Linlithgow Rose go top of table with win over Blackburn United
Linlithgow Rose bounced back from their Scottish Cup exit with an emphatic league win over Blackburn at Prestonfield.
A hat-trick from Tommy Coyne in the space of eight minutes and goals from Owen Ronald and Gary Thom earned Mark Bradley’s side the win which put them top of the East of Scotland League Conference C table.
Rose made a strong start and came close to taking the lead when Thom’s powerful close range header from Robert Sloan’s free-kick was brilliantly kept out by keeper Adam Sinnet although the offside flag went up.
Seconds later, however, Ronald broke clear on the left and his shot went under Sinnet and into the net for the opening goal of the match with 11 minutes on the clock.
The goal seemed to spur on the visitors and a shot from Darren Downie went wide of the target.
Danny Campbell’s shot, after a misplaced pass from Roddy Maclennan, was then held by Kyle Marley, but the Rose keeper was beaten when Campbell’s cross was tapped home by Downie at the backpost for the equaliser.
On the half hour John Ovenstone played a fine cross across the face of goal but no Rose man could get on the end of it.
However Rose regained the lead two minutes later when Ovenstone headed down Sloan’s corner and Coyne hooked the ball home after his first effort had been blocked. Rose then went further ahead when a fine through pass from Ronald found Coyne who stroked the ball pas Sinnet into the far corner.
Campbell was booked before, in the 40th minute, it was 4-1 as Rose cut through the Blackburn defence for Coyne to repeat his earlier effort easily beating Sinnet once again to complete his hat trick.
During the celebrations, Ruari Maclennan was booked for a foul in the build up and Blackburn’s Scott Wright was shown a yellow card for dissent.
Early in the second half Blackburn’s Calvin Townsley and Rose’s Ronald picked up yellow cards and Ronald then played a fine cross to Coyne at the backpost but the striker put the ball past the post.
The booking continued to mount as Michael Browne was cautioned for a foul on Ruari Maclennan, and Blackburn’s Ross Williamson and Roddy Maclennan were also shown yellow cards for their involvement in the aftermath.
Ronald shot wide of the target just before he was replaced by Blair Batchelor, and then Thom added to the Rose lead when his header found the corner of the net after Ovenstone had headed on a corner from the right.
Ruari Maclennan pulled a shot wide of the target after good link-up play with Ross Barbour.
Rose defender Jamie Mackenzie then made a long awaited return from injury when he replaced Ovenstone.
Blackburn should have reduced the deficit in the 73rd minute when Campbell was through on goal but he was denied by Marley’s feet.
Kevin Watt then replaced Roddy Maclennan, but Rose were reduced to 10 men for the closing 10 minutes after Thom injured an ankle blocking a shot and had to be helped off