Bonnyrigg Rose 2-1 Broxburn Athletic: Broxburn push Bonnyrigg all the way in real cracker

Bonnyrigg's Kris Renton races with Broxburn goalkeeper Charlie Clark but the striker's effort rolled along the goal-line and out, inset.
Bonnyrigg's Kris Renton races with Broxburn goalkeeper Charlie Clark but the striker's effort rolled along the goal-line and out, inset.
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Ten-man Bonnyrigg held off a stirring second-half fightback from Broxburn to secure three Super League points.

The hosts had stormed into a two-goal lead in the first half but had to battle for this victory after Michael Gemmell was shown red after the interval.

Bonnyrigg gaffer Max Christie was delighted with the performance of his side. He said: “After Michael Gemmell was sent off we had to fight tooth and nail to keep them at bay. They are a very good side and, in young Scott Pittman, they have the best Junior player in the region. However, the players showed great spirit to win the game and I’m delighted with the performance.”

For the first half hour, the sides cancelled each other out in a midfield battle. Both had chances to open their account but wasted the opportunities or found a goalkeeper in great form.

Things began to swing in Bonnyrigg’s favour in the 33rd minute when Kris Renton’s effort came off the post and ran along the goal-line. Renton and Broxburn goalkeeper Charlie Clark gave chase with Renton winning the race but, unfortunately for the Rose striker, his effort rolled ball back along the goal line and out to safety.

Five minutes later, though, Bonnyrigg took the lead. Kevin McLeish launched a free-kick from his own half, Renton headed it onto Sean Grady whose his effort was blocked only for Stuart Roseburgh to blast the ball home.

They doubled their lead just before the half-time whistle with a great effort from Renton. Alex King made a terrific crossfield run to the right wing, layed the ball off to Ross Archibald and his cross was met at the back post by Renton, who made no mistake from six yards.

Broxburn came out for the second half in a determined mood, hammering the Bonnyrigg defence from the restart and within five minutes, they were rewarded with a goal.

The Bonnyrigg defence were guilty of some poor defending and following a scramble in the box Scott Pittman forced the ball over the line.

The same player should have scored again only a couple of minutes later but fired the ball high and wide.

Broxburn then hit the woodwork twice as they pressed hard for an equaliser.

Midway through the half Bonnyrigg were reduced to ten men when Gemmell, who had been booked minutes earlier for a late tackle, was shown a second yellow card for another foul.

Broxburn sensed this was their chance and pushed even harder for the leveller with Pittman at the heart of everything.

Bonnyrigg soon settled down, however, and were back in action at the other end themselves. Grady, who has just signed a new two-year deal, missed enough chances to put the result beyond doubt. Time eventually ran out for Broxburn, though, and the referee blew for full time on what was a terrific advert for Junior football.

Broxburn boss Steve Pittman, father of Scott, said: “I’m frustrated after seeing the players do a great job. At times, I thought we played some terrific football and it’s frustrating to come away from here with nothing. I’m proud of the players, though. We played against a good Bonnyrigg side and more than matched them.”

Bonnyrigg Rose: Patarek, McLeish, Stp Thomson, Woodburn, Burrell, Gemmell, King, Roseburgh, Archibald, Grady, Renton. Subs: Shields, Sv Thomson, Dunn, Hamilton, Dickson.

Broxburn: Clark, Gibson, Young, Roycroft, Fairweather, Millar, Fairbairn, Pittman, Cowan, Weir, Keast (Morrison). Subs: Jeffrey’s, Tague, Johnston, Maley.

• BIG-HEARTED Bonnyrigg supporters dug deep at Saturday’s game to collect over £300 for local youngster Cameron Sprott.

Cameron recently underwent a transplant at Glasgow’s Yorkhill Hospital after his aunt Diane Moffat donated a kidney.

The 15-year-old had been travelling to St John’s Hospital in Livingston twice weekly and the money raised by the Bonnyrigg supporters will help with travelling expenses for Cameron’s family.