Linlithgow Rose’s forward gamble in cup pays off

Tommy Coyne scored the crucial second goal
Tommy Coyne scored the crucial second goal
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Linlithgow Rose boss David McGlynn heaped praise on his three strikers as the Prestonfield side comfortably disposed of their West Super League First Division opponents to book their place in the fourth round of the ETHX Energy Scottish Junior Cup.

McGlynn set up with a front three for the first time this season, with Tommy Coyne flanked by team-mates Kevin Kelbie and Colin Strickland, and the tactical gamble paid off as Cumbernauld’s defensive line were unable to cope.

McGlynn set up with a front three for the first time this season, with Tommy Coyne flanked by team-mates Kevin Kelbie and Colin Strickland, and the tactical gamble paid off as Cumbernauld’s defensive line were unable to cope.

McGlynn admitted the final scoreline flattered Rose but it was a nice warm up ahead of Saturday’s William Hill Scottish Cup trek to face Wick Academy in the Highlands.

McGlynn was full of praise for the visitors, who enjoyed their fair share of possession.

“They were exceptional and passed the ball about really well. For 25 minutes there wasn’t much in the game. We scored our goals at good times and they kept trying to pass the ball and it’s the way to play. The scoreline flattered us. We played a front three because we thought they were weak at the back and that’s where we got our goals – our strikers won us the game. I’m just glad we are in the next round of the cup.

“Credit to them for coming to us and playing like the way they played. The league is probably our priority but the cup is good for the town and good for everyone involved because we’ve won it before and it’s a fantastic achievement, so it was great to get the win.

Midfielder Graeme MacGregor was handed his first start for Rose having joined on a short-term loan deal from East Fife last week and he slotted in front of the back four in an anchor role.

McGlynn said: “We might add to the squad this week with a bit of luck, but the squad is alright and there is a lot of competition for places now with Graeme coming in.”

The home side were almost ahead after just three minutes when Coyne got on the end of Strickland’s looped ball but sent his header straight into the hands of goalkeeper Barry Fraser.

Home keeper Ally Adams was then called into action, the former Musselburgh Athletic No.1 diving to his left to prevent Dominic O’Halloran’s header from sneaking in.

The tie was fairly even until Rose got themselves ahead after 29 minutes. A good move spearheaded by left-back Chris Gray won the hosts a corner and from there, after Coyne and Kelbie both had attempts cleared, the ball broke to centre back Colin Leiper to prod home.

The opener gave Rose the confidence they needed to take the game by the jugular and a second goal soon arrived. Kelbie created the space down the right before passing inside to Blair Batchelor who laid it off to Coyne and his fierce effort from outside the area beat Fraser via the underside of the crossbar.

The match was over before referee Kyle Hall blew for half-time as visiting defender Alan Clark sent the ball into his own net when attempting to clear inside the area – the ball looping over the head of the helpless Fraser.

The break at the interval did nothing to halt the momentum from the home side and Cumbernauld were given little respite as Coyne made it four three minutes into the second period with his second of the afternoon. The ball found its way past Fraser via a deflection which strike partner Strickland claimed had come off him.

The little forward made sure the fifth goal was his own just six minutes later. Coyne teed him up inside the area, his shot looked to have been saved by Fraser but the ball spun back over his head and into the net.

Kelbie came closest to a sixth goal when he saw his near post effort pushed wide before home boss McGlynn rung the changes with their passage secured. Teenage strikers Michael Jones and Callum Robertson were given a run out, while club captain Mark Tyrrell took the place of Gray with thoughts, by then, all set on Saturday’s big Scottish Cup tie at Wick.

Linlithgow Rose: Adams, Thom, Gray (Tyrrell), MacKenzie, Leiper, MacLennan, Batchelor, MacGregor, Strickland, Coyne (Robertson), Kelbie (Jones).

Cumbernauld United: Fraser, Brown (McHaffie), A Clark, Sullivan, Dickson, Foley, D Clark, McLaughlin, McDonald (McKechnie), McGuigan, O’Halloran.