Linlithgow Rose boss David McGlynn believes his side have yet to hit top gear as they recorded their third victory in a week with a 4-1 triumph over Lochee – and insists they can only get better.
Rose ended up comfortable winners against ten-man Lochee, the Dundee-based side promoted from the Premier League last season, having played for 60 minutes without their full quota on the park.
Injuries had hampered Rose’s start to the season with two shock losses, but things are starting to click for McGlynn’s new-look side and several players are set to return to action soon.
“We are still miles away from where we can get to,” said McGlynn, who hopes to add a couple of loan signings to his squad this week.
“We only had eleven fit players with a few of them carrying injuries. The boys have been soldiering on for me. We’ve got five boys that are top Super League players still out missing so we still improve.
“It’s been difficult for us because you can’t do anything on a Monday with them because they are recovering from injury on the Saturday and you’re having to play on a Wednesday. Now we’ve got time to rest and time to recover.
“I thought we were brilliant for the first 25 minutes until we got the goal. We were miles ahead.
“We got the goal then we fell out of the game, it’s the same mentality we had last year – they think that’s it done, but you’ve got to work harder. We created a lot of chances, which was pleasing.”
Summer signing Ross Gray was a particular stand out for the hosts, the former Livingston and Berwick Rangers ace picking up a goal and two assists in a dominant attacking display.
McGlynn believes Gray and his other acquisitions over the close season have the ability to establish themselves as top junior players.
He said: “The squad was just old, players had been here too long and it just needed freshened up. It’s not for my benefit, it’s purely for the club’s benefit.
“Those young ladies will be top, top junior players. They are coming back from senior football with a point to prove.”
It was a Prestonfield veteran who got Rose off and running with the opener after 33 minutes. Blair Batchelor played a neat one-two with Tommy Coyne on the edge of the box before his run was halted by the intervention of visiting defender Graham Hay.
Referee Mike Taylor deemed the challenge to be deliberate and so Hay was give his marching orders before Coyne stuck away the spot-kick.
Rose didn’t capitalise from then on, however, with a resilient Lochee having the best of what was left of the opening half.
Gray struck the crossbar for the hosts minutes into the second half, but they were undone on 60 minutes as Lochee got their equaliser.
Stephen McNally caught out the Rose defence with a direct ball over the top which landed perfectly for striker Bryan Deasley. He took one touch before composing himself and firing under goalkeeper Ritchie Bernard.
The goal was a wake-up call for Rose, who wasted little time in regaining their lead. Just four minutes later they were back in front as Gray found the top corner with a fine strike from the edge of the box.
The visitors were starting to tire and needing no encouragement to secure the points, Rose sealed the win on 82 minutes.
Gray’s ball in from the left was on a plate for substitute Graham Weir, who found the net at the near post.
Coyne got his second and Rose’s fourth in the final minute to add gloss to the scoreline.
Linlithgow Rose: Bernard, McNab, Hamill (R. Donaldson), B.Donaldson, Thom, Beaumont, Batchelor, Shirra, Kelbie (Weir), Coyne, Gray.
Lochee United: Fotheringham, Webster, Kirk, Hay, Whitehead, McNally, Gallacher (Martin), Lonan (Montgomery), McComiskie, Hagan, Deasley.