A SHARE of the points was about right in another enthralling derby. Super League champions Bo’ness came looking for the points to maintain their fight to retain the title, while Linlithgow were looking for the points to stay top of the pile.
The first half didn’t set the heather on fire with chances few and far between. However, the introduction of Bo’ness sub Chris Donnelly at the start of the second half lit the fuse on what turned out to be a thrilling last 45 minutes.
Within five minutes of the restart Donnelly struck. He picked up the ball out wide left and drifted past his marker. Now some 25 yards out he sent over a looping, dipping cross. The ball was heading nowhere, but it deceived everyone, including the keeper, and dropped into the corner of the net.
Linlithgow had to respond. Immediately Colin Strickland beat the out-rushing keeper to slide the ball goal-ward. However, Scott Gibb raced back and turned the ball round the post to keep his goal intact.
They had forced the play to the other end, but still couldn’t find the net. The game then burst into life in the last 15 minutes.
Bo’ness were now under severe pressure and if the finishing of the Linlithgow strikers had been better, the visitors could have been dead and buried.
The equalising goal came with only five minutes remaining. Sub Stuart McArthur sent over a deep free kick to the back post. Mark Tyrrell knocked the ball back across goal for Tommy Coyne to side-foot it home from five yards.
Linlithgow manager Mark Bradley said afterwards: “It shouldn’t have taken 75 minutes before we got going. We didn’t take the game to them from the kick-off and that’s a disappointment.”
Bo’ness boss Paul Ronald was disappointed: “I’m gutted after taking the lead. It’s a tough one to take dropping a couple of points, but we’ll just have to get on with it and look forward to the next game.”
Linlithgow: Hay, Tyrrell, Nelson, McKenzie, Walker, McLennan, Smith (Brown), Shirra, Strickland (McArthur), Coyne, Herd. Subs: Benton, Adams, Fleming, Bradley, Allison.
Bo’ness: Christie, Snowdon, Canning, Gibb, Reilly, Shields, Duffy, Gribben (Harvey), Watt (Plenderleith), Nimmo, Walker. Subs: Bonnar, Hay, Stewart, Allan.