All-change at Bonnyrigg Rose as Robbie Horn gets 'reaction' he was looking for against Stirling Albion
Robbie Horn praised his Bonnyrigg Rose players for their desire as they bounced back to winning ways with a 1-0 win over Stirling Albion at New Dundas Park to jump to second place League 2.
Rose were much improved from last weekend's 2-0 defeat to Albion Rovers, their first loss in the SPFL, as Horn rang the changes with captain Jonny Stewart and Josh Grigor dropped, while centre-back Kerr Young was ruled out through injury.
Bob Wilson came back into centre half, while Geroge Hunter paired Kevin Smith upfront as Horn changed shape, with Bradley Barrett handed his first league start of the season.
“I said I wanted a reaction after last week and we got that, we 100 per-cent got that," said Horn. “The boys put in such a shift from the first minute until the last; the guys who came on to the park also put in a shift, and that's what you are wanting, there is a togetherness about us.“It's a massive three points for us. I think Stirling will be up there come the end of the season, they are full of good players, they have good movement and they caused us problems.
“Mark [Weir] made a couple of saves but that's what he's there for, and at the same time we created opportunities as well, it wasn't backs to the wall stuff.
“There were chances at both ends and I think we deserved it on the basis of what we put into it and the desire we had to get three points. We put so much into the game, it would have been a travesty if we didn't get the three points."
The home side were eager to get an early opener, and went close through a Wilson header which came back off the woodwork after four minutes.
Callum Connolly's fierce strike from 25-yards out could only be pushed clear by Stirling goalkeeper Blair Currie three minutes later, and thinking he was perhaps offside, Hunter rushed his rebound attempt which he sent high over the crossbar.
Five minutes later and Rose went in front from the penalty spot. Ross Gray was relentless as he put pressure on Binos centre-back Jordan McGregor, nicking the ball off him inside his own 18-yard box and getting goal side of the defender, leading McGregor to taking him out. Neil Martynuik stepped up confidently to dispatch his second penalty of the season.
Rose faced a response from the visitors following the opener with keeper Mark Weir preserving their lead with a fine double save, his second from Jack Leitch's curling goalbound strike from the edge of the box earning a deserved round of applause from both sets of supporters.
The hosts had to dig deep in the second half to maintain their lead but still had chances of their own.
Horn added: “People will think we just came to defend – but we had to defend our box. They are a good side with a big physical presence so we had to defend corners, free-kicks and throw-ins coming into our box constantly, and the boys did that to a man.“We’ve got to take confidence from the result, we were disappointed last week because we are better than that but we got the reaction we wanted. The boys came to training and worked hard, they took on board things that we spoke about. We had a bit of desire which we maybe lacked last week, we had it on Saturday, we had a hunger about us."