Linlithgow Rose 1-0 Huntly: Rose battle through in William Hill Scottish Cup

Linlithgow Rose manager Mark Bradley
Linlithgow Rose manager Mark Bradley

Tommy Coyne’s goal on the hour mark handed Linlithgow Rose a precious 1-0 home win over Huntly in the William Hill Scottish Cup first round.

The prolific marksman’s solitary strike at Prestonfield on Saturday put the Highland League outfit to the sword and sent Rose through to face University of Stirling away in round two on the weekend of October 18-20.

The visitors were to get on the front foot first with Ross Still shooting over from a decent position.

But there was a real paucity of chances in the early stages as both teams sized each other up.

On the quarter hour Linlithgow’s Gary Thom (above) had a header cleared off the line by Ashley Ballam and minutes later the same player was to deny Ross Allum with an athletic clearance from the striker’s header.

The game was to become very scrappy with misplaced passes the common theme and it took until 40 minutes for the hosts to threaten with Thom being denied once again, this time from a fantastic save from John Farquhar.

The keeper was again on hand moments later to deny Allum from close range.

Huntly themselves went close on half-time with Michael McKinven saving well from Kai Ross.

Linlithgow started the second half much brighter, passing the ball about crisply and Allum quickly had two efforts that went over the bar.

Allum should have opened the scoring on 50 minutes following a tremendous cross from Ross Barbour but the striker missed from close range.

The pressure was continuing to build, and Thom saw his header hit the bar from an Owen Ronald corner.

The deadlock was broken on the hour and it was to come from Coyne.

Yet another Ronald corner found the striker in space and he neatly headed the ball into the back of the net much to the relief of the home fans.

The hosts then looked to put the game to bed and Allum looked on in disbelief as his neat flick was again cleared off the line by Ballam prior to Coyne and Barbour having shots saved.

With the game going into injury time the lead was almost lost.

Following a head injury, the referee dropped the ball at the feet of Paul Esslemont whose dipping shot needed a fantastic save from McKinven to prevent an equaliser.

The ensuing corner resulted in Pat Scullion kicking a goalbound effort off the line to ensure Linlithgow would go through to the next round.

Linlithgow: McKinven, Barbour, Scullion, Thom, McKinlay, Meikle, Ronald, Danny Smith, Allum (Strickland) Coyne, Darren Smith (Collumbine). Not used: Hutchison, Wilson.

Rose keeper McKinven said: “Today was one of the first times I’ve had a lot to do this season.

“It was good to get tested properly, but that’s what I prepare for in training.

“Thankfully I was switched on in the last minute when the ref dropped the ball right to their player, that would have been a sore goal to lose.

“I was delighted to get a clean sheet.”