Current Season's Reports

Whitburn lose 2-1 in final league game

After the euphoria of Wednesday’s win to seal an historic third promotion in a row (a feat only ever achieved by Gretna it seems) it was back down to earth with a bump with the defeat by Newtongrange. However, with the League Cup quarter final against Preston on Tuesday to look forward to, Darren Wilson chose to give many of the regulars a rest with five under 20 players featuring during the game. The first half was a bit of a damp squib for the home side and Newtongrange forced three saves from Sean Brown before Whitburn got a sniff of goal. This came in the 16th minute when Euan McGill got into the six yard box but hit his shot over. Whitburn having weathered the early storm had three decent chances late on. First, on 33 minutes Jack Hodge fired in a deep free kick which Darren Liddell headed over at the back post. Six minutes later McGill chased a Hodge ball to the byeline and got a good cross in but Liddell’s goal bound header was saved. Almost on the half Mick McGarahan and Owen Main combined well to give the former a shot from a tight angle but it struck the post.

The second half started of brightly for the home side with three more good chances in the first five minutes. With a minute gone a wide right Hodge cross was headed by Liddell and eventually fell to Stevie Clark who forced a save at the back post. Two minutes later a Brown clearance was knocked on by Andy Thomson wide where Liddell rushed in on goal but his shot came off the upright with keeper Aaron Hamilton beaten. The final chance just after saw Clark chase a long ball and pass to McGill but he shot wide. In the 54th minute against, at that point, the run of play Nitten took the lead when a cross from the right found McGarahan under pressure from two opponents and the ball trundled into the net. The lead would last three minutes as a good through ball put in Hodge and he calmly fired into the goal. Both teams made numerous substitutions and one, u20 player Callum Byrne almost scored with a great shot which Hamilton dived to push round the post. Then, just as the game seemed to be heading to a draw in the 86th minute Declan Henry had two shots at the goal, the first of which was saved but the second, after Whitburn failed to clear, beat Brown to allow Newtongrange to do the double over us.

Whitburn win third consecutive promotion!!

Whitburn achieved a feat that few other teams have achieved as with a 3-1 over Lochore they secured a third promotion in a row cheered on by a bumper crowd of 432. It took a long time for the game to settle into a pattern and it wasn’t till the 23rd minute that the first corner came and it almost produced a goal. Jack Henderson took it low and Mick McGarahan met it with his boot but it went over. The opening goal came five minutes later Andy Thomson played a one two with Kevin Fotheringham and was fouled close to the bye line and Ross Crawford netted his 30th goal of the season scoring to keeper Dale Wotherspoon's left. With 35 minutes gone, in a rare attack Calum Murray had a shot from 25 yards that went just over. A great move three minutes later saw Crawford pass back to Max Condie who found Darren Liddell and he curled in a beauty from the edge of the box to double the lead. In the 41st minute Condie just got to the ball in front of Wotherspoon and it broke to Crawford but he was unable to chip it over the keeper. The third goal would come a minute later when a fine Fortheringham cross from the right was headed back across the goal by Crawford and fired into the net by Liddell to take his season tally to 20. A minute to the break Liddell fed Crawford who scored but he was ruled offside.

In the third minute of the second half Lochore showed they weren’t here to make up the numbers as Logan Donaldson got a shot away but it lacked power to trouble Danny Farrell. Four minutes later Jack Hodge put the ball in the net after he had chased a long ball and rounded the keeper but he had pushed an opponent prior to this so it was ruled out. With 63 on the clock after a nice move Murray scored with a screamer from the edge of the box that hammered the stantion at the back of the goal and came back out to keep the game interesting for the neutral. A good move just after down the other end saw Hodge get on the back of a great Owen Main cross but he missed the target at the back post. Liddell might have completed his hattrick midway through when another Main cross picked him out but his shot deflected off a Lochore player on to the post. Just after a Henderson corner was headed goalward by McGarahan but Wotherspoon made the save. Another great move with eight minutes to go saw Liddell feed Condie wide left who centred the ball to Henderson but his shot was also saved. Lochore had a free kick late on which was blasted over the bar to retain the two goal win. Lochore played extremely well in the second half (though not seriously troubling the home goal, the goal excepted) and deserve a huge amount of credit for not folding given that this was their TENTH game since 23 April! The win seals third place for Whitburn and, as we have noted means we are promoted to the Premier Division after only three years, jumping from tier 9 to tier 6 of the pyramid. An amazing achievement for the coaching staff and the players (with the help of the supporters too of course).

Whitburn edge closer to promotion with last minute win at Kirkcaldy

Based on last week’s single goal win over Kirkcaldy & Dysart Whitburn knew today’s reverse fixture would be tricky and so it proved. To prove the point the home side started smartly and had a shot deflected wide in the 13th minute followed three minutes later by a shot from Logan King which Danny Farrell saved well. Whitburn’s first effort would come just a minute after this, however as a great diagonal was well controlled by Darren Liddell who then fired in a cross which Kevin Fotheringham headed but keeper Dion Gear made a save. K&D came close to opening the scoring with 35 minutes when a corner was headed on at the near post and Dan Hall headed a great effort that Farrell saved by pushing it over the bar. Five minutes later a long clearance which was headed on by Ross Crawford caused confusion in the home defence but Gear finally fell on the ball with Jack Hodge putting pressure on him. In the 43rd minute Liddell got a header on goal which hit the post but was cleared for a corner. Nothing came from this and the ball found its way to the other end where Darren Ormiston forced another good stop from Farrell.

Early in the second half Hall came close to an own goal when he intercepted a Liddell cross but, luckily for him it flew over the bar. In the 54th minute Mark Wilkie hit in a good shot which was blocked by Lennon Watson’s midriff though the home side called handball. Taking a bit more control now Crawford retrieved a ball deep in the corner and hit a great cross into the middle but no Whitburn player could get there in time to get a shot on goal. He then hit in another cross that Liddell could make little of as he was closed down quickly. Just after Robert Kinnaird got behind the defence wide on the right and knocked the ball beyond the advancing Farrell but Sammy Watson managed to clear off the line. With 19 minutes of the half gone after a good move Hodge had a shot from outside the box which was blocked. Just over halfway through Ormiston tested Farrell with a good shot but the Burnie man responded with another good save. Back up the other end Crawford beat his man on the right and fired in a shot which almost fooled Gear but he managed to grab the ball. The breakthrough came from a really scrappy goal with 17 minutes to go when a low Jack Henderson corner was mishit by L Watson but found McGarahan who directed it goalwards where it bobbled around before Crawford managed to force it over the line. Whitburn then tried to manage the game to keep the points and seemed to have done so but four minutes into added time (which was extensive due to a few head knock stoppages and a water break) John Smith hit in a great shot which beat Farrell. Around three minutes later though a free kick was hit by Farrell from deep in his own half and headed on by McGarahan finding Liddell who controlled, turned and hit a great shot from the edge of the box that somehow got through the ruck of players and beat Gear to claim all three points. Elsewhere Dunipace beat Newtongrange to eliminate them and Camelon rolled over relegated Oakley 4-0. The fate of their promotion still rests with Whitburn and they now know they will need three points from their last two games to secure it.

Whitburn suffer unlucky defeat at St Andrews

Whitburn, accompanied by a decent away support (for a midweek game some 60 miles away) travelled to St Andrews and will consider themselves unlucky not to return with at least one point. They pretty much dominated much of the game, nullifying an attack that had scored 27 goals in their last four games with Danny Farrell making just one save in the 90 minutes. As early as the third minute Jack Hodge got wide and chipped in a decent ball that seemed to be misjudged by keeper Callum Brodie but went just wide. Four minutes later a Jack Henderson free kick was headed back across by Sammy Watson and headed by Ross Crawford but this again went wide. The first corner was won in the thirteenth minute and, after bobbling about the box for several second, eventually fell to Andy Thomson on the edge of the box who half volleyed a goal bound shot which was blocked. St Andrew’s first goal effort came in the 18thminute when a dangerous cross from the right by Ryan Dignan was headed wide by Lewis Sawers. Twenty minutes in the first effort on target came after a great Mick McGarahan run and cross was headed by Darren Liddell but Brodie was well positioned to grab the ball after he pushed it up. The game resorted to a midfield battle for the next 20 minutes before Brodie got lucky when he fumbled a cross but Henderson wasn’t able to capitalise as he was blocked out by a defender. The half ended with the home side’s second effort when Lewis Lorimer tried a long range shot which went just over though Farrell looked to have it covered.

Two minutes into the second half Farrell made his save when, following a Whitburn corner, the ball was cleared setting up a three v one situation and the ball ended up at the feet of Lewis Payne who drove into the box but was met by Farrell and made a fine block. On the hour a great Crawford run to the left ended in a shot which was just over. Midway through the half McGarahan hit a deep cross from the right which was retrieved by Hodge who fired in a cross from the opposite flank that just about fooled Brodie but he made the save. Four minutes later came the dubious penalty when Payne got one on one with McGarahan who seemed to cleverly rob him of the ball but they both went to ground, with the ball in Mick’s possession, and the referee pointed to the spot. Though Farrell went the right way Sawers scored from the spot to give his side the valuable lead. Whitburn went three at the back and threw everything into attack but the home defence held firm with a couple of questionable offside calls helping – on this, it seems odd that such a vital game didn’t have official linesmen especially as there were only six other games played. Sewers saw red for a horrendous midfield tackle on Max Condie in the 84thminute but St Andrews continued to thwart the visitors. The first minute of added time, however, almost resulted in a point when Brodie fumbled another cross, the ball falling to sub Dewi Taylor with a clear sight of goal on the left but the keeper made amends with a fine save of the well struck shot. The win sees St Andrews promoted and with a chance to overhaul Dunipace if the latter fail to beat Newtongrange on Saturday. Meanwhile Whitburn need six points from their last three games to guarantee an historic third consecutive promotion.

Whitburn win again to go second in the league

Whitburn won by the slenderest of margins tonight winning 1-0 over a lively Kirkcaldy & Dysart team though they will be wondering how they could only score a single goal. Yet it was the visitors that settled better as in the third and eighth minutes Tyler McKenzie had two shots at goal, the first from inside the box saved and the second from outside that hit the top of the bar. Whitburn responded with two chances of their own both from Harrison Edwards corners and both headed over by Mick McGarahan on eight minutes and Darren Liddell ten minutes later. Another corner a minute later was more fruitful as Liddell wide at the back post had a header cleared off the line by Dan Hall straight to Jack Hodge on the edge of the box and his shot was blocked by an arm in the box. The referee decided in Whitburn’s favour and Ross Crawford comfortably scored from the spot to take his tally to 27. On the half hour it was Sammy Watson who headed over from a corner then three minutes later Crawford headed Jack Henderson in but his shot from a tight angle was saved. With 39 gone a deep clearance was headed on by Edwards and received by Liddell who did well to get near the goal as he seemed well defended but he won a corner. A minute later a moment of controversy arrived from another corner, this time Watson got it on target and it seemed to go over the line but the referee, like on Saturday, didn’t award the goal and Sammy was later booked for protesting. The ball was cleared from this to the edge of the box where it was looped over defenders and retrieved by Hodge but keeper Dion Gear made a good block though the ball went straight to Crawford but his shot went over. With a minute till the half a high Danny Farrell clearance bounced well for Edwards who judged it better than his opponent and hit a great shot from the left which Gear had to be alert to save.

The second half was three minutes old when yet another corner was headed goalwards by Liddell but found Watson a couple of yards out but he swivelled and hit the ball over the bar. With around 56 on the clock K&D had a rare chance on the home goal when Jack Wilson put in Darren Ormiston but he shot over from a good position. A great move on the right in which Liddell put Hodge wide and he hit in a great cross which Crawford met with his head but he put it wide. The game then became scrappier with neither team really threatening the goal until the 79th minute when Lennon Watson, from his own half cleared the ball high in the air and it came down on the top of the bar though the referee thought Gear had touched it and gave a corner. With five minutes to go a cross from the left was met by a sweet Crawford volley but it just missed the top corner. K&D then went all out to try a claim a point but Whitburn’s defence stood firm as it had done all night and Farrell was rewarded with another clean sheet. This win lifts Whitburn above Camelon into second spot with a game still in hand. They will be hoping that Blackburn can spring a surprise at St Andrews tomorrow as they sit three points below Whitburn with a game in hand. Whitburn get a well deserved rest on Saturday and themselves visit St Andrews next Wednesday in a game that will be influential in deciding the final places.

Whitburn go third with 2-0 defeat of Leith

Whitburn’s quest for a third promotion was maintained today with a 2 goal defeat of Leith Athletic to move into the third place in the league. They got off to the best possible start when pressure on the Leith goal ended in Darren Liddell knocking the ball in at the back post after a Ross Crawford throw in sent Jack Hodge wide left who provided the cross – this in the 8th minute. Four minutes later a Jack Henderson corner was headed at the back post by Sammy Watson but it was blocked wide of goal. With nineteen minutes gone a good break ended with a Hodge shot that was blocked and eventually the ball came to Crawford outside the box and his shot went just wide with keeper Ross MacRae seemingly beaten. The one way traffic continued in the 27th minute with a 25 yard shot which again just missed the goal wide. A minute later Leith showed they could be threat when a great break found Stephen Scott whose cross Martin Maughan fired just wide. In the 39th minute Mick McGarahan headed on a long throw at the near post which MacRae tipped up in the air with the ball falling to Harrison Edwards but he could get his shot on target. Three minutes from the half another fine Leith move ended in a good cross by Maughan which Kayne Paterson headed off the bar. Another warning that a second goal might be required to earn maximum points.

The second goal duly arrived six minutes into the second half when a through ball put Crawford in and he was brought down by MacRae just inside the box as he tried to round him. The referee pointed to the spot, despite the protests of some Leith players that initial contact was outside the box, he booked MacRae and Crawford converted the spot kick. Twelve minutes later Crawford overhit a cross which Liddell retrieved and crossed from the other side, finding Hodge who had a good shot saved. A minute later a long diagonal ball by Edwards was headed by Liddell to Crawford who returned to the former who shot just over. In the 72nd minute a Liddell cross found Crawford at the back post who passed to sub Dewi Taylor whose effort seemed to be saved by MacRae over his line but the referee waved play on. Three minutes later Paterson had another great chance when put in wide left from a deep free kick but he couldn’t hit the target, his shot going wide. Eight minutes later a well worked corner saw sub Sean Reekie set up Paterson whose shot was well saved by Danny Farrell. A good block on the line near the final whistle kept the goals against zero and gave Farrell a well deserved clean sheet. With St Andrews and Newtongrange playing a cup tie and Camelon winning these results dropped St Andrews to fourth and advanced Camelon and Whitburn to second and third respectively.

Three more points for Whitburn who go fourth in the League

Whitburn welcomed Heriot Watt to Central park tonight and returned home with a 4-1 defeat though the game was much closer than the three goal defecit suggests. Jack Hodge almost got Whitburn off to a dream start in the second minute as he shot from the edge of the box following a corner but keeper Diego D’Arcy Sanchez made a fine save to push it over. With ten minutes gone a deep home free kick was headed out straight to Max Condie whose well controlled volleyed shot was well saved. Midway through the half Barney Stewart had a shot blocked over at the other end though there seemed to have been a foul in the build up. A lovely move down the right by the students almost gave them the lead as Justin Hogg drove into the box but dragged his shot across the goal and out though Nandom Domyil at the back post almost got on the end of it. The opening goal finally came with two minutes till the half when a Harrison Edwards corner was shot goalwards by Stevie Clark, hit a defender and the loose ball was turned in from inches out by Ross Crawford.

Whitburn almost doubled the lead a minute in as a deep corner was retrieved near the opposite flag by Mick McGarahan and he ran along the line before squaring the ball to a home player whose fierce shot was blocked on the six yard line. Three minutes later a free kick won by Jack Henderson a couple of yards in from the corner flag was hit by him and was heading for the top corner but Sanchez made another fine save. With 52 minutes gone Crawford got his second tap in (and 26th for the season) when a free from the right was gathered by Darren Liddell who cut inside and hit a shot that was deflected to the big man. With 76 minutes gone sub Adam Robertson stooped to head in a long throw in at the near post to make things interesting. The two goal lead was restored just three minutes later when another left wing Henderson free kick was directed at Liddell and he fired a great shot into the roof of the net. The Watt continued to play hard after this and had a couple of chances, the closest in the 38th minute when Robertson had a shot well saved. Three minutes into injury time sub Owen Main made a great run down the right and put in a superb cross which a defender missed giving Crawford the chance of a hattrick but his shot deflected wide for a corner. A minute later a ball out of defence was cleverly flicked wide by Kevin Fotheringham into the path of the on rushing Crawford who, as he drove into the box unselfishly squared to Main who tapped the ball into the empty net. With Camelon coming from behind to beat Leith Whitburn leapfrogged Newtongrange tonight to claim fourth place. Whether we stay there will depend on tomorrow’s game between Nitten and St Andrews – the home side would have to win to get back above us.

Whitburn beat Jeanfield in extra time

Fourth in the Premier division Jeanfield Swifts played fifth in the First Division Whitburn at Central Park today in the third round of the League Cup and the lower ranked team ran out 3-1 winners. Whitburn started well but it was the visitors that had the first real shot on goal in the 5thminute when Jamie Reid shot from the edge of the box but it went just wide. A large part of the next 20 or so minutes was played out in midfield and the next effort was a free kick from 25 yards out by Jack Henderson in the 27thminute but it was saved comfortably by Ben Swinton. Seven minutes later Jeanfield replied with a header from a free kick by Christopher McLeish which Farrell saved easily. With three minutes till the half Farrell made another save after Jordan Northcott shot from 25 yards. Jack Hodge had the last say in the half a minute later when he did well in the box to make space for a shot but it wasn’t powerful enough to trouble Swinton.

Two minutes into the second half Kevin Fotheringham received a through ball but his shot from a tight angle was blocked by Swinton for a corner. Five minutes later Kieran Sweeney headed a corner goalwards but again Farrell made the save. The ball was then moved quickly upfield and Fotheringham eventually squaring to Ross Crawford whose long range shot went just wide. Just after Northcott put his side in front when an error in defence let a player go wide and he centred to give him a tap in. Just a minute later Andy Thomson, on as a sub, had a shot from the edge of the box which landed at Fotheringham’s feet close in but he couldn’t turn for the shot and the ball was cleared. Oliver Hamilton attempted a shot in the 70th minute which a home player stooped to head out for a corner though it looked as though Farrell might have had it covered. Manager Darren Wilson made a bold trio of substitutions a minute later withdrawing Crawford, Hodge and Fotheringham for Dewi Taylor, Owen Main and Harrison Edwards and what an inspired move that would prove to be. It was another sub in the shape of Mick McGarahan who would head a corner goalwards at the back post in the 39th minute which was blocked near the line (by a hand according to Whitburn but the referee saw nothing amiss. From the clearance of this the ball was won by a home player and fired forward, finding Darren Liddell who, running in on goal spotted Swinton off his line and he cleverly chipped him to deservedly level the scores. Taylor started to run the Jeanfield defence ragged and had a couple of good runs that ended in blocked shots in the 87th and 91st minute. In between visiting sub Dayle Robertson should surely have sealed the game for his side as he received a lovely cross from Nothcott but fluffed his shot which dribbled into Farrell’s grateful hands and so the game went to extra time.

Many times extra time proves to be more tactical as teams seem to fear defeat and the first half of this one followed this pattern till late on. Another earlier sub, Grant Hamilton had two back post headers from deep corners which just missed in the 13th and 15th minutes, the latter really close to the top corner. The second half proved a little more exciting….. Robertson was the first to show as he got in on goal but shot wildly over in the fourth minute. Hamilton had another back post effort from a corner go wide two minutes later but the ball had come at him too quickly for him to get it under control. Four minutes after this the first result of the aforementioned inspirational substitution came as a great Main through ball found overlapping Max Condie whose cross was knocked in by Edwards. Two minutes later the second came as a free kick from Jeanfield saw their keeper join the attack. The ball was won and fired upfield with Edwards chasing it and outpacing his man having given him a couple of yards before calmly slotting it into the unguarded goal from the edge of the box to secure a fine win. The next round will see Preston visit Central Park sometime in the congested near future.

Whitburn put four past Oakley

Whitburn knew tonight that they would draw to within two points of fellow promotion hopefuls Camelon and Newtongrange, with games in hand over both, if they could beat second bottom Oakley. In the end they did so comfortably with a four goal win but the first half was tight affair with Oakley possibly having the more dangerous chances, Danny Farrell pulling off a couple of good saves. Whitburn started brightly as a Darren Liddell header from a Ross Crawford cross was well saved by David Chalmers in the fifth minute. Five minutes later hesitancy in the visiting defence resulted in a back pass that went just wide and from the corner a powerful header was cleared off the line. Jack Hodge had a shot from the edge of the box on the quarter hour which bounced viciously in front of Chalmers but he adjusted and held on. Straight back up the other end a bottom corner shot from Tommy Simpson, which the local youths behind the goal thought was in, was brilliantly tipped round the corner by Farrell. There were few chances till the 37th minute when a bit of a mix-up in the Whitburn box ended in an inadvertent deflection off the post but Farrell was able to grab the ball. Just as the half seemed to be drifting to a goalless conclusion Jack Henderson took a corner from the right in the 44th minute and Sammy Watson headed in at the back post to the rapturous cheers of the visiting fans.

With two minutes gone of the second half it was two from a bit of a stramash in the box when Watson got his head to another corner and the ball fell to Crawford whose first close in shot seemed to hit a defender and he reacted quickest to toe poke the ball over the line. With 55 minutes gone it was three in very odd circumstances as Oakley had a free kick 30 yards out and two Whitburn players were in front of the ball. A home defender took the kick quickly and the ball bounced back goalwards off one of our players and Kevin Fotheringham got on the end of it and drove towards goal, shooting from around six yards. The keeper made a save but could only knock the ball up and Fotheringham headed the ball into the net. Amazingly the referee allowed play to continue after the block and the goal counted and the Oalkley coach was red carded for his negative reaction (which to me looked justified). Midway through the half Harrison Edwards came on and soon after played in a great diagonal ball from the left that just evaded Crawford. Fotheringham then had a great shot that was cleared off the line. Oakley picked up the pace just after and laid siege to Whitburn’s goal having a slew of corners but were unable to trouble Farrell’s goal. Crawford got the fourth with a minute to go to crown a good performance by the team. Concerning promotion, Whitburn could go above both Camelon and Newtongrange (at least temporarily in the case of the latter) with a win over Heriot Watt on Tuesday of next week and still have games in hand.

Whitburn through in League Cup with win against Hawick

Whitburn won this cup tie comfortably in the end by 5-2 against Hawick Royal Albert ay Central Park today. Special mention must be made of keeper Danny Farrell returning between the sticks after his horrendous injuryy against Dunipace – it was great to see him back! The early going was dominated by Whitburn though they only had two goal bound shots in the first quarter, both comfortably saved by Jack Miller – the first from Owen Main from an edge of the box shot after good build up and the second from Darren Liddell who received Main’s pass, shimmied outside his man before shooting from 10 yards. The promised goal duly arrived around midway through the half when Sammy Watson stooped to head a low Jack Henderson corner powerfully into the net. With 26 minutes gone Stevie Clark had a good shot blocked and there were several decent blocks by the Albert defenders to protect the Miller. A great pass from Clark to Ross Crawford in the 33rd minute saw him knock the ball wide past his man and fire in a great diagonal shot that Miller saved with his legs for a corner. Amazingly from the corner Hawick scored as the deep kick was headed back by Grant Hamilton and was somehow grabbed by the keeper. The ball was launched upfield and run on to by Ben Tracey who came in from the right and timed his shot beautifully to put it beyond Farrell for the equaliser.

The second half was similar to the first in that it took ages for it to get going but Hawick were much more positive and had the first effort 8 minutes in when Greg Ford had a shot deflected wide for a corner. We had to wait till halfway through again for the second significant piece of action and again it fell the the visitors whose sub Harry Fowler fired in a great low free kick from wide left that Liddell at the back post put behind for a corner. From the corner Ford had a good shot well saved by Farrell. After this Whitburn added four goals, the first in the 70th minute saw a corner come out to Kevin Fotheringham wide left and around 25 yards out and he swung in a great shot which came off the bar and seemed to hit a defender before trickle over the line – few people would deny him getting credit to get his tally off the ground. Three minutes later Crawford swung in a low left wing cross which Jack Hodge flicked on at the near post and Liddell knocked into the net at the back one. With 32 minutes gone in the half Liddell got his second when he ran on to a great Fotheringham cross from a similar area, took it round the keeper and knocked the ball home. Around this time Hawick were reduced to ten men when, having committed their five substitutes, Aidan McGlynn had to come off injured. This didn’t stop Hawick as they had the next goal effort with ten minutes to go when Fowler shot from the left but was denied by a good Farrell save. Five minutes later Henderson, seeming desperate to get a goal for Crawford, received a pass on the edge of the box and instead tried to play in the former but his pass was intercepted. Just after Ford fired in his side’s second when he ran through on to a long ball and gave Farrell no chance. Three minutes into injury time Whitburn went nap when Sammy Watson headed in his second from another Henderson corner. The game continued for a further three minutes during which Ford had a great long range shot tipped over by Farrell – all in all a great return from injury.

Whitburn win in final Groundhopper game

This was the last game in this year’s Groundhopper in which the participants enjoyed six games over the weekend and it meant a bumper crowd of close to 600 witnessed the one goal defeat of Whitehill. Whitburn started smartly but it was the visitors who had the first goal effort in the fourth minute when Cameron Dawson got into the box but Sean Brown made an easy save – he went on to claim his third clean sheet in a row! Around the quarter hour Whitburn almost took the lead twice, both from corners – the first saw Sammy Watson hit a shot off the bar and the second a Darren Liddell header that hit the back of the net but was ruled out for offside. The game then became a midfield battle for twenty minutes with both teams struggling with the increasingly cut up surface. A misplaced back pass by Whitburn fell to Dawson in the 36th minute but his shot was blocked. Cagey stuff again till two minutes into added time when a long diagonal ball found Liddell out wide right and he took on his man before firing in a diagonal shot but it went just wide.

Whitburn got off to a quick start in the second half when, in the first minute, a Kevin Fotheringham left wing cross was knocked on at the near post by Liddell but his cross ball was just behind a lurking Ross Crawford and the ball was cleared. In the 57th minute a free kick rebounded back to Liddell whose powerful shot squirmed under keeper Morgan McIntosh at his near post and the ball hit the post, rebounding back to him. Five minute later Liddell had another diagonal shot saved with McIntosh diving to his left after a good move. Just a minute later a deep Jack Henderson free kick seemed to deceive McIntosh and he had to push the ball over the bar. Another corner a minute later brought the breakthrough as the ball was cleared out straight to that man Liddell and his strike found the net from 10 yards to the relief of the bulk of the crowd. Midway through the half sub Owen Main went on a mazy run and passed to Crawford who fed Liddell who shot wide. Two minutes later another corner was hit by Watson and his effort deflected over off a Whitehill defender. Two minutes further on, in a rare attack, Dawson went wide and hit in a shot that came off the post though Brown seemed to have it covered. With seven minutes to go Johnathan Devers seemed to push sub Ali Croall and drove into the box but his shot was saved comfortably. The final goal effort came three minutes from time when a free kick near the corner flag was taken by today’s dead ball man, Jack Henderson, and he hit the top of the bar. The remainder of the game was easily controlled by Whitburn and allowed them to take advantage of the fact that the top three all dropped points. If they were to win their games in hand they could leapfrog both Camelon and Newtongrange to get back into the promotion places.

Whitburn drop two points to Blackburn

Whitburn and Blackburn ended goal-less in this local derby though the home side will be wondering how this was possible given their dominance of the game. Whitburn almost got off to a dream start as from the whistle they attacked and Ross Crawford forced a defender to knock the ball off the post. In the aftermath of the rebound Jack Henderson went down under pressure and the referee adjudged he dived and yellow carded him – the first of a few strange decisions. Crawford came close in the 13th minute when he received the ball just wide of goal and shot but keeper Matthew Wallace made the first of what would become numerous saves. A minute later a deep free kick was headed on by Crawford and a Blackburn defender headed the ball wide. Midway through the half a great Henderson run ended in a pass to Kevin Fotheringham on the edge of the box and his shot was pushed round the post for a corner. The corner was headed goalwards by Grant Hamilton and another defender headed it over. Just shy of the half hour Jack Hodge had a good header well saved. The overwhelming pressure looked to have paid off in the 37th minute when following a set piece the ball fell to Crawford at the back post and he fired into the net but the referee decided there was an offside – a second odd decision as virtually everyone else in the park could see a Blackburn man on the line. Wallace made a couple of outstanding saves from headers just before the half – the first by Mick McGarahan from a corner and the second from Hodge after a Crawford cross.

Blackburn came out much more purposeful in the second half, though they created very little in attack, they kept Whitburn at bay for 17 minutes . At that point Crawford had another diagonal shot saved and just after a long throw was headed on at the near post to the back where Crawford stooped to head the ball but it went agonisingly wide. In the 65th minute Crawford was pulled to the ground but still managed to pass to Liddell out wide right who put in a great cross that Fotheringham couldn’t quite reach and the ball went out. With 13 minutes to go a deep Hodge free kick was headed goalwards by McGarahan but again Wallace was equal to it. With a minute to go sub Owen Main went on a great run down the left and crossed the ball in with three home players waiting but a defender got to it first and put the ball out for a corner. Into added time sub Dewi Taylor went down in the box under a challenge but the referee waved play on and then McGarahan was yellow carded for a foul on the touchline and then received a second – maybe for dissent? Given results elsewhere that were favourable to Whitburn it was disappointing that they could get the goal that would have claimed three points rather than one.

Whitburn go nap against Stirling University

Whitburn overcame Second Division 5-1 in an entertaining League Cup match which was closer than the score suggests. Ross Crawford was unlucky not to open the scoring just after kick off when he beat keeper Andrew Rowan to a through ball but his shot went just wide. With three minutes gone a shot from Darren Liddell was saved and then three minutes later a great move started by a long Mick McGarahan diagonal pass involving Crawford and Kevin Fotheringham ended in another Liddell shot that was blocked. Three minutes further on Ryan Lennon for the students replied with a good shot that had been blocked following a corner. In the 20th minute Zak Khoring from the edge of the box forced a fine save from Sean Brown who dived and knocked the ball over the bar. The opening goal came in the 35th minute when Sammy Watson knocked the ball into the net from a corner that Rowan couldn’t grab, this after a Grant Hamilton header that deflected wide from a previous corner. Four minutes later Ben Craig-Hislop got in wide right, cut inside his man and saw a decent shot well saved by Brown. Straight up the other end Fotheringham set up Liddell who had another shot saved, the ball rebounding back to him and his second effort was also saved. The second goal would only be delayed by two minutes as a cross from the left found Liddell who passed to Jack Hodge and he fired into the net for his first club goal. A Liddell header from another Fotheringham cross went over just after.

After a slow start to the second half a visiting player got through in the sixth minute and forced a good save, the ball coming to another who blasted over from about three yards. Ten minutes in a good move involving Liddell and Fotheringham ended in a pass to Hodge who had a shot saved. With 62 minutes gone the visitors had a goal back when Finlay Bainbridge had a header well saved though the ball seemed to rebound back to him and he managed to knock the ball into the net. The two goal lead was restored almost immediately when Liddell headed home another fine Fotheringham cross. Three minutes later a Jack Henderson corner was headed in by Watson, the ball deflecting out for another corner which resulted in the save of another Liddell header. With 72 minutes on the clock sub Owen Main knocked in a good cross which Hodge met well to net his second. Hodge played in Liddell three minutes later but he shot just over. Though end to end from then till the 88th minute neither keeper was massively challenged but that ended with another fine header by Liddell from a Main cross to seal the 5-1 victory.

Whitburn win at Arniston

Whitburn travelled to Arniston today in a game that looked tricky and emerged with a well deserved 2-0 victory. As pleasing for all associated with the Burnie was the clean sheet and the return to the passing game that served them so well early in the season. The home side had the first goal effort in the 2nd minute but Sean Brown made a good block. Just after recent signing Jack Hodge had a shot from the edge of the box but it went just wide. In the 12th minute home Jordan Daly made a good run along the box, rode an illegal challenge and got a decent shot away which went wide but the referee awarded the foul (luckily this was blasted over). It would be fair to say that the home side were shading it at this point but they were a goal down in the 18th minute when Ross Crawford scored from around 30 yards which was very similar to the one he scored against Dunbar as he chipped the very tall keeper. Midway through a good move from Arniston saw Ewan Graham go wide and cross to Mikey Hamilton who got a good shot on goal but Brown was equal to it with a good save. The home side should have equalised on the half hour when three men broke and Aaran Laidlaw rounded Brown but instead of squaring for a certain goal he went for goal and Grant Hamilton got back to put it round the post. After this let off Whitburn started to dominate and had a couple of dangerous corners around the 34th minute. Five minutes later a cross found Darren Liddell free and he had a good shot blocked by keeper Mark Anderson to Hodge whose subsequent shot was cleared off the line. The ball was then launched to Niall Kemp deep in Whitburn’s half and he eventually had a shot that was well saved. With three to go another double save denied Whitburn – Liddell having shot off the line and Crawford forcing an Anderson save from his effort. Almost on the half time whistle Laidlaw had a chance to level but Brown again made the crucial save that sent his team in one up.

As reported the top three of Arniston had been troublesome for the Whitburn defence but Darren Wilson’s half time talk seemed to galvanise his team as they were non existent as an attacking force in the second half. Apart from a couple of corners the home side created very little of note largely due to solid defending. Meanwhile Whitburn had a few more chances to extend their lead, making one count. In the 51st minute the first chance came when Kevin Fotheringham had a shot saved. Five minutes later Liddell had a shot from the edge of the box which went narrowly past. From a corner in the 62nd minute Liddell had another shot, this one on target, but it was saved. The pressure finally told midway through the half when a Fotheringham shot deflected wide off a defender and fell to Jack Henderson who fired into the net from close in. The only Arniston attempt came in the 69thminute following one of their rare corners when the ball came out to Kemp but his powerful shot went wide. The 75thminute brought Whitburn’s next effort when new signing Euan McGill got wide and delivered a great cross onto the head of Fotheringham (who in Whitburn colours has done everything but score!) but his powerful header was well saved by Anderson. The rest of the game was played out without further major goalmouth incident with Whitburn returning home with a well deserved two goal win. The only other game involving the top five saw Dunipace beat Preston so this win allows Whitburn to leapfrog St Andrews to go into fourth place and bring them firmly back into promotion contention.

Another disappointment for Whitburn… they were defeated 3-1 at Preston in their pursuit of promotion. Yet they stared the game well with a deflected shot by Darren Liddell being saved by home keeper Robbie Stirling after he was found by an Ali McInnes header (the latter in for suspended Ross Crawford). Then new signing Jack Hodge had a good long range shot which went just wide. Around the ten minute mark Preston, as they came more into the game, had a few blocked shots and took the lead in the 13th minute when Cameron Laidlaw converted a Stuart Briggs cross from the right. Briggs was in again in the nineteenth minute but his cross this time was blocked for a corner. Looking surprisingly lethargic, Whitburn’s best move since the start came in the 25th minute when Liddell was put in on the right but his cross just evaded Kevin Fotheringham. The two combined seven minutes later, this time from the left but Fotheringham didn’t get a great contact and an easy save was made. With 5 minutes till the half Hodge intercepted the ball in midfield and passed to a free Liddell who took a touch then fired in the equaliser.

Whitburn started the second half well as they camped in the home box and five minute in some good pressure ended in a shot from Hodge which lacked power and was saved by Stirling. Those associated with Whitburn thought we would go on to dominate the game but how wrong were we as eleven minutes in they were 3-1 down from two silly trips in the box on Anes Subasic both of which Briggs converted. With 65 minute on the clock Briggs got in on Sean Brown but he made a save. Seven minutes later Liddell put in a good pass that fell to Fotheringham but he sclaffed his effort just wide. Grant Hamilton came in with around six minutes to go and got a header in following a corner but Stirling dropped on it. Near the end McInnes got wide on the left and delivered a cross to the back post which Liddell headed but his effort was blocked. Hodge had another shot saved just after but it would be the home side that had the final effort when subs Murray Gilfillan and Ben Weekes combined but somehow the latter managed to put his shot across the goal and wide with the goal at his mercy.

Whitburn drop three points to Camelon

This crucial game in the race for promotion was lost by the slenderest of margins to Camelon who ran out 1-0 winners. In all honesty Whitburn had to thank keeper Sean Brown for the narrowness of the defeat as he made a couple of crucial saves. On the other hand another controversial officiating performance – a linesman this time – robbed Whitburn of a late equaliser – more of which later. The first shot in anger came from Darren Liddell in the eighth when he shot from 25 yards but it went just wide with keeper Evan Collumbine seeming to be struggling to get to it. On the quarter hour former Burnie Jason Walton volleyed a cross from Graham Taylor but it also went wide. Just two minutes later the first goal came when James Finlay drove in from the wing and had a shot blocked by Brown but Gregg Wylde managed to force the ball into the net. On the half hour ex Camelon player Kevin Fotheringham blocked a clearance and the ball fell to Ross Crawford but his shot was blocked. On the whole it had been a half of few chances but one in which Camelon had looked the better team as they passed the ball better than their hosts.

Whitburn started the second half well and within the second minute Liddell got behind the defence but elected to shot on the edge of the box but Collumbine made the save. Responding, Camelon had an effort cleared off the line from a corner ten minutes later and on the hour a shot from Scott Sinclair was well saved by Brown. Midway through the half Sinclair had another shot from a similar position but this time shot over. Whitburn didn’t create much during this spell but had a half chance when Liddell got wide and crossed into the middle where Crawford challenged the keeper who grabbed the ball but the Whitburn player took a head knock and had to be treated. Whitburn started pressing Camelon but the latter looked quite dangerous on the break and both Sam Collumbie and Finlay got in on the left with the first shot going wide and the second being saved. The first controversial incident came with three minutes to go when a free kick was awarded wide on the left near the centre line which landed at the back post where Liddell headed past Collumbine to get the scores level. The linesman thought otherwise and put up his flag rule out the goal – given the distance the ball had travelled the decision of offside certainly puzzled the home support and bench. Around a minute later the flag man stepped up again when he pointed out that Crawford had made a comment to him, apparently using foul language and he was given a straight red. Again everyone associated with the claret and amber were mystified as it wasn’t obvious foul language had been used. Two minutes into added time sub Ali McInnes had a good shot from wide left but it narrowly missed the target and that was the last goal effort and Camelon held on to the three points.

Ten man Whitburn battle to earn point v Dunipace

In common with last night’s game a strong wind blew all game and all but made the game a lottery – a shame given the importance of the game. The opening minute epitomised how the game might be played out as a promising Whitburn move ended in the ball coming to keeper David Kane who thumped the ball with wind assistance and the ball took one bounce over the bar with Sean Brown back pedalling. Around the 8thminute Dunipace forced a couple of corners which were well dealt with by the home defence. Just after a great through ball to Harrison Edwards saw him go free but he lost out to a couple of defenders one of whom seemed to pass back to Kane. Nothing was given and this was the first of a number of questionable decisions given by the referee. On the quarter hour a great Kevin Fotheringham diagonal ball put in Darren Liddell wide on the right but his cross , with Ross Crawford waiting in the middle, was blocked. Just a minute later the visitors had the lead with a wind assisted cross from the left wing by Jordan Herron which dropped in at the back post. On the half hour in a rare Whitburn attack Andy Thomson was taken out midway inside the Dunipace half and the referee, seemingly unaware of this, played an advantage and allowed the game to continue a few seconds when it was clear no advantage was going to come thanks to the strong wind. When the game was stopped thanks to a throw in after this he booked the Dunipace defender (Morgan Galloway I think) but no free kick was given – not a great application of the advantage law. With two minutes of the half to go another high clearance bounced well for Sam Colley who bravely headed the ball with Brown advancing and the two collided. Luckily for Whitburn the ball went wide and correctly no action was taken against Brown as he made a good challenge – one of the few breaks the whistleman gave Whitburn. Into injury time Brown made a good save at his post from a softish looking free kick wide on the left about 30 yards out.

The second half though competitive produced fewer chances as, to be honest, Whitburn weren’t able to exploit the wind as well as their visitors. Also, their visitors pulled every trick in the book to waste time with Kane probably the worst offender as he took ages over every bye kick and he probably should have been booked as the motives were clear – this would prove crucial later. On the hour Whitburn were unlucky when a deep Mick McGarahan free kick was headed back across goal by Crawford to Liddell but his shot was saved at the second attempt as the ball seemed to squirm under his body initially. Midway through the half Thomson was red carded in the box for an alleged two footed tackle. Following the foul and before the card there was the usual stramash during events like this in which Kane went into Thomson with both arms raised and he pushed the latter to the ground. Given the red to the Whitburn man, most expected the Pace man to also receive a red but instead a yellow was given to the amazement of everyone in the ground. With 15 minutes to go Colley got in on goal but a great block deflected his shot out for a corner. Just three minutes later in the 78th minute a diagonal ball found Fotheringham wide on the left and his great low cross was converted by Crawford in the middle to bring the sides level. Much of the rest of the game was played out in midfield though, despite possibly looking more tired on the soft surface a man down, Whitburn looked more likely but the final ball was never quite good enough to trouble the defence. Overall a great point in the circumstances at the end of the day which keeps us still in contention for promotion.

Whitburn back to winning ways!

Whitburn started the game with their two new signings, Pearse Carroll and Kevin Fotheringham, looking to end their recent bad run of form against bottom side Vale of Leithen. The first half was quite incredible as Whitburn completely dominated the first 40 minutes of it creating chances galore but Vale of Leithen managed to get two goals in three minutes to draw them level (though Sammy Watson restored the lead a minute into added time). The game was 19 minutes old when a great Darren Liddell left wing cross which looked goalbound was knocked into the net by Vale’s Michael Tys though both himself and Ross Crawford had come close prior to this. Three minutes later a cross from Watson was pushed out by the keeper straight to Harrison Edwards whose shot was blocked. A minute later Liddell headed over from a corner then Carroll had a weakish shot saved. Carroll from 25 yards in the 29th minute had a far better shot which was pushed round the post by Christopher Malcolm. Two minutes further on Edwards received a cross from Fotheringham, turned and found the bottom corner with a powerful shot. With six minutes to go Grant Hamilton headed a Fotheringham corner over. A minute later and innocuous looking through ball was missed by a home defender allowing Daniel Taylor to run in on goal and he converted well. Gaining confidence from this Taylor got in again and was judged to have been downed in the box (though Sean Brown seemed to have got the ball) and James Flynn scored from the spot to stun the home support. A long diagonal Reece Boyle pass was chased by Liddell just after but he volleyed over. A minute into added time a Watson shot from 12 yards flew into the net when Vale of Leithen couldn’t clear.

Five minutes into the second half a great Fotheringham pass put in Edwards wide left and his equally fine cross was knocked in by Crawford to restore the two goal lead and we all expected one way traffic. At this point Carroll was replaced by Jack Henderson – the youngster having performed well . It didn’t quite work out like we expected as five minutes later Taylor got behind the defence again and calmly rounded Brown before slotting the ball home (though he looked offside) to get it back to 1. On the hour Crawford got in on the left and had a good shot tipped over by Malcolm. He then passed to Edwards who found Fotheringham but his shot was saved. Crawford then had a shot when blazed over and with 27 minutes of the half played he was replaced along with Edwards and Liddell, Andy Johnston, Owen Main and Ally McInnes their replacements. Around the 29th minute an Andy Thomson right wing cross was cleared out to Henderson on the edge of the box and his powerful shot hit the back of the net. Just after McInness might have added to the lead when free in the six yard box from a Main cross but he didn’t get enough on his shot to trouble the keeper. Fotheringam might have got his first goal just after but he headed straight at the keeper from a similar position. In added time Johnston was fouled in the box and converted with just about the last kick of the ball to give Whitburn a three goal win.

Late Rally Fails to Save Whitburn

In common with the cup tie last season in which Whitburn trailed Dunipace by three goals and scored three late to take the game to extra time, this time they could only muster one goal and lost 4-2. After a cagey start Whitburn started to dominate and the first goal effort fell to Harrison Edwards on the quarter hour 25 yards out but his shot was comfortably saved. Released on the left midway through the half Edwards found Ross Crawford in the box who fired in a shot that was saved by the keeper David Kane’s legs. The pressure paid off in the 25th minute when a similar Andy Thomson ball to Edwards saw his cross this time knocked in by Darren Liddell at the back post. The lead only lasted 2 minutes, however as a defensive slip let in Sam Colley on the right and his cross was converted by Conor Kelly. With 37 minutes gone Thomson intercepted the ball in midfield and passed to Stevie Clark whose shot from the edge of the box spooned up off a defender but not enough to chip Kane who made the save. With 4 minutes till the half the home side took the lead when Martin France crossed from the right and Colley scored from close in.

Four minutes after the half Dunipace had the ball in the net again from a corner but the referee penalised a blatant foul on keeper Sean Brown . Two minutes later they did have the ball in the net a third time as a clearance was headed towards a free Colley and he scored with a screamer from 25 yards out. On the hour Whitburn had a couple of half chances, the first Edwards put in Max Condie on the overlap and his cross was just missed by Ross Crawford. Then a diagonal ball from Condie found Liddell on the right and his pass found Crawford whose shot deflected wide with Whitburn claiming a hand ball. Then in the 21st minute a right wing Liddell cross was headed goalwards but cleared off the line. Just a minute later the ball was lost in midfield and fell to Jordan Herron who fired his team into the aforementioned three goal lead. Whitburn dug in after this to try and keep the opposing tally to four and were gifted a lifeline in the 84th minute when sub Ally McInnnes scored with a shot from the edge of the box after a corner. Whitburn then had a succession of corners and laid siege to the home goal but the closest they came was another Crawford shot two minutes into added time which was deflected for another corner. In summary there wasn’t a great deal between the two teams but Dunipace fully cashed in on a couple of Whitburn errors while the home defence were a bit more secure.

Whitburn share the points with Heriot Watt

Whitburn travelled to Heriot Watt looking to bounce back from the defeat last week at Newtongrange and, although it ended their short losing run, they ended up with a point. It turned out to be a game of few chances in which neither keeper was greatly troubled. The students, who started well had the first real chance in the tenth minute when a Nandom Domyil cross from the right was headed wide by Campbell Marr at the back post. Just a minute later Whtiburn took the lead against the run of play when Owen Main put Sammy Watson wide on the right and his cross found the back of the net, evading the reach of keeper Diego D’Arcy Sanchez. Heriot Watt maintained the balance of play but got nothing on target till the 26th minute when Domyil robbed Grant Hamilton and shot from the edge of the box but on loan Sean Brown pushed his shot wide. Whitburn won a free kick on the edge of the box in the 37th minute and Jack Henderson sent in a low effort that was well saved by Sanchez.

The second half, though competitive, produced even fewer chances though the home side always looked more likely to score. They eventually managed to do so with eight minutes to go when a right wing cross from Domyil was turned in by Barney Stewart with a scissor kick at the back post. Almost on full time Scott Peggie hit in a dangerous free kick from wide on the left that Brown had to tip over to retain parity. Into injury time after a poor Whitburn challenge that the referee played on Max Condie, back from injury, was clattered just beyond halfway. This caused an old fashioned stramash that the referee found difficult to break up. In the end, and after about (it seemed) five minutes he ordered off the Watt’s skipper Craig Smith and booked a couple of others then gave the free kick to the home side. Afterwards Reece Boyle came closest to getting a winner but he headed just wide from a corner and the referee blew the final whistle with 55 minutes on the clock. Not a classic but a game which neither team did enough to warrant the three points.

Whitburn drop three points at Newtongrange

The first quarter of this game was dominated by Whitburn and it looked as though they might get back to winning ways. Despite their dominance they were unable to take the lead though, in the 14th minute Darren Liddell dispossessed a defender outside the box and passed to an open Ross Crawford whose shot went just wide. In the 26th minute the home side did take the lead in their only attack till then when Chris Robertson went wide and found Aidan Barrowman whose low shot from the edge of the box found the net. Two minutes later Nitten went two up as Sean Guiney headed in a corner at the near post. This quick fire double gave the home side confidence and they started to dominate.

Hopes of second half recovery were dashed four minutes in when a left wing cross was converted by Michael Jones to make it three. Almost from the centre, however, the gap was reduced back to two when Jack Henderson fired in off the post after a good move up the right. Sadly throughout the remainder of the game Newtongrange looked more likely to score and a fourth was added into injury time when a ball from the right evaded Blair Gallagher, came off the post and was tapped in by sub Declan Henry to give his side a deserved win.

Whitburn beaten at Bo’ness

Top of the First Division took on top of the Second today and it was the lower ranked team that ran out 6-2 winners. The first half got off to the worst possible start for the visitors as within a couple of minutes Michael Weir tapped in due to a defensive error. Bo’ness, looking sharp doubled the lead in the ninth minute when Chris Ogilvie scored coming in from the right and Whitburn knew they had a game on their hands. In truth they were outplayed in the remainder of the half and about the only time Ross Crawford got into the box he limped off injured., Jack Henderson replacing him. Our hopes for a two goal deficit at halftime were thwarted by Ogilvie in the 34th minute running in on goal, from what looked like an offside position, and scored.

On the occasion of the fourth goal, headed in by defender Blair Woodburn from a corner in the 56th minute prompted a treble substitution with Darren Tomaszewski, Owen Main and Andy Johnston making way for Ali Croall, Harrison Edwards and Zane Russell. This produced a result six minutes later when Henderson set up Edwards and he scored from the left. The three goal deficit would only last a minute as another piece of wretched luck befell Whitburn saw a shot from outside the box by Weir deflected high off a defender and fell into the net. Midway through the half a through ball put in Russell who outpaced his man and slammed the ball past the advancing keeper to bring a little more hope. With 11 minutes to go from another corner Warren Paterson got the sixth with a header to send Whitburn unceremoniously out of the King Cup.

Whitburn beaten at Rosyth

Whitburn’s most recent trip across the Forth ended in a disappointing 5-3 defeat. Rosyth had the first goal attempt in the fourth minute as Jack Denham headed a corner goalwards but on loan keeper Kyle Leiper made the save. Ross Crawford responded with a shot that was blocked by a defender. On the quarter hour Harrison Edwards got in on goal but his weakish shot was blocked back to him by keeper Jarrett Macaulay as was his second effort. On the half hour the home side took the lead when Thomas Hampson was freed on the left and fired diagonally past Leiper. .Just six minutes later Crawford scored from a penalty given after Edwards was upended by Macaulay to level. Two minutes into added time the lead was restored when a right wing pass was squared by Matifadza Zata to Ciaran Healy and he shot past Leiper from 7 yards.

Four minutes into the second half Rosyth won a free kick on the left corner of the box and Aiden McAvoy put in a teasing curling ball that Leiper seemed to misjudge and it ended up in the net. Whitburn were handed a lifeline just three minutes later when a back header to Mcaulay was fumbled by him and Darren Liddell took advantage to fire the ball into the net. Immediately after Ally McInnes got in wide left but his diagonal shot went just wide of the right hand post. The equaliser would only be delayed by four minutes when Liddell got a second with a close in shot when found by a Max Condie cross after he had been found by sub Owen Main. Around the 18th minute the home side had a couple of attempts saved – the first from a header by Denham after another corner and the second from a shot by Healy. Three minutes later after good play that kept the ball in the Rosyth box Crawford hit a sweet shot from the left which Macaulay dived to save, knocking the ball on to the underside of the bar with the ball eventually cleared. Just after Main picked up a loose ball and drove goalwards but shot just over. In the 70th minute disaster struck as a right wing cross by Callum Strang came off Grant Hamilton and deflected into the net. Twelve minutes later Crawford had another shot saved after a good right wing cross from Liddell. Main then had another shot saved and the ball immediately went down the other end where McAvoy forced a save. Just after Andy Johnston was caught by a high boot from Zak Mooney which hurt him as he went down in a heap and had to be stretchered off, the Rosyth man being sent off. Whitburn were unable to take advantage of the extra man despite flooding forward and were caught on the break seven minutes into added time when a cross from the rfight was put in by Darren Ormiston – it has to be said both the crosser and the scorer appeared to be well offside when the pass came in. Despite this reverse Whitburn still top the table by goal difference just above Camelon, St Andrews and Newtongrange with all four teams on 27 points.

Whitburn back to top of league!

With a narrow last minute midweek win by Camelon which leapfrogged them over Whitburn, a win today at Camelon would put the Burnie top again. The early going saw Whitburn quickly get on track playing far more fluent football than their hosts and were first to show when Owen Main was put in on goal in the 12th minute but he scuffed his shot wide from 15 yards. Around the 18th minute Camelon came to life with two decent chances – first a corner came out to ex Burnie Jason Walton whose 25 yard shot went just wide. The second saw James Finlay get in wide on the right but his diagonal shot found the side netting. Amazingly, in a game of such high quality there was only one further chance and it fell to Whitburn on the half hour when a Darren Liddell free kick found Reece Boyle but his shot was not powerful enough to trouble keeper Evan Collumbine.

The second half provided much more goal mouth incident and the half was two minutes old when Ross Crawford came close to opening the scoring when he chased down a good Max Condie through ball and touched it past Collumbine but it came of the post and was cleared. Keeping the pressure up Liddell almost scored just after as Camelon were pinned in their box but he wasn’t able to turn to get a shot away. With nine of the half gone Liddell would get his goal with a great strike after some great interplay from Whitburn, Owen Main finally putting in Liddell. The lead would only last seven minutes as, after a triple substitution from the home side, the newly arrived Kevin Fotheringham fired home a free kick which had been headed to the back post. This spurred on Camelon who, all of a sudden, started to look dangerous on the break. However, it was Whitburn who had the next chance with 16 minutes to go when a Condie cross was headed on by Liddell to Crawford wide whose cross seemed to be deflected high forcing Collumbine to push the ball over. In the 80thminute Danny Farrell launched the ball upfield to start another attack but the linesman decided that he had taken the ball outside the box and flagged for a free kick. Just after Whitburn made a double substitution with Andy Johnston and Harrison Edwards replacing Stevie Clark and Main. Fotheringham took the free kick which got through the wall but was comfortably held by Farrell. Two minutes later the same player tried a cheeky chip from the corner of the box but it went just over though Farrell seemed to have it covered. With five minutes to go Walton, who had been booked previously, tripped Johnston and was ordered off. Johnston was then put in by a great Edwards ball and shot from a tight angle but a defender got it off the line (though he looked quite deep in the goal – as the break was so quick there is no way the linesman could have got back to adjudicate). As the game seemed to be going towards a draw Whitburn won a corner on the right with a minute of added time played. Edwards swung in a great ball at head height and Grant Hamilton headed it powerfully into the net. So, after a last minute win, Camelon followed it up with a last minute defeat and Whitburn sit proudly on top of the league on goal difference but with a game in hand!

Whitburn win derby by the odd goal in five

Whitburn travelled to local rivals Blackburn today knowing that a win would take them back to the top of the table on goals scored. They also knew that, despite Blackburn’s poor start to the season after relegation, that they would be in for a tough test – and so it proved but it was no classic. The home side had the first shot in the 5th minute after the opening sparring but Danny Farrell made a comfortable save. With 16 minutes gone Laurie Devine was held back in the box as he drove goalwards from a wide position and he scored from the spot. Tails up, Richie Hutton almost doubled the lead following a free kick but again Farrell made the save. With 24 minutes gone a deep cross from Ross Crawford wide on the left caused a collision between captain James Mildren and keeper Callum MacDonald as Harrison Edwards bore down on them which caused the ball to be spilled by the latter straight to Darren Liddell who took a touch and fired the ball into the empty net. The keeper obviously took a head knock and after 4 minutes he had to be escorted off and replaced by Jack Main – we wish him well and hope for a speedy recovery. In the 37th minute a Liddell corner was headed to the front post from the back where Crawford got a shot in but it was bundled out by a defender for another corner. The go ahead goal would only be delayed a minute as Mick McGarahan was fouled in the box and Crawford scored from his spot kick.

The way the game had gone we all expected Whitburn to go on and add to their lead but Blackburn had other ideas and by the second minute of the second half they drew level when Sam Nicolson tapped in a great left wing cross. Blackburn then enjoyed a good spell but didn’t really create a lot but it was enough for manager Darren Wilson to make a triple substitution in the 55th minute with Aidan Martin, Owen Main (making his first start for the club) and Andy Johnston replacing Reece Boyle, Harrison Edwards and Liddell respectively. The game was losing fluency and the red cards awarded to Whitburn’s right back trialist and 9 saw both teams reduced to ten men. A McGarahan header from a long throw in which was headed for the top corner in the 71st minute which the keeper athletically knocked round the post was the first real goal mouth action for quite a spell. Three minutes later Andy Thomson robbed a defender just outside the box and played in Crawford wide on the right and his cross was knocked in by Main to give him a dream start to his Whitburn career. The remainder of the game continued as scrappily as the last half hour had been with neither side looking particularly dangerous in front of goal and Whitburn saw it out to claim the three points. With Camelon and St Andrews both on cup business, this win saw Whitburn go back to the top of the league as described above.

Whitburn lose out in five goal thriller

This game saw Whitburn lose their winning league run to third placed St Andrews who leap frogged them to go second top. The first half was as full of incident as the second would prove to be but ended goalless. A sign of things to come arrived in the 10th minute when a long diagonal ball from the visitors found Lewis Sawyers and he forced a save. Straight back up the other end an Ali McInnes cross was almost reached by Ross Crawford but the keeper just beat him to it. Whitburn’s first corner, in the 16th minute was knocked out to Mick McGarahan on the edge of the box but his instinctive volley ent just over. Just after St Andrews started to dominate and had the ball in the net in the 23rd minute after a good Danny Farrell block ricocheted around the 6 yard line and was knocked in but the referee blew for offside. Two minutes later a cross from the right was headed goalwards by Ryan Dignan but Farrell made a comfortable save. This spell of intense pressure ended on the half hour when Sawers had another shot saved. The 36th minute saw Whitburn’s best move which ended with a good McInnes cut back reaching Darren Liddell whose first shot was blocked back to him to have another goal and this time the shot was deflected for a corner. From the corner the ball came out to Harrison Edwards who crossed the ball to the back post where Andy Thomson headed it back to McGarahan whose effort hit the post and was retrieved by Calum Brodie. Enjoying the bulk of the play at this point Whitburn created three more decent chances but, like their visitors, couldn’t find the net. The first in the 42nd minute saw Andy Johnston go on a mazy run which ended in a great cut back but none of his team mates could get on the end of it. Two minutes later a speculative McInnes shot from 25 yards lacked the power to trouble Brodie. The final chance was another nice move involving Liddell, Johnston and McInnes with the latter seeing a shot from inside the box blocked.

Whitburn continued their dominance into the second half and deservedly took the lead when a Johnston free kick was back by Liddell at the back post to McInnes who made no mistake from 10 yards with a precise shot to open his record for the Burnie. Seven minutes later Liddell got in on Brodie, rounded him but was forced wide and eventually had a shot blocked. Just after a long Liddell throw was headed on at the near post by Grant Hamilton and headed goalwards by Crawford but it came off the top of the bar. On the hour Crawford netted from close in after great build up work from McInnes to Liddell to the big man to double the lead. This double set back seemed to spur on St Andrews as they began to dominate again (and this time Whitburn wouldn’t so lucky...). Sawers was in again wide twice in the 19th and 21st minute, the first time a shot well saved and the second a great Hamilton block to prevent the cross. Immediately after from a corner the ball fell to a free Ryan Roche who hit the ball into the net. Two minutes later in this pulsating game the visitors were level when another piece of slack defending allowed Dignan to be found by a right wing cross and he took the ball round Farrell then rolled the ball into the net. Just three minutes later Whitburn were lucky not to concede a third as, from another corner Dignan headed off the bar. Whitburn tried to regain the initiative after these setbacks and a lovely move in the 73rd minute saw Liddell head on a deep ball to Crawford who back heeled into the path to McInnes who set up Liddell but his shot went over. Just after Ryan McManus got in and forced a save whilst Dewi Taylor on as a sub got on the end of a long throw but couldn’t get his shot on target and it went narrowly past the post. Just as the game seemed to be heading to a draw a deep cross to seemingly nothing three minutes from the end found two visiting players lurking free at the back post and Scott Reekie shot the ball beyond Farrell. Despite around four minutes of added time Whitburn couldn’t mount one of their famous comebacks and ended up conceding the three points.

Whitburn out of Alex Jack Cup

With half the first team missing due to various injuries this game against Arniston looked to be a difficult one. In the end the visitors took the tie 2-0, a late breakaway goal flattering them in what ended up a very mediocre game. Whitburn were a goal down in the second minute when an awkward back pass to Danny Farrell bounced just as he attempted the clearance and ended up in the net. The rest of the half provided two Arniston efforts, one past the post and the other over and no real attempts from Whitburn. The half time talk prompted a good third quarter to the game for Whitburn but they still didn’t threaten the Arniston keeper as stout defending protected him. In the 46th minute a Ross Crawford cross was headed just wide by Jack Henderson and both Dewi Taylor and Andy Johnston had shots blocked. Meanwhile midway through the half Tom Davies forced the only save of the game when he got in on the left and Farrell denied him with a good save. The injection of a trio of substitutes did little to turn the game which continued to lack quality. A minute form the 90 minutes an Andy Thomson square pass found Grant Hamilton free in the box but keeper Marc Anderson was out to block him. Into added time as Whitburn sought the equaliser a Thomson free kick in the 5th added minute was headed back across goal by Hamilton but u20 sub Blair Hughes couldn’t get enough on his header and it went agonisingly wide. The second goal a minute later saw Davies get free again but this time he hit the target.

Whitburn edged out on penalties by Broxburn

Fresh from their triumph last week against higher ranked opposition, Whitburn travelled to Premier Division leaders Broxburn looking to repeat the feat. In their first visit to Albyn Park since 2010 they almost managed to pull this feat off. The first half was very even and played mostly in midfield with few good chances. The first came in the ninth minute when Danny Farrell saved a shot from Ross Nimmo though it seemed to be going wide. Btw, apologies to Broxburn players who were either not or mis identified as the numbers on their jerseys were very difficult to read. New signing Ally McInnes had his first shot on goal with 15 minutes gone after good interplay between Ross Crawford and Harrison Edwards but it went over the bar. A minute later Edwards played in Crawford wide on the right but he opted to shoot from a very acute angle and badly missed the goal. Midway through the half a looped shot which looked mishit from range forced a tip over the bar from Farrell. With seven minutes till the half the best chance of the game came when a cross from the left was headed with power goalwards by Calum Heath and Farrell made a fine save.

The second half was nine minutes old when Edwards was fouled on the edge of the box and he hit the free just wide. Just four minutes later Darren Liddell tapped in a pass from Crawford after he had been fed by Edwards. Midway through Broxburn equalised when a corner from the left was headed from the back post by ex Burnie Gary Brass (I think!) and Nick Locke converted. Two minutes later Mick McGarahan, on as a sub, was adjudged to have fouled his man in the box (even Broxburn supporters around us couldn’t see any contact) and fellow sub on the other side Errol Douglas made no mistake from the spot to give his side the lead. We know the resilience of this team and the heads didn’t go down and Whitburn stepped it up, McGarahan having a shot blocked close to the line from a corner with 79 minutes gone. Three minutes later the scores were levelled again when McGarahan netted from another corner, this time from a header. A minute later Broxburn’s Lewis Turner was given a second yellow by what had become a card happy referee. Around this time Ali Croall, the u20 left back, who had come on as a sub was caught around the face by an inadvertent high boot and had to be substituted after lengthy treatment. He left the field of play looking dazed so we hope he is OK – update: no serious damage done. The final significant action of the game saw a long ball from keeper Bob Watt in the 85th minute headed on by Douglas to Locke who hit a decent shot that Farrell saved well. And so, for the third time this season we went to extra time.

It would be fair to say that Broxburn, who had seemed to be spurred on by the sending off, had the better of extra time and had the ball in the net in the seventh minute of it but the player was ruled offside. Just after Farrell made a good save from a Douglas shot and into the second half a last ditch McGarahan tackle denied Douglas as he was poised to shoot. Given that Whitburn ended the game with four u20 players on the park as they had a number of first team players unavailable, to even take the game to penalties against their unbeaten hosts must be seen as a massive boost to the confidence of the club. In the penalty shoot out Crawford opened the scoring, Liddell hit the bar, Andy Thomson converted and Reece Boyle’s was saved. Meanwhile Locke, Douglas, Downie and Thomson all scored to see Broxburn through 4-2.

Can they do it again – of course they can!

History repeated today at Prestonfield as they won the EOSFL Centenary Cup against Linlithgow by a score of 3-2 having beaten the same team in 1986 in the East of Scotland Junior Centenary Cup. Whitburn were first to show in the 6th minute when a header from a corner by Grant Hamilton was cleared off the line straight to Mick McGarahan whose header was saved high up. Conor McKenzie replied with a shot that went wide six minutes later. With 15 minutes played a nice move in which Louis Maguire passed to Max Condie and his through ball for Ross Crawford was just got to by keeper Lewis McMinn. In the 21st minute a Darren Liddell long throw was headed on by Crawford to Harrison Edwards who volleyed the ball into the net. Just two minutes later a ball from defence was rushed on to by Edwards who outpaced the defence and scored flashing a shot past the advancing McMinn to make it two. A good break by Calum Rae in the 25th minute put in captain Connor McMullan but he shot wide. Three minutes later McMullan got his side’s first effort on target from a 25 yard free which Danny Farrell pushed out diving to his left. With 33 gone a defensive error fell to Crawford who passed to Liddell but his shot deflected wide. From this McGarahan headed goalwards and Crawford got a touch to send it into the net to create a three goal gap. Three minutes later the gap was narrowed to two as Rae came in from his wing and found the net from the edge of the box with a fine shot. With a minute of the half to go McMullan had another shot saved. Into added time Liddell saw two efforts go wide, the first a header of a great Condie cross and a second wide header from a corner.

It was clear that the half time talk had been stern from the home side and with three gone Sneddon set up Rae who had a shot saved. Sub Sean Heaver crossed from the left wing and the ball found the top corner of the bar and post then came back off Farrell and into the goal to make it 3-2. On the hour Greg MacPherson was red carded as he pushed Andy Thomson to the ground after a disagreement after a foul. A minute later a Thomson deep cross was fumbled over the line by McMinn and from the corner McGarahan saw an overhead kick go just wide. In the 70th minute sub Andy Johnston raced onto a through ball but pushed the ball wide of the keeper with a slightly overhit touch. Crawford really should have had a second in the 78th minute after being put in by a Liddell interception but he mishit his shot straight at the keeper. Five minutes later a Linlithgow man was fouled on the edge of the box and Heaver took responsibility to level the scores but Farrell made a fine save with his legs. With five minutes to go Maguire was taken out wide on the right and the offender was given a second yellow to reduce his team to 9. On the final minute of the half Heaver had another shot go just wide. The four minutes of added time were seen out with ease by the 11 men and so Whitburn had won the trophy much to the delight of all their supporters. A great win against Linlithgow in the end, a team two tiers above Whitburn in the pyramid.

Whitburn make it six league wins in a row

Whitburn travelled to Meadowbank Stadium for the first time and emerged with three points after a 4-2 defeat of Leith. Initially the play was confined to midfield as the teams sparred on the huge playing surface, Ross Crawford having the first goal effort in the tenth minute with a shot that went just wide. Five minutes later Leith's 9 drove into the box but a fine tackle by Adam Laidlaw thwarted him. Three minutes later a totally free Sonny Swanson was found by Cammy Stewart and he made no mistake from 15 yards to give his side the lead. This led to a great reaction from Whitburn who dominated till added time in the first half. In the 25th minute Crawford passed to Max Condie whose fine cross was headed just wide by Darren Liddell. Two minutes later Condie fed Crawford out wide and his shot was saved by Jamie Smith. The equaliser came a minute further on in the 28th when a deep Louis Maguire free kick on the right was headed in by Grant Hamilton. A minute later Crawford had a similar shot to the last which ended in another save. With 39 minutes gone another Maguire free kick form a similar postition ended with an overhead kick by Mick McGarahan but it went just wide. The go ahead goal would come a minute from the half when a great McGarahan pass freed Crawford on the left and his cross was converted by Maguire whose shot on the turn found the net. Two minutes into added time Leith might have regained parity but Danny Farrell made a great block on a Kayne Paterson shot, the ball falling to Dylan Greatorex whose shot was cleared off the line. The final action of the hald saw a Lddell shot from a corner saved.

The third quarter of the game saw Whitburn's dominance continue and an interception in midfield by Reece Boyle saw him find Crawford whose flick was caught by Smith. In the 54th minute Crawford would get his goal as Condie put Harrison Edwards in out wide on the left and the big man hammered home the youngster's fine low cross. On the hour Edwards was fouled in the box but Crawford, reliable till now from the spot, beat the keeper but hit the bar full on, the ball coming way out of the box. With 18 minutes to go Laidlaw, 30 yards out and free to have a shot did so with a fine looping effort that foxed Smith. Whitburn made four substitutions just after this in two tranches perhaps thinking about the final on Sunday but this disrupted their dominance and Leith (who also put on replacements) ended the game strongly. With six to go James Scobie hit a great shot from 20 yards that flew past Farrell into the top corner to narrow the gap. A minute later a long ball put in Paterson but he shot wide when he looked certain to the ball on target. The action ended, however, in the 87th minute when Andy Johnston found Edwards whose shot flashed just past the far post. With Camelon beating Vale of Leithen 3-1 Whitburn remain top on goals scored with goal differences being equal.

Whitburn beat Peebles in extra time

Another amazing game full of incident saw Whitburn run out 3-2 winners against Peebles in the Alex Jack Cup. Whitburn started brightest and in the 4th minute Martin Russell got in the box and had a shot blocked by the keeper to Harrison Edwards but his shot went wide. Just after Edwards seemed to be felled in the box but no penalty was awarded. Peebles then dominated for a short period and Michael Joyce had a shot blocked from a good cross then Mikelanxho Bardhi had an effort that went wide. Joyce got in a little later and forced at good save from Danny Farrell low at his post – all three efforts around the 8th minute. Whitburn then retook control and it was pretty much one way traffic till the fateful last minute at the half. Ross Crawford came close in the 20th minute when the ball broke back to him after a weakfish shot was blocked and he attempted an audacious looping shot which came off the bar. Just after Darren Liddell headed a corner wide then a Max Condie through ball put in Louis Maguire but he fired over. Condie was involved again in the 34th minute when he turned on an Edwards cross and shot at goal but a defender got a block on it. Just a minute later Maguire passed to Edwards on the edge of the box and he fired a beauty into the bottom corner. Crawford then had a shot saved after more wide play from Maguire. This was followed by some play in the box ending with a Russell shot which came off the post. Meanwhile, although Peebles had offered nothing up front, that fateful last minute saw Grant Wilson chase a long ball which Farrell seemed to get to and claim but the Peebles man appeared to fall over him and the referee awarded a penalty. Russell was booked for protesting in the aftermath of the award. Wilson scored from the spot to give his team parity at the break.

Buoyed up by this unlikely equaliser Peebles started well and in the 49th minute a good diagonal ball found Joyce on the left wing and he forced another low save. Five minutes later Joyce found himself in the exact same position and the result was also identical. Another moment of controversy came in the 56th minute when Russell jumped into a header with an opponent and was given a second yellow – it may have been a foul but it didn’t look like a yellow but he had to go. Peebles took advantage almost immediately as, with 58 minutes gone, a bad pass back allowed an attacker to get in and he cleverly crossed to Wilson who scored at the back post to give his team the lead. Three minutes later Edwards attempted a long range free kick which looped over the wall but the keeper made a comfortable save. 72 minutes in a long Mick McGarahan (on as a sub), throw in was headed on at the near post and landed at the feet of Maguire and he fired the ball into the net. Andy Johnston, also on as a sub, put in a great cross which Crawford headed just wide. Johnston then passed to Crawford who got a weak shot in which was blocked off the line by a defender straight to keeper Ross Coats. With ten to go another controversial decision denied what looked like a clear penalty when another sub in the shape of Dewi Taylor seemed to be bundled to the ground as he bore down on goal. With a minute to go an Andy Thomson throw ball was rushed onto by Crawford who was pushed out wide and hit a shot well over. With fully five minutes of added time gone a Thomson free was retrieved by Crawford out wide right and his cross came off the bar and eventually the ball fell to Johnston but he shot wide. Near the end Fraser Srewart was red carded on a second yellow for a rash challenge. And so, for the second time this season, we were headed to extra time. Quite why a minor cup like this needs an extra 30 minutes rather than go straight to penalties is one that could be debated long into the night.

With 5 minutes of ET gone another good run and cross by Johnston reached Condie who may have experienced a famous Central Park bobble as his timing was all out and he looped the ball over the bar. Just a minute further on Whitburn to advantage of their numerical superiority when a glancing McGarahan header guided the ball into the goal at the back post following a fine Maguire free kick from wide right. Apart from another wide left shot from Robbie Renwick this time which came off the post seconds into the second half of ET, Whitburn were able to see off their opponents comfortably. They also created at least four chances to fully seal the win, sub Jack Henderson forcing two good saves, one from open play and the other from a free kick. Also Johnston had a shot go wide and Taylor just missed converting a Johnston cross. Late on Taylor was fouled in midfield by an over exuberant Kyle Kivlichan who was rightly given a second yellow for a wreckless challenge.

Whitburn earn another three points and stay top

Whitburn welcomed Preston Athletic to Central Park for the first time in over 25 years as the East Lothian side had gone senior many years ago. It was they who got off to a dream start as they led by a great strike by Jamie Devlin after a cross from the right in the 35th second. Darren Liddell responded with a shot from a free kick in the third minute but it missed the target. Whitburn drew level on the quarter hour when a Max Condie pass put in Louis Maguire who fired in a great cross which Ross Crawford converted at the back post. Midway through Sebastian Mrowczynski delivered a good ball to Liam McIntosh whose shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Danny Farrell. With 26 minutes gone Maguire got a touch on a back pass which took the ball beyond keeper Sam Gray but it lacked pace and a defender cleared it off the line. Maguire would have better luck two minutes later when he ran on to a through ball and slotted it past Gray. Maguire would be provider with 10 minutes till the half when he crossed from a wide position after a great move and found Crawford but his shot was just over. Four minutes later Andy Johnston put a pass into the box which Liddell stooped to header but Gray blocked well. Two minutes into added time Mikey Hamilton had a decent shot well saved.

Like in the first half Preston started really well when, with seconds gone Jack Gillam had a shot blocked back to him and then forced a save from Farrell. Three minutes in Maguire, in inspired form, got behind the defence and had a shot deflected for a corner. Two minute later Johnston after a corner drove along the 18 yard line and hit a great shot that the keeper pushed wide. Just after a dangerous cross came in from the right which Grant Hamilton intercepted with the ball going out close to the post for a corner. On the hour Whitburn’s lead was doubled when sub Harrison Edwards robbed an opponent in midfield and went wide before putting in a cross that Liddell headed past the keeper. Five minutes later fellow sub Reece Boyle, playing in midfield, put in a great pass for Crawford but he shot wide from a wide position. Maguire went on another mazy run in the 72nd minute beating two men before having a shot saved at the near post, the ball coming back to him and his second shot was cleared off the line. Edwards then had a couple of good breaks, the first ending in a shot saved and the second a shot narrowly past the post with the keeper beaten. Crawford then had a free kick from wide left well saved. Edwards produced another move of brilliance when he got free down the left in the 77th minute and he passed to Crawford who found Maguire and he shot past Gray. Four minutes later Maguire might have had a hattrick when he headed in another Edwards cross but hit the well positioned keeper. With a minute to go Anes Subasic did well in the box and fired a good shot which Farrell saved diving to his right. A minute into added time sub Jack Hamilton found Liddell with a good cross but his shot was blocked. A minute later the referee pointed to the spot for what seemed a pretty innocuous challenge and Hamilton converted the penalty. Deep into added time Liddell had the ball in the net twice and both were disallowed for offside. The first was because the keeper was committed 10 yards off his line and there was only one man between Liddell and the goal. The second followed quick thinking between Henderson and Liddell that saw the latter get in and score but, as said, this was also chopped off. Whitburn remain top with an 100% record and with a higher number of goals scored than Camelon as they have the same goal difference.

Whitburn back to winning ways

Whitburn returned to league action tonight and emerged with a 2-1 win against Arniston in a very tight game. In the third minute Louis Maguire fired in a free kick from the left edge of the box which the keeper saved diving to his left. A great save by Danny Farrell five minutes later in which he leapt to keep the ball out after it had deflected high up off Andy Thomson. A super move in the tenth minute saw Darren Liddell get his first goal when he fired in a great Harrison Edwards cross. With 17 minutes gone disaster befell Farrell as he sliced a back pass and the ball looped up, landing at the feet of Arran Laidlaw who simply tapped the ball into the net. On the half hour Farrell was alert to intercept a ball bound for Laidlaw from the left. Two minutes later Edwards picked up a loose ball and shot from the edge of the box but it went over. With three minutes till the half Crawford wide on the left crossed and Andy Johnston tried a volley but didn’t hit it quite right and was then clattered into by a defender. Two minutes later Max Condie spotted Crawford one on one on the edge of the box and found him with a great pass, Crawford controlled and fired just inside the post with keeper Marc Anderson stranded. Just into injury time Maguire drove goalwards and seemed to be fouled on the edge of the box but the referee unaccountably gave him a yellow card for diving.

Whitburn should have doubled the lead in the 50th minute when Liddell ran on to a good ball out of defence but elected to shoot and fired over when a square ball to Crawford would have been a better option as they had a two on one. Two minutes later Crawford drove along the line and put the ball across to the back post but Johnston was crowded out at the back post and the ball cleared. Edwards and Thomson both shot over just after and then Laidlaw did likewise after he had been allowed to continue though he looked offside. Midway through the half a great Liddell cross from the right was headed just wide by sub Martin Russell. Just after Johnston tried a 25 yard shot which the keeper saved. In the 72nd minute a high cross from the right was headed by a diving Stephen Woods but Farrell made a comfortable save. Straight back up the other end another Crawford cross was just missed by Russell at the back post. In the 81st Tom Davies shot from wide on the left and Grant Hamilton on the line kept it out. Neither side was able to create much for the remainder of the game (including 6 minutes of added time) so Whitburn secured the three point and go top on goals scored as they and Camelon have the same goal difference.

Whitburn beaten in Qualifying Cup

A game of three crucial errors ended in a 6-4 defeat to Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, currently the bottom team in the Premier Division. Ben Ramage got his side off to a great start when he picked up a loose ball 30 yards out hit the top left corner with a screamer. Just a minute later came the first error – a pass back that was intercepted by Ronan McMurchie who then rounded keeper Blair Gallagher and tapped into the empty net. Tails up, the Swifts almost added a third two minutes later when Ryan Cowie got behind the defence on the left and found Che Reilly whose shot was well saved. With 15 minutes gone Whitburn’s first chance came when a Louis Maguire shot from the edge of the box was pushed round the post by keeper Michael Gibb. Three minutes on the second blunder occurred – almost a carbon copy in that a pass back was too short and intercepted, this time the ball passed to Liam Kelly who scored from close in. Immediately after this Maguire worked space on the right and hit a shot form a tight angle that was parried out by keeper Michael Gibb only to be retrieved by Darren Liddell who passed to Andy Johnston on the edge of the box and he found the net with a fine strike. In the 24th minute a goal bound Grant Hamilton header from a corner was blocked as Whitburn tried to claw their way back. Just a minute later Maguire won a penalty as he wriggled about the box and was eventually fouled, Ross Crawford made no mistake from the spot. In the 39th minute a high ball was headed towards Crawford on the edge of the box and his powerful shot was saved by the keeper diving to his left. The final real chance of the half fell to Swifts’ Ben Ramage who got in on goal but Gallagher saved his shot.

With 4 minutes of the second half gone Kelly intercepted a pass from defence and forced a save from Gallagher. Straight up the other end Maguire went on another mazy run in the box which ended in a shot which came off the post. The 55th minute saw the third error as the ball was lost very cheaply in the centre circle and the ball moved quickly to Ryan Cowie who dispatched the ball beyond Gallagher as he advanced to narrow the angle. Ever resilient, Whitburn closed it back to a goal deficit on the hour when, following a long throw, a shot from the edge by Andy Thomson deflected in off sub Reece Duncan. Three minutes later the scores were level after Crawford, back to goal, received a throw in, pivoted and curled a beauty into the opposite corner seeming to take the keeper unawares. Three minutes later Crawford rose above everyone at a corner but his header powered over the bar. With momentum on their side it looked like Whitburn might go on to win but a good run wide out on the left midway through by McMurchie ended in a cross that Che Reilly knocked into the goal to restore the lead. Deflated, it took Whitburn 10 minutes to mount their next attack and a foul on the edge of the box hit was taken by sub Harrison Edwards but his shot was saved. With 7 minutes left Grant Hamilton passed to Crawford out wide who passed to Duncan but he shot just over. Another good move four minutes later with build up from Reece Boyle and Duncan saw the latter lay the ball into the path of Darren Liddell but his shot was blocked by a defender for a corner. With one minute of added time played the game was killed when sub Sean Cumming fired in the Swifts’ sixth.

Whitburn beat Dunbar in extra time

This EOSFL Centenary Cup semi final with Linlithgow awaiting the winner, looked to be fairly even as both teams were going in, after promotion, with similar records and so it proved in the end. Whitburn started the brighter and the game was three minutes old when Ross Crawford fed Harrison Edwards wide and he drove to the line before sending over a high cross that Crawford could only head wide. A quarter of an hour later Darren Liddell intercepted a pass in midfield and drove goalwards before unleashing a shot which was comfortably saved. A minute later a long Liddell throw was headed on at the near post but there were no takers at the back post and the ball went out for a bye. Midway through in Dunbar's first serious attempt Darren Handling drove in from the left wing and got into the 6 yard box where Danny Farrell made a save at his near post. Two minutes later Crawford ran on to a Max Condie through ball and his shot forced a good save from Shea Downie. Dunbar were starting to look more dangerous as the half wore on and in the 32nd minute Taylor Hendry crossed from the right to Aaron Congleton who shot from the edge of the box was well saved by Farrell. A similar move six minutes from the half saw Hendry the recipient of a Robert Berry cross but he fired wide.

Early in the second half Jonathon Edmond sustained a head knock and had to change his shirt due to blood, swapping his 9 for one with 2 on his back. Ten minutes in a good Johnston break ended in him playing in Edwards but his shot went wide. A minute later the new number 2 would head Dunbar in front as a good move on the left ended in a cross from Ben Bathgate which Edmond bullet headed into the net giving Farrell no chance. Two minutes later another long Liddell throw was back headed by Crawford and narrowly missed the target. Edmond had another attempt two minutes later, this time a shot that was well saved. Straight back up the other end a Condie cross was headed goalwards by Crawford but it lacked the power to trouble Downie. Good interplay between Liddell and Johnston on the right ended in a good cross by the former but a defender managed to head the ball out. With 69 minutes gone it was Dunbar's turn again as a pass out of defence was intercepted and the ball reached sub Gregor Goldie whose shot from a tightish angle was well saved by Farrell. Whitburn responded with a dangerous cross from Crawford which a defender got back to the keeper by what looked like a back pass but nothing was given. A free kick in the 73rd minute eventually fell to Andy Thomson who shot wide. Two minutes later Crawford gathered the ball 45 yards out and hit a high looping effort that deceived everyone in the ground as we thought it had gone well over but in fact had gone into the goal, the big man obviously spotting the keeper off his line - an incredible goal! Somewhat deflated, it seemed, after this Dunbar rarely threatened Whitburn's goal as extra time loomed. Whitburn, however were unable to capitalise either as their only real effort after the equaliser was a nice move involving Liddell and sub Reece Duncan who played in Louis Maguire but Downie got off his line to intercept. And so the game went to extra time.

Three minutes in Duncan tried a free kick from the left corner of the box which was on target but was saved by Downie. Very little happened at either end until the 12th minute when Dunbar finally awoke and a corner was knocked out to Brandon Archibald just outside of the box whose shot was blocked to Grant Thomson who hit a great effort from 10 yards out which was also brilliantly blocked and kept in to a allow a counter attack. This ended in a corner which Jack Henderson, on earlier as a sub, chipped in and Reece Boyle leapt higher than the flat footed defenders and powered a great header into the net to give his side the advantage. The second half of extra time was simply a seeing out exercise for Whitburn and they did it superbly, keeping their hosts at bay. This win against the fourth team in the Premier league sets up a final against Lowland league Linlithow Rose on Sunday 10 September in our first competitive match against one our main rivals from the past in several years. Should be a cracker!

Whitburn win at Lochore again..

..but this game was much tighter than the league game which Whitburn won 5-0 – this time it was 2-1. The opening quarter of an hour were pretty cagey with both teams looking for an opening. Whitburn’s first real attempt on goal came in the 18th minute when, following a free kick, the ball came to Andy Johnston outside the box but his shot flew over. Midway through the half Scott Small played in James Gunn but his shot lacked the power and accuracy to beat Danny Farrell who saved easily. Like often happens, Whitburn went straight up the other end and scored when Darren Liddell got free on the right and fired in a shot that Dale Wotherspoon saved though the ball deflected to Ross Crawford and he had an easy tap in. On the half hour Johnston had another long range effort, a daisy cutter this time which Wotherspoon saved. Four minutes later Sean Cusick tried his luck form outside the box and this was also well saved. A minute later Jack Henderson hit a free kick from 25 yards which looked to be top corner bound but Wotherspoon leapt to push it over. The final goal attempt came from the home side whose Gunn had another shot saved.

The second half was three minutes old when Henderson drove into the box and a defender seemed to kick the ball towards his own goal and only found Crawford who fired in but the rferee decided he was offside. A minute later Crawford on the right forced a save from Wotherspoon. With 55 minutes gone Matthew Christie shot well from distance and although Farrell made a good diving save, the ball squirmed out but the keeper managed to recover the ball under pressure from Gunn. On the hour debutant Adam Laidlaw drove down the right and fired in a great cross that Johnston just missed. Three minutes later Wotherspoon took a free kick wide out on the left and slipped, the ball getting cleared straight to Johnston on halfway and, as the keeper hadn't got back, he tried a lob but the keeper did manage to get back enough to push it round the post. From the corner Liddell headed wide. The home keeper made another great save minutes later when a high ball was well controlled by Johnston and his goalbound shot was again parried away. Johnston had another shot saved in the 70th minute when found by a good Harrison Edwards cross who had been found in turn by a wide Liddell ball. Mick McGarahan out wide passed to Crawford in the 79th minute and, with the keeper committed, he crossed but a defender got to it first and cleared. In the 81st minute Lochore were level when a left wing cross was headed goalwards by Cusick and Cameron Bell headed in from close range. With five to go Crawford played in Zane Russell, an u20 player on as a sub, whose cross was deflected just wide by fellow sub (and slightly older) Martin Russell. With another minute gone as Whitburn sought the winner, a Liddell header put in M Russell wide left and his cross was knocked in at the back post but again the referee decided he was offside. The 88th minute was truly crazy as Crawford seemed to be pushed to the ground near the box but the referee played on and a clearance from defence was headed off his opponent's back by Grant Hamilton, the ball being picked up by Cusick who fed Bell who in turn drove towards the box and seemed to be fouled near the edge. Again no award so Whitburn cleared and Crawford found himself in a similar position but this time got the shot away which Wotherspoon, having an inspired game, saved. Just as the game seemed to be headed to extra time resilient Whitburn scored 2 minutes into injury time when Louis Maguire passed to Crawford on the edge of the box again and this time he got the better of his defender to get one on one with Wotherspoon who had no chance this time as Ross's shot hit the back of the net to set up a second round tie at home to Peebles.

Whitburn come from two down to win

Traffic congestion and another potential car issue saw us miss the first quarter of the game so I’ve no idea of what happened before the 25th minute. When we arrived the heavens opened and neither team were really able to create anything of note in a fiercely contested game. Whitehill were looking superior, however, and took the lead with a well worked goal up the right flank – Jonathon Grotlin crossing to an unmarked Jonny Devers who controlled the ball before slotting it past Danny. The home side continued to look more dangerous and doubled the lead in a similar manner with three minutes till the half, Byron Archibald wide this time and Marc Malloy netting with a first time shot. Whitburn, as we know have a very positive attitude and, despite being second best for most of the half, scored two minutes into injury time when Martin Russell headed in a left wing free kick.

With their confidence up Whitburn started the second half more like the team we know and love and six minutes in Andy Johnston had a good shot well saved by Ben McGinley, though the ball rebounded out to sub Reece Duncan and he forced another save from a tight angle. Just shy of the hour the scores were level when a neat piece of play on the edge of the box saw Johnston pass to Louis Maguire who slipped a lovely ball through to Duncan but home Marc Forsyth tried to intercept on the stretch and fired the ball into the net. Five minutes later Darren Liddell on for Harrison Edwards headed a high ball into the middle which Duncan gathered and forced another good save. Then in the 70th minute Liddell chases a wide ball and raced in on goal beating his man but the referee penalised him for a shirt pull. A minute later Liddell again got free wide right and put in a great cross but there were no takers. Whitburn were well on top at this point though Whitehill were dangerous going forward but less effective in and around the box. A Whitburn trialist was the next to try his luck after a ball came out from a previous attack, hitting a thirty yarder in the 80th minute but it came off the back of a defender for a corner. The winner came with six minutes to go from the right wing again, this time Johnston running onto a long wing ball and putting in a superb cross that Ross Crawford fired home. Whitburn were fairly solid for the rest of the game and six of the seven minutes of injury time but a free kick was awarded then and a header came off the outside of the post. So, another three points which keeps the Burnie on top on goal difference from the only other 100% team, Camelon.

Whitburn go nap and go top

Whitburn travelled to Lochore midweek and came back across the Forth with three point and a convincing 5-0 win against their hosts. Once again I'm sorry to say I missed the game as we suffered a puncture for which we needed assistance a couple of hours before the game. As before it was a constant checking online and the had barely started when Whitburn took the lead through Louis Maguire. With around 26 minutes gone Second Division top scorer last season, Ross Crawford, added a second. A couple of minutes before the half young Harrison Edwards, a recruit from the u20 team, made it three. Well in control now Crawford doubled his tally to make it four around the 70 minute mark and Reece Duncan, back from his broken arm, made it five ten minutes later. So, after two games Whitburn lead the league with a +8 goal difference, 5 better than second place St Andrews' - recall both teams were promoted.

Whitburn start First Division with convincing win

Whitburn's league campaign in the First Division of the East of Scotland League got off to a great start with a convincing 4-1 win over Oakley. Unfortunately I missed the game so there will be no report but my eyes were glued to the Facebook page and the EOSFL website. The first half seemed to be a tight affair with Harrison Edwards breaking the deadlock in the 39th minute with a free kick. Ross Crawford doubled the lead in the 63rd minute with a shot from an Edwards cross and super sub Andy Johnston made it three with eleven minutes to go when he rounded the keeper before firing home. The home scoring was completed in the 83rd minute when Edwards doubled his personal total with a shot from 18 yards. Oakley a consolation goal almost on the final whistle. The win sees Whitburn start the campaigm in second place behind Blackburn who won 5-2 against Arniston so sit atop due to goals scored.