Injured Linlithgow Rose ace Craig Donaldson still played key role in Scottish Cup shock at Brechin
Although a knee injury and operation scuppered the start of striker Craig Donaldson’s Linlithgow Rose playing career, he has revealed that he still fulfilled a vital virtual scouting role to aid the club’s Scottish Cup run.
It seems a lifetime ago now as teams in Rose’s bracket remain sidelined due to coronavirus restrictions, but Donaldson, 33, provided vital tactical information to gaffer Brown Ferguson in the run-up to the East of Scotland Premier Division underdogs’ shock 3-2 first round cup win at League 2 Brechin City on Boxing Day.
Donaldson, who joined Linlithgow on a two-year deal after leaving Sauchie in summer 2020, said: “I ended up watching Brechin on the laptop in the house as the gaffer had asked me to do a wee report on them.
"I think I gave him a decent enough report. I saw where we could hurt them.
"I also saw where their advantages were and where we had to brush up on things.
"I told Brown what Brechin’s strengths and weaknesses were and where we could really cause them numerous problems and it worked a treat that day.”
It certainly did, as an early Rory Currie strike for Brechin was cancelled out by Rose legend Tommy Coyne’s fine goal before the League 2 basement boys went 2-1 up through Kieran Inglis.
But Rose never wavered, with goals by Ruari MacLennan and Scott Stevenson winning the day and setting up a trip to League 1 Forfar Athletic in round two.
That tie – prior to which Donaldson didn’t scout on Forfar – saw Rose go ahead early on through Kyle Wilson before a swift Murray MacIntosh strike forced extra time when goals by Martyn Fotheringham and Jordan Allan (2) put a flattering 4-1 scoreline on it for the Station Park men.
That Forfar tie on January 9 remains the last game played by Rose. Although frustrated by that fact and still not being 100 per cent fit, Donaldson has nothing but good words to say about life at Prestonfield.
"I’ve been at clubs before when you’re injured you don’t feel a part of it,” he said.
"Since I’ve been at Linlithgow Rose, Brown Ferguson has made me feel just as much a part of it as probably the players on the field.
"He got me refereeing a game in training. He always wanted to keep me involved with the players.”