Camelon 1-3 Linlithgow Rose: Joy for Rose boss Gordon Herd on his return to Camelon eight months after controversial sacking
Linlithgow Rose manager Gordon Herd went into a potential bear pit on Saturday but came out smiling after surviving a major scare at old club Camelon.
Rose eventually managed a deserved 3-1 win in this East of Scotland Premier Division clash thanks to goals by Mark Stowe (2) and Lewis Payne.
But it could all have been so different when – at 0-0 – the officials reversed an original decision to award Camelon a penalty for away keeper Dean Shaw’s challenge on Mitchell Taylor, who later scored his side’s goal.
Herd, controversially sacked by Camelon in March, told the Journal and Gazette: “Dean Shaw’s not touched him and their striker has basically admitted that he dived.
"So I think the officials have done well to reverse the decision because it could have had a big influence on the game.
"As far as I’m led to believe, the ref gave the decision and the linesman reversed it because he had a better view of it.”
On receiving any personal verbal abuse back at his old club, Herd added: “It wasn’t too bad. Obviously there are going to be some elements from some of the committee and supporters that are bitter about us leaving because they seem to have gone downhill since we left.
"So there is going to be a wee bit of a bitterness so you’re expecting that.
"But I didn’t actually hear anything, I was that tuned into the game."
Overall it was a game which Rose dominated and Herd felt they should have done better in what was a goalless first half.
"I think we should maybe have been about 2-0 up at the break at least,” he said.
“We had to give the boys a wee jab at half-time, we felt the performance wasn’t what we were looking for.
"But the second half they came out, they battled and they got another three points so I was really pleased.
"It’s just another game. I’m over the Camelon stuff. It was another three points for where we want to go.
"We don’t treat it as a special game because it’s my old club.”
Rose, who are third in the league, further boosted their pursuit of top two Penicuik Athletic and Tranent Juniors – whom they now trail by 10 and nine points respectively – with a 2-0 home league win against Newtongrange Star on Tuesday night with goals by Conor McKenzie and a Stowe penalty following a foul on Willis Hare.
"I can’t give Newtongrange enough credit,” he said. “They are in a false league position (16th) after seeing them I feel.
"They gave it a go, they’re a decent side and I don’t think they’ll be down the bottom for long.
"Chris King’s got them playing really good football and they’ve got a system that’s worked. Up until Tuesday night they were on form the last four or five games.
"Midweek games can be a bit of a nightmare with regard to getting boys to games from work and all the rest of it.
"So we’ve got to be delighted with another clean sheet and another three points.”
On the fact that Rose haven’t made many inroads into the top twos’ points advantage as they also keep winning, Herd added: “It’s football. We’ve taken over and we were behind them.
"All we’re concentrating on is winning as many games as we can between now and the end of the season.
"And then if Penicuik or Tranent drop points then great, we’re in a position to capitalise on it.
"If they don’t then it’s just one of these things that happens in football.
"Tranent play Penicuik this Saturday so something will give. We’ve just got to concentrate on what we do and try and not worry about anybody else.
"There’s no added incentive for any game, it’s just win, win, win.
"That’s what we drum into the boys. There’s no point in us hoping that Tranent and Penicuik slip up if we’re not winning games.”
Rose host Tynecastle in the league this Saturday, KO 2.30pm.