Bo’ness United goalkeeper Andy Murphy was the spot-kick hero as the holders progressed to the third round of the East of Scotland Cup after a dramatic penalty shoot-out against rivals Linlithgow Rose.
Murphy held his nerve to deny Rose left-back Reece Donaldson as Bo’ness triumphed 8-7 on spot-kicks after the match ended 1-1 in 90 minutes. Michael Gemmell scored what turned out to be the decisive penalty.
Rose held the advantage early in the shoot-out after BUs captain Chris Donnelly saw his penalty, the team’s second, saved, but when home striker Kevin Kelbie hit his effort wide Bo’ness regained parity, 4-4.
Murphy was just pleased he didn’t have to take one himself, with Rose counterpart Darren Hill opting to sucessfully score one.
“It was just about down to the last two or something and I was just trying to save myself from hitting one,” said Murphy. “I wouldn’t have fancied it, it’s not for me.
“The game was a bit scrappy at times, there was a lot of fouls and you could almost see the game fizzling out and heading for penalties. I thought it was still a decent game, there was a good tempo to it. I thought we edged the first half, we were the better side but the second half was a bit more even.
“We are through to the next round and that’s the main thing. It’s a good bunch of boys we’ve got here.”
Rose were dealt a blow in the warm-up with striker Tommy Coyne ruled out with a hamstring injury. However, they didn’t look as if that had affected them as their strike duo for the day linked up for the opener on eight minutes.
Jamie McKenzie strode out of defence and fed Conor Kelly on the right who whipped in a first-time cross which was inch perfect for Kevin Kelbie to power a header past Murphy.
The visitors had started on top, with Stuart Hunter sending a header narrowly over after four minutes, and they continued to dominate despite going behind.
Fraser Keast was inches away from drawing Bo’ness level as he stopped to head Marty Wright’s cross, before Colin Strickland sent an effort straight at Hill after an enterprising move down the left involving Wright and Donnelly.
The former Rose striker wouldn’t make any mistake with his next opportunity, however, which came just a minute later. Will Snowdon’s ball in wasn’t dealt with by Colin Leiper and Strickland was there to seize advantage, firing across Hill and into the far corner.
Wright could have put Allan McGonigal’s men ahead at the break, but Hill did well to halt his shot with his feet at close quarters.
The home side came into the cup tie more in the second period and they enjoyed the greater chances. Sean Muhsin was mightily close with a long-range effort which flew just wide of the top corner on 65 minutes.
Jack Beaumont then sent a free-kick just wide of the same corner, before Kelbie could have won it for Rose in added-on time, only to be denied by Murphy at his near post.
Rose boss Todd Lumsden was happy with his side’s performance and was relived to see Hill score his spot-kick.
He said: “Overall the performance was the most pleasing thing, even though we didn’t win the actual game. I thought we played much better and when it went to penalties it was eaksy-peaksy.
“Someone has to miss a penalty, I’m just delighted that Daz [Darren Hill] scored his. He was the first one over and said put me down for any one, so if someone shows that confidence, fine.”
Linlithgow Rose: Hill, Thom, Donaldson, Muhsin, McKenzie (Beaumont), Leiper, McNab, Batchelor, Kelly (Swann), Kelbie, Williams (Gray).
Bo’ness United: Murphy, Gemmell, Snowdon, Campbell, Hunter, Ruari MacLennan, Keast (Scullion), Philp, Strickland, Donnelly, Wright (Roddy MacLennan).