West Lothian set up tense climax to National Trophy group stage

With the Ayrshire versus Lanarkshire match still to be played, the outcome of '¨Group 3 of the Senior National Trophy is still in the balance.

West Lothian’s latest 4-3 win over Forth Valley at Blackburn Juniors has left both teams with six points from their 
sectional games.

If Lanarkshire can win away from home to Ayrshire they will also move on to the six-point mark and so goal difference could be the deciding factor for deciding the qualifiers for the quarter-finals.

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The final deciding game is provisionally arranged to take place at Kilwinning a week on Thursday (8 December).

West Lothian secured the 4-3 win with a great comeback. Paul Gillespie (Stirling High School) fired the visitors ahead with a glorious 25-yard effort after 20 minutes’ play and the same player was involved in the second goal when he caused confusion between a home defender and the goalkeeper which resulted in Declan Wood (Stirling High School) making it 2-0.

West Lothian recovered strongly and reduced the deficit when left midfielder Euan McGill (Deans Communtiy High School) pulled down a difficult pass in great style and slid the ball past goalkeeper Ronan Fallens (St Modan’s High School).

The comeback was well and truly on when Nathan Donnelly Kay (St Margaret’s Academy) netted after 35 minutes and, five minutes later, schoolmate Ryan Robertson fired West Lothian ahead.

Ronan made a good save from a free-kick just before the interval to leave the half-time score as 3-2 in West Lothian’s favour.

Forth Valley pushed hard for an equaliser but it was the home team who scored again when Nathan Donnelly Kay 
hit home his second with an accurate angled.

The visitors pushed hard and Taylor Evans (Graeme High School) was unfortunate when his volleyed effort crashed off the post.

Callum McDonald (St Modan’s High School) then scored a superb goal late in the game following a great dribbling run and well-placed shot.

This late goal set up a grandstand finish as Forth Valley mounted a continuous series of attacks – but West Lothian held on to take the vital points and set up the cliffhanging final group tie.