Departing defender leaves Rose on a high with winner

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JAMIE EWART handed Bonnyrigg the perfect going-away present as the defender capped a stunning second-half fightback to earn Max Christie’s men a place in the next round of the Scottish Cup.

The former Berwick Rangers player is heading off to New Zealand soon with his partner and their young child to start a new life Down Under.

He’s made a big impression in a short time at New Dundas Park and picked the perfect time to open his goal account as Rose stormed back from 2-0 down at the break to stun their West Super League opponents.

Hauled back on level terms through goals from Ross Archibald and Sean Grady, Bonnyrigg grabbed the winner with nine minutes remaining in a tie that proved highly entertaining despite being played in a gale-force wind.

Steven Thomson’s delivery with an inswinging corner was so good that it might have gone in on its own accord, but Ewart made sure by bulleting home a header from right on the line.

“It’s a good going-away present,” he said with a smile afterwards. “It’s my first goal of the season and I couldn’t have picked a better game to do it in.

“My partner is a Kiwi. We’ve just had a kid and I’m going home with her. I knew I was going away before I signed for Bonnyrigg and I’m just glad I’m leaving them at the top of the Super League and still in the Scottish Cup.”

Clydebank had the wind at their backs in the first-half and Mark Weir, the Rose keeper, must have been knackered by the break after spending most of the opening 45 minutes trying to get one kick after another close to the halfway line. In fairness to Bonnyrigg, they managed to create a number of decent chances and could probably count themselves unfortunate to be two down when Andrew Dallas blew the half-time whistle.

Clydebank opened the scoring midway through the half after David Dunn had been caught out by the bounce of the ball in the wind. That allowed Darian McKinnon to get in behind the Rose defence on the left and he pinged over a low cross that was inch-perfect for Keiron Burns as he nodded home from close range.

The same pair threatened again shortly afterwards before Burns turned provider when Clydebank doubled their lead just before the interval.

He cut the ball back to Adam Strachan, who looked up before picking his spot with a superbly-executed finish from about 20 yards out.

“The conditions we had to defend against in the first-half were probably the worst I’ve ever experienced,” noted Ewart. “But, with the wind at our backs in the second-half, we still thought we had a chance at the break.”

Archibald sparked the fightback within a minute of the re-start, the former Spartans man beating Robert Hamilton with a lovely lobbed finish from just inside the box.

He then set up Rose’s equaliser in the 73rd minute, cutting the ball back from the byeline for Grady to rifle a first-time shot into the roof of the net.

After Ewart had made it 3-2, Archibald smacked a shot against the bar as Rose, driven by the industrious Alex King, saw out the closing few minutes to chalk up another fine win in a season shaping up very nicely indeed for Christie and his players. “We stressed at half-time that we shouldn’t panic and told them to keep passing the ball,” said the Rose manager.

“Scoring so early in the second half was important and Ross Archibald certainly took his goal well.

“They all played well. Chris Gray was just about leaving the club, but he came in and was terrific.”

On match-winner Ewart, Christie added: “He’s been so good about the club. He’s a good player and a good man – he’ll be a big loss.”

Ewart intends finding himself a new club in New Zealand but he’ll be watching from a far to see how Bonnyrigg’s season progresses.

“We’ve got some great players in the squad and I believe we can kick on and win the league,” he said.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Weir, McLeish, Gray, Ewart, Dunn, Roseburgh, King, Thomson, Archibald, Grady, McCallum. Subs: Hendrie, Shields, Steele, Morrice, Bunyan, Burgess.

Clydebank: Hamilton, Moffat, Paterson. Martin, Campbell, Jones, Hailstones, McKinnon, Burns, Berry, Strachan. Subs: Dymoch, McPherson, McComish, Good, Greig, Smith, Baker.