Linlithgow Rose 1 Lochee United
A scrappy first half goal from Tommy Coyne was enough to give Linlithgow Rose the points in this match at Prestonfield but visitors Lochee United gave a battling performance despite having to play with 10 men for the entire second half.
The home team enjoyed the bulk of possession early on and keeper Mark Stewart had to look lively to take a dangerous cross from Rose full back Jamie McKenzie.
But it was the Bluebells who threatened to take the lead when an excellent Grant Lawson-Dougie Cameron move ended with keeper Darren Hill saving at the feet of Lawson,
At the other end a Robert Sloan free kick looked dangerous until headed clear by Stephen Mcnally. The Lochee player then tried a speculative shot from distance which Hill gathered.
On 24 minutes Rose broke the deadlock. A rather soft free kick was awarded to the home team out on the left. The ball bounced around the area with various players trying to connect but it was Tommy COYNE who got the final touch to put it in the net.
The same player almost made it two on the half hour mark but Stewart brilliantly turned the striker’s shot round the post for a corner.
Coyne was a real thorn in the Bluebells defence and when he beat Craig Smith to a through ball, it was fortunate for Lochee that Mcnally was on hand to clear the danger.
A dangerous Logan Davie cross almost found the head of Lawson, but was just too high as Lochee tried to get back on level terms.
Lawson came closer a minute later but Hill pulled off a good save.
Then it was Stewart’s turn to pull off a save from Coyne, parrying the ball and leaving Mcnally to boot the ball clear.
Four minutes before half time Davie was shown a second yellow card and sent off. This was harsh on the young midfielder as both the bookings were of the soft variety.
At the start of the second period Cameron also went into the ref’s notebook.
A tremendous cross from McKenzie looked ominous for Lochee until Smith headed the ball away.
For a team with only 10 men Lochee were defying the odds and had a great chance when Jamie Reid burst through the home defence. Unfortunately, he was caught by defender Gary Thom who broke up the attack.
Roddy MacLennan almost conjured up an amazing goal when his cross-cum-shot whizzed past Stewart’s right hand post with the keeper stranded.
Scott Webster was being subjected to some rough handling out on the left touchline but it was a Lochee player who was next in the book, Mcnally the offender. It wasn’t all one-sided though as Rose’s Luke Whelan was also yellow carded.
Lochee were enjoying most of the possession now and Stewart in the Lochee goal was actually going through a fairly quiet spell.
Reid beat Rose’s offside trap but was crowded out before he could get his cross in.
Then, from a Mcnally cross, Connor Birse hit the outside of the post.
Rose introduced substitute Alan Urquhart for Coyne in the 70thminute and the sub’s first contribution was to send a scorching drive just wide of the post.
Just one goal behind Lochee obviously fancied they could still salvage something from the game and they stepped up the pressure on the home goal.
From a Cameron corner, Cameron McMahon headed the ball down and up over the bar. Then Hill had to pull off a great save from Birse after he had been put in by Lawson.
With nine minutes to go Lee Wilkie came on for Reid and went up front. Two minutes later a long throw by Mcnally found McMahon whose shot was blocked amid penalty claims from the Lochee players.
Rose’s final effort of the game came from the lively Urquhart who gave Stewart some work to do, but it was at the other end that the goal nearly came. A great move involving Mcnally, Wilkie and Lawson ended with Lawson’s shot coming off a defender for a corner.
In the final minute Cameron received a second yellow card leaving Lochee with only nine men.
Although defeated, the Bluebells gave a spirited performance and you would be forgiven for thinking it was the home side who were down to 10 men for the bulk of the game.
They refused to buckle and certainly kept home keeper Hill busy as they went for the equaliser.
Linlithgow Rose: Hill, McKenzie, Turnbull (Shields), Thom, Leiper, Sloan, Batchelor, Whelan (Ronald), Strickland, Coyne (Urquhart), Roddy MacLennan.
Lochee United: Stewart, McNally, Kirk, Smith, Webster, Lawson, McMahon, Cameron, Reid (Wilkie 81), Davie, Birse.
Written on 19 May 2018