Bonnyrigg Rose v Fraserburgh: Robbie Horn's expectations as club prepare for one of their biggest games ever

Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn has praised his players for maintaining their focus as they prepare for the one of the biggest games in the club’s history.

By Ian MacLean
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 9:14 am
Updated Friday, 22nd April 2022, 3:07 pm

Rose take on Highland League champions Fraserburgh at New Dundas Park on Saturday in the first match of their two-legged pyramid play-off semi-final, with the winners going to play Cowdenbeath for a place in next season’s cinch League 2.

Bonnyrigg have known they would be involved in the play-offs since clinching the Lowland League title more than a month ago but have had matches to play in between.

However, having finished off their league campaign with a 1-0 win at East Kilbride on Saturday, they can now focus fully on Fraserburgh.

Bonnyrigg Rose expect New Dundas Park to be a sell-out for the promotion play-off first leg against Fraserburgh

Horn said: “That's been very tough and they players deserve a lot of credit for that because, bar the Dalbeattie game, we've approached every game in the right manner and Dalbeattie was the week after we'd won the league. The players have dealt with it pretty well and are in pretty good shape going into this Saturday."

It’s a massive occasion for the club with a near-capacity 2000 crowd expected for the first leg.

Horn isn’t expecting anything other than the toughest of tests against Fraserburgh, a side they sneaked past with a late goal in the Scottish Cup in 2019.

"Any team that wins the Highland League has got to be a top side because the top seven or eight teams in that league are very strong, so they deserve massive credit,” said the Rose boss. "We know it's going to be a really tough task with a team that's relentless and in your face, very fit and well organised, with a bit of quality about them as well.

Fraserburgh ace Scott Barbour receives Highland League trophy last week

"We have to be at it, at our best and go and match the attributes they've got and, hopefully, we can go and play a bit of football after that as well.

"I haven't seen any nerves but, as we build up to the game, you'll maybe see a wee bit more, particularly on the day when the game comes round. But, hopefully, they'll have the same nerves as well.

“If there's a big crowd at Bonnyrigg behind us, it will hopefully be intimidating for them and that hopefully gives our boys a lift as well. But when these games come round, we've got experienced players who'll be able to deal with it."

Horn’s opposite number, Mark Cowie, says they won’t abandon their attacking principles – The Broch netted 135 goals in 34 league matches – just to keep the tie alive going into the second leg.

Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn has been impressed with his players´ focus

“We’ve worked hard over the last 34 games to get to the position we’re in and we want to give it a right go,” said Cowie.

“We’re in for a very difficult game, because Bonnyrigg are an excellent side, but we’ve shown we’re a very good side as well and it should be a cracking tie.

“The draw has gone in our favour, because I think both clubs would have preferred to play the home leg second.

“We won’t change too much, we’ll play our game. We’re not going down there looking for a draw. We want to play our game and try to implement that.”

Message from the editor

Thank you for reading this article. If you haven't already, please consider supporting our sports coverage with a digital sports subscription.