Bo'ness Athletic move up to top after derby win

Bo’ness Athletic have moved to the top of the East of Scotland Football League first division conference X after a 2-1 win over local rivals and promotion challengers Syngenta on Saturday afternoon.

Bo'ness Athletic players celebrate Tiwi Daramola's equaliser in the first half (Pictures by Scott Louden)
Bo'ness Athletic players celebrate Tiwi Daramola's equaliser in the first half (Pictures by Scott Louden)

An early goal gave the Dyes the perfect start to the match through Ryan Millar, but the home side soon replied, with striker Tiwi Daramola scoring his 40th of the campaign.

After the break, despite Willie Irvine’s side going down to 10 men after Darren Curtis was shown a straight red card, the division’s top goal-scorer, Scott Sinclair, sealed all three points for Athletic to move them a point clear at the top.

Speaking to the Herald, Bo’ness boss Irvine said he was pleased with the way his side approached the match.

Bo'ness Athletic's Darren Curtis was sent off on the hour mark

“Everyone to a man was top notch on the day,” he said.

“Going down to 10 men was really unlucky in my view, to be honest, but we stood up to that.

“Darren has played a poor pass in between and they have nipped in on goal, but it was a really soft one.

"He’s barely touched him and our other centre-back is covering nearby so I wasn’t happy with it at the time, but I was pleased with our reaction to it. Our concentration and defending afterwards were spot on.”

Athletic's Tiwi Daramola attempts to block a pass in midfield

Recent signings Michael Wallace, Josh Gillespie and Falkirk loanee Cammy Williamson all got minutes under their belt during the win, and that was also pleasing for the manager.

He said: “With the injury issues we have been having this season, we really needed some extra bodies in.

“They all came in and Michael and Josh got some time off the bench which will hopefully help them get up to speed quickly.

“Cammy did very well considering it was his first game and he slotted into the way we play.

"For a young guy, who is only turning 19 in a couple of days, he is very physically able, which is a good trait to have.”

Daramola, as well as scoring the equaliser, set up Sinclair’s winner with great trickery, and despite missing from the penalty spot, Irvine was delighted with his contribution.

He said: “Scott wasn’t on at that point and he is our taker, but Tiwi made up for the miss with his overall performance.

“We’ve been without strikers all season through injury but he’s been a constant figure in the team and has kept scoring all year.

“The other teams just can’t handle him on the ball.”

Athletic now face a month before they play in the league again, with three cup matches in three different competitions coming up, starting with Fauldhouse United in the King Cup’s third round on Saturday.

Irvine believes it is a sign of the strength of his side to be involved in so many cups.

“I’m happy to be in them because it shows how good we are as a team, but it actually probably doesn’t help us,” he said.

“We are at the most important part of the league season, so it is a tough ask for a small squad at this level to play in so many matches.

“That is the price you pay for being a good side and being successful.

“The East Kilbride game in the South Challenge Cup will be a good test for us against a good Lowland League side.”