Linlithgow Rose beat Broxburn to go top of the league

Owen Ronald was on target for Linlithgow Rose against Broxburn
Owen Ronald was on target for Linlithgow Rose against Broxburn

Linlithgow Rose deposed Broxburn as league leaders with a fine all-round performance at Prestonfield.

Two goals by Tommy Coyne and one by Owen Ronald earned Mark Bradley’s side the win which sent them back to the top of the East of Scotland League Conference C table.

With Ruari Maclennan suspended Gary Thom wore the captain’s armband for Rose who came close to taking an early lead after just three minutes.

Ronald did well to beat the offside trap and round keeper Connor Wallace, but his shot from a tight angle hit the side netting.

With just under a quarter of an hour played, there were shouts from the Rose players for handball in the box, but no penalty was awarded. Minutes later, Iain Gray’s shot forced a low save from keeper Wallace.

Rose continued to push forward and midway through the half Darren Smith’s cross nearly sneaked into the top corner of the net but the ball was tipped over the bar by Wallace.

Coyne also had a chance but his header was straight at the keeper and five minutes later there was a mighty scramble in front of the Broxburn goal but no one could get that vital touch to send the ball over the line.

With five minutes of the half remaining, an ambitious long range shot from Broxburn’s Nicholas Locke went high over the bar before, back at the other end, a good shot from Roddy Maclennan had the pace taken off it when it took a deflection and so it was an easy stop for Wallace.

The match remained goalless at the break and Broxburn had the first of the chances in the second half, but Cameron Ross headed wide of the target.

However Rose made the breakthrough in the 50th minute when they were awarded a penalty.

Referee Peter Stuart spotted Christopher Townsley hauling down Thom as he went for Ronald’s corner and Coyne stepped up to convert the spot kick.

The Rose extended their lead just a couple of minutes later when a nice through ball was played to Ronald, who hit a great strike from the edge of the box which found the net via the inside of the post.

Seconds later Broxburn’s Michael Linton picked up a booking for kicking the ball away after his side conceded a foul.

But, not deterred by the scoreline, Broxburn searched for a goal and a fantastic save from Marley denied Craig Scott.

A long range shot from Scott then soared over the bar, and Marley pulled off another great save from Zander Miller’s shot after the Broxburn man picked up a loose ball when Smith slipped on the edge of the box and lost possession.

Broxburn threatened again with 15 minutes remaining with a shot from a Ross Nimmo that was cleared, and then ex-Rose man Conor Kelly’s shot was saved by Marley’s leg.

But Rose held firm and, after Ronald’s shot from an angle went just wide of the post, they set the seal on a fine victory with a third goal in stoppage time as Blaur Batchelor’s deflected shot was headed home by Coyne.