Bonnyrigg Rose boss David McGlynn praised his side for getting through a potential ‘banana skin’ fixture against Edinburgh United in the Scottish Junior Cup third round and revealed knockout competitions are their priority with the league title out of sight.
McGlynn has turned Bonnyrigg’s season around after a lacklustre start – the New Dundas Park side currently sit sixth in the league after being bottom when former boss Max Christie departed, with McGlynn winning eight out of his ten matches in charge.
Rose are still ten points behind top-of-the-table Kelty Hearts, however, and McGlynn admits their focus has to be on progressing in the cups.
He said: “This one was always going to be a banana skin and we’ve managed to get ourselves in the hat and that’s the most important thing.
“I thought we were brilliant from start to finish and we got our tactics spot-on. It was always going to be a dog fight.
“We’re never going to win the league because we were 16 points behind before I even took over. We have a good enough squad together that we can go and challenge in cup ties and that’s our aim – to keep ourselves in as many cups as we can.”
Expected to be a keenly fought cup tie, with the top-of-the-table Premier League hosts also in excellent form, it was far from it. Rose were ruthless in front of goal and the tie was over before the second half had even kicked off.
United, who had won eight out of eight at home in the league and cup before this match, were unable to cope with the high pressing from the Bonnyrigg frontline.
The visitors signalled their intentions from as early as the sixth minute. Striker Steven Hislop flashed a ball across goal from the right which was set on a plate for strike partner Blair Henderson, but the youngster couldn’t connect.
United keeper Sinclair Inglis had conceded just twice at home this season, but he had a moment to forget three minutes later. There seemed to be no danger when defender Ricky Miller passed back to his keeper, but the ball took an unfortunate bounce and Inglis miskicked his clearance – the ball sneaking in via the post.
Bonnyrigg then made it two on 19 minutes. Kevin McLeish’s long punt caught out defender Miller and Hislop was there to latch onto it before delicately chipping over Inglis from the edge of the box. Hislop then turned provider for McLeish with half an hour gone. The Rose player-coach swept the ball across goal and midfielder McLeish nipped in at the back post to finish past Inglis.
United had appeals for a penalty waved away by referee David Munro after Craig Hume looked to have been brought down. The ball squirmed out to Sean Lothian on the edge of the box, but he saw his low shot saved by David Hay.
With a big second half expected from Edinburgh to force their way back into the tie, they were pegged back further on 56 minutes. Conor Thomson’s shot from 25 yards took a deflection en route to goal to deceive Sinclair and put Rose 4-0 up.
Bonnyrigg weren’t going to take it easy on United and midfielder Alan Horne got in on the act as well, his shot from almost 30 yards somehow managing to find its way past the helpless Sinclair on 64 minutes.
Midfielder Lothian pulled a consolation back four minutes later for United after Kayne Paterson set him up, but Bonnyrigg saw out the remainder of the half without much trouble.
Edinburgh United manager Jack Lynch was left gutted for his players, but felt their confidence coming into the game was a hindrance to themselves.
He said: “The first two goals took the wind out our sails and against a team of Bonnyrigg’s quality it was going to be hard to get back into it. The realistic thing was we were never going to win the Scottish Junior Cup and our main priority is the league, so we can focus on that now. We were more than confident and I think that was probably our problem – our players were that confident coming into the game that they thought ‘we are going to turn up and do them’. It doesn’t happen like that, you’ve got to work really, really hard to take anything from a Super League team and I don’t think we worked hard enough.”
Edinburgh United: S Inglis, Gilhooley, Stewart, Murray, Miller, McLennan, Paterson,C Inglis (Paglarulo), Hume, Lothian, Fisher.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Hay, Archibald, Murray, Hamill (Stewart), Wilson, Woodburn, Horne, McLeish (Whitson), Henderson (Court), Thomson, Hislop.