Broxburn started life in the Super League in dramatic fashion as they blew away Bo’ness with three devastating first-half goals without reply.
From the kick-off, it was the home side who looked more like a seasoned top-flight campaigners. Manager Steve Pittman had a game plan and his players carried it out perfectly. “I’m delighted for everyone at the club with this result,” he said. “Bo’ness are the only side who have won back-to-back titles in the Super League and to beat them the way we did was really pleasing. We had a plan and it worked for us.”
Broxburn had been building up to this day for years and the fear of letting their supporters down was never far away. But there was no need to worry. Pittman’s men produced a first-half performance that would have beaten any Super League side.
Bo’ness came into this game with confidence at low ebb. They lost to Sauchie in the League Cup on Wednesday night and, last Saturday, threw away a two-goal lead against ten-man Camelon. And any confidence they had left was blown away in the 14th minute with a superb goal from Borxburn striker Mark Cowan. Scott Pittman picked up the ball inside the centre circle and ran at a hesitant defence before slipping it to Cowan, who drove home from ten yards past new signing Connor Wallace in goal.
The alarm bells were ringing now for Bo’ness and things got worse only eight minutes later. Broxburn’s Paul Millar crossed from the left to John Jeffrey whose glancing header fell to Stewart Cairns to volley home from just inside the box.
Now two up and cruising, Broxburn applied even more pressure. Their passing play was crisp and direct with the Bo’ness defence in disarray. A third goal had to come and in the 40th minute it arrived. Debutant keeper Wallace was short with a kick-out and the ball was picked up by Cowan. He played it back to Paul Millar on the left and his cross was bundled into the net off his nose by ex-Bo’ness player Jeffrey. A disastrous opening 45 minutes for Bo’ness but with the second half still to come they were still in with a chance of salvaging something.
Broxburn took the field for the second half knowing Bo’ness would throw everything at them and, for a short spell, the visitors were on top.
Gradually, though, Broxburn became more of a threat again in attack but, as a strong wind picked up, they were happy just to run the clock down to secure a fantastic result.
Broxburn didn’t look out of place in the top division and are sure to add a new fresh dimension to the Super League.
Their thrilled boss Pittman said added: “We had a great first half and knew they would come at us in the second but, we were comfortable in the last 45 minutes. I told the players to sit in with two banks of defence and it worked. Its great to be in the Super League but I’m not getting too excited because we have Linlithgow here next week and things could go wrong in that one, but Saturday was our day and I’m delighted for the club.”
Broxburn striker Jeffrey enjoyed said: “It’s been a long time in coming but it’s been worth it. The ball went in off my nose for the goal but I don’t care how it gets there as long as it hits the net. We played really well and need to keep this up for the rest of the season.”
Bo’ness boss Paul Ronald was deeply disappointed. “It was horrible,” he grimaced. “The worst 45 minutes I’ve seen from any side. It wasn’t just one player it was 11 on the pitch. We were hopeless and I told them, but they knew themselves. It’s difficult to put your finger on why but it wasn’t nice.”
Broxburn Athletic: Clark, Roycroft (Fairweather), Gibson, Cairns, J Miller, Pittman, Fairbairn (Young), Morrison, Cowan, Jeffrey, P Millar (Martindale). Subs: Kiczanski, Maley.
Bo’ness United: Wallace, Cane (Hamilton), McAvoy (Devine), Kennedy, Hunter, Nimmo, Walker, Bonar, Morrison (Donaldson), Donnelly, Hyslop. Subs: Snowdon, Shields.