Juniors: Harvey’s goal is to stop slagging from his Bo’ness team-mates

REJUVENATED Johnny Harvey can’t wait to score his first goal for Bo’ness – to stop the slagging from his team-mates.

The big striker was snapped up by the back-to-back Super League champions in December after asking to be placed on the transfer list at Penicuik.

It was a dream move for Harvey, who has made an instant impact at his new club with some superb line-leading performances for Paul Ronald’s men. He made a winning debut against Bonnyrigg and has since featured in a derby draw with Linlithgow and, most recently, a narrow home win over Kelty.

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The only thing missing has been a goal and he’s hoping the wait will come to an end when Bo’ness travel to Bathgate tomorrow (2pm kick-off) on league duty.

“The boys have been great and that’s made it easy for me to settle in,” said Harvey. “But I can’t seem to buy a goal just now, which is frustrating.

“I had a few chances against Kelty but it was one of those days when their goalkeeper came out on top against me. As long as the team wins that’s the main thing but I really want a goal. I still feel as though I am contributing even though I’m getting stick from the boys for not scoring yet.

“I put pressure on myself to score and hopefully it won’t be long until the first one comes along and I kick on from there.”

Despite the lack of a tangible return so far, Ronald is delighted with the job Harvey has done so far for the West Lothian club. “He links up play and also provides a presence up front that we needed,” said the Bo’ness boss. “He has a good movement and is doing all the right things.

“I’ve told him to keep doing that. I’m not bothered that he’s not scored because he’s bringing people into the game and helping us win. It’s probably weighing on him and if he can get on the scoresheet soon that would be good for him and also hopefully enable us to win some games more easily than we did against Kelty.”

Harvey was a fans’ favourite at Penicuik but felt the time had come for a change of scenery. The fact it was Bo’ness that came calling was a bonus.

“It’s a massive club and as soon as I got the chance to come here I was always going to take it,” he added. “Things had happened at Penicuik and it was probably best for both parties that I moved on.

“Regardless of whether there had been problems or not, I would have jumped at the chance to join a club like Bo’ness, where we have a great mix of young boys and experienced pros. It’s an ambitious club that wants to win the Super League and Scottish Cup. I’m sure that’s what Penicuik will be aiming for before too long as well but it’s not happening at the moment.”

Bo’ness are up to sixth in the Super League and have three games in hand on leaders Hill of Beath. The 1-0 win over Kelty wasn’t pretty but, according to Harvey, it was an important three points for the Newtown Park side.

“It’s the time of the year that you need to pick up scrappy wins,” he said. “It’s a tough ask to win title three titles in a row and we’ve got a lot of games to catch up on some teams.

“But we showed against Kelty, on a park that wasn’t conducive to good football, that we can also grind out results.”

Bo’ness head west next weekend to face Arthurlie in the next round of the Junior Cup but Harvey will have to sit that one out. He’s cup-tied after playing for Penicuik in an earlier round of the competition.

“That’s a bit disappointing but there’s nothing I can do about that,” he said. “I’ve just got to try and be part of the squad in the league and hopefully we can keep challenging on both fronts.”

Elsewhere in the Super League tomorrow, Musselburgh entertain Camelon while Linlithgow are at Kelty.

Third-placed Bonnyrigg are in Fife & Lothians Cup action at Glenrothes and boss Max Christie will be hoping it’s a case of third-time lucky with that.

The last thing he’ll want to see is the Midlothian side facing Ashfield away in the Junior Cup next weekend without a competitive game under their belt in the space of a month.