Linlithgow star Batchelor ready to meet Bonnyrigg challenge

Blair Batchelor was Rose's match winner at Hill of Beath on Saturday. (pic by Kayem Photography)
Blair Batchelor was Rose's match winner at Hill of Beath on Saturday. (pic by Kayem Photography)

Linlithgow Rose star Blair Batchelor believes victory over Bonnyrigg Rose on 
Saturday could be an ideal platform for a title charge.

The ‘War of the Roses’ clash at Prestonfield won’t settle the outcome and both sides still have current leaders Penicuik to contend with.

But Batchelor thinks three points on Saturday could give Mark Bradley’s side a major psychological boost for the run-in to the end of the season.

The midfielder scored both goals in last week’s 2-1 win at Hill of Beath - claiming the second despite team-mate Gary Thom’s insistence the second was an own goal - and thinks back-to-back victories in the last two weeks show Rose are getting back to form after their Scottish Junior Cup loss at Rob Roy and league defeat by Penicuik.

He said: “It was a good result in the end. It’s quite a hard place to go.

“They were putting some late challenges in and it was good to get the win.

“I think we deserved it. We missed some chances and could have been three or four up and then they scored a really poor goal from our perspective.

“Saturday’s game is not going to decide anything either way, if we win or lose, but we’ve been written off a couple of times and to win against them would just put a little marker down.

“We went through a little blip but now we’re starting to get on it again and if we could get the three points it would really kick us on.”

Both Bonnyrigg and Linlithgow trail East Superleague leaders Penicuik, but both have games in hand.

Bonnyrigg are two points adrift of Penicuik with three games less played, while Linlithgow are a further three points back with four matches in hand.

The Roses have already met once this season, a goalless stalemate at Bonnyrigg.

Batchelor said: “They are quite direct. They work really hard, that’s one of their main attributes, they’re big and strong.

“I wouldn’t say they knock the ball about great but they play to their strengths and they’ve got good players.

“Adam Nelson was with us a few years ago and they’re quite good defensively.

“When we played them in the 0-0 game there weren’t really any chances for either side, it was quite an even game.

“It will be tough and we’ll certainly need to be on it to beat them because they are a really good side.”