Striker Archibald heads in winner to send rivals packing

Stuart Roseburgh and Joe Dunbar
Stuart Roseburgh and Joe Dunbar
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Bonnyrigg Rose 2

Newtongrange Star 1

Bonnyrigg came from behind to reach the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup thanks to a header from striker Ross Archibald that sent local rivals Newtongrange the two miles home to lick their wounds.

Bonnyrigg, with several former Star players in their line up, took the game to Newtongrange from the start, winger Stuart Roseburgh and Stevie Thomson showing up well against their old club.

Roseburgh tormented his ex colleague Scott Swaney with some terrific runs down the wing. Gradually though Newtongrange showed they were dangerous in front of goal. Lewis Turner cracked a long range free kick off the crossbar with Kevin Donnelly skying the rebound over from a good position.

Rose keeper Mark Weir then showed his class with a wonderful save from another Donnelly effort. As the half time whistle approached it was Newtongrange who looked the more likely side to score.

Bonnyrigg took the field kicking down the slope in the second half and in front of a crowd around the 1000 mark again took the game to the visitors.

However, just on the hour mark it was Newtongrange who took a deserved lead. A spell of sustained pressure built up to a corner on the right. Sean Woodburn powered a header towards goal only for keeper Weir to block it. The Rose defence failed to get a good boot on the ball and it landed at the feet of Blair Tolmie some 30 yards out. His glorious strike sailed past the keeper high into the net.

Bonnyrigg now had a fight on their hands. But their efforts were rewarded when they drew level only five minutes later. Sean Palizcka and Ryan McCallum played a one-two down the right wing. Palizcka looked to have gone too far but his cross-cum-shot was knocked into the air by Star keeper Gary O Connor and dropped into the net at the back post.

The home fans didn’t have long to wait for another goal. Only five minutes later and Rose were in front for the first time. A free kick from Kevin McLeish was brilliantly saved by O’Connor who palmed it out wide. However McCallum knocked the ball back into the mix for Archibald to head home from six yards.

Newtongrange weren’t finished though and they almost had a dramatic equaliser only minutes later. Lewis Turner, who was having a terrific afternoon, started the ball rolling with a pass to Scott Swaney. They kept the ball alive until Ally Forster turned his marker and from fully 30 yards hit a low screamer which crashed off the foot of the post with the keeper helpless. Newtongrange tried hard after that but they couldn’t find a way through and so it was Bonnyrigg who took the honours in this the tightest of cup ties.

Rose boss Max Christie was pleased with his players. “The boys showed great character after going a goal down. But we’re under no illusions that we need to play longer and better if we are to progress in the cup. Their goal woke us up and after that we had some big performances from the players.

“Newtongrange though played really well and deserved something from the game but there can only ever be one winner. We never seem to get our noses in front every game. We always have to chase the game and I don’t know what to do to change things.”

Newtongrange manager Alan Miller was dejected afterwards. “The boys are gutted because it’s hard to take a result like that. It was a fantastic performance from the lads. Bonnyrigg got the luck you need when the effort from Palizcka found the net. There’s no point in blaming bad luck, we’re out of the cup but I told the players if we can produce performances like that then we’ll have a good season.”

Star goalscorer Tolmie thought his fine effort had set his team up for a win. He said: “I have scored a goal similar to that one but when this one went in I thought we could go on and win the game. To say I’m gutted is an understatement.”

Rose winner Archibald however was in buoyant mood. “We’re not playing well most of the time but we’re grinding out results so we must be doing something right. To win (this tie) was a must and somehow we did. It’s a crazy season so far but one I’m really enjoying.”

Bonnyrigg: Weir, McLeish, Ste Thomson, Ewart, Dunn, Roseburgh, King, Grady, Archibald, McCallum (Steele), Palizcka. Subs: Morrice, Gray, Martin, Hendrie, Stu Thomson, Burgess.

Newtongrange: O’Connor, Swaney, Forbes, Woodburn (Doherty), Donnelly, Tolmie, Dunbar (McDonald), Gillon, Forster, Hutchison, Turner (Meaney). Subs: Beattie, Cherrie, Graham, Mc Garrie.