Linlithgow Rose boss wants no early celebrations

Linlithgow Rose went 2-0 up in Banff before being pegged back for a replay. Pic: Andrew West
Linlithgow Rose went 2-0 up in Banff before being pegged back for a replay. Pic: Andrew West
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A THIRD-ROUND clash with Albion Rovers awaits the winners of tomorrow’s William Hill Scottish Cup replay between Linlithgow and Deveronvale – but Rose boss Mark Bradley admits he is not thinking about a trip to Coatbridge.

Bradley saw his side squander a 2-0 lead with just eight minutes to go in the first tie at Princess Royal Park last week and he is adamant his team won’t switch off again tomorrow.

“A trip to Coatbridge is the last thing on my mind just now,” said Bradley.

“I’m more concerned that we don’t fall into the trap the same as we did last week and become complacent. We thought the game was won and switched off – even though we only had a two-goal lead.

“That switch-off gave them the confidence to push and push and it paid off for them. Tomorrow we can’t afford any drop in concentration.”

Before last weekend’s late collapse, Linlithgow had missed a barrowload of chances and that was a worry for Bradley.

“Last week we created enough chances to win at least a couple of games and I said our strikers should take some of the blame, and they have done,” revealed Bradley. “During training this week we spoke about what happened and there’s a real determination to finish the tie off.

“They want to redeem themselves and, because it’s a team game, they should all take responsibility for what happens.

“I think last week we caught them by surprise because they possibly thought we would go up there for the draw, but we just don’t do that.

“They will probably set up their team differently tomorrow, but we’ll play the same as we normally do at home. We should have a stronger squad for tomorrow’s game because we’ll have Adam Nelson back, with Ruari MacLennan getting another week’s training in after injury.

“Our new central defender Paul Hilland has had more training with us and I would have no hesitation in using him. He’s a big lad who can handle himself and he may need to because they upset some of us last Saturday. Billy Gibson, who took a couple of sore ones last week, is fine and is ready for action.

“There is a prize on offer for the winners, but there’s still a lot to do before we even think about facing Albion Rovers.”

Linlithgow were impressive last week, racing into the lead with a Calum Smith header after only five minutes, although poor finishing meant they only had that single-goal lead until the 70th minute when Tommy Coyne scored from the penalty spot. The two late Deveronvale goals – a Graeme Rodger strike following some slack defending and a superb Scott Fraser volley in the final minute – were a huge disappointment to the many Rose fans who had made the journey north.

Striker Colin Strickland was one of the guilty parties in front of goal last week and he’s determined there will be no repeat at Prestonfield tomorrow.

“It was so frustrating last week,” he admitted. “We had chance after chance, but we may have been trying too hard to get more goals.

“I wasn’t the only one who couldn’t find the net, but we all take the responsibility. We take the applause when it comes, so we have to take the flak too.

“We spoke about it after the game and what we need to do this week to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

“The Albion Rovers game is too far away to bother us just now as we have to finish the job tomorrow.”