Under 20s

The team



We would like to thank the following who have provided and committed to helping with sponsorship or funding for the U20’s this season:
Cross Tavern, Hirebase, Frontline Construction and Stuart McGregor of Calcluth and Sangster. West Lothian Gardening Services and The Snuts sponsored the team's tracksuits.
In addition we are looking for sponsorship of individual players and a number of the players have been sponsored for which thanks are due. You may see the full squad by clicking on the image above or clicking here.


Whitburn u20s travelled to Station Park in Livingston to play their last game of the season and came away with a 2-0 win. It was a fairly tame end of season like affair in the first half with neither team able to seriously threaten the other’s goal, though you always felt that Whitburn had the upper hand. The second half was headed in a similar manner till the deadlock was broken when, midway through, sub Chris Hughes picked up a loose ball 10 yards out and fired the ball beyond the keeper. The second goal came near the end when fellow sub Zane Russell shot right of centre from the edge of the box and found the top left corner. Russell had earlier hit the bar from a free kick all of 25 yards out. In the end the team came third in the league behind Blackburn and Heriot Watt who won it. The youngsters can take a little comfort that they defeated the eventual winners 4-1 in early September.

Whitburn u20s travelled over the hill to Armadale’s Volunteer Park and came away with a 4-3 win in an entertaining game. They got off to a great start as good play down the left led to a corner after a post was struck and Blair Hughes rose highest to head the ball into the net. Armadale hit the post twice before Chris Hughes doubled the lead in the 34th minute firing diagonally from the right. Zane Russell made it three five minutes later with a typical mazy run followed by a left foot shot – a three goal lead that did not flatter them. The second half would not be as one sided and on the hour the ball was in the net off the post after a corner. However, another slick move down the left a minute later saw Ali Croall score with a diagonal shot from the left. Short of players and forced to commit the two subs with the team seeming to tire, Armadale started to exert more pressure and scored from a penalty in the 74th minute. Four minutes later they scored again to set up a nervy last ten or so minutes. Fortunately the team resumed their composure and kept the Dale at bay though they had a fright into added time when a player got wide ride but he hit his shot well wide.

Whitburn u20s returned to league football tonight after a fairly long layoff and won three more points by comfortably beating Bathgate 7-2 with Chris Hughes netting a hattrick. The first of his goals came in the 14th second(!) and was equalised twenty minutes later through a scrappy Bathgate goal. The lead was restored in the 27th minute when Owen Main, playing to give him game time converted a C Hughes cross. Six minutes from the half it was Main who turned provider with a great back post cross which Taylor Barbero’s head bulleted into the net. Five minutes into the second half Main scored a second with a shot when pounced on a loose ball but another crappy goal gave Bathgate another counter. From then on the visitors seldom threatened the home goal and C Hughes got his second on the hour when he fired home a Zane Russell cross, the latter replacing Main. Russell himself made it six in the 77th minute when he scored from a tight angle having driven in from the left. The final goal came with three minutes to go when a great through ball was met by C Hughes who reached the ball just ahead of the keeper, rounded him and fired the ball into the empty net to complete his set of three.

Whitburn u20s went out of the Knock Out Cup at the semi final stage to Whitehill Welfare losing 4-3 in a highly competitive match at Peffermill in Edinburgh. The host got off to a dream start as they scored two early goals but an own goal in the 15th minute got Whitburn back in the game. The two goal lead was restored in the 34th minute when a shot hit the underside of the bar and was adjudged over the line with Blair Gallagher getting hurt by a combination of an onrushing opponent and the post. With treatment he recovered but looked shaken and he made an uncharacteristic error three minutes later when the ball spun out of his hands and into the goal. With three minutes till the half Whitburn got another back with a good shot from Kris Orr to make the half time score 4-2. Whitehill had a good start to the second half but didn’t unduly trouble the Whitburn goal and they all but fell out of the game after around quarter of an hour as Whitburn began to dominate. Their good play produced a number of corners, two of which Blair Hughes got his head to but both flew just over the bar. With around seven minutes to go Ali Croall was freed down the left, drove towards the line and fired in a great cross which Zane Russell converted at the front post to set up a grandstand finish. The equalising goal almost came just into added time when a great ball found Hughes on the edge of the box and he hit a superb shot on the half volley which sadly went past the post. Even then it wasn’t over as the final touch of the ball was another Hughes header from a corner but this also flew over the bar. In the end a hugely impressive performance from the boys considering they only had two substitutes both of which were used early. Best of luck to Whitehill in the final.

Whitburn u20s won another three points tonight with a 5-0 defeat away at Livingston, the highlight being an 18 minute hattrick by Zane Russell who made a rare start as a sub. The first half was fairly even with few chances till the half hour when a great left wing cross from Harrison Edwards picked out Lewis McFarlane whose daisy cutter shot from 15 yards found the net. Eight minutes later a poor defensive home header landed at the feet of Kris Orr who half volleyed the ball home from the edge of the box. Arran McLean was unlucky not to get the third as a drive from the edge of the box hit the underside of the bar near the interval. Midway through the second half following a foul wide left Russell hit his first with a great shot on the right after the ball came out to him on the edge. His second was a similar strike after a long diagonal ball by Mick McGarahan found him. With five to go he completed his hattrick from a free kick on the right that found the bottom corner. Blair Hughes had a fairly quiet night against largely wayward Livi shooting but he made an important stop in both half to secure another clean sheet.

The u20s were unable to do the double against Pumpherston tonight as they were defeated 3-1 at Almondvale. The scoreline in the end rather flattered the home side who netted twice in the closing minutes. The game had been an even affair with Pumpherston taking the lead midway through the first half from a corner. Whitburn had the bulk of possession in the second half and Zane Russell scored from the right edge of the box with a fine strike with ten minutes to go. Pumphie had other ideas about a share of the points and retook the lead seven minutes later when a strike from outside the box was parried out by Blair Gallagher and a home player knocked in the rebound. On the final whistle some slackness at the near post allowed the ball to come into the middle of the goal and another home foot prodded the ball into the net to complete the scoring.

Another convincing league win for the u20s with a 7-0 defeat of Harthill. Yet it took till the 36th minute for the opening goal to arrive and it was set up by a great Zane Russell diagonal ball that Kris Orr fired into the net with an equally great strike. A minute later Aaran McLean made it two from a Josh Damba through ball and a magnificent run by Russell four minutes later in which he beat several men before firing home made it three. Sub Kamil Spalony fired in a superb left wing cross in the 55th minute which Orr converted at the back post. Two minutes later Spalony latched on to a poor pass back and made it five. With 68 minutes gone Orr hit his hattrick when he reacted quickest to a reounded save and tapped in. Three minutes from time Blair Gallagher preserved his clean sheet with two point blank saves in quick succession. The final goal came two minutes into added time when sub Kai Jeffrey fired in off the post from 10 yards to round off a great performance.

A hard fought match at Heriot-Watt saw the u20s falling to the students by the odd goal in three. The home side took an early lead and, though they looked like adding to it, it was Whitburn that got the second goal when Zane Russell went on a great run down the left and crossed to Aaran McLean who finished well. Heriot-Watt went ahead just a minute later with a goal that was pretty scrappy by Whitburn’s normally high standards and they never relinquished the lead The second half was a lot better for Whitburn as they tried to get back into the game though the students were always dangerous on the break. The closest another equaliser came was with about fifteen minutes to go when a great Russell free kick from 25 yards was punched over the bar by the home keeper.

A scintillating first half playing against a very strong wind saw the u20s score five great unanswered goals against bottom club Stoneyburn (with another four coming in the second half). Zane Russell opened the scoring in the 14th minute with a diagonal shot coming in from the left. Lewis McFarlane doubled the lead minutes later with a strike from the edge of the box and a similar shot from Arran McLean made it three in the 25thminute. Fourteen minutes later McLean got a second tapping in a left wing cross. With three minutes till the half a Stoneyburn player failed to clear a Darragh Neilsen header and knocked it into his own goal. With the wind in the second half the football was not as fluent but it was (almost) as effective with a special mention to Callum Byrne who scored a hattrick after coming on a sub at half time. With 8 minutes of the half gone McLean thought he had a hattrick himself when he knocked in a rebound off the bar from a great Russell strike but he was adjudged offside. Byrne’s first came in the 62ndminute after he netted from a rebound of a shot from the keeper after Chris Hughes shot had hit the post. B Hughes bulleted a header into the net from a corner two minutes later before Byrne got his second from close in converting another fine cross. Around the 80 minute mark Chris Orr tried a 30 yard shot which seemed to be heading for the top corner but went just over then he hit the back post from a corner. Byrne’s third came in the 90th minute and was more individualistic as he beat a couple of men before scoring from a tight angle. Once again Blair Gallagher earned a clean sheet as Stoneyburn barely troubled the home goal. With Blackburn’s game postponed Whitburn go top and they also turned a -8 goal difference into a +1 one.

Two goals in each half were enough to see Whitburn u20s take three points from their game away to Fauldhouse and draw within two points of league leaders Blackburn who fell 2-0 to Pumpherston. The first goal came around the three minute mark when Arran McLean finished off a good move with a shot from the right ten yards out. Midway through the half a long range shot from Fauldhouse came thundering off the bar. The lead was doubled three minutes from halftime when McLean was fouled in the box and Chris Hughes scored with a well taken penalty. The second half remained goalless until the 68th minute when sub William Grant forced a good cross from the left in at the back post from a tight angle. The final goal came a minute before the end when another good left wing cross found fellow sub Kamil Spaloney and he netted from a more conventional position in the middle of the goal. Another clean sheet for Blair Gallagher who, thanks to his defence, barely had a save to make apart from a good one from a long range free kick which he knocked over the bar.

Second place Whitburn u20s went into tonight’s match against top of the league local rivals Blackburn knowing that a win would give them top spot for Christmas. The first half was a highly competitive end to end affair that ended goal-less, Sol Neilson making a couple of good saves whilst Blair Hughes narrowly missed a couple of headers from set plays. The second half was less even as Blackburn had the bulk of the play but seldom troubled Neilson till around the 70th minute when a scramble on the line saw a Blackburn player seemingly knock the ball just over the line. The referee initially gave the goal but then seemed to change his mind and awarded a free kick for a foul on the keeper. The ball went straight up the other end and sub Murray Kerr screwed his shot wide from the edge having made good space. Just five minutes later a slight push on the back in the box was given as a penalty which Neilson saved comfortably. Still with the bulk of the pressure Blackburn were unable to penetrate the stuffy home defence till 5 minutes into added time when another penalty was awarded, this time against the keeper. The player fouled did appear to be offside but the award stood and the same player netted this time though Neilson almost kept it out diving to his left.

Whitburn u20s tonight travelled to Ainslie Park to take on Edinburgh College and emerged 5-1 winners to claim the three points. The first half was complete domination by Whitburn who took the lead after the quarter hour from a Kris Orr shot from just inside the box. A quick fire double with similar goals in the 27th and 29th minute from Zane Russell and Lewis McFarlane both of whom beat several men with mazy runs before firing home. With a home player going off injured just after the home side were forced to play around an hour with ten men. Yet they were next to score from a corner six minutes after the restart. The game then became scrappy and few chances were created at either end till late on when subs William Grant and Callum Byrne scored with shots two minutes either side of 90 minutes.

With a goal each in the first half of a very scrappy and even game Whitburn and Armadale u20s played out 1-1 draw. Whitburn struck first when a trip in the box resulted in a penalty which Chris Hughes dispatched into the net to the left of the keeper. There were few real chances till 2 minutes into injury time when a deep free kick was headed goalwards onto the head of a Whitburn defender for an own goal. On the hour Hughes was given a second yellow to reduce his team to ten men. Surprisingly Armadale were totally unable to take advantage and Whitburn looked more likely to score but, as with the rest of the game, they were unable to get any shots on goal. To make matters worse Whitburn played the last five minutes with nine men as Kamil Spaloney was injured so a point is probably not a bad result and it keeps the unbeaten run going at nine games.

Second top played second bottom in the u20s West League tonight and the gulf in quality was obvious as Whitburn ran out 6-0 winners against Bathgate. Whitburn were one up in the 4th minute thanks to a Chris Hughes shot from outside the box and when Zane Russell added a second five minutes later it looked like a rout could be on the cards. Another quickfire double came in the 20th and 25th minutes, both from left wing crosses, the first from Kai Jeffrey and the second from new man Callum Byrne. Despite having the majority of the remainder of the half there was no further scoring. Two minutes into the second half a trialist (who sadly had to be carried off later from what looked like a twisted knee or ankle – we wish him well) scored with a penalty and the rout seemed possible again. To their credit Bathgate never allowed this to happen and, though they didn’t create anything of substance in front of goal, they managed to restrict Whitburn to mainly off target long range shots, the keeper also making a couple of decent saves. A sixth goal would come in the 90th minute from Hughes, the referee calling a halt to the game a minute later. After their league opening defeat against Blackburn (who won 8-0 against Fauldhouse and so remain unbeaten and top) this win makes it eight league wins in a row.

Another hard fought win for the u20s tonight as they defeated Bo’ness Athletic 2-1 at Little Kerse. The first half was short on goal attempts as neither team could dominate the last third, nor was Whitburn’s normal fluent passing game much in evidence. The breakthrough came in the 42nd minute when a through ball wide on the left put in Chris Hughes with no supporting players but he cut in beating a couple of men before slotting past the keeper. The second half was 11 minutes old when a great overlap by Ali Croall ended in a teasing low cross that found its way to Kris Orr at the back post who squared to Zane Russell and he fired home from close in. Six minutes later Bo’ness got a goal back with a shot from wide right and it was game on again. No real chances were created thereafter with both defences largely on top and Whitburn ran out deserved winners. The win puts Whitburn in second spot three points behind Blackburn who were idle tonight.

Whitburn’s u20s travelled to a windswept Wester Hailes tonight and, on a bitterly cold night, came away with a convincing 7-0 win against Edinburgh United. They got off to a great start with Kamil Spalony giving them the lead within the first couple of minutes. By the quarter hour they were three up with two goals from Kris Orr – the first a wonder strike from way out on the left that flew past the keeper. Despite dominating the play they were unable to add to their tally till the second minute of the second half when Zane Russell netted after a good run on the right. On the hour Chris Hughes knocked in a rebound to make it five. Newly signed Callum Byrne scored from another tight angle in the 28th minute and Connor Boyle headed in with five minutes to go to complete the scoring. Blair Gallagher celebrated his return from injury with a clean sheet but, in honesty, he had very little to do other than spectate as Edinburgh barely created anything in front of goal – a testament to how well Whitburn defended.

Whitburn won another three points with a hard fought 3-2 win over Pumpherston at Little Kerse. Despite dominating the early going we had to wait thirty minutes for their first direct shot from Murray Kerr which was saved. The deserved opener, however, would come just three minutes later when Lewis McFarlane bundled in a Chris Hughes corner. With three minutes of the half to go Pumpherston levelled from an overhit back past that evaded keeper Saul Neilson and almost unbelievably they were 2-1 down a minute later! Zane Russell after a great mazy run equalised three minutes into the second half and five minutes further on Chris Hughes shot Whitburn into the lead. To their credit Pumpherston dug in and ended the game well, pushing Whitburn all the way. Almost on the final whistle a combination of Neilson and a defender were adjudged to have brought an opponent down in the box, but if the keeper was culpable, he made a great save of the penalty to keep the three points.

The under 20s travelled to Dalkeith to take on Arniston in the League Cup and emerged with a convincing 9-0 victory – a result that the first team would look to emulate the next day in the Alex Jack Cup – the win at least, not the margin of victory! Murray Kerr got the scoring underway in the 13th minute and he doubled his and the team’s tally midway through the half. Chris Hughes added a third with ten minutes till the end of the half and nine minutes later Lewis McFarlane contributed to make it four at the interval. A quickfire double by Ali Croall in the 48th and 50th minute made it six then Kamil Spalony hit the seventh in the 63rd minute. Later in the half Zane Russell added another two to his tally for the season to terminate the scoring and progress his team into the next round.

Another three points for Whitburn u20s as they defeated a stuffy Harthill Royal team 3-0 at Volunteer Park in Armadale to also secure another clean sheet.  Zane Russell put them in front in the 11th minute and with Kamil Spalony netting  13 minutes later it looked as though a rout could be on our hands. Harthill, however, kept to their task and defended resolutely in the heavy rain and that, combined with a fine save by Blair Gallagher, meant that Whitburn  went into half time two up. New keeper  Saul  Neilson replaced Gallagher in the second half which turned out to be more even though Whitburn had more chances. A fine save from Neilson at his near post from Harthill’s only shot on goal ensured the clean sheet and a lovely wrong footing shot from Ali Croall a minute into added time found the back of the net to make it three. With Armadale's win away at Livingston Whitburn go second in the league on goal difference though there are now four teams on 12 points, Blackburn and Livingston being the other two.

A third win in a row saw Whitburn beat Heriot-Watt University, playing their first game of the season, 4-1 in a game that was closer than the scoreline suggests. Kamil Spalony got the scoring started in the 6th minute with a neat finish. Midway through the half Reece Duncan, playing to get some playing time in, scored from just outside the box with a great strike - he would later hit the post with an equally good hit. Seven minutes into the second half Spalony intercepted the ball in midfield and ran into the box unopposed and slotted the ball past the keeper to double his tally. Just after the hour a good strike from the edge of the box denied Blair Gallagher his clean sheet and this began a good spell for the visitors though they didn't really create many real chances. Ali Croall tapped in a good cross from the right to regain the three goal advantage in the 74th minute. The final 15 minutes, though competitive, produced no more goals and Whitburn saw the game out to claim the three points.

Whitburn made it two wins in a row with a 4-0 victory away to Stoneyburn in a game they dominated. The early going was fairly even though Whitburn looked the classier team and a Lewis McFarlane shot put them in front in the 17th minute. Two good stops by the home keeper kept the interval  lead to that solitary strike. Three more goals were  added  in the second half through a Kai Jeffrey shot, a free header from a corner for Harris McKay and a James Black shot after the best move of the game. Meanwhile, Whitburn’s defence limited Stoneyburn to one wide attempt, leaving Blair Gallagher to celebrate his clean sheet with consummate ease.

After their reverse of last week at Blackburn Whitburn got back on track with a resounding 7-0 win against Fauldhouse. Chris Hughes got the scoring underway in the 19th minute with Harrison Edwards pitching in with another two minutes before half time. Zane Russell got the third five minutes into the second half and Hughes got his second sixteen minutes later. With 71 minutes gone Russell got his second and Murray Kerr hit a quickfire double to complete the rout.

The first game of the new league season ended in disappointment for the u20s as they were beaten 3-1 by Blackburn in a disjointed game littered with fouls and little football. Two penalties to the home side in quick succession around the 25th minute gave their visitors a mountain to climb. The second half saw Whitburn play better though they lacked the composure on the ball and passing that they are renowned for. A through ball to Arran McLean who shot to got his team a goal back in the 64thminute, this shortly after a home player had been red carded. Whitburn looked as though they might salvage at least a point but a goal against the run of play with 13 minutes to play snuffed this out and Blackburn held on to win the three points.

A bit of a game of two halves saw Whitburn, playing for the first time at Central Park, take a two goal lead into the half. Looking far sharper than their opponents they took the lead when Chris Hughes rounded the keeper and scored when he latched on to a short pass back in the 6th minute. Thirteen minutes later he scored again after good interplay between himself and Zane Russell. Dunipace dominated the first half of the second and were unlucky to see a back post header come off the bar on the hour. Against the run of play five minutes later Chris Orr made it three after robbing an opponent and scoring from a tight angle. A fine diving save of a long range shot from Blair Gallagher in the 65th minute  secured his clean sheet as Dunipace were unable to mount any further meaningful  attacks and Whitburn were content to see out the win.

Fixtures and Results

EOSFL U20s West Conference

18/8/2023 Blackburn 3-1 Whitburn McLean
25/8/2023 Whitburn 7-0 Fauldhouse Hughes(2), Russell(2), Kerr(2), Edwards
1/9/2023 Stoneyburn 0-4 Whitburn McFarlane, Jeffrey, McLean, Black
8/9/2023 Whitburn 4-1 Heriot-Watt Spaloney(2), Duncan, Croall
15/9/2023 Harthill 0-3 Whitburn Russell, Spalony, Croall
6/10/2023 Whitburn 3-2 Pumpherston McFarlane, Russell, Hughes
13/10/2023 Edinburgh United 0-7 Whitburn Spalony, Orr(2), Russell, Hughes, Byrne, Boyle
27/10/2023 Whitburn 2-1 Bo'ness Athletic Hughes, Russell
3/11/2023 Bathgate 0-6 Whitburn Hughes(2), Russell, Jeffrey, Byrne, Trialist
10/11/2023 Whitburn 1-1 Armadale Hughes
24/11/2023 Edinburgh College 1-5 Whitburn Orr, Russell, McFarlane, Grant, Byrne
8/12/2023 Whitburn 0-1 Blackburn  
26/1/2023 Fauldhouse 0-4 Whitburn McLean, Hughes, Grant, Spalony
2/2/2023 Whitburn 9-0 Stoneyburn Byrne(3), McLean(2), McFarlane, B Hughes, Russell, Neilson
9/2/2023 Heriot-Watt 2-1 Whitburn McLean
23/2/2023 Whitburn 7-0 Harthill Orr(3), Russell, McLean, Spalony, Jeffrey
8/3/2023 Pumpherston 3-1 Whitburn Russell
15/3/2024 Livingston 0-5 Whitburn McFarlane, Orr, Russell(3)
3/5/2023 Whitburn 7-2 Bathgate C Hughes(3), Main(2), Barbero, Russell
10/5/2023 Armadale 3-4 Whitburn B Hughes, C Hughes, Russell, Croall
17/5/2023 Bo'ness Athletic 1-1 Whitburn M Bamforth
20/5/2023 Whitburn 2-0 Livingston C Hughes, Russell

Scottish Lowland Development Football League Cup East

Rnd 1 22/920/23 Arniston 0-9 Whitburn  
Rnd 2 15/12/2023 Edinburgh Community 2-1 Whitburn Damba

Combined Challenge Cup

Rnd 1 20/10/23 Giffnock SC 2-1 Whitburn Black

Knockout Cup

Rnd 3 16/02/24 Edinburgh United 1-3 Whitburn McLean, Byrne, Orr
Quarter Final 22/3/2024

St Andrews 1-1, (11-10) pens Whitburn

St Andrews disqualified: Ineligible player

Semi Final 26/4/24 Whitehill Welfare 4-3 Whitburn OG, Orr, Russell

League Table

EOSFL U20s West Conference
Pos Team P W D L F A W D L F A GD Pts
1 Heriot-Watt 22 10 0 1 55 15 10 0 1 56 19 77 60
2 Blackburn United 22 9 0 2 51 9 10 0 1 43 9 76 57
3 Whitburn Junior 22 9 1 1 43 8 7 1 3 37 12 60 50
4 Livingston United 22 6 0 5 27 28 7 1 3 31 30 0 40
5 Armadale Thistle 22 7 0 4 33 22 5 3 3 38 21 28 36
6 Bo'ness Athletic 22 4 2 5 41 23 7 0 4 35 16 37 35
7 Pumpherston 22 6 0 5 33 25 5 2 4 37 20 25 35
9 Harthill Royal 22 3 2 6 33 46 3 0 8 19 41 -35 20
8 Fauldhouse United 22 3 2 6 16 36 3 1 7 20 56 -56 18
11 Bathgate Thistle 22 2 0 9 11 46 2 1 8 15 40 -60 13
10 Edinburgh United 22 3 2 6 33 48 1 0 10 23 45 -37 11
12 Stoneyburn 22 1 0 10 14 57 0 0 11 9 81 -115 0

Edinburgh College have had 6 points deducted whilst Armadale, Fauldhouse and Stoneyburn have all had 3 points deducted

Goal Scorers

Name Goals
Zane Russell 17
Chris Hughes 9
Aaran McLean 8
Callum Byrne 7
Kris Orr 9
Kamil Spalony 8
Ali Croall 4
Murray Kerr 4
Lewis McFarlane 5
Kai Jeffrey 3
William Grant 2
Matthew Bamforth 1
James Black 1
Connor Boyle 1
Josh Damba 1
Reece Duncan 1
Harrison Edwards 1
Blair Hughes 1
Darragh Neilson 1
Trialist 1
Own goal 1

Player of the Year

The under 20s also held their own ceremony and three awards were presented: Player of the year: Ali Croall, Coaches POY: Blair Gallagher and Top Goal Scorer: Zane Russell. Congratulations also to all three from the team that had a very successful season, coming third in the Development League.