Bonnyrigg Rose make perfect start to Premier Sports Cup with away win at Clyde
Robbie Horn’s side took full advantage of a seven-minute first half period where Kieran McGachie and Kieran Hall established a 2-0 lead. Though they were under the cosh after Ross Cunningham reduced the deficit just before the break, they defended valiantly to give themselves a victory in their first game in the competition after winning the Lowland League and securing promotion to League Two at the conclusion of last season.
What was particularly impressive about the win was the absence of several key players, including Lee Currie, Alan Horne and Bradley Barrett. The steely showing was perfect preparation for the visit of Hibs to New Dundas Park this Sunday.
Playing their first match in their New Douglas Park “home” – they left Broadwood following 18 years in Cumbernauld earlier this year – Clyde controlled most of the possession up to the game’s first chance on 18 minutes, Connor Duthie shot over following a Jordan Allan cutback as they looked comfortable in as-yet-familiar surroundings.
That illusion was shattered when the visitors took the lead just two minutes later. Hall was released down the right channel and when his cut-back found strike-partner McGachie, the burly forward was on hand to sweep home.
The Rosey Posey doubled the advantage seven minutes later. Hall was this time the beneficiary. He was on hand to poke home after the goalkeeper could only parry Kerr Young’s header from a Lewis Turner corner.
Clyde were at sixes and sevens and Bonnyrigg should have killed the game before the break. Keeper Josh Hurst leapt high to claim a free-kick into the box, but he landed with such a thud it dislodged the ball, which popped up invitingly for Josh Grigor. The defender could not keep his composure as he lifted his shot over the bar.
With just over a minute remaining in the half, Hall found himself in a glorious position running through on Hurst following a collision between McGachie and veteran defender Brian McLean. He steadied himself to finish but lifted his curled effort beyond the far post.
Football games often change in a heartbeat and seconds later the pendulum swung away from Bonnyrigg. Cunningham, who called the ground home during his five years with Accies, rifled low beyond the defence and Michael Andrews to reduce the arrears.
The goal seemed to reinvigorate Clyde, who had the chance to level seconds into the second half when Allan drove into the heart of the penalty area and forced Andrews into a low save with his legs.
After Rose had a penalty claim turned down when McGachie hit the deck following a clumsy challenge from Andrew Rodden, Allan had another effort stopped by the feet of Andrews, this time at his near post.
Ex-Hearts midfielder Morgaro Gomis almost had the home crowd celebrating on 68 minutes with a speculative drive that flashed narrowly wide of the post.
Substitute Oliver McDonald almost found Cunningham with a cross which surely would’ve levelled the scores late on, while Clyde had a penalty shout of their own for an alleged handball on Johnny Stewart. But the underdogs held firm to send the travelling support home delighted.