Linlithgow on song as Spartans are brushed aside in Scottish Cup scalp

Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd was full of praise for his side as they thrashed Lowland League Spartans 4-0 to ease through to the third round of the Scottish Cup.
Rose defender Alex Webb (left) and Spartans striker Blair Henderson challenge for a high ballRose defender Alex Webb (left) and Spartans striker Blair Henderson challenge for a high ball
Rose defender Alex Webb (left) and Spartans striker Blair Henderson challenge for a high ball

The East of Scotland Premier leaders were dominant at Prestonfield – scoring two goals either side of the interval without reply – and Herd says they fancy their chances against anyone on their home park.

"It's another Lowland League scalp for us and we are absolutely delighted," said Herd.

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"We said to our forward players to go and win us the game, to go and be direct. We scored some really good goals, we pulled them apart in stages and not a lot of teams will do that to Spartans in the Lowland League, so it's a big well done to the guys.

"In the second half, specifically, we were excellent. I thought in the first half we came in at half-time two-nil and we didn't feel like we had played, but in the second half we just ran over the top of them which is really pleasing for the side that Spartans have got.

"For us to dispatch a very good Spartans side 4-0, it speaks volumes for the boys and how we've been playing this season. These games can sometimes be nervy, it can often be a cup final thing where players play within themselves, but they went and expressed themselves, and to a man they were brilliant.

"The third goal was big for me, because if you go and get a third, you go and win the game, if they sneak one in it's sneaky bum time. They are a good side, so for us to keep a clean sheet against a very good front three, I’m delighted.”

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After a scrappy opening 40 minutes, Rose talisman Mark Stowe produced a bit of magic to open the scoring with a strike from 30 yards out which flew past Spartans goalkeeper Blair Carswell.

The visiting keeper was picking the ball out the back of his net once more after a flowing Rose move down the right ended with Sean Heaver converting from two yards out. That second goal was a hammer blow for Spartans, who never recovered.

Rose started the second half where they left off, with Stowe curling a third into the top corner from the edge of the box. Spartans did rally but left it late before creating anything of note, with home substitute Dale Baxter netting from 20 yards for number four.

Rose are in Monday’s draw and Herd continued: “We fancy ourselves against anybody here, and with the tempo we play at, we make it hard for teams.

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“A glamour tie or a not so glamour tie, we'll take anyone at home and see where it goes. It's a free hit for us, it's a bonus for us to be here, so there is no pressure on us.”

Spartans manager Dougie Samuel was disappointed with his side’s performance, he said: “We were way below the standards we have set this season. I don’t want to take anything away from Linlithgow because they deserved it, and good luck to them in the next round, but we were poor.

“We just didn’t play well enough and we weren’t together as a team, and that’s disappointing for me.”