Current Season's Reports

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…

..as 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.