New era begins with stalemate for Linlithgow Rose

Blair Batchelor came close to breaking the deadlock for Linlithgow Rose
Blair Batchelor came close to breaking the deadlock for Linlithgow Rose

Linlithgow Rose drew a blank on Saturday with a goalless draw in their first match as a senior team, following their switch to the East of Scotland League.

Rose travelled to face former junior colleagues Crossgates Primrose in the League Cup with all four of their new signings - keeper Kyle Marley, left-back Ross McKinnon, centre-half Kevin McKinlay and striker Kevin Watt - in the starting 11.

They were without, however, Gary Thom, Colin Leiper, Kyle Turnbull and Luke Whelan.

Crossgates’ Darren Aitken had the first chance of the match when in front of goal after 13 minutes but he couldn’t convert.

Midway through the half, a good tackle prevented Ruari Maclennan from pulling the trigger, and then minutes later McKinnon played a great ball across the face of goal but no one could get on the end of it.

Crossgates threatened again 10 minutes before the break but Scott Hynd headed over from Dale Allan’s corner.

At the other end, Owen Ronald played a good freekick into the box, but Tommy Coyne was in an offside position.

Coyne was again deemed offside by the referee, who was without any assistants, two minutes later, and then the Rose striker’s header was prevented from crossing the line when keeper Grant Henderson got down low to save.

Just before half-time, Darren Smith’s low shot for Rose went wide of the target.

Early in the second half, Watt had a good chance to put the Rose ahead, but he couldn’t get between two defenders and get power in his shot, and then Coyne’s effort went just over the bar.

A free-kick from Ronald was just over the bar, shortly before there were bookings for Primrose’s Ryan McDonald and Linlithgow’s Ruari Maclennan in separate incidents.

In the 67th minute, Ronald played a great pass to release Watt, but his shot/cross was tipped away by the keeper when the striker really should have scored.

Barry Paterson replaced Aitken and then the Rose replaced Smith with Blair Batchelor, just after Watt shot over the bar after a good cross from Iain Gray.

In the 73rd minute, as the Rose continued to search for a goal, Roddy Maclennan’s shot was parried by the keeper to Watt who hit the underside of the bar from point blank range.

Five minutes later, it looked like Crossgates might take the lead after a mistake by Marley, but Hynd was caught by surprise and failed to connect properly with his shot.

Alan Urquhart replaced Ronald with just over 10 minutes remaining, and immediately had a goal scoring opportunity but he also shot over the bar. Paterson picked up a yellow card for a foul on Roddy Maclennan just on the edge of the box, and Coyne’s resultant free-kick hit straight off the defensive wall.

Crossgates also replaced McDonald with Benn Hutchison, and then there were shouts from the Rose players for a penalty when a Crossgates player appeared to handle the ball while on the ground, but the referee dismissed the claims.

In added time, as the Rose desperately tried to find a way through, Hutchison was booked for kicking the ball away at a Rose free-kick and then Lawrie was shown a straight red card for his comments to the referee.

Keeper Henderson pulled off a fine save to deny Coyne, and Watt had the last chance of the match when perhaps he should have left the ball for Batchelor who was better placed to score and his header went wide.

A somewhat disappointing draw, but lots of learning points for the Rose as they embark on their new adventure.