Bo'ness United: Manager Stuart Hunter happy to win 4-3 at East Stirlingshire but unhappy with his side's overall defending

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Bo’ness United warmed up for their trip to second-tier outfit Greenock Morton for a Scottish Cup third-round tie this Saturday, with kick-off at 3pm, by beating East Stirlingshire 4-3 away on Saturday.

In wet conditions at the Falkirk Stadium, Stuart Hunter’s side survived early pressure from Pat Scullion’s men before taking a 1-0 half-time lead thanks to Lewis McArthur’s 37th-minute strike following a Ryan Stevenson corner.

An all-action second half saw BU score three more times via Tom Grant on 51 minutes, Fin Malcolm on 65 and Lucas Stenhouse on 89.

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Shire got three of their own via a Scott Honeyman double and Luke Rankin.

Bo'ness United boss Stuart Hunter watches win over ShireBo'ness United boss Stuart Hunter watches win over Shire
Bo'ness United boss Stuart Hunter watches win over Shire

“I think the most important thing was that we managed to come here and get three points,” boss Hunter – whose side are now fourth in the Scottish Lowland Football League, with 31 points from 16 games – said post-match.

“I can’t fail to be happy about that, but I’m not happy with some of the goals conceded, and the players are not happy.

“In the first half, I felt we rode our luck a bit. We were trying to be too cute. On a dry day on dry astroturf, you can spin balls round corners, but on a soaking wet park with rain pinging down, it’s incredibly difficult. The best player in the world can’t do that.

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“We have our goalkeeper to thank for pulling off a couple of good saves and we found ourselves in front.

A battle for possession at Falkirk StadiumA battle for possession at Falkirk Stadium
A battle for possession at Falkirk Stadium

“We were trying to overplay in the wrong areas, with no control on the ball. Six or seven of our players tried to do that in the first half. Before they had controlled the ball, they were already trying to pass it.

“In the second half, I’m sure neutrals enjoyed seeing lots of goals. Me personally, I didn’t, certainly in the against column. I didn’t think some of the goals we scored were overly complex. It was playing percentage football.

“We scored four good goals but it was by playing simple football. I’m not faulting the guys’ work-rate and effort, it was all there. I just felt a bit disappointed we let the Shire back in the game so many times.

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“It’s uncharacteristic of the team to make basic mistakes but we have character.”

East Stirlingshire, third from bottom with 13 points from 17 matches, are next in action at Tranent Juniors on Saturday, December 2, with kick-off at 3pm.

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