Rose take a real pruning

Adam Nelson finds the net for Bonnyrigg but his side couldnt mount a comeback. Pic: Scott Louden
Adam Nelson finds the net for Bonnyrigg but his side couldnt mount a comeback. Pic: Scott Louden
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Bonnyrigg boss bemoans side’s sluggish start in Kelty defeat

For as dominant as Rose were as they stormed their way to the title last season, ensuring Kelty ended the season in second place, the shoe was on the other foot as the Fife outfit ran riot in the first half.

Two stunning strikes from Neil McCabe and Stephen Husband had the visitors 2-0 ahead after just eight minutes, before they got a third through Brian Ritchie before half-time to all-but secure the three points.

Rose boss Robbie Horn, who saw his side lose last season’s opener at St Andrews before going on to win the title, bemoaned their sluggish start but insisted they’ll bounce back.

“We were off it for the first half-hour of the game, but saying that, they scored two wonder goals which there wasn’t much we could do about,” said Horn.

“We found ourselves chasing the game after the first eight minutes. We are disappointed, but we’ve just got to pick ourselves up an go again.

“The way they reacted after the game, I thought they had maybe won the league but obviously not yet. We’re obviously a big scalp all of a sudden, so teams are going to come here and treat it like they’ve won the league or a cup.”

The New Dundas Park side visit local rivals Newtongrange Star on Wednesday night before taking on Glasgow University in the William Hill Scottish Cup on Sunday.

Horn insists they’ll put the disappointment of Saturday behind them quickly to focus on a big week for the club.

“I’m sure we’ll pick ourselves up for Wednesday – I don’t have any fears about that at all. They are a good bunch of players and they know that first half-hour of the game wasn’t good enough.”

If Rose were shocked when McCabe let fly into the top corner from 25 yards out to leave home keeper Michael Andrews helpless after six minutes, they were left flummoxed when former Dunfermline Athletic and Hearts midfielder Stephen Husband sent an unstoppable free-kick into the opposite top corner just two minutes later.

It could’ve been worse for the hosts soon after as Kelty went close again, striker Stuart Cargill just inches away from connecting with Ritchie’s ball across goal from the right.

Home substitute Lewis Turner was sent-off for dissent towards the far-side lineman when voicing his displeasure at the lack of a card when Keiran McGachie was brought down on the edge of the box.

Rose were dealt a killer blow as Ritchie pounced to slam the ball home from close range on 34 minutes, although left-back Ruaridh Donaldson gave the home side a little hope when he pulled one back with a fine effort into the bottom corner just before the break.

Cargill put paid to any faint comeback hopes with an instinctive finish on 53 minutes. The striker left Andrews with no chance as he connected first time with Devon Jacobs’ ball in from the right.

Despite conceding early after the interval Rose were much improved after the break and they pulled another goal back when Adam Nelson was well placed to knock in the rebound after Wayne McIntosh’s effort could only be pushed out by Kelty keeper Kyle Allison.

Alex King, making his second home debut after signing a short-term deal on Thursday night, could’ve ensured a grandstand finish but his strike from inside the area was deflected behind and Fraser McLaren was denied from close range by Allison from the resultant corner.

Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson, Stewart, Moyes, Hoskins (Young), Jamieson (McLaren), Kidd, McGachie (King), Nelson, McIntosh.

Kelty Hearts: Allison, Thomson, Leighton (Jacobs), O’Neill, Courts, Neil McCabe (Penman), Husband (Wilson), Greig, Ritchie, Cargill, Neil McCabe.