Bo’ness United visit Humbug Park for the second instalment of the Crossgates Primrose trilogy, this time an East of Scotland League match where both teams want to claim all the points. The BUs, having won their first League match against Lothian Thistle are keen to build on their recent good run while Crossgates want to get off the mark having lost their first match at Dundonald Bluebell.
The first game at Newtown Park saw the BUs progress in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup but only after a single Fraser Keast goal scored with only five minutes of extra time remaining. This game did not reflect the previous midweek form where Bo’ness score freely against LTHV and Crossgates conceded seven goals at Dundonald. This contest proved a very tight affair, Crossgates defending in a disciplined way and Bo’ness struggled to breach their packed rear guard. The BUs commanded two thirds of the park but it was the final section that caused the problems. Bo’ness toiled, unable to create too many openings and even when they got an opportunity they were unable to capitalise. It was not until the final period of extra time that Bo’ness threatened the Crossgates goal in any sustained way, Primrose keeper Grant Henderson making two great saves from Fraser Keast and Allan MacKenzie before finally succumbing to the Keast strike.
Such is the nature of the season so far with teams still finding form, it is hard to predict how this weekend’s match will go and whether the first meeting at Newtown will have any bearing on the outcome this Saturday. The BUs defended well when they had to and commanded the middle of the park. Where they want to improve is trying to unlock a tight defence and find the way to goal. For Crossgates, they will be delighted with their defensive display but they seldom tested the Bo’ness back line and will want to be more effective in this area.
Worrying for Bo’ness were the injuries sustained by Brian Morgan and Marty Wright during the game and it is hoped neither player is seriously affected. On the positive front Nicky Prentice made his first appearance since being injured in the warm up game against Pollok and he adds another dimension to the BU attack.
Humbug Park represents a new venue for Bo’ness not having played their before. It is not too far away and the short journey over the Queensferry Crossing should ensure a good turnout by the BU Faithful who will be hoping it will be two up with one to go after Saturday’s game.