Dream Lowland League debut for Bonnyrigg Rose as they thrash Vale of Leithen
For many reasons, it has been a summer to remember for Bonnyrigg Rose – but this day marked the start of a fresh chapter in the club’s history.
Following weeks of uncertainty surrounding which tier of Scottish football they would line up in ahead of the new season due to licensing controversies, the Midlothian outfit could finally focus their attention back on footballing matters.
They did so in emphatic style as Robbie Horn’s newboys kick-started their inaugural Lowland League campaign by thrashing Vale of Leithen 6-0 at New Dundas Park.
Two months have passed since Bonnyrigg ended a marathon rollercoaster season, which culminated in playing over 50 games, scoring 199 goals and being crowned East of Scotland champions.
However, midfielder Lee Currie believes Rose have every chance of being involved in another title shake-up next April after laying down an early marker of their own.
The former Hibs and Berwick Rangers player, now in his third season with the club, admits he didn’t envisage their explosive start to the campaign.
“We couldn’t ask for better start than that result to get us up and running,” stated the 29-year-old.
“It was a bit frantic in the early stages, but once we scored our first goal, we played some really good football.
“It’s another step up for us this season, but we’re all relishing the challenge. A few teams such as Kelty, Shire and East Kilbride have spent a bit of money, so it’s going to be difficult but I think we’re capable of fighting for the title.”
The ease in which Bonnyrigg dismantled their Borders-based opponents won’t have come as a major surprise to many onlookers, with Vale having floundered towards the foot of the table in recent years.
However, this was still an impressive start to life as a Lowland League club for the home side.
Scottish FA President Rod Petrie was on hand to present Bonnyrigg secretary Robert Dickson with their membership award prior to kick-off.
Kerr Young, who was making his 150th appearance, got the ball rolling, heading home the opening goal after 23 minutes.
George Hunter, signed from Newtongrange Star during the summer, turned in Scott Gray’s cross at the back post to double the hosts’ advantage four minutes later.
It was 3-0 just beyond the hour mark when Kieran McGachie connected with Currie’s delivery and beat visiting goalkeeper Ross Gilpin at his front post.
Dean Brett added a fourth in the 68th minute with a brilliant solo effort and debutant Jamie Docherty converted number five from the penalty spot with three minutes remaining.
There was still time for substitute Lewis Turner to get in on the act to ensure this was a curtain-raiser to remember. Tougher tests await Bonnyrigg.
Vale boss Chris Anderson said: “It was good to be involved in a game with such importance and we expected there to be a big crowd, but I’m really disappointed with the result and how we performed.”
Bonnyrigg Rose: Weir, Baur, Young, Horne, Brett (Brown 68), Martyniuk, Stewart, Gray, Currie (Turner 68), Hunter, McGachie (Docherty 70). Unused: Andrews, Trialist.
Vale of Leithen: Gilpin, O’Neil, Smith (Trialist 22), Thomson, Patterson, Hall, Higgins (Robertson 76), Nicholson (Easton 47), Rossi, Ireland, Rixon. Unused: Elliott, Anderson
Referee: Frazer Bushell.