Bonnyrigg Rose assistant manager David Burrell hailed goalkeeper Michael Andrews after his stunning stop at the death ensured Rose took all three points to keep on the tail league leaders Kelty Hearts.
Former Berwick Rangers keeper Andrews was a spectator for much of the afternoon but he was alert when called upon as he denied Hill of Beath a point after Sean Jamieson had given Rose a first-half lead.
It was imperative that Rose, seeking to retain their Super League crown, took all three points to prevent Kelty going further ahead with the gap at ten points going into Saturday afternoon.
Rose were far from their best on a freezing day, but it is grinding out three points in difficult conditions which will ensure they are challenging for honours come June.
“It wasn’t spectacular. It was difficult conditions with the wind coming across the park. They made it difficult for us, they are a dogged side, they worked hard and you could see they were up for it,” said Burrell.
“Games like that it’s just a battle and you’ve just got to dig out. To be fair to the boys they done that. We’ve played better, no doubt about it, but we defended well and got our goal. In the second half we stuck at it and Michael made a great save at the end which was almost as good as a goal. It was a terrific save and that’s won us the three points at the end of the day.
“When you get to November, December and January you’re going to get heavy parks and the wind is howling. You’ve just got to dig those games out. Hill of Beath made it difficult for us, but we did what we had to do and got the three points at the end of the day.
“We couldn’t afford to let Kelty get further ahead. It’s really just hanging in there with them at the moment. Being in the Scottish Cup makes it difficult in the league, we’ve really got to pick up the three points when we’re playing league games.”
Rose striker Keiran McGachie is a handful for defenders with his imposing size and he gave goalkeeper Stuart Hall something to think about when he got on the end of the home side’s first chance after ten minutes.
Adam Nelson flighted in a free-kick which McGachie got his head on only to be denied by Hall and he sent the rebound over.
Rose suffered a blow when centre back Kerr Young hobbled off with an ankle injury after 20 minutes. Manager Robbie Horn will be hoping the damage isn’t too serious with their Scottish Cup game with Dumbarton looming.
Dean Hoskins’ header would have ended up in the back of the net had he headed either side of Hall on 35 minutes but he sent it straight at the keeper.
Neither side had created many clear-cut chances in the opening period, but with their attacking armoury Rose are capable of turning it on when they want to.
Andrew Kidd was the catalyst for the opener, spreading the ball out to Jamieson, who had it all to do with two defenders on him, but he left them both stranded with a quick change of direction before firing low into the bottom corner.
The visitors from Fife started the second period the better, however they were unable to breach the Rose rearguard.
Hall had to deny McGachie after Jamieson stole possession on the half-way line and fed his strike partner on 67 minutes.
Substitute Ewan Moyes should have made the three points safe five minutes from the end with a free header from Scott Gray’s corner, but his attempt was wayward and the home bench was beginning to get restless.
Gray then orchestrated another chance when his ball, flashed across goal, was just asking to be prodded in but Lewis Turner could not find the required touch from four yards out.
Andrews then produced his best a minute from time when Lee Bryce volleyed goalwards, the keeper spreading himself to make the stop with the ball goalbound. Visiting defender Shaun Leishman saw red right at the end for a wild swipe on Gray which could have caused the winger some damage.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Brown, Donaldson, Young (Moyes), Hoskins, Stewart, Jamieson (Gray), Kidd, McGachie, Nelson (Turner), McIntosh.
Hill of Beath: Hall, Grierson, Conners, Wilson, Dair, Moffat, Adamson, Reid, Smith (Leishman), Hay (Bryce), McGuire.