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Tuesday Sport on 26th July, Derek Hall’s report,Edinburgh University v Bo’ness United

todayJuly 28, 2022


Edinburgh University 0-5 Bo’ness United

A nice night for football at Peffermill and both Edinburgh University and Bo’ness United came into this one off the back of encouraging opening day results, so this had the makings of an excellent contest. Within 30 seconds, a long cross towards the back post almost picked out Alassan Jones for the visitors but Ross McGuire was there to turn the ball behind for Uni. On three minutes, Dan Watt and Lennon Walker combined before finding Jones and he laid the ball across to United skipper Michael Gemmell who tried to place a low 20 drive in the corner but the effort was blocked. Uni quickly broke to the other end and only a superbly timed tackle from Nicky Locke prevented Lewis Hendry from breaking into the United box. However the opening goal arrived with four minutes gone as Jones worked the ball to Watt and he held off his man before laying the ball off to Jamie McCormack who was calmness itself as he placed the ball in at the base of the post from the edge of the box with the aid of a slight deflection, a really classy finish. It was very nearly two minutes later when Uni’s Ben Mail gifted possession to Jones who raced forward and clipped the ball inside to Walker who managed to get his angled header past keeper Alli Torrance but the ball was cleared by the hard pressed Uni defence. However all the early good work from United was almost undone after ten minutes when a loose pass back by Declan Hughes was pounced on by Hendry who raced through and from the edge of the box, he stuck the ball through the legs of United keeper Musa Dibaga, only to see the ball bounce off the outside of the post and wide, a big let off for United. Another Jones cross saw Jamie Todd knock the ball down for Tom Grant who had his eight yard effort turned behind by keeper Torrance and after Jones’ first corner was sent behind by Max Condie, the second came out to Hughes whose 23 yard effort crashed off the underside of the Uni crossbar before being cleared. Play was flowing pretty much in the one direction and Jones played in Walker who worked his way along the Uni goal area before firing in a low drive which Uni keeper Torrance did well to grab at the second attempt. After 17 minutes, John Ward then found Jones who worked his way across the face of the Uni box only to see his 20 yard drive blocked by Condie. Next up was Walker who swivelled on a pass from Hughes but fired high and wide from just inside the Uni box. Uni were only threatening sporadically but a lovely pass from David Maskrey sent McGuire to the United goal line and Walker had to concede a corner. The set piece saw Matthew Dick control the ball before trying to find Hendry who was then penalised for a foul on the edge of the United box although the Uni no9 felt the free kick should have gone his way. With 24 minutes gone, Walker and Jones yet again combined before finding Hughes but Uni’s James Lawton got his body in the way to block the drive. Two minutes later the United lead was almost doubled as Walker managed to get onto the end of a cross on the stretch from around ten yards and the ball beat keeper Torrance but McGuire was back to clear the ball off the line as Uni continued to frustrate the Bo’ness attack. Hughes sent a nice corner over on 29 minutes and picked out McCormack who was clearly annoyed that he got right under the ball and headed high over the Uni crossbar. On the half hour, Patrick Baird worked his way forward for Uni and his pass sent Condie down the left flank but with men to find in the box, his cross drifted harmlessly over and Uni had to make better use of their few chances when they occurred. On 33 minutes, Walker picked up a loose ball in midfield and as the Uni defence backed off, he curled a placed left foot effort just wide of the far post from around 23 yards. The same player tried a right foot drive a couple of minutes later from 25 yards but he sat back on this one and skied it well over. After 36 minutes, Uni’s McGuire was warned by referee Rhys Struthers for bringing down Jones before Hendry managed to fire in an effort which had the pace taken off it before reaching United keeper Dibaga. However two minutes later, Uni had another great chance to equalise when a flat footed United defence looked for an offside flag which didn’t arrive and Hendry raced into the United box before pulling his sixteen yard drive across keeper Dibaga but agonisingly wide of the far post, and his disappointment was obvious. Three minutes from the break, a foul on Watt gave Hughes the chance to clip the set piece into the Uni box and as McCormack sent his header over the bar, the offside flag went up. Just when it looked like United’s first half dominance would only be rewarded with the most slender of advantages, the second goal finally arrived right on half time from the penalty spot. A loose pass 30 yards out saw Walker onto the ball and he raced into the Uni box only to be cleaned out by keeper Torrance’s attempt to hack the ball clear and after the keeper had received some treatment and the inevitable yellow card from referee Struthers, Hughes stepped up to stick the ball confidently low to the keepers left and into the bottom corner to give the West Lothian side a two goal lead which their overall performance had thoroughly merited. Uni would certainly have to up their game in the second period, but they had remained organised and had hung in there, and just needed to be more clinical when decent chances presented themselves.
A minute into the second period, United’s Locke was a little short with a back pass to keeper Dibaga, who had to be on his toes to clear as he was closed down by the hard working Hendry. The Uni centre forward was feeding on scraps but his willingness to put in a shift was at least keeping the United defence honest and he had Todd under pressure on 50 minutes and the United centre half had to go back to keeper Dibaga once more. A minute later, Uni got some more encouragement when Baird dispossessed Walker in midfield and moved forward before playing in Hendry and his low right foot drive from seventeen yards brought out a brilliant save from Dibaga who got down low to his right to not only make the save, but hold the ball as well. Grant responded for Bo’ness with an effort from fully 30 yards which zipped over the Uni bar. However with just over 52 minutes on the clock, Bo’ness looked to have made the game safe as Walker worked hard to get into the Uni box and make space to get a low drive away which keeper Torrance did well to block with his outstretched boot, but first onto the loose ball was McCormack and he slotted his second and United’s third home from nine yards. Uni were still showing plenty of spirit and Baird turned the ball inside to Maskrey who did well to dig out a shot from 18 yards which United keeper Dibaga took no chances with and tipped the ball over. A minute later, Bo’ness took their skipper Gemmell off and replaced him with Dylan Coll. Two minutes later, Grant worked his way into the Uni box and his cut back saw Watt at full stretch as he turned his 10 yard right foot effort over the top, a difficult chance. After 61 minutes, Uni full back Condie went down off the ball just inside his own penalty area and referee Struthers quickly stopped the game. Fortunately after some treatment both on and then off the field, the player was able to continue. After 65 minutes, United went to their bench a second time with Lewis Hawkins coming on for Grant. Three minutes later, it was all over and McCormack was able to celebrate his hat trick with the best goal of the night as he played a lovely one two with Watt on the edge of the Uni box and then cooly slipped the ball low past Torrance from a tight angle into the far corner of the net for a finish any forward would have been proud of, far less a full back. A minute later, we had a double switch as Uni replaced Lawton with Louis Maurice while Bo’ness made their final change as Devon Jacobs came on for Hughes. With 72 minutes on the clock, Mail sent a ten yard header wide for Uni, but once again the flag was already up. Fifteen minutes from time, Walker and Watt combined nicely before the latter fired in a looping angled drive which beat Uni keeper Torrance but bounced off the top of the crossbar and over. Luke Murray then replaced Alex Hamilton for the home side before Watt and Walker created another chance and this time it was Walker who screwed his shot wide from the edge of the Uni box. A minute later, Walker went even closer and brought out a brilliant diving save from keeper Torrance who went low to his right to palm the ball away from danger. With 81 minutes gone, United got their fifth and it was a deserved reward for Watt who had held play up brilliantly all night to bring his team mates into the game but the goal was made by Hawkins who got down the right and fired a low driven cross over which Watt guided past keeper Torrance at the near post with the most delicate of flicks for a quality finish. Four minutes from time, Uni’s McGuire was the second yellow card of the night and when the resultant free kick was delivered, it was McCormack who sent an eight yard diving header over the Uni crossbar. Two minutes from time, Jones swung a great free kick onto the Uni six yard line and Hawkins saw his header deflected behind for a corner. Jacobs delivered the corner and Watt saw his flick with the outside of his right boot from nine yards scrambled behind at his post by keeper Torrance. Jacobs corner this time saw Watt peel off his man at the front post and Uni keeper Torrance was down to hold Watt’s low drive. In the end, a very comfortable victory by a United side who dominated this game from start to finish and who at times looked a very impressive side. Uni stuck manfully to their task, but in order to really stay in games like this, they are going to have to be that bit more clinical in front of goal when those good chances come along.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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