Bonnyrigg Rose take big step towards title as Keiran McGachie hits landmark goal
Bonnyrigg Rose took a big step forward in their quest to be crowned Lowland League champions as they saw off an in-form Civil Service Strollers outfit 3-0.
The victory at New Dundas Park, Rose's 14th of an impressive campaign so far, has seen the club open up a seven-point gap over nearest challengers Rangers B, who have played two games fewer, but are unable to earn promotion even if they were to overhaul Robbie Horn's men.
Strollers, meanwhile, remain fourth and ten points off the pace of their opponents.
It was the visitors who fared better in the first half on a surface that was in remarkably good condition despite the rainfall over the past week.
But Rose upped their game in the second half and got their rewards with 17 minutes left to play when Keiran McGachie got above his opponent to head home a Lee Currie corner.
The striker then got his second of the game and 100th for the club with five minutes remaining before Kieran Hall sealed the win with a third with a minute to spare.
Boss Horn paid tribute to striker McGachie for reaching a century.
"The big man has been outstanding and has probably been one of my best signings," he said afterwards. "He deserved his goal, he worked hard but he was touch and go before the game, but he showed plenty of heart and he's a big part of our team.
"We didn't start the game well and we could have been behind in the first few minutes. But as the first half wore on we grew in to it, but we probably deserved to be behind at half-time with the way the game was going. I thought we dominated the second half and we ground it out and that's the big thing."
McGachie, 29, admitted he had been getting some stick from his team-mates after being stuck on 98 goals for quite some time.
"It's nice to get over the mark because I'd been getting some stick off the boys," he said. "We've racked up some big scores lately but I hadn't been playing being out injured. It's a credit to the club, boys don't want to leave, we enjoy being here and I've been here seven seasons now.
"I've got Junior Cup goals, Scottish Cup goals but I've always had great strikers to be play up top with. This is a real quality side we've got here. We hate getting beat so it's great to be on such a good run. We've only been beaten twice in the league so hopefully we can really kick on."
Elsewhere, Spartans are third after having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Caledonian Braves.
Debutant Sean Brown gave the visitors a 56th-minute lead at Alliance Park, heading home Cammy Russell's free-kick. However, Dougie Samuel's men were pegged back 12 minutes later through a Rhys Armstrong finish.
Meanwhile, Edinburgh University and East Kilbride played out an enthralling 4-4 draw at East Peffermill.
The students trailed 3-1 at one stage to then led 4-3 but were denied all three points as the South Lanarkshire club pounced late on.
Paddy Baird netted a hat-trick for Dorian Ogunro's men with Innes Lawson also on target. The uni remain in 15th place in the standings.