Musselburgh 2 Linlithgow 2: Late goal costs Rose vital win

Linlithgow's Jack Beaumont battles for possesson with Musselburgh's Sean Murphy
Linlithgow's Jack Beaumont battles for possesson with Musselburgh's Sean Murphy

Linlithgow Rose managed what could yet prove a precious point in their fight against relegation at Musselburgh on Saturday.

But Rose didn’t quite do enough to secure their first win in five games as a Musselburgh equaliser seven minutes from time earned the home side a 2-2 draw.

However Rose at least managed to avoid losing any further ground on one of their fellow strugglers as they battle to get clear of the drop zone.

With Jimmy Crease and Alan Miller again in charge, Rose travelled to sun drenched Olive Bank for a crucial East Superleague encounter which neither side could afford to lose.

An early corner for the home side was easily cleared and the offside flag against Tommy Coyne halted the first Rose attack.

A Blair Batchelor shot was easily gathered by Musselburgh keeper Keiron Renton as Rose tried to push forward.

But they were under pressure at the other after 14 minutes when Sean Muhsin was caught in possession,

Keith Murray beat Rose skipper Colin Leiper wide on the right, and cut into the box but his shot was blocked by defender Jamie Mackenzie at the expense of a corner.

On a hard, fiery pitch, play was scrappy but Rose made the breakthrough by taking the lead on 33 minutes.

Kevin Kelbie and Coyne combined to get the ball to Batchelor and he lifted a clever ball over a defender to Reece Donaldson who sent a low drive past Renton into the Musselburgh net.

It was a huge boost for a Rose side who had won just once in their previous 12 league games.

But just when it seemed that the Rose might take charge of the game, they conceded a soft equaliser.

Muhsin tried to let the ball run out of play for a goal kick but allowed a Musselburgh man to turn the ball inside to Mathu King who fired a fine low shot past Hill into the net via the inside of the far post.

Just before half time Rozse’s Jack Beaumont picked up the first yellow card for a foul on John McManus.

Rose were determined to grab the initiative after the break and just four minutes into the second period they were back in front.

Ross Gray and Muhsin did well on the right and although the latter’s cross was headed clear, Beaumont helped the ball back into the box and Coyne timed his run perfectly to volley the ball low past Renton.

It was the Linlithgow hitman’s 13th league goal of the campaign and his 33rd in all competition.

The home side tried to hit back and a shot from Michael Moffat went just wide.

However it was the Rose who missed a great chance to extend their lead in the 52nd minute.

Kelbie headed on a long ball and Coyne was left with only keeper Renton to beat - but on this occasion the Rose striker miscued his shot and sent the ball well past the post.

Rose needed a third goal to kill off the Musselburgh challenge and almost got it 10 minutes later.

Coyne found Batchelor who raced past his man into the box and clipped the ball past Renton - only to see the ball come back off the post.

The Rose management made a couple of changes miday through the second half.

Robbie McNab replaced Gray and shortly afterwards Mark Williams came on for Beaumont.

At the same time the home side also made a switch, bringing on Ewan Ralton for Thomson.

As the game moved into the final 15 minute Coyne was booked for dissent before the home side missed a chance to level, Barry Hogg getting a free header from a corner but misdirecting his effortwell off target.

Musselburgh then made anotherv change, replacing Moffat with ex-Rose man Bradley Donaldson, before Rose were punished for not putting the game to bed.

With seven minutes to go Murray slipped the ball to substitute Renton who sent a first time shot from the edge of the box high past Hill to level the scores.

Kelbie was replaced by Conor Kelly, Rose’s Donaldson was booked for dissent and King was also booked for a foul on Muhsin, before in stoppage time Declan O’Kane received a straight red card for a bad challenge on Thom.