Bo’ness United held onto top spot in the East of Scotland Premier Division with their fourth straight win, a 2-1 success at Dunbar United, writes Kevin McAlpine.
Goals from Ross Campbell, on his 200th appearance for Bo’ness, and Ryan Stevenson had United in a comfortable position although a late Darren McCraw counter caused a few jitters in the closing stages.
Earlier, there was action straight from kick-off when Craig Henderson managed to test Dunbar keeper McCathie after only 11 seconds.
McCathie was involved in the game’s next action when he collided heavily with Stuart Hunter after both contested an inswinging corner. There were penalty claims but nothing given and after treatment Hunter continued the match.
A goal arrived for the visitors on 18 minutes from a corner kick, Campbell finding himself unmarked in the area and having the simple task of nodding in an excellent Stevenson delivery.
There was a penalty claim for Dunbar when Murphy and Chapman collided in an identical manner to the earlier incident, again the officials saw no infringement and play carried on.
Dunbar’s best chance of the half came 10 minutes before the interval when McLaren drove into the penalty area from the right wing and picked out the unmarked Ballantyne at the edge of the penalty area, his effort however was poor and Murphy easily saved.
Szemis then sliced an attempted clearance onto his own crossbar, fortunately for him the ball fell kindly and was hacked clear to spare his blushes.
Mark Mooney was introduced to the game in the second half, replacing Keast, and the young forward showed up well.
He almost grabbed himself a goal a minute after coming on after a swift BU counter involving Craig Comrie and Tom Grant, the latter finding Mooney unmarked and again McCathie was alert to the danger and kept the ball out.
Szemis forced Murphy into action with a 20-yard free-kick after Hunter had upended McLaren.
Just after the hour mark Bo’ness extended their advantage from the penalty spot after an excellent counter-attack saw Mooney turn his marker and break into the box.
His attempted cross to Donnelly was handled by Peden and referee Lee was quick to award the spot-kick.
In the absence of regular taker Brian Morgan it was Stevenson who took on the responsibility to send McCathie the wrong way with ease.
With 10 minutes left Andy Murphy pulled off a super stop with his legs to deny substitute Darren McCraw after a Dunbar clearance caught out the Bo’ness backline and sent him scampering clear.
From the resultant corner Dunbar did pull a goal back when McCraw seized upon a headed clearance and saw his strike take a deflection to wrong foot Murphy and find the net.
The last chance fell to BU skipper Donnelly whose mazy dribble saw him nutmeg both McTernan and Szemis to find himself one on one with McCathie who was quickly off his line to block the ball wide.