Musselburgh Athletic 6-2 Linlithgow Rose: Rose manager Mark Bradley fired after heavy defeat

Mark Bradley and assistant Paul Ronald at full-time; they were sacked the next day (Pic by Scott Louden)
Mark Bradley and assistant Paul Ronald at full-time; they were sacked the next day (Pic by Scott Louden)

In what turned out to be manager Mark Bradley’s last game in charge before his shock sacking, Linlithgow Rose were thrashed 6-2 at Musselburgh Athletic, writes Susan Hill.

Saturday’s East of Scotland Premier Division defeat left Rose sixth in the table with 12 points from six matches.

Musselburgh had the better of the early stages with both Jackie Myles and Nathan Evans having efforts that went close before they went ahead on 13 minutes.

Myles played a long ball that Pat Scullion misjudged, and the pacey Evans ran through to fire past Michael McKinven.

The visitors tried to respond with Ross Allum forcing a good save from Paul Grant and Tommy Coyne shot wide, but the hosts were to double their lead.

The Linlithgow defence were again pulled out of position down the left and Darren Downie broke clear before his cross found Daniel McBay who finished well.

The shell-shocked visitors were making chances with Allum shooting wide, Coyne hitting the post on the half hour and Gary Thom heading wide from a good position.

Musselburgh almost got a third from a Downie header but McKinven pulled off a fantastic save and right on half-time Allum got one back (below) with a neat goal from an acute angle.

Linlithgow were dealt a double blow on 49 minutes with Musselburgh getting their third. A Myles long ball saw Evans run off Scullion and he finished well with McKinven having to leave the field after injuring himself trying to stop the shot.

More misery was to come for Linlithgow on the hour mark as Downie scored from close range after capitalising on more good play from Evans.

Allum had an effort ruled out for handball prior to Owen Ronald scoring from close range to give the visitors a glimmer of hope.

The hope was short lived with Musselburgh netting a fifth on 70 minutes after the visitors contrived to lose possession from a throw in.

Myles fed the ball to Downie who skipped past Scullion and shot low into the corner.

Allum managed a couple more efforts but Linlithgow’s wretched day wasn’t over just yet.

Just before full-time Declan O’Kane fired a free-kick into the top corner to complete the misery and give the hosts a deserved victory.

Speaking just after the full-time whistle, Bradley said: “The better team won, we were terrible.

“They wanted it more which is incredibly disappointing too me.

“We can get beat, that’s football, but the nature of the defeat hurts.

“We could have gone top of the league, instead we were outplayed.

“The goals we lost were not good at all. If you can’t defend you aren’t going to win any game.

“We never worked hard enough as a team to stop them creating chances which is always going to make life difficult.

“Everyone must have a look at themselves, myself included as that display was not good enough for this football club.”

The Linlithgow committee clearly agreed as Bradley was fired hours later.