THERE were mixed fortunes for the local junior sides at the weekend as the Rose increased their lead at the top of the Super League while second placed Bo’ness dropped valuable points.
The Rose saw off St Andrews easily to secure another three points which now sees them with 34 points from 12 matches played. The club also has a 15-point advantage over their local rivals.
Second placed Bo’ness lost out 3-1 to last season’s Super League champions Bonnyrigg but they still remain in contention having gained 19 points from 10 games.
This weekend it is league football again with the Rose travelling to Carnoustie while Bo’ness are at home to Sauchie.
At Prestonfield, Rose boss Mark Bradley was delighted with his team’s performance last weekend but he still will not entertain talk of his side winning the league.
He said: “There is a still a long way to go. We have 10 games to play but if we continue to pick up points week in, week out, we have to be confident of winning the league.
‘‘There are other sides, however, who have games in hand over us and it will only take for us to slip on the odd occasion and it could change the equation.”
He added: “We have had a great start to the season with the majority of our league games being staged, in front of our own fans at home.
‘‘The second half of the season will see us play away as we only have only four league matches remaining at Prestonfield.
Despite two away games in consecutive weeks, Carnoustie and Camelon (January 12), Bradley is confident his side can continue their winning form.
Already this season, the Rose has amassed 34 points in the league, just one point less than their total attained over the 20-match league campaign last season.
Looking back to last Saturday’s win, the coach said: “We played really well but we should have killed off the match in the first half but missed some good opportunities.
‘‘After the break, McArthur could have sealed the win but never. They then went upfield and scored which gave them a boost.
‘‘We made changes and Roddy (Maclennan) scored two brilliant goals to seal the match.’’
Bradley said of Maclennan: “He is a real asset to the club as his pace is electrifying.
‘‘He is still returning from an ankle injury and will only get better as the season progresses.”
*Allan McGonigal declared this week it was ‘January sales’ time at Bo’ness as he prepared to tell three players at last night’s training (Thursday) their services were no longer required. Offers have come in for two of them.
Set to get ruthless, he said: “If it wasn’t for the Scottish Cup tie, I would be clearing the whole place and very few would be getting kept.”
He told the Journal and Gazette: “We are not good enough as a squad of players.”
McGonigal, who stepped in after Paul Ronald’s departure, said: “In terms of the league, I think the league’s gone for us. All credit to Linlithgow Rose. They put their house in order at the beginning of the season. I’m trying to do it in January.”
Fully focussed on the task ahead, he added: “I think the time is right to make the changes, to get it right for next season.”
Joining the club this week are centre/right back Matthew Craig of Hamilton Accies and East Stirling midfielder Craig Donaldson (one month initially).
McGonigal accepted some responsibility for the Bonnyrigg loss, having changed the system to counter the muddy park and he was unhappy with some official decisions.
But he conceded: “In the first half we were really poor.”