Linlithgow Rose booked their place in the second preliminary round of the Scottish Cup against Jeanfield Swifts after a narrow 2-1 win over Preston Athletic at Prestonfield last Saturday, writes Susan Hill.
The Rose dominated the first half and should have been out of sight before Hamilton Accies development kid Sean Slaven found the net for his first competitive goal for the club
Danny Smith doubled the Rose advantage eight minutes later. Bathgate gave a Preston a glimmer of hope but the hosts held on for victory.
The sides met last season at the second stage preliminary round but it was a much improved Preston which turned up on Saturday.
The Rose were without a number of players and could only name three on the bench but they made a quick start to the match and in the third minute a long ball from McKinven was headed on by Coyne to Slaven but his shot from the edge of the box was off target.
The Rose continued to press with Ronald and Smith firing efforts at goal but the score remained level.
Carelessness by McKinlay put the Rose under pressure for the first time and McKinven saved well low down from Grotling.
The action resumed at the other end with the Rose passing a number of opportunities with Coyne, Slaven and Ronald going close before a corner from the right found its way to Scullion but his shot was blocked close to the line and the rebound was blocked again.
Five minutes from half time, and for all the Rose pressure, the visitors came close to taking a shock lead when Cowan shot over from close range after Archibald’s free kick.
The Rose finally broke the deadlock when the ball was worked back to Slaven who sent a low shot in to the bottom corner to put the home side ahead.
In the 53rd minute a Scullion shot looked netbound but was deflected wide for a corner and, when Ronald’s kick came over, Coyne headed wide of the far post. Darren Smith played Scullion in to trouble when he was short with a pass and Archibald ran clear but shot wide.
The Rose went straight up to the other end and Danny Smith tried his luck from 20 yards and somehow Findlay allowed the ball to slip through his hands into the net to put the Rose two ahead.
Things looked comfortable for the Rose but they were shocked just after the hour when, with McKinlay down injured, the visitors got down their right and with the cross only being half cleared, Bathgate crashed the loose ball past McKinven from the edge of the box. The visitors were trying to get men forward in an attempt to save the game but it was the Rose who came closest to scoring as the game drew to a close.
First, Lennie made a great block to deny Coyne from Ronald’s cross and then Findlay made a terrific double save to keep out substitute Collumbine and then Darren Smith.
Linlithgow Rose: McKinven, Darren Smith, McKinlay, Barbour, Scullion, Meikle, Ruari Maclennan, Danny Smith (Collumbine 78), Ronald, Slaven, Coyne. Subs not used: Hutchison, Wilson SG.