BONNYRIGG boss Max Christie hailed goalkeeper David Hay after his three penalty saves took the holders into the third round of the DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup, winning a shoot-out with Bathagte 3-2.
Super League side Rose had to dig deep against a well-organised Bathgate team and, after the match finished goalless, Hay took centre stage in the shoot-out.
Visiting manager Christie said: “They are a highly-spirited, highly-organised side. A really good team and a Super League side in the making.
“Their manager Bob Main has them well-organised and seems to know what he’s doing. But we won and we’re still in the cup.
“Big David Hay has been a fantastic signing for the club. He was immense on Saturday, saving three spot-kicks.
“We are short of players like Alex King and Kris Renton, who scored 31 goals for us last season, so there’s still a lot to come from the squad.
“We had to dig deep but the lads did really well against a side I’m sure we’ll be playing against next season in the Super League.”
After an uneventful first half, the second period opened with a serious injury to Bathgate substitute Kieron Welsh. The player was in so much distress from a dislocated ankle that he couldn’t be moved off the pitch. However, in stepped Bonnyrigg’s Michael Gemmell, a trained firefighter, who instructed physios and coaches as they helped Welsh to the dressing-room in as little discomfort as possible before an ambulance arrived.
The game opened up afterwards and Bonnyrigg were pushing hard for the opener and Bathgate goalkeeper Mark Reid showed his class with fine saves from Roseburgh and McGaghey. To show Bathgate were still in with a shout, David Swan went on a super run and shot with the final effort shaving the far post.
Bathgate then had their best chance of the afternoon when Swan cut the ball back to Andy Malone but it hit his knee and the chance was lost.
It was end-to-end stuff now with both sides guilty of missing chances before the referee blew for full time and the penalty shoot-out began.
Bathgate’s Steven Easton scored with David White having his effort saved by Mark Reid. Kevin Byles shot was saved by Hay with Liam McKenna levelling for the Rose. Hay saved Liam Robinson’s effort with Stuart Roseburgh putting Bonnyrigg in front. Hay then saved Fred Coyle’s shot but Stephen Manson had his effort saved by Reid.
Now down to the last of the regulation five kicks and Alex Lurinski scored for Bathgate. They needed Bonnyrigg to miss theirs to take it into sudden death but up stepped Paul Currie to lash the ball home to give Bonnyrigg the win.
A devastated Bathgate boss Main said: “To come away from that game without a result is very hard to take. I think we were the better team but didn’t get the breaks. We had big performances from players like David Swan, Andy Malone, Kevin Byle and keeper Mark Reid but still lost out.
“I’m really proud of my players. We had a game plan which worked. We had the chances in the game plan but still we lost so, to say, I’m gutted would be an understatement.”
Bathgate Thistle: Reid, (Welsh) (McAuley), Watson, Coyle, Robinson, Byle, Malone( Easton), Baird, Lurinski, Drummond, Swan. Subs: Thomson, Nicol.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Hay, Horne, Gray (McGaghie), Woodburn, White, Gemmell, McKenna, Currie, Archibald, Manson, Roseburgh. Subs: McDonald, McLeish, Patarek.