LINLITHGOW claimed a morale-boosting three points ahead of this weekend’s home Scottish Junior Cup semi-final first-leg clash against Auchinleck Talbot.
A stunning second-half volley from central defender and captain Colin Lieper gave Linlithgow a 1-0 success at Broxburn – only their second Super League win since November.
“It was good to get on the end of that ball,” admitted Lieper. “Gary Thom will be disappointed that his header, which came back off the bar, didn’t go in but it’s something we’ve been working on in training, getting to the second ball.
“This is a very difficult place to come and get the points. Broxburn have been playing well and, on the artificial surface, you have to work hard to get anything.
“We had a few changes on Saturday with the semi-final in mind and I think we handled it well. Hopefully though we’ll be back to full strength for this week with Tommy Coyne and Jamie McKenzie back in contention.”
Auchinleck manager Tommy Sloan watched from the stand. With Coyne and McKenzie out injured, boss Todd Lumsden took the chance to give a starting place to some players who have missed out recently.
The first half, played in a blustery wind, was pretty poor with neither side dictating play and neither goalkeeper being troubled. The only talking point was a Broxburn goal disallowed for a debatable offside decision.
It looked like a set-piece could decide the game and, in the 75th minute, Linlithgow forced a corner from the right. Thom rose to power a header off the bar. It came flashing out to Lieper ten yards out and his right-foot volley flew past goalkeeper Connor Wallace and into the net.
Broxburn responded and, in a late flurry, Lieper cleared off the line and substitute Darren Gribben forced a good save from Darren Hill.
Broxburn gaffer Max Christie said: “I thought we did enough to get something from the game. We huffed and puffed a bit without really troubling their keeper and that’s the disappointing thing about our performance.”
Linlithgow manager Lumsden was delighted with the result. “We’re happy and it should set us up nicely for next week. I don’t know if Tommy Sloan will have learned anything from that but a win’s a win and we’ll take that any day.”
Broxburn Athletic: Wallace, Purves, Cole, Gavin, Paterson, Scott, Nimmo, Richards, Miller, Locke, Anderson. Subs: Baptie, Browne, Gribben, Downie, Donoghue.
Linlithgow Rose: Hill, McNab, Devine, Muhsin, Thom, Lieper, Kelly, Williams, Coogan, Batchelor, Gray. Subs: Kelbie, Donaldson, Swann, Small, Ellison.