Bonnyrigg Rose boss David McGlynn admits he was already preparing for a penalty shoot-out before his side suffered stoppage-time heartache in their Junior Cup fifth-round replay against favourites Auchinleck Talbot.
McGlynn was in charge of Musselburgh Athletic when they lost 2-1 in the 2011 Junior Cup final to the Ayrshire giants 2-1. Bryan Young scored a 93rd-minute winner at Rugby Park that day, and, ironically, the midfielder popped up in the 92nd minute this time to send the ten-times Junior Cup holders through to the last eight.
Experienced striker Steven Hislop, who notched the opener in the original tie in Ayrshire and drew first blood for Rose in this match, was kept on in the eventuality of the tie being decided on penalties due to a lack of willing penalty takers. “Hissy should’ve came off after about 70 minutes as the ball was going up and it wasn’t sticking, it was just coming right back on top of us,” said McGlynn. “You look at your bench and you look at the pitch, who is going to take penalties?
“We discussed it at our pre-match meal that we’ve not got a great deal of confident boys who can go and step up. We thought we’d keep Hissy on, but that probably worked against us.”
McGlynn was proud of his players, with former Hibs and Livingston goalkeeper Paul Grant earning praise for a defiant second-half performance.
He said: “We defended really well and Bobo [Paul Grant] was outstanding in goals. Based on the second half they probably deserved to win the game.
“A lot of our players are younger and their team is full of experienced Junior football players. We are going in the right direction and on a different day we could’ve gone through.”
In front of an impressive crowd, Bonnyrigg were quick out the blocks and forced a corner inside the opening minute, although the visitors should have taken the lead a short time after.
A long ball caught out Rose defender Colin Wilson and Young received it just inside the box before squaring it to striker David Gormley, but he slipped and shot over the bar when he should have hit the target.
Gormley had the ball in the net, only to be ruled out for offside, before Grant saved well from Mark Shankland’s powerful strike across goal after being set up by his strike partner on 18 minutes. The home side then began to control possession and create opportunities. Joe Hamill’s strike from outside the area looked on target, but it hit team-mate Dean Whitson and rolled out harmlessly for a goal kick.
Bonnyrigg made their pressure count on 43 minutes when midfielder Alex King’s shot was diverted by the head of Hislop and wrong-footed Talbot keeper Andy Leishman on its way into the net.
The visitors stepped things up after the break and forced Rose to defend for long spells. Keir Milliken almost put Talbot level but Grant clawed his effort wide for a corner.
Rose had looked comfortable in defence despite Talbot’s incessant pressure, but the visitors eventually found a breakthrough on the hour mark.
Grant had saved again from Shankland, but left-back Gordon Pope seized on the loose ball inside the area to fire home and send the large travelling support wild. In contrast to their first-half efforts, Rose were struggling to keep a foot-hold in the match and they weren’t as fluent in possession.
Dwayne Hyslop was inches away from putting Talbot in the lead for the first time in the tie, when he nodded narrowly over from Gormley’s cross.
Grant had Wilson to thank for clearing off the line after he had come for a cross and lost out in the air, before Whitson had Rose’s best chance of the second half from wide left, but sent his effort over the bar.
Auchinleck seemed eager to end the tie in 90 minutes to avoid a shoot-out and they got what they deserved in stoppage time. Rose had dealt with a corner, before clearing from the subsequent cross, but the third sequence of aerial bombardment broke through the Rose rearguard – the ball falling to Young who curled an exquisite strike into the far corner.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Grant, Archibald, Hoskins, Hamill, Wilson, Woodburn, King (Stewart), Horne, Hislop, Court, Whitson.
Auchinleck Talbot: Leishman, Latta (Park), Pope, Lyle, Campbell, Young, Boyd, Hyslop, Milliken, Gormley, Shankland.