IT was good news on both sides of the Flints last weekend as Bo’ness progressed into the second round of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup while the Rose extended their lead at the top of the Super League.
Bo’ness saw off Whitletts Victoria 5-2, after twice trailing by a goal at Newtown Park. They will learn on Sunday who they face next.
Interim boss Allan McGonigal said his side showed real character once their noses were in front, and scored some cracking goals, after being sluggish and slightly casual in the first half.
He now hopes United can ‘hide’ in the next two or three rounds, that being the secret in the tournament, he said, to having a chance to progress.
Pressed on his long-term plans in respect of the managerial vacancy, McGonigal told the Journal and Gazette: “The longer I’m there the more chance there is I could stay.”
He and his number two Steven Kerrigan will both miss tomorrow’s home league clash (Saturday) against McGonigal’s old side Camelon, with attendance at a wedding, and a holiday, both pre-arranged.
McGonigal, confident of his side’s prospects against a talented Camelon team, is organising cover from Hamilton Accies’ academy director, Frankie McAvoy, “one of the best (coaches) I’ve ever worked with.
“In terms of getting the boys ready and prepared there will be nobody better. We are really fortuitous to call on someone with his experience.”
John Harvey was back in the fold at Monday’s wind and rainswept training, after a long absence due to a double hernia. Ryan Kennedy is undergoing ankle treatment at Celtic, where his brother coaches. Declan McAvoy is a doubt for tomorrow after suffering from a sickness bug.
McGonigal is meanwhile awaiting word on bids to a senior club for a centre back, and a centre midfield from a junior side.
At Prestonfield, the Rose came from behind to win over Camelon in the league. At three-one down after 50 minutes, Mark Bradley’s side looked like losing their 100 per cent winning start to the season but they turned the game around to score three second-half goals and extend their lead in the league to five points after just four matches.
The only downside to last Saturday’s clash is that defender David Dunn will now have to sit out the next 10 weeks after he broke his elbow during the match.
Rose boss Bradley said: “I feel sorry for David as he had just come back from a virus and got the opportunity to start as McArthur was suspended. He played well and when he was replaced at the break we had to reshuffle the defence and we got caught out twice.
“All credit to the players though, they kept their composure and showed some grit as they upped the tempo to score some great goals. It’s great to have this lead so early on but we need to keep the momentum going week in, week out.”
With the Rose playing some great football in recent weeks, it came as no surprise that three players have been selected for the Scotland Junior squad to face Ireland next month. Goalgrabber Tommy Coyne, Roddy MacLennan and defender Jamie McKenzie are included.
Bradley said: “It’s great for the boys to be involved, Tommy has been there before but it will be a good experience for Roddy and Jamie.”
For tomorrow’s match against Hill of Beath at Prestonfield (kick off 2.30pm), Bradley believes his side can pick up all three points if his team can show the same effort and workrate as their opponents. He added: “If we can match them in these departments, our overall skill will see us through.”
*Newtongrange beat Sauchie in midweek to set up the Dechmont Forklift Cup Final against the Rose.