Thorntons Property League Cup
Saturday 8 December
Harthill Royal 0-5(HT: 0-3) Whitburn Juniors
Harthill: Bruce, McIntosh, Carmichael, Suchinskj, Gardner, Minnock, Baillie, Weir(Trialist 45), Johnston, Wade, Bonnes, Subs: Trialist
Whitburn: Wilson, Griffin, Boyle, Hamilton, Forrest, Nicol, R Gunn(Taylor 71), Henderson, Brass(Trialist 86), Liddell, Duncan(Tomaszewski 79) Subs: Tinning, Russell
For the second straight week the teams were playing on a rain soaked surface which made the underfoot conditions very soft. Despite this both teams produced an entertaining game in which Whitburn finally ran out 5 goal winners. After the initial sparring it was the visitors that got off to a good start in the 11th minute when Darren Liddell half volleyed a shot from the right edge of the box and found the net to keeper Gordon Bruce's left. Liddell amlost got a second just 3 minutes later after good work from Reece Duncan on the left wing but he couldn't quite get on the end of the latter's cross. Liddell would double his tally in the 26th minute, however, when Gary Brass headed over a defender to put him through and he made no mistake, slotting past the advancing keeper. Liddell's hattrick was completed 3 minutes later when he pounced on the ball that had rebounded off the keeper and turned it into the net. Having caused no issues in the Whitburn box, Harthill launched 2 massive throws in there just after the half hour but young loanee keeper Andrew Wilson coped well under intense pressure.
With only seconds gone in the second half Bruce knocked up a net bound John-James Henderson shot and luckily for him it hit the post and was cleared. Thereafter the game deteriorated and it was with 62 minutes gone that the next chance fell to Craig Johnstone but he fired wide of the target. In the 72nd minute Whitburn should have been 4 up as Brass got one on one with Bruce with no defender near but he shot past the keeper and also wide of the post. They were in that position 6 minutes later when Brass found Henderson wide on the right and his pinpoint cross was headed in at the back post by Duncan. Around the 80th minute Wilson was called into play twice having scarcely had to deal with a direct shot and he passed with flying colours. The first was a shot from Gary Bonnes which went straight into his midrift and the second was a fine tip over the bar of a trialist's looping shot from just inside the box. With 2 minutes to go the icing was put on the cake when Iain Griffin launched a high ball into the box and Liddell judged the bounce better and he headed the ball over the advancing keeper to net his fourth.
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