Bo’ness United emerged from a thrilling top-of-the-table clash with Camelon Juniors with all three points as the Newtown Park outfit stretched their lead at the top of the Premier Division to seven points.
Played in monsoon conditions the game was action-packed, and despite the poor weather both sides put on a great show for fans who braved the conditions.
United were the livelier side in the opening stages and had a Mark McKenzie effort cleared off the goal-line by Greg Skinner after fine wing play from Chris Donnelly in the 12th minute.
Seconds later Bo’ness were again on the attack when Tom Grant released Brian Ritchie on the left with a clever pass, Ritchie was clear through but rushed his shot and Dean Shaw in the Camelon goal easily held onto the ball.
Bo’ness grabbed a deserved opener in the 26th minute with a goal of the season contender from Ryan Stevenson. There seemed little threat when Tom Grant found the full-back on the left wing, however Stevenson cut inside his marker to create space for a stunning drive which flew into the top corner from more than 20 yards out.
United spurned a few decent chances before they failed to double their advantage with an astonishing miss on the half hour, Brian Morgan found himself through on goal and unselfishly squared the ball to Donnelly who connected poorly and passed the ball into the arms of the grateful Shaw.
Donnelly almost made amends two minutes later when he got on the end of a Morgan free-kick but his header was well held by Shaw. Camelon were always a threat on the counter but it took them until the closing stages of the half to test Andy Murphy who was equal to efforts from Jason Deans and David Morrison.
Two minutes into the second period the visitors drew level with a goal out of nothing when the impressive Alan Docherty seized upon a Ross Campbell pass-back that held up in the wind and dinked the ball over the helpless Murphy.
In the 55th minute the visitors came mightily close to taking the lead when Conor McKenzie danced through the BU defence, evading three challenges, and his shot had to be tipped over by Murphy. United retook the lead shortly after the hour mark with a fine goal on the counter-attack.
Donnelly started and finished the move, playing in McKenzie who in turn found Grant on the Bo’ness right, Grant cut inside and his lovely cross was tucked into the corner by the Bo’ness skipper.
Camelon hit back and McKenzie was denied a great goal when Murphy made an outstanding stop, Campbell followed up to clear the ball from the line and the danger was averted.
Substitute Alan Sneddon looked set to level the match with 15 minutes remaining, however, Morgan saved the day with a great block.
Deep into stoppage time Camelon stopper Don Morrison somehow escaped punishment for an awful tackle on McKenzie and as Camelon immediately countered, Mark Stowe’s long range strike drifted inches wide of the upright and Bo’ness held on for an important victory.