Linlithgow Rose gaffer Mark Bradley was proud his makeshift side held their own for large spells against Scottish Premiership big guns Hibs.
The East of Scotland League new boys – who played several trialists because of regulars being unavailable – battled hard in Saturday’s 2-0 friendly defeat at Prestonfield against a side who finished the fourth best in Scotland last season.
“My boys were excellent considering the opposition we were playing against and the difference in class,” Bradley told the Linlithgow Gazette.
“We are so many levels below Hibs and they have been training for a week and a half before us.
“Yet we looked quite comfortable and never threw the towel in. Our boys came back a week early and did brilliantly, as people might have been thinking Hibs would have scored six, seven or eight goals.”
As if to illustrate that point, Hibs went on to thrash senior League 2 outfit Berwick Rangers 6-0 at Shielfield Park on Wednesday night in their next pre-season friendly.
But it was only two second half Danny Swanson goals that separated the Edinburgh giants from Linlithgow.
Rose were particularly well served by trialist John Ovenstone – who had to leave the field after 60 minutes so he could start his shift working as a fireman in Glenrothes!
“John has played for us before but the Hibs game was his first match in nine months,” Mark said.
“He helped us out and made people stand up and take notice with his performance.
“If we can sign boys of that calibre going into the new season, then it would help our cause.”
Rose’s next match is a home friendly against Kelty on Monday, July 16.