Penicuik 3 Linlithgow 2: Rose fightback not enough

Linlithgow's Gary Thom challenges Penicuik's Keith Lough
Linlithgow's Gary Thom challenges Penicuik's Keith Lough

Mark Bradley’s new look Linlithgow Rose team opened their East Region Superleague season with a 3-2 defeat at Penicuik on Saturday.

Rose came back from three down at half-time to quickly cut the deficit to one, but they couldn’t find the equaliser they needed.

The visitors were looking to get off to a good start, but within four minutes they faced an uphill battle after Kyle Turnbull turned Ross Montgomery’s low cross into his own net.

Despite Rose having a decent share of the possession, the chances were created by the home side and in the 14th minute, a shot from Lewis Barr was palmed clear by Ritchie Barnard.

But three minutes later Rose were two down. After a lovely Penicuik move Barnard bought down Lumbert Kateleza in the box, and the Penicuik man converted the penalty.

Midway through the half, it might have been three for Penicuik, but Andrew Forbes blasted over from a good position after some neat play down the right again involving Kateleza.

At the other end, Tommy Coyne had a sniff at goal after he cut through the defence, but when one on one with keeper Kyle Allison, his shot came off the keeper’s foot.

And on 27 minutes things got worse for the Rose when Kateleza skipped past Colin Leiper and his ball was tapped in at the back post by Keith Lough.

Before half-time Ruari Maclennan’s shot was held by Allison, and the Rose man then picked up a yellow card for a foul, while Penicuik’s Craig Hume was booked for dissent.

Penicuik continued to press for another goal and Scott McCrory-Irving’s long range shot was met with a one-handed stop from Barnard before Kateleza shot just wide after the Rose failed to clear their lines.

Just before the whistle sounded Coyne was booked for a foul and Penicuik’s Darrell Young followed for retaliation.

Rose had it all to do in the second half but whatever boss Bradley said to his players at the break had an immediate impact.

Five minutes after the restart a shot from Robert Sloan’s corner was blocked, but the ball fell to Ruari Maclennan whose first time shot flew into the net with Allison helpless.

Then, just two minutes later, Ruari Maclennan seized on a loose ball just outside the box and slipped it to brother Roddy who squeezed the ball low into the corner of the net.

Penicuik’s Kateleza had caused the Rose numerous problems in the first half, so they were somewhat fortunate that he had to be replaced by Callum Connolly early in the second half after he had taken a knock, while Rose replaced Aiden Malone with Colin Strickland.

Midway through the half, Barnard did well to stop Barr’s fierce shot, before Leiper was booked for dissent.

In the 74th minute Rose had a great chance to equalise - Coyne’s close range shot from Ronald’s cross was blocked by Allison and his diving header from the rebound was stopped by the keeper on the line.

Coyne was then sent off for a second yellow, but Penicuik’s extra man advantage was short lived as two minutes Young suffered a similar fate after a foul on Roddy Maclennan.

New Rose signing Martyn Shields managed to pick up a yellow card before even featuring in the match when he was booked for entering the field of play - to replace Turnbull - and getting involved with keeper Allison.

Sloan was then replaced by Blair Batchelor before Penicuik’s Sam Jones was booked for a foul on Owen Ronald.

As full-time approached, a chance for an equaliser fell to Roddy Maclennan from Iain Gray’s cross, but the Rose man headed straight at the keeper. In the final seconds, and to round off an explosive match, Penicuik’s Forbes was shown a straight red card for a reckless challenge on Roddy Maclennan.