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Saturday 12 September

West Calder United 0-1 (0-1 HT) Whitburn Juniors

West Calder: Hamilton, Deighan, Gardner, Aitken, Fyffe, Fleming, Sneddon, McLaughlin, Robertson(Waddell 69), Morrison, Rennie(Trialist 80), Subs: McCarthy, Trialist, Trialist

Whitburn: Horne, Hamilton, Moyes, Skinner, Porteous, McGrain(Wilson 70), Taylor, Adams, Martin(Walton 67), Brass(Brown 85), Bain, Subs: Hogarth, Hubbocks

In the end this was probably one of the most gutsy performances that I think I have ever seen from a Whitburn team – especially one as young as this – as they held out to beat third place West Calder 1-0 with 9 men. They started well playing the good football they first showed last week at Forfar and Dewi Taylor had a shot well saved in the 4th minute after being put in by Gary Brass. A minute later Taylor appeared to be fouled but was yellow carded by the referee for diving – he did seem to go down a but dramatically but he was tripped. Their good play bore fruit in the 18th minute when Gary Brass controlled a Michael Adams header from a corner and slammed the ball into the net. In the 21st minute disaster struck when Jordan Bain slightly over hit the ball after he got clean through and stretched with studs showing for the loose ball with the keeper. A yellow might have sufficed as it seemed worse than it was but the referee thought otherwise and red carded him. The keeper recovered well enough after treatment to punt the free kick 60 yards up the park and seemed to have suffered no long lasting injury. In the 26th minute a deep Jack Hamilton free kick seemed to be kept out of the net by the back of Adam Porteous as the keeper seemed to misjudge it. A similar free kick eventually landed at the feet of Greg Skinner but he couldn’t get the ball out of his feet and the ball was cleared. With 5 minute to go Jake Moyes tried a curler from the corner of the box which would have hit the top corner but fro a great save by the home keeper, Jordan Hamilton.

With an entire half of numerical superiority to look forward to West Calder were handed another gift as Taylor was yellow carded again on the hour for what looked like a very innocuous foul. In the 65th minute a deep speculative right wing cross was fired in and, as he went for the easy catch, Horne slipped but was able to push the ball to Hamilton who cleared. Their next chance came 2 minutes later when Ross Morison had a shot well saved by Horne diving to his left. Everyone in the ground expected an onslaught from the Cauder team that had scored 12 in their 4 league games but it never came as Whitburn defended brilliantly and restricted their opponents to long range strikes – only one of which came close to threatening the goal. In fact Whitburn might have scored another 2 goals as Brass headed a free kick at the back post but the keeper made the save. Then Lee Brown, on for an exhausted Brass was put in by fellow sub Dean Wilson but he badly sclaffed his shot – a fit Brown would certainly have hit the target. The final incident took place 3 minutes into the 3rd minutes of the 5 played when Willie Gardner was sent off for kicking the ball away having previously been booked.

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