Birthday boy McIntosh helps Bonnyrigg close gap on Kelty

Bonnyrigg goalscorer Wayne McIntosh, left, battles with Michael Gemmell of Bo'ness. Pic: Neil Hanna
Bonnyrigg goalscorer Wayne McIntosh, left, battles with Michael Gemmell of Bo'ness. Pic: Neil Hanna
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Bonnyrigg Rose striker Wayne McIntosh kicked off his birthday weekend in style with a brace as his team closed the gap on Super League leaders Kelty Hearts.

McIntosh may be one year older but his knack for scoring goals isn’t waining. His two efforts on Saturday exemplified a striker in his prime. He’s a marksman who has scored goals for fun across the semi-professional ranks.

This season could turn out to be his final, though. The 32-year-old is still mulling over whether to hang up his boots come June to spend more time with his family. Rose would severely miss him.

A clean sheet and two goals wwere the perfect warm-up for Rose ahead of their Scottish Junior Cup semi-final first leg at Glenafton Athletic on Saturday. With Kelty absent from league duty, it was crucial Rose won to claw some points back as they bid to regain their title.

“With Kelty not playing it was massive to get the three points,” said McIntosh. “They probably would’ve been expecting us to drop something. Bo’ness are a good side and they had the ball more in the first 10 to 15 minutes. We were slow out the blocks. We got our goal and then we grew into the game and took control. I can’t wait for the semi-final, we are in a good position and we’re looking forward to playing them.”

McIntosh’s strike partner, Keiran McGachie, said in the Evening News prior to the match that he was yearning for more goals. Although he didn’t score, McIntosh lauded his team-mate’s contribution.

He said: “I read the paper on Friday night with big Keiran saying he needs to score more goals but, to be fair, I wouldn’t score half my goals if it wasn’t for him.

“He’s a brilliant big player, he holds up the ball and uses his strength well. He does a lot of the hard work at times, but it’s a team effort. They are always banging on at me to get in the box and that’s what I’ve done. I’ve done that all my days, I just get myself in place at the right time.”

Bo’ness were certainly on top in the opening 15 minutes as they took the game to their hosts, although they weren’t able to trouble goalkeeper Michael Andrews.

The opening goal on 22 minutes was certainly the turning point which allowed Bonnyrigg to establish a foothold. McGachie laid off the ball to McIntosh and he swept a curled effort into the bottom corner from just inside the box.

The best chance for Bo’ness came through Colin Strickland two minutes after the break, but his attempted chip over Andrews didn’t come down in time.

The BUs were undone by a defensive error on 53 minutes, with McIntosh there to take full advantage. Ross Campbell’s clearance rebounded back into the area off Michael Gemmell’s head and McIntosh was there, sending a side-foot volley over the head of keeper Andy Murphy. He could have had a third seven minutes later, only for his fierce volley to rebound off the bar.

The visitors were reduced to ten men on 73 minutes with captain Chris Donnelly shown his second yellow card for a late challenge.

Bo’ness boss Allan McGonigal rued his side’s inability to take advantage when they were on top in the first half.

He said: “We were the better team in the first half, we had a lot of possession, but to be fair we didn’t trouble their goalkeeper. The second goal was a killer, it was comedy of errors.”

“After that the game just petered out a wee bit and we never looked like scoring. We were beaten by a better team with better players today. I wish Bonnyrigg all the best for the semi-finals.”

Bonnyrigg visit Downfield tonight in their re-arranged East of Scotland Cup second round tie. Kick-off is 6.15pm.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Hoskins, Young, Moyes, Stewart, McIntosh (Gray), Turner, McGachie, Nelson (Kidd), Donaldson (Jamieson).

Bo’ness United: Murphy, Snowdon, Gemmell, Campbell, Hunter (Simpson), Ruari MacLennan, Smith (Wright), Philp, Strickland, Donnelly, Sloan.