Linlithgow Rose's Roddy MacLennan times fitness return for derby with Bo’ness United

Seven-month injury hell is over
Roddy MacLennan returned last week and scored from off the benchRoddy MacLennan returned last week and scored from off the bench
Roddy MacLennan returned last week and scored from off the bench

The return of the Linlithgow Rose and Bo’ness United derby has given Rose midfielder Roddy MacLennan the motivation he needed to recover from a long injury lay-off.

Rose first-foot their fierce rivals tomorrow in their first meeting since they made the move from the Juniors, with the two clubs housed in different conferences in their inaugural season in the East of Scotland League last year.

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MacLennan missed much of last season after suffering an ACL injury just a day shy of his 30th birthday, but returned last week after seven months out against Blackburn United and netted from off the bench in a 4-1 win for Brown Ferguson’s side.

“This one was circled in the calendar probably about four months ago, it was the one game I wanted to be back for, and hopefully all going well I will be able to get involved tomorrow,” said MacLennan, who moved from Rose to Bo’ness for a season then back again in 2017.

“You missed it because it’s the biggest game of the season and it’s good that it’s back on the card. Even just the boys that hadn’t played in it, they are asking what it is all about it and the gaffer – I don’t know if he’s been to them – but he recognises what it means to the town and the club. It’s good, there is a wee bit of a buzz about the place.”

Tomorrow’s match is a game Linlithgow can’t afford to lose if they have any hopes of catching league leaders Bo’ness who command a 16-point lead over their neighbours, with Rose having four games in hand.

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MacLennan insists they can still catch their rivals as he also revealed his motivation to repay the faith shown in him during his injury recovery.

He continued: “We’ve got Broxburn and Tranent in the next two weeks, not that we are looking ahead, but you are kind of thinking if we can put a few results together we can put ourselves back into the title picture, because Bo’ness are kind of running away with it just now. Beating them would drag them back into it a wee bit.

“All the squad is getting back fit again and there is competition for places. The new boys have definitely added something, it is all positive. The club have looked after me really well, seeing different specialists to get different opinions. Initially they thought it would be better to get operated on but it came back I didn’t need that.

“My contract was up two weeks after I did it and they’ve been superb. It is now on me to repay them. It is a measure of the club and the people running it that they gave me time to get back. It has motivated me to come back stronger.”

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Elsewhere, Musselburgh Athletic host Tranent aiming to win their second East Lothian derby in a week after beating Dunbar United last Saturday. First Division Conference B runaway league leaders Tynecastle host Lothian Thistle from Conference A at Meggetland.