It's almost that time of the year when West Lothian's junior clubs embark on the end of season rush to finish their fixtures. There's plenty of games to be seen until the season comes to an end (usually in mid June). The worst affected team are Pumpherston Juniors who have NINETEEN league games to play at the time of writing! I'll add the fixtures that don't clash with Livi games to this thread - if you make it to a game, add your observations.
Livingston United 3-2 Pumpherston Juniors SJFA East Region - South Division Station Park, Deans, Livingston Admission: £4, no programme Attendance: 91 (h/c)
After a waterlogged pitch put this game off last night, it went ahead on a playable but far from perfect Station Park pitch tonight. Not so long ago both of these sides struggled at the bottom end of the bottom tier of the East Region, but have now genuine hopes of earning promotion with league reconstruction on the horizon. Pumpherston have the handicap of a horrific fixture pile up to contend with - this was their 12th league game of the season, so SIXTEEN still to play. With most of the squad parachuted in from the successful amateur side Tower AFC last year, Pumphy look a handy side but they were beaten fairly by Livi tonight in a full bloodied and entertaining game. All the goals were scored in the first half, with the standard of finishing on display excellent, particularly from the home side. The second half was played at the same ferocious pace until the closing stages, but further goals provided elusive. For me, this was another great example of junior football, where proper tackling is still tolerated and all participants approach the game with stereotypical '110%' commitment. One down side was the ludicrous amount of dissent the referee had to put up with. He booked the Pumphy no 8, for calling him a 'cheating bastard' but there a consistent level of abuse from the dugouts which I felt was unnecessary. Still, a cracking evening's entertainment and I'm looking forward to a lot more of the same over the next couple of months.
Stoneyburn Juniors 2-0 Whitburn Juniors SJFA East Region - South Division Beechwood Park, Stoneyburn Admission: £4, no programme Attendance: approx 80
Postponed twice last week due to waterlogging, there was no problem with the Stoneyburn pitch last night, though the strong breeze which blew down the park did have a spoiling effect on the game. Kicking into the wind first half, Stoneyburn established a two goal lead, though the overall balance of play was even. Whitburn's young side is a pale shadow of the strong Burnie teams of a few years back which competed at the top level of junior football, winning the Scottish Junior Cup in 2000. They never looked like scoring. The home side even had the luxury of missing a second half penalty - a truly awful attempt which was blasted well wide.
Beechwood Park sits high up and is quite exposed - not ideal weather when the wind is blowing. There's a small enclosure which provides decent shelter though. Pies and sausage rolls (both very good and priced at £1.20) are available from the small clubhouse.
Bathgate blew their slim chance of promotion after going down 6-2 at home to Jeanfield Swifts tonight. Sounds like a hiding but was actually a lot closer than the scoreline suggests for the majority of the match.
Armadale are promoted to the Super League instead.
Painty - 1st June '00 to 19th Sep '08 Coco - 17th July '13 to Feb '14 Rudi - 27th Dec 2013...................
Yeah, they won 4-1 at Blackburn so have sealed promotion. Still one promotion place up for grabs this weekend.
Haddington occupy 4th place (and the final promotion spot) just now having completed all their fixtures. They are two points ahead of 5th place Arniston. However, Arniston are away to West Calder tomorrow. If Arniston win, they'll seal promotion. A draw or a defeat though and Haddington will go up.
If you're free tomorrow, maybe worth heading along to West Calder to see how it pans out. 2.30pm KO.