Three and queasy for Bonnyrigg

Darren Gribben scored a superb goal for Bo'ness. Pic: JANE BARLOW
Darren Gribben scored a superb goal for Bo'ness. Pic: JANE BARLOW
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Bonnyrigg Rose boss Max Christie insists his side must start winning matches after they lost their third game on the trot at home to Super League champions Bo’ness United, 2-0.

Christie is feeling the heat after their pointless start to the new league campaign continued and he has called on his squad to remain together, believing it won’t be long until they kick-start their season with a win.

“Of course you feel pressure as a manager if you lose your first three matches. It’s the game you are in, you need to win,” said Christie.

“I think our spirit it still there. We’ve had a torrid time with injuries and that’s well documented. We need to stay together and get going. They are a great bunch of lads and we are a good team.”

Bonnyrigg looked like they might get a point after Bo’ness went down to ten men with 20 minutes remaining when they were just a goal in front. However, their man advantage just lasted three minutes as Kevin McLeish was given a second yellow card for a wild challenge – his first yellow having come from the substitutes’ bench.

And their hopes of salvaging a point were all but over when Brian Murray was shown a second yellow for the hosts with just minutes remaining.

The visitors could have been ahead as early as the first minute when Ross Philp, a summer signing from Kelty Hearts, picked up a loose ball in midfield before but his fierce drive from the edge of the box couldn’t hit the target.

Bo’ness continued to enjoy a period of pressure in the early exchanges, backed by a fierce wind, and Bonnyrigg keeper David Hay produced a great stop at the backpost to deny Philp’s goalbound header on 23 minutes. The BUs centre-back pairing of Paul Murphy and Colin Leiper then combined in the Bonnyrigg box, but the latter fired over wildly with a typical defender’s effort.

Bonnyrigg had come out unscathed though, and they almost took the lead on 27 minutes after Dean Carse’s cutback to the edge of the box found Alex King, but his strike deflected off one of his own players and out for a goal kick.

Bo’ness were forced into a reshuffle on the half-hour when Leiper limped off and winger Nicky Walker entered, with Will Snowdon moved to the heart of defence while starting striker Chris Donnelly moved to right-back.

This did little to halt the BUs in their stride however, as they opened the scoring just a minute later. Walker made an instant impact as he set up Darren Gribben who twisted and turned inside the box before curling a superb strike round Hay and into the net.

Gribben then almost turned provider ten minutes into the second half when a delightful flick put in Willie McLaren, but the former Irvine Meadow man’s strike was well stopped by Hay.

Bonnyrigg began to enjoy a good spell of pressure inside the Bo’ness half but despite their positional dominance, they didn’t look like causing keeper Mark Peat too much trouble.

and McLeish came closest for the home side on 62 minutes, with many of the home fans thinking he had in fact hit the back of the net with his shot, but as it turned out, he had fired into the side netting.

Bo’ness midfielder Craig Scott was then shown a controversial second yellow card when he was adjudged to have prevented the home side taking a quick free-kick, his first having come for a foul on the edge of the Bo’ness box early in the second half.

McLeish was given a second yellow for the home side just minutes later for a poor tackle on BUs’ substitute Zander Miller, before left-back Murray was given his marching orders for Rose with two yellow cards in the final ten minutes.

Miller made sure of the three points for Bo’ness in added time when he swept a shot under Hay after Gribben had played him in.

Bo’ness manager Allan McGonigal said: “We thoroughly deserved to win, we were miles in front. We had so many chances in the first half, albeit we never hit the target enough and didn’t make the goalkeeper work.

“It’s a massive three points for us. At the start of the season you look at the fixtures and you always think, well Bonnyrigg, you’ll take a point there anytime.”

Bonnyrigg Rose: Hay, Smith, Murray, Horne, White, Stewart, King, Whitson, Archibald, Grady, Carse (McLeish).

Bo’ness United: Peat, Snowdon, Devine, Leiper (Walker), Hunter, Scott, McLaren (Miller), Philp, Donnelly, Pittman, Gribben.