Colin Strickland fired home a hat-trick as Linlithgow Rose won 5-0 on a dramatic afternoon at Lochee.
The win keeps Rose three points behind leaders Bo’ness in the Super League, but if their bitter rivals defeat Lochee on Wednesday, then Danny Smith’s men will not be able to catch them.
Linlithgow barley had a starting XI for this match, with striker Gordon Herd out with a broken bone in his hand, leaving only a young trialist and Jamie McKenzie on the bench.
They took the lead after five minutes, however, when Strickland slammed home and in the 20th minute they doubled their lead, Strickland on hand again to knock in a rebound
There was drama early into the second half when Lochee sub Charlie Cargill collapsed. The game was stopped and an ambulance immediately called for. Linlithgow officials’ thoughts went back to May 2012 when Bonnyrigg Committee member Craig Devine collapsed and died in the dressingroom at Linlithgow.
Fearing the worst, they prepared the defibrillator they always carry to games. The ambulance arrived and after treatment the player was able to walk unsteadily into the ambulance and eventually taken away for treatment having suffered an epileptic seizure.
It was Linlithgow who recovered quickest and when Andy Shirra dispossessed Greg Kirk, he fired home from 18 yards.
Linlithgow immediately took advantage of Lochee’s frailties and when Strickland was brought down in the box it was an ideal opportunity for his hat trick. However, he turned it down, handing the ball to spot-kick king Tommy Coyne, who blasted it home.
Strickland’s hat trick was delayed only another five minutes as he fired home from ten yards after some more poor Lochee defending.
Lochee: Fotheringham, Kirk, Clark, Percy, Hagen, Blackwood, Gates, Voight, Cavanagh, Buchan, Gallagher. Subs: Cargill, Tawse, Hay, Beedie,
Linlithgow: Christie, Tyrrell, Nelson, McKillen, Ovenstone, MacLennan, Smith, Shirra, Diack, Coyne, Strickland. Subs: Blackburn, McKenzie, McKinven.