Bonnyrigg Rose bounced back in style from their Scottish Junior Cup mauling against Pollok as they consolidated their position at the top of the Super League with a comfortable 3-0 victory over local rivals Musselburgh Athletic.
A goal for striker Wayne McIntosh either side of the break and a second-half penalty from Dean Hoskins was enough to secure all three points as the New Dundas Park men got back to winning ways against ten-man Burgh, in a match in which referee Peter Stewart dished out ten yellow cards.
Rose had begun last week’s tie on 19 games unbeaten but suffered a 5-0 loss to west outfit Pollok. McIntosh revealed Rose are still smarting from the heavy defeat and, with the league title in their own hands, he says they’ve just got to keep on winning.
“We had to bounce back to winning ways because we were really disappointing last week and we are still hurting from it. It was good to get a result because Musselburgh have been playing really well.
“We are in this league race and we’ve just got to keep our feet on the ground and keep winning every game as it comes to us. It’s in our hands, but this league is a hard league full of good teams. We just need to worry about ourselves though and keep winning our own games – that’s all we can do.”
McIntosh was on a hat-trick when the visitors were awarded a penalty after 75 minutes, but he didn’t take the ball off regular spot taker Hoskins as he didn’t want to incur the wrath of boss Robbie Horn. Former Berwick Rangers defender Hoskins scored to join McIntosh as Rose’s joint-top scorer in the league with 11.
He said: “I don’t think the gaffer would’ve been too happy about it because he’s made it clear at training that someone is on the penalties until they miss them – he’s the gaffer so we need to take it on board and do what he says. Big Deano has been sticking them away all season. I’m just delighted we won, that’s all that matters.”
A determined Rose were on the front foot in the early stages and a succession of corners almost ended with Hoskins finding the net at the back post but his lobbed effort just went over the bar of home keeper John Dodds’ goal.
The Olivebank pitch was heavy and cutting up and centre-back Hoskins lost his footing when attempting a defensive header, allowing striker Steven Thomson in on goal, however the former Rose man was denied by a fine last-ditch tackle by Jonathan Brown.
McIntosh found the net midway through the first half for the opener. Andrew Kidd’s clever chipped pass to the back post found his team-mate whose header was saved, but he somewhat fortuitously saw his second attempt creep into the net after Dodds got a hand to the strike.
Burgh defender Scott Gibson was inches away from an equaliser on the stroke of half-time when his header went the wrong side of Michael Andrews’ net.
Home striker Sean Jamieson then brought out the best in the Rose keeper with a strike from outside the area which looked set for the top corner until Andrews pushed the ball round his left-hand post.
That save proved crucial as the visitors then doubled their lead just a minute later when McIntosh nodded home at the back post from Adam Nelson’s corner kick.
The referee had infuriated both sets of players as he dished out cards at ease and that theme continued in the second period although Liam McKenna’s second yellow was deserved. The midfielder showed his frustration as he needlessly swiped out McIntosh on the half-way line just minutes after their second goal.
Hoskins made sure of the three points from 12 yards on 75 minutes after Gibson had pushed Lewis Turner inside the area.
Home boss Stevie McLeish felt Rose were deserving of their 3-0 victory but wasn’t happy with the performance of referee Stewart.
He said: “We were well beaten in the second half. The referee was quite card happy, some of the cards were very, very soft. For us it spoiled the game but they deserved what they got in the end. They are a strong side and they’ll take a bit of stopping.”
Musselburgh Athletic: Dodds, Christie, McLeish (Conaghan), Myles, Gibson, Hamilton (Hall), Bracks, Thomson, Paliczka (Wright), Jamieson, McKenna.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Brown, Donaldson, Stewart, Moyes, Hoskins, Turner, Kidd (Archibald), McGachie (Gray), Nelson, McIntosh (McLaren).