Bo’ness United start the quest for East of Scotland League glory with their first match, at home to last season’s runners up Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale. A very difficult game to start with that will give the BUs some idea of how well equipped they are to challenge for honours in this campaign. LTHV just missed out winning the League last season only losing out in the final deciding Championship game at Kelty Hearts, who were subsequently promoted to the Lowland League.
The Edinburgh side expanded their name a number of years ago after striking up a partnership with the prestigious youth side Hutchison Vale, a team that produced many Scottish Internationals over the years such as Kenny Miller, Gary Caldwell and Leigh Griffiths.
LTHV have already qualified for round 2 of the League Cup winning their section with a clean sweep over Tweedmouth Rangers, Ormiston and Easthouses Lily MW. Indeed, they went through the section without conceding a goal. Having gained entry to this season’s Scottish Cup LTHV did not compete in the Alex Jack Cup but instead played a friendly at Linlithgow where they won by the odd goal in three although finished the game with nine men, two of their players being red carded.
Bo’ness have played Lothian Thistle in a couple of friendlies in the last few years LTHV winning the preseason game last year although the BUs won the match three years before that. This is the first competitive game between the sides.
The Alex Jack Cup tie against Tweedmouth Rangers illustrated the gulf there is among teams in the East of Scotland League and was only really useful in allowing Bo’ness to progress in the tournament. However, it presented the players with the opportunity to have a go at goal and may give them the confidence to continue to do so in future games.
The BU manager and players will want to make a good start to the League programme and a sizeable support can provide some extra stimulus for the team. A good turnout from the BU Faithful will not only encourage the players but witness history as a Bo’ness team plays its first Senior League match in seventy nine years.