Scottish Cup: Linlithgow star does not want repeat of last year

Linlithgow Rose threw away their replay tie against Deveronvale.
Linlithgow Rose threw away their replay tie against Deveronvale.
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Linlithgow Rose winger Roddy MacLennan learned the harsh lessons last season that you can’t take anything for granted.

In last year’s William Hill Scottish Cup, Rose looked certain to be in the hat for the second round– two goals in front and cruising away to Highland League side Deveronvale, before conceding two late goals as the home side forced a replay.

Deveronvale eased through in the replay at Prestonfield, winning 3-1 and ahead of tomorrow’s first-round replay at home to Fraserburgh, MacLennan is eager to ensure lightning does not strike twice.

“They [Deveronvale] battered us down here, we just never showed up. We can’t take anything for granted tomorrow, we need to do our business and hopefully convert some of our chances,” said the 25-year-old.

Rose were unlucky not to come away from Aberdeenshire town Fraserburgh with the win last Saturday – the visitors missed a host of chances and the match ended all square.

“Given the way we played, it was probably one of our best performances of the season so far,” said MacLennan.

“The last few have been good, and I think the boys were a bit disappointed that we never finished it, but they are a good side.

“Before the game we’d have taken a 0-0. We said if we can get them back to our bit, we’ll be happy.

“It’s always good to go home – you’d always rather a home tie. I think if we play the same way as we did up there, then we’ll maybe take a couple of chances this week.”

Despite their profligacy in front of goal last weekend, MacLennan is confident that the goals will come eventually.

Rose are certainly not short of goal-scoring frontmen with Tommy Coyne, Colin Strickland and Kevin Kelbie – the latter leading the scoring charts for the East Region at Camelon last season, while Coyne has six in six Super League matches.

MacLennan, the former Clyde youngster, who graduated with a Chemistry degree from Strathclyde University in the summer, is confident that if his side concentrate on their own job they’ll get through, but stressed they aren’t looking ahead to what would be a second round tie at home to Lowland League outfit Dalbeattie Star.

He said: “I think it would be silly to look ahead. Fraserburgh are a good side, so we aren’t going to look past them. We’ve got to go out and concentrate on Saturday. It’s a good chance to get further – you want ties that can help you progress in the competition and especially with it being a home tie.

“This could be potentially two home ties and that’s a good opportunity. That’s the big carrot that stands there for us to go and play well and take care of business. There are good teams coming in the third round.”

Reaching the second round would match the furthest Linlithgow have ever got in the competition while MacLennan has been at the club since he joined them at the age of 20.

As well as being good for the club’s finances, a run in the Scottish Cup allows players to test themselves against the best and, although he isn’t looking for a move away from Rose just yet, MacLennan is well aware that senior clubs will be watching.

He said: “Obviously for folk well above me a run in the cup is about looking after the club. We’d get big attendances and folk are interested in it – you get a mention in the paper and get on telly.

“For the boys, it’s a chance to get some good experiences. Even to be in the hat against teams like Rangers, you are not going to get that every day. You’ve just got to try and seize the opportunity.

“You see boys every year playing well against a bigger team and then getting a move off it – that is obviously another reason to try and do well on Saturday and progress.”

Defender John Ovenstone could be back in contention for a place in the squad after training this week following a lengthy time out through injury, although Ritchie McKillen could miss out with a hamstring problem.