul on Hamilton. Miller was again interested 30 seconds later but keeper Barnes was quickly off his line to grab the ball. Miller seemed to be in the mood for the West Lothian side and on four minutes, a nice pass from Sinclair had keeper Barnes diving on the ball just in time as Miller closed in before Comrie then found the centre forward in good position but this time, the 22 yard drive drifted a couple of yards wide. After 7 minutes, a Hamilton pass intended for Condie saw Grant intercept for Bo’ness and his shot from just outside the penalty area was bravely headed behind by Black. However after nine minutes, the visitors took a deserved lead when Grant drove forward from midfield before sending the ball wide and when it was cut back, possibly by McKenzie, Miller cushioned the ball home with an assured finish from around seven yards. However after eleven minutes, and with their first meaningful attack of the match, the home side drew level with a fantastic goal as Sinclair began a move down the right flank and when the driven cross came over from Maskrey, Baird used the pace on the ball to bullet a flashing header past the helpless Murphy from about nine yards, a super goal. After 20 minutes, Black of Uni dwelt on the ball too long as Miller pressured him and the big defender was relieved to hear referee Whyte’s whistle sound to indicate he had been fouled and Miller was then the recipient of a quiet word from the referee as he disputed the previous decision. The home side carved out a half decent chance on 23 minutes as a cross found Maskrey around 12 yards out but he sat back on the shot and skied it well over the bar. Four minutes later, a MacAulay cross was headed over the home crossbar from around eight yards by Miller before at the other end, a Murray corner picked out the unmarked Baird on the edge of the Bo’ness box but the chance was lost as the striker took a fresh air swipe. Grant then found Comrie and his back post cross was just too high for McKenzie as the visitors tried to restore their lead before a Hawkins cross to the back post was brilliantly defended by Black as he turned it behind at full stretch. The corner was cleared out and immediately returned into the box and McMullan was very unlucky to see his deft 10 yard flick with outside of his right boot come back off the post with Uni keeper Barnes no more than a spectator. However the Bo’ness pressure finally paid off after 34 minutes as McMullan stretched to poke home from around nine yards with the University defence caught flat footed and the Bo’ness No14 took full advantage. Maskrey tried to respond for the home side and drove forward before trying to pick out Spelman but he was crowded out and then Grant tried his luck from fully 30 yards with a curling left footer which Uni keeper Barnes watched carefully as it went a yard over. Baird tried to get on to a ball from Sinclair on the edge of the Bo’ness penalty area but Hawkins used his strength to muscle the Uni striker out of the contest and see the ball back to his keeper. However right on 45 minutes, Bo’ness stretched their advantage with another goal which the students will feel was avoidable as a corner was only half cleared and when the return ball came in, Miller was allowed an unchallenged header standing right in front of goal no more than six yards out and from that range, the striker was never going to miss. Further agony was to follow for the University side as, deep into the third minute of stoppage time, McMullan drove purposely forward and laid a perfectly weighted pass into the inside right channel where Grant didn’t break stride as he stepped onto the ball and curled a beautiful 16 yard left footer around the advancing Barnes, just inside the base of the keepers right hand post for a fourth goal which the visitors would feel had put this game to bed. A hammer blow then for the home side right on the break but a welcome return to form for the side from West Lothian and this game already looked to be fairly safe.
A minute into the second period, a back post cross found the head of McKenzie but he couldn’t keep the header down and it looped wide of the Uni goals. On 49 minutes, a beautifully judged pass from Black picked out McCormack who played the ball to the far side of the Bo’ness box where Spelman was challenged by McCormack and there were somewhat half hearted claims for a spot kick by the Uni front man but referee Whyte wasn’t interested. This position was further emphasised at the next stoppage in play as Spelman carried on with his protests and the big Edinburgh striker was promptly cautioned for his comments by the referee. Two minutes later, another driving run by McKenzie picked out Miller in the box but he just couldn’t get turned to get a shot away. After 54 minutes, Sinclair clipped the ball to Murray who tried to find Spelman with a header but the ball ran through to Bo’ness keeper Murphy. Edinburgh’s attitude was first class despite the deficit and a nice long diagonal pass almost picked out McCormack but Hunter was there to calmly head back to his keeper. Just before the hour mark, McMullan of Bo’ness found his name in referee Colin Whyte’s book for a shirt pull but Edinburgh couldn’t profit as Spelman cracked his free kick a yard over the bar from around 28 yards. Two minutes later, Watson set up a chance for Maskrey to fire over from 25 yards and at this point, the home side were enjoying some decent possession. After 62 minutes, another opportunity presented itself for the home side as a foul on Spelman in a central position about 24 yards out saw Condie step forward but the left foot set piece cleared the wall and then the crossbar by a couple of yards. Hawkins tried a long range effort from fully 30 yards for the visitors which saw Miller not far away from getting a touch to deflect it goalwards before on 69 minutes, the ever willing Spelman swivelled on a throw in and smashed in an excellent angled left foot drive which didn’t clear the Bo’ness crossbar by all that much. Back came Bo’ness and Miller got himself into the Uni box and only a superbly timed tackle by Black averted the danger at the expense of a corner kick which Skinner headed high and wide. With a quarter of an hour remaining, Hawkins became the third player cautioned, also for a blatant shirt pull, this time on Lawton of Uni. A Miller drive was deflected behind by the challenge of Hamilton and then Black was once more in action to get the ball back to his keeper as Miller continued to look for his hat trick. However with just over four minutes remaining, Bo’ness emphasised their overall dominance as Miller laid the ball back to McKenzie on the edge of the Edinburgh Uni penalty area and he had two shots which were both blocked but the second fell perfectly to McMullan who picked his spot inside the keepers left hand post and rolled home a composed finish from around 14 yards for his second of the evening. Before the game restarted, McGuire of Uni limped off injured and with all substitutions made, Uni would now finish the match with ten players. A show of defiance in stoppage time from Uni saw Condie sweep a 22 yard effort into the arms of United keeper Murphy but within seconds, the ball was at the other end and lovely feet from McKenzie on the edge of the home penalty area saw him side step his man to make space for an 18 yard right foot drive which went under the diving Barnes for Bo’ness sixth and final goal. In the end, a very comfortable victory for a Bo’ness side who will feel that they have their season now very much up and running, whilst the home side will simply want to park this particular match and then hope that they can pull out a performance similar to tonight’s visitors and get their season off the ground this coming weekend.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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