Bo’ness United continue on the cup trail this week visiting Tranent Juniors in round three of the Alex Jack Cup. The winners of this trophy enter a play off with the victors in the South of Scotland tournament for the South and East of Scotland Shield and more significantly, a place in next season’s Scottish Cup.
In previous rounds Bo’ness defeated Tweedmouth Rangers at Newtown and Crossgates Primrose at Humbug Park. The BUs scored ten goals while conceding two against Tweedmouth the main feature a Ross Campbell hat trick. Brian Morgan and Marty Wright each bagged a brace and Fraser Keast, Chris Donnelly and Allan MacKenzie scored one goal each. Stuart Hunter scored both goals at Crossgates Bo’ness winning by the odd goal in three. Tranent went through in round one against Craigroyston after a penalty kick shootout and, again at home, defeated Easthouses Lily in the next round.
Tranent have developed a good reputation in cup tournaments over the last few years winning both the East of Scotland and Fife and Lothians Cup two seasons ago. The East of Scotland Cup run included beating the BUs on the way to the final. That was a midweek game at Forrester Park where Will Snowdon and Fraser Keast brought Bo’ness back into the game after Thomas Watter and Ben Miller had scored for Tranent early on. It was Miller who scored again, this time from the spot, to put he East Lothian side into the next round. Last season Tranent reached the final of the East of Scotland Cup but this time lost out to Penicuik Athletic.
This season sees Tranent continue their cup tradition maintaining an interest in all the trophies. They won their League Cup section going straight into the first round where they are drawn at home to St Andrews United. In the Football Nation Cup they won at Lowland League side Gala Fairydean Rovers and beat Haddington at home in the South Challenge Cup.
Bo’ness face a difficult game at Tranent but go into the tie having acquitted themselves well at East Kilbride last weekend in the South Challenge Cup. The Lowland League side controlled much of the game but Bo’ness enjoyed good spells where they created a number of chances. It is significant that it was the East Kilbride goalkeeper, Matthew McGinley who received the man of the match award having made some great saves to keep the BUs out. The performance at the K Park Training Academy shows that Bo’ness can perform against the top sides and should give them confidence in the weeks ahead. Another good display this week at Forester Park is what is required and if Bo’ness can do that they can progress to play Hill of Beath Hawthorn, Edinburgh United or Haddington Athletic in the semi final of the Alex Jack Cup.