Late fightback takes Bonnyrigg to brink of title

Wayne McIntosh celebrates his hotly-disputed equalising goal. Pic: Ian Georgeson

Wayne McIntosh celebrates his hotly-disputed equalising goal. Pic: Ian Georgeson

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Two goals in two minutes capped a stunning comeback from Super League leaders Bonnyrigg Rose, who are now just three points away from 
securing the title.

Rose huffed and puffed in the second half, the final pass missing as they looked to take a hold of proceedings. They were 2-1 down to a spirited Hill of Beath side but, two minutes later the New Dundas Park men found themselves ahead after goals from Kerr Young and Wayne McIntosh.

McIntosh’s winner, his 31st goal this season, secured a valuable three points as Rose maintained their 11-point lead at the top of the table and know victory at Carnoustie on Saturday will all but secure the championship thanks to their superior goal difference over nearest challengers Kelty Hearts.

The striker has a knack of scoring decisive goals, the former Whitehill Welfare man single-handedly having won a fair share of Rose’s games this season with late winners.

The 31-year-old was unwilling to take all the plaudits however, as he lauded his team-mates for their never-say-die spirit.

“We’ve done that quite a lot this year, we’ve not been at our best but still got the points,” he said. “As they say it’s a sign of a good team if you can just keeping plugging away and grinding out results.

“The character we’ve got in the team is just unbelievable, we just don’t know when we’re beat, we go right to the end.

“As a striker it’s good to score goals – I’ve done it most of my career with all the teams I’ve played for. I’m delighted where we are in the league, all we need to do is to keep winning and hopefully we’ll get the points on the board to get us over the line.”

Rose were far from their best and went a goal down after 18 minutes. Hill of Beath right-back Colin Wilson, a Rose player last season, jumped highest in the area to bullet his header past home keeper Michael Andrews. The home side were forced into a reshuffle soon after with centre-back Ewan Moyes limping off with a hip problem, resulting in attacking-midfielder Lewis Turner dropping to right-back while Alan Horne moved to the middle of defence.

Rose equalised after 31 minutes in controversial circumstances. Turner’s ball from the right looked set to be gathered comfortably by keeper Stuart Hall but under pressure from McIntosh, he fumbled and the striker nipped in. Far side linesman Nikki Smith raised his flag for a foul on Hall, but referee Mike Taylor overruled his assistant and let the goal stand, much to the fury of the visiting players.

The home side were dominant in possession but were struggling to break down a resolute Beath defence and they were made to pay as the visitors went ahead for a second time, with the impressive Calum Adamson finding the net on 68 minutes.

That sparked Rose into life, as just two minutes later they found themselves ahead. Adam Nelson’s corner was headed home by Kerr Young for the equaliser, before McIntosh secured what proved to be the winner as he pounced to tap a loose ball into the net from five yards out from another Nelson corner-kick. Bonnyrigg should have made sure of the points nine minutes from time after Kieran McGachie rounded Hall and opted to pull the ball back for substitute Scott Gray, but left-back Russell Grierson nipped in to avert the danger.

Rose boss Robbie Horn was full of praise for his side’s spirited comeback, but revealed he wasn’t surprised given how many times they’ve came from behind this season.

He said: “When that actually happens it doesn’t surprise you now. It’s not luck – that’s character, hard-work, desire, team spirit and fitness. They deserve everything they get.

“It’s unbelievable the amount of times Wayno’s done that.”

Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson, Stewart, Moyes (Kidd), Young, McLaren (Gray), Turner, McIntosh, Nelson (Tobin), McGachie.

Hill of Beath: Hall, Wilson, Grierson, McCulloch, Conners, Moffat, Adamson, Leishman (C.Smith), Hay (McKenzie), McCrindle, G. Smith.