Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn ready to freshen up his team for Tranent cup test

Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn says he may make changes for Saturday’s East of Scotland Qualifying Cup tie at Tranent.

By Ian MacLean
Friday, 21st January 2022, 7:00 am
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 4:35 pm

The third-round match offers Rose a break from their pursuit of the Lowland League title. And while he’s not taking Tranent for granted, he may use the opportunity to give some of his squad valuable game time.

"Obviously, we want to do well in cup competitions as well but our main focus is the league, so we'll see what we do regarding rotation of the squad,” said Horn.

"It’s not because we're taking anybody lightly but just to try and keep everybody involved and keep the boys fresh.”

Bonnyrigg celebrate Callum Connolly's third goal at Gala. Picture: Joe Gilhooley LRPS

Tranent go into the match on the back of a 3-0 win at Penicuik on Saturday which has boosted their hopes of winning a three-way fight for the East Premier title with Cuikie and Linlithgow Rose.

"They're a really good side with players that have played at a higher level so we're expecting a really tough tie,” said Horn.

"They'll see Bonnyrigg as a scalp but they might think the same way we're thinking. The league is massively important to them and it was a great result for them on Saturday.

"Their aspirations are getting into the Lowland League, so it's going to be interesting to see what's what with the teams we both go with on Saturday. But it will be a good game and there will be a big crowd, no doubt."

Bonnyrigg’s own title hopes got a further lift on Saturday as they won 3-0 at Gala Fairydean Rovers, while two of their three closest challengers slipped.

First-half goals by Keiran McGachie – later sent off – and Ross Gray and a late Callum Connolly strike stretched Rose’s unbeaten league run to 13 games and got them back on the winning track after the previous week’s draw with Spartans.

And with both Rangers B and Celtic B held to draws, allowing Spartans to move up to second but still 11 points adrift, it was a good day for the league leaders.

Horn said: “In the first half we were excellent, probably as well as we've played for some time.

"We said at half time that we just needed to manage it better than last week and, to their credit, they did that.

"We're not writing anybody off but, if we just keep winning, there's nothing anybody else can do."