Lugar 1 Linlithgow 3: Rose safely through in Scottish

Aiden Malone got Linlithgows opener at Lugar
Aiden Malone got Linlithgows opener at Lugar

Linlithgow Rose made it safely over the hurdle of Lugar Boswell Thistle in their Scottish Junior Cup second round tie on Saturday.

When the draw was made Rose boss Mark Bradley described it as a trip to “deepest, darkest” Ayrshire.

But his side managed to overcome difficult conditions - often a great leveller in cup competitions - and avoid being on the wrong end of a cup upset against their lower league opponents

An early morning pitch inspection gave the go ahead for the tie - although the extremely poor weather in Ayrshire left many wondering whether the match would proceed come the scheduled kick-off time at 2.30pm.

It did, although the park was heavy and players and spectators alike were battered by wind and rain.

The Rose, however, started the match well with Aiden Malone heading over and Tommy Coyne’s header being turned over by the Lugar keeper, both from fine right wing crosses from Owen Ronald.

It was no surprise when the Rose did take an early lead with just six minutes on the clock.

Following a Ronald free kick, Leiper’s shot was blocked but Malone scored easily from the rebound.

Lugar’s captain Jordan Drummond picked up the first booking of the match .

A minute later, a shot from Coyne was not far off target for Rose.

The visitors might have doubled their lead when Gary Thom’s cross found Coyne in the box, but on this occasion the Linlithgow striker’s shot crashed off the crossbar and the ball was cleared by the Thistle defence.

Just after the half hour mark, Lugar’s Sam Shields was booked for a foul, and then a free-kick from Coyne soared high over the bar.

Just before the interval, Malone had the ball in the net again for the Rose.

But controversially the referee - who was without official linesmen for the tie - chalked it off for offside and Bradley’s side went in at the interval with still just the single-goal advantage.

The home side were left with a mountain to climb 10 minutes into the second half when Drummond was sent off, having been judged by the referee to have denied the Rose a goal scoring opportunity when he brought down Roddy Maclennan.

And just four minutes later they suffered a further blow when Rose extended their lead.

Thom sent a long ball forward which Coyne reached before the defenders and goalkeeper and he played the ball back to Ronald who - with the keeper struggling to get back on his line - sent in a lovely chip which found the net off the inside of the far post.

Lugar might have clawed a goal back moments later, but Stewart missed a great chance in front of goal.

Robbie Crolley picked up another yellow card for the home side but the Ayrshire District League outfit then reduced the deficit in the 66th minute.

Rose midfielder Martin Shields gave the ball away and Lowe was put clear and he coolly sent the ball past the advancing Darren Hill.

The visitors immediately replaced Ruari Maclennan with Blair Batchelor.

The Rose had a chance to extend their lead once more, but Coyne’s volley went narrowly wide of the target after a deep cross from Ronald.

An even better chance was squandered when Malone had missed an open goal by shooting wide.

However Roddy Maclennan sealed the tie for the Rose with eight minutes to go when he ran on to another long pass from Thom and went wide of the keeper before firing the ball home.

Robert Sloan replaced Roddy Maclennan and Lugar continued to show great commitment with Hill being called upon to deny them again.

However Rose might have added another before the final whistle when Coyne broke clear down the right but his shot went inches past the far post.

In the end Rose clearly deserved their win but they had to work hard as Lugar and the poor weather conditions made it difficult for them.

But the objective of the day was to advance to the next round. That mission was accomplished and Rose can now wait to see what Tuesday’s third round draw will bring.