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Derek Hall’s report from Whitehill Welfare v Broxburn Athletic on Saturday 24th July 2021

todayJuly 25, 2021


Whitehill Welfare 0-2 Broxburn Athletic

Another scorcher and Ferguson Park Rosewell looked superb in the sunshine for the visit of Broxburn to take on Whitehill. The home side forced an early corner but it was cleared out and Ross of Broxburn took a classy first touch before releasing a lovely 45 yard pass out to Tait on the left flank and he outpaced McCormack but then ran the ball over the goal line. Ross was again involved when he found Nimmo but his cutback was well intercepted by Tolmie who turned the ball behind. Ross fired the corner over and the ball was met by Wright whose eight yard header was brilliantly turned away by home keeper Gilpin diving low to his right. At the other end, McIntosh cut the ball back from the goal line to the back post where Harrison headed behind for the visitors but the corner came to nothing. On eight minutes, Broxburn keeper Wallace was out of his box to clear from Laidlaw, with the keeper and his team mate Harrison then having words about the lack of cover before the big defender was involved at the other end, stepping onto a pass from Ross to fire wide from 20 yards. Barker and Tait combined down the left for the visitors but Tolmie was across with a superb covering tackle, winning the ball before then coming away with it almost in the one movement. After 14 minutes, Tolmie conceded a corner whilst trying to find his keeper with a defensive header and Ross swung the set piece onto the head of Harrison, whose shout of frustration suggested he should have done better than head wide of the Whitehill goals. The best chance of the game so far arrived after 16 minutes as Tait broke clear down the inside right channel and from the edge of the Whitehill box, his shot along the ground beat Gilpin and pretty much grazed the base of the right hand post as it slipped just wide. Whitehill hit back and a Connor corner found the head of McIntosh at the back post but he powered his header down into the ground and wide as McCormack tried to get a touch to deflect it home. Whitehill threatened again as Ward saw McIntosh retrieve a lost cause in the corner before laying the ball back to Ward whose cross had Hornig heading over from nine yards. Tait then crossed for Nimmo to head the ball back to across Wright and his header from around 14 yards had too much height on it and cleared the Whitehill crossbar. However after 26 minutes, the visitors made the breakthrough as Nimmo drove forward in midfield and a quick exchange of passes on the edge of the Whitehill box allowed Ross to step onto the ball and stroke home a lovely placed right foot drive from 20 yards along the ground and just inside Gilpin’s left post with the keeper rooted to the spot. With confidence now high, Tait fired a 25 yard drive over the home crossbar before the visitors were then forced to make a change as player/manager Townsley pulled up with what appeared to be a thigh injury and was replaced by Nicol. O’Neill fired a 25 yard free kick into the Broxburn wall after Grant had fouled Hornig before there was some concern for the home side as Ward seemed to turn an ankle off the ball but after some treatment, he was able to resume. However in the 40th minute, the visitors doubled their advantage as Tolmie was penalised for a foul on Ross wide right and when Nimmo swung in the free kick, Tolmie saw his attempted clearing header deflect past keeper Gilpin and in for the own goal via the underside of the bar. Referee Colin Whyte had a word with Welfare full back Cairney who delayed the visitors taking a quick throw in just in front of the dugouts but at the break it was the visitors from West Lothian who were ahead at the break and on the balance of play, it was an advantage few could grudge.
Broxburn replaced Grant with Greenhill at the break and almost immediately Wright made an important clearing header as McIntosh threatened for Whitehill before at the other end, Cairney made an equally important header away from Ross. Nicol then drove into the home penalty area before driving from 16 yards but Connor threw his body in to make a superb block whilst conceding a corner from which Wright looped a fairly tame header well over. On 49 minutes, a nice pass from Nimmo saw Barker turn McCormack on the edge of the Whitehill box but the 18 yard drive slipped just wide of the upright, after which Tolmie then received a ticking off from referee Whyte following some unwanted advice which the referee took exception to. Connor was again in the right place to head behind and when the corner came over, both number 4’s jumped together with Tolmie doing well to head clear under pressure from Harrison. A series of corners then followed for Broxburn with Ross swinging in some superb balls and from one of them Tait headed back and found Wright completely unmarked eight yards out and only a brilliant block from keeper Gilpin denied the Broxburn midfielder from extending the visitors lead. After 55 minutes, Connor was then warned by the referee for a foul on Barker before player/manager Townsley, now in the Broxburn dugout, was also warned for passing some comments. After 59 minutes, a 25 yard free kick from Wright poleaxed Whitehill’s Hornig and after some lengthy treatment, the home side then made a triple switch as Hornig was joined on the sidelines by Ward and O’Neil, with Scobie, McCardle and Kidd coming on. Kidd was immediately involved as the player/assistant manager did well to dispossess Barker on the edge of the Welfare penalty area. Laidlaw made good progress down the left wing for the home side but his pass inside to McIntosh saw the ball just slide under the foot of the striker on the edge of the box before at the other end, Tait twisted and turned his way past Tolmie before unleashing a fierce 15 yard drive which was superbly turned behind by keeper Gilpin. The corner from Ross somehow flashed straight across the face of the Whitehill goal area no more than four yards from goal with neither a forward or a defender able to get a touch. On 67 minutes, Harrison of Broxburn became the games first yellow card for a handball offence in midfield. On 70 minutes, a free kick into the Broxburn penalty area was invitingly headed down by Kidd but there were no takers for Whitehill before the visitors made another change as Gillen replaced Newall. Tait and Barker then combined inside the Whitehill box with the formers final effort being blocked behind and once again the corner delivery from Ross was right on the money, with a Nicol header bringing another save from keeper Gilpin. McCardle of Whitehill was referee Colin Whyte’s second yellow of the day for a fairly blatant shirt pull just before Cairney was dispossessed on the edge of his own box by Tait, who needed no second invitation and fired in a 22 yard drive which keeper Gilpin held at the second attempt. The visitors continued to press and Barker looped a 25 yard effort over the bar with the home defence looking for a flag which wasn’t forthcoming shortly before Tait then got the ball past keeper Gilpin but defenders covering behind calmly brought the ball away. With 13 minutes remaining, Broxburn made their last switch as Binnie came on for the hard working Nimmo before Ross then showed his confidence was still high as he swivelled on a Hutchison throw in and from all of 28 yards, his right foot screamer beat keeper Gilpin but clipped the top of the bar as it went just over. Next up for the visitors was Binnie who cut in from the right flank and from 25 yards, his left foot drive was brilliantly turned behind in the top corner by the strong left hand of keeper Gilpin. The visitors were well on top and with 82 minutes gone, Ross cut the ball back from the goal line to Nicol who astonishingly managed to somehow hit the bar from no more then three yards out and the rebound from Binnie was gathered gratefully by over worked keeper Gilpin. There was some relief for the home side as the ever willing McIntosh got forward and his first effort was blocked and when the ball came back to him, the second effort was well over. The home side replaced McKenzie with Thomson with seven minutes remaining shortly before Connor fired about a yard wide for Whitehill and then McIntosh was just crowded out as he tried to put Scobie in. With three minutes remaining, a cross into the Broxburn penalty area saw McIntosh with a lovely effort with the side of the foot from around 12 yards and keeper Wallace was delighted to shovel the ball past for a corner which was played back to McCardle and his drive from fully 35 yards raged just over with Whitehill claiming keeper Wallace had got the last touch. Kidd was to take his protests on the matter too far and was the third and final yellow card of an interesting contest which saw a well deserved victory for the visitors who over the piece dominated both chances and possession and probably should have scored more than just the two goals. However Whitehill were dogged and determined opponents who just wouldn’t go away and will believe that just one chance taken might have been enough to change the complexion of what was always an interesting and entertaining game for the spectators present.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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