Junior Cup battle of Roses ends all square

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Roselea entertained Junior giants Linlithgow Rose in the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup.

The visitors arrived with a good run of form but Roselea themselves were also playing well, having been unbeaten in their last five games over 90 minutes.

The four-time winners of the cup were expected to win and progress to the fourth round. A crowd of around 450 congregated to watch the match.

Roselea had a couple of injury problems with Liam Bailey, Morgan Smith and Scott McDowell all unable to start. Andy Tringham was working.

Broomfield Park, despite the predicted wind, was flat calm, but heavy overnight rain made conditions very heavy and greasy.

Roselea took the lead within 30 seconds, to show Linlithgow that they were not going to get things all their own way. Dale Reid prodded the ball forward to Calum WATSON and he in turn poked the ball into the net from 16 yards. Things were level in three minutes when Calum SMITH cut inside and drilled the ball past McLeod from a tight angle.

It was an explosive start to the match and the crowd were expecting a goals fest.

Roselea had a chance in seven minutes, when Rae sent Reid away, however he elected to shoot early from 25 yards, when he could have taken the ball in further.

A minute later Linlithgow attacked and Mcleod had to be quick to react and save at the feet of Maclennan.

In 16 minutes, Roselea had another chance when Watson was put through, but this time ‘keeper McKinven saved well from the Roselea striker.

Roselea were having a good spell and did not seem to be intimidated by their opponents. Watson broke again on the right-hand side but his cross, intended for Cruickshank, was intercepted by the ‘keeper in 19 minutes.

With 25 minutes on the clock, Linlithgow were again thwarted by Mcleod, with Strickland’s shot being turned behind for a corner.

The half petered out with no other chances for either team, but it was still a pulsating cup tie, with much still to come.

Half Time: Montrose Roselea 1, Linlithgow Rose 1.

There was a blow for Roselea when they conceded a goal eight minutes into the second half. Tommy COYNE picked the ball up inside the penalty box and twisted and turned before shooting low into the corner, with a slight deflection taking it past Mcleod.

In 59 minutes, Roselea had a chance, when a diagonal ball from Findlater was just missed by Watson sliding in. On the hour-mark Mcleod had to beat a Smith drive out.

The game boiled over in 66 minutes, when Reid was clearly fouled by Nelson as he broke away. Whilst the referee was about to caution him, Collier and McKillen clashed as they tussled for the ball, with all three players picking up bookings.

In 68 minutes Linlithgow had a double chance, when a poor Mcleod punch saw the ball land to Nelson and, whilst his first shot was blocked, Mcleod had to hold the second effort, which was a 20-yard drive.

Roselea got back on level terms in the 71 minutes. A high, hopeful ball from Ryan Taylor looked easy meat for ‘keeper McKinven but when Watson challenged him in the air, the ball broke to Dale REID, who still had a lot of work to do but composed himself and tucked the ball into the corner of the net.

Linlithgow were shocked and knew that they had to again take the match to the home side. They created a couple of chances, however Roselea were in no mood to concede easily and some courageous defending saw them hold
tight.

Linlithgow did have another couple of chances from corners and O’Byrne blasted over from the penalty spot with a packed goalmouth in front of him.

There were to be two more chances for both teams to clinch their fourth round spot in the closing minutes. First Watson had a great opportunity, when he cut inside and sent a low shot away, which McKinven did really well to save, then Maclennan flashed a low drive right across the face of the Roselea goal, with the ball going just past the post.

That was the end and referee Steven Traynor blew for full-time and the sides will have to do it all again next week.

Roselea did themselves and the town proud, by putting in a great performance and matched their opponents for the 90 minutes. It was a great match to watch and kept everyone in suspense right until the end. Such was the performance, it was impossible for the sponsors to agree on a Man of the Match, so it was correctly awarded to the whole team.

The sides will meet again at Prestonfield Park, Linlithgow on Saturday (November 29), with a 1.45 p.m. kick-off. Roselea are running a supporters’ bus which will be £10 per head to travel. Names to the Golf Inn, with payment required up front: 01674 672047. The bus will leave from the Golf Inn at 9.45 a.m.

Roselea has asked the Review to pass on their thanks to the local public for their support at this match, and also the volunteers who helped with the gates and the shop. It was much appreciated and the club would not have been able to host such a match without this help.

Roselea: Mcleod. Findlater. R. Taylor, Reoch, Whyte, Rae. Collier. Anderson, Cruickshank, Reid and Watson; Substitutes: P. Taylor. McDowell, Thomson, Smith and Bailey.