Linlithgow Rose dumped out of cup by Dunbar

Ruari MacLennan (above) scored the 'consolation' goal for Mark Bradley's side against Dunbar.
Ruari MacLennan (above) scored the 'consolation' goal for Mark Bradley's side against Dunbar.

Linlithgow Rose suffered an embarrassing 4-1 defeat at the hands of Dunbar United in their Football Nation Cup tie at Prestonfield on Saturday.

Rose went into the match with high hopes after their 10-goal midweek demolition of Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts.

And they dominated the early possession. Tommy Coyne headed over from a Darren Smith corner and a Ross MacKinnon cross was just too far ahead of Kevin Watt for the striker to make contact.

Then Iain Gray went down in the box but the Rose penalty claims went unheeded by referee Sneddon, who booked the Rose man for diving.

But midway through the half, in one of their first moves forward, Dunbar took the lead.

After a Rose attack broke down at the edge of their box they moved the ball down the right and Darren Handling cut the ball back for Chris King to strike a lovely low shot past Kyle Marley from the edge of the box.

The Rose heads visibly dropped after this setback and they also had to replace the injured Kevin McKinlay, bringing on Kyle Turnbull.

A good effort from skipper Ruari Maclennan was beaten away by keeper Liam McCathie but, with just under 10 minutes of the half to go, the visitors extended their lead.

A long clearance from McCathie broke loose to King and this time the ex-Rose man strode on to the ball and sent a great left-foot shot high past Marley from 25 yards.

The home support may have expected things to improve in the second half but they were stunned when Dunbar added to their tally with two quick goals.

King found Liam Peden wide on the left and his cross found Dean Ballantyne, who stepped inside MacKinnon before firing high past Marley.

Then Gary Thom tried to find Marley from a throw-in but was well short and Ballantyne nipped in to take the ball round the keeper, move along the byline and tap the ball into the empty net.

Martyn Shields came on for MacKinnon and Maclennan had a shot comfortably saved before Thom was yellow-carded when he caught Ballantyne in the face.

There was controversy when King released Handling with a neat pass inside Turnbull and he drew Marley before sending the ball across goal towards Ballantyne, only for Thom to come sliding in to divert the ball into his own net.

As the visitors celebrated, once again the assistant referee raised his flag and the goal was chalked off for offside.

Marley tried to take the free kick quickly but was called back by the referee, who then booked him for dissent.

Rose got a consolation goal with 10 minutes to go when Maclennan took a pass from Coyne and sent a terrific curling shot high past McCathie from the edge of the box.

There was still time for three more Rose players to find their way into the referee’s notebook; Jamie Mackenzie for an attempted foul, Watt for dissent and Maclennan for a nasty foul on Handling.

McCathie had a couple of late saves from Urquhart and Watt but the final whistle couldn’t come quickly enough for Rose.