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Saturday 19 December

Pumpherston Juniors 0-5 (HT: 0-2) Whitburn Juniors

Pumpherston : Quinn, Forret, Spooner, Hastings, Butler, Slessor(Purvis 65), Batt(Rae 65), Smith, Forbes(Erskine 65), Mnagan, Fleming, Subs: McGuigan, Farley
Whitburn: Horne, Hamilton, Hogarth, Skinner, Porteous, Adams(Wilson 73), Taylor, Martin,  K Russell, Brass, Bain(M Russell 53), Subs: Bakhsh, Hubbocks

A potentially awkward fixture away to Pumpherston in their first game in December and the last one before a break (and after several weeks without a competitive match), this was always going to be a tricky game. A strong swirling wind and a very heavy pitch added to the problems but you would never have known it as Whitburn simply blew the home side away with a great performance. The first goal in the 8th minute saw the ball get to Gary Brass who, with back to goal, turned and slammed the ball into the net from 10 yards. On the quarter hour, assistant manager Russell Hogarth fired in a high free kick which eventually fell to James Martin but he shot just over. Martin had better luck midway through when a Jordan Bain throw in was headed at the near post by Dewi Taylor to him and he slotted the ball home from close in. Pumpherston’s only chance of the half arrived on the half hour when John Batt put in Liam Forbes whose goal bound shot was deflected for a corner by Adam Porteous’ challenge. It should have been 3 near the half when Taylor back heeled Hogarth in who crossed a great ball in which found Russell whose shot was blocked to Brass but he could only push it wide.

The second half was only 6 minutes old when the third came as Russell controlled a Michael Adams cross and found the bottom corner with a powerful shot. The home side broke well just after and Edward Mangan put in Batt but his shot was easily saved by Dougie Horne. In the 64th minute Brass got his second with a header at the back post off another wide free kick. Martin, midway through, chased a deep Kris Russell cross and drove goalwards along the line and fired in a shot which keeper Connor Quinn saved at the base of his post. Another good Pumphie break with 15 minutes to go ended with a good shot from Sam Rae which Horne was again equal to. Sub Dean Wilson had come on for Adams in the 73rd minute and 3 minutes later he tried a speculative 25 yard shot which curved on its way to goal and beat the keeper. Not long after Darren Smith fed Christopher Purvis whose shot for a consolation was saved by the legs of Horne to allow him to keep his clean sheet. Late on Taylor seemed to be tripped as he drove into the box but the referee waved away the claim (and didn’t book the Whitburn man) – probably the only big decision he got wrong.

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