Two wins in a row for Linlithgow

Tommy Coyne tries to breach the Broxburn defence.
Tommy Coyne tries to breach the Broxburn defence.

Goals by Tommy Coyne and Kevin Kelbie gave Linlithgow Rose their first home win of the season against Broxburn on Wednesday night.

Unbeaten at Prestonfield throughout last season, Rose were keen to put their shock opening day home defeat by Broughty Athletic behind them and get back to winning ways on their own patch.

And despite going behind they came back to follow up Saturday’s win at Penicuik with another success.

Coyne had a chance to open the scoring for Rose after 17 minutes following some good play on the left, but Broxburn keeper Connor Wallace did well to block his shot.

A few minutes later Ross Gray was in a good position in front of goal, but he was leaning backwards as he headed the ball and it went over the bar.

Then, as Rose kept up the pressure, a low shot from Coyne went wide of the far post when he looked almost certain to score.

In the 28th minute Linlithgow’s Andy Shirra picked up a yellow card for a foul off the ball and Keiran Anderson came close to converting the resultant free-kick.

The Broxburn man was then booked for a foul on Gary Thom.

Rose received a warning in the 32nd minute when Robbie McNab gave the ball away and Alexander Miller’s shot crashed off the post.

However just four minutes later they did find themselves behind.

Despite home appeals there was no flag from the linesman against Anderson and he finished his run into the box before slotting low past Richie Barnard for the opener.

But Rose struck back quickly to equalise just two minutes later.

When Shirra’s cross was judged to have been handled in the box, referee Andrew Hogg pointed to the spot. In fine fashion Coyne stepped up and drove the ball low past Wallace to put the Rose back on terms.

Coyne came close just before half-time but the sides remained tied at the break.

But seven within minutes of the restart Rose took the lead as Kelbie followed up his match-winning double at Penicuik with another goal.

The Rose striker hit a fine shot which found the back of the net from 20 yards after good work by Coyne and Blair Batchelor.

Keeper Wallace then had a fantastic diving save to make to deny a long range shot from Jack Beaumont.

Shortly afterwards the visitors replaced Calum Rarity with Scott Richards and then made another change with Scott McNaughton on for Ross Nimmo.

With just over 20 minutes remaining, Coyne’s shot was deflected wide, and then Kelbie did well to beat two men but his shot was well wide of the target.

Graham Weir replaced Kelbie in the 80th minute, just before Thom was booked for dissent.

Another chance fell to Shirra in the 86th minute after he weaved through two players but his shot went wide of the left hand post.

There was controversy on the 90 minute mark when a Broxburn ‘goal’ was disallowed.

Referee Hogg appeared to miss a clear handball on the wing and after Broxburn raced forward, the ball was bundled into the net.

But Rose received a reprieve - with justice appearing to be done - as the offside flag was up.

The score was disallowed but Bradley Donaldson found his way into the referee’s book for his protests over the handball.

In the final action of the match, Wallace pulled off another fine save to keep out Beaumont’s free-kick but the final whistle sounded and the three points were in the bank for the Rose.

The victory has moved Rose up to seventh as they recover from defeats in their opening two matches but they will still have to play catch-up on their likely title rivals.

Kelty Hearts, champions two years ago, top the table with four wins out of four while reigning title holders Bonnyrigg Rose are on the same points as Linlithgow but with a game less played.

Bo’ness, like Linlithgow, have also moved up with two wins after defeats in their opening two fixtures.

Linlithgow are at home to Lochee United on Saturday.