It was SYFA Scottish Cup weekend as North Edinburgh Wanderers hosted Bathgate Thistle in a thoroughly entertaining, and high-scoring, match. Bathgate lead 4-3 at the break and scored a further four in the second half to win the match 8-3, with a hat-trick from Dylan Anderson seeing Thistle confidently through to the next round.
Despite the final result however, North Edinburgh Wanderers began the brighter team and were ahead inside seven minutes; midfielder Lewis Watson won the ball in the middle of the park and broke free before sliding the ball out wide to Mark Manclark who returned a low cross and Watson put the ball past the goalkeeper from close range.
From then on, the game burst into life and the spectators were treated to three goals in three minutes.
Bathgate were the first to score as they managed to draw level; the ball found its way to Sean Byron on the edge of the box and he was able to finish into the bottom right hand corner.
The Wanderers then regained their lead a mere 30 seconds later. They won a free kick on the half way line and the ball was sent forward, midfielder Kaylem Campbell was left unmarked as he expertly took the ball down and fired past Jake Lees in the Bathgate goal.
To add another twist, Bathgate drew level straight from their own kick off. Tricky player Bailey Flanagan managed to skip by his marker on the left and play the ball into Dylan Anderson who made no mistake and slotted the ball into the bottom corner.
The home side managed to sneak into the lead again on the 25th minute; Campbell provided a high cross for Manclark who found space and saw his header fly over the goalkeeper and over the line.
Once again, Bathgate equalised. Anderson grabbed his second of the game as he glided through three players and put the ball into the left corner of the goal.
Bathgate were then able to take the lead, for the first time, two minutes from the end of the half; there was a slight mix-up between the Wanderers’ defence and Flanagan was able to latch onto the loose ball and powerfully finish from inside the box.
The referee then brought an end to the first half and the supporters were able to take a break from the thoroughly exciting action. The Wanderers’ management and players seemed disheartened about taking the lead three times and finding themselves a goal down at half time; it required a big effort from the players to get back into the game.