BONNYRIGG ROSE boss Robbie Horn felt the speculation surrounding him being linked with the Berwick Rangers job distracted his players as they spurned the chance to go two points clear at the top of the Super League table with a 1-1 home draw with Broxburn.
Horn made the move to New Dundas Park in the summer after leaving the Shielfield Park outfit at the end of last season as assistant boss to Colin Cameron and was last week linked with a return to the Wee Gers as manager.
The Evening News understands Horn was offered an interview by the Berwick board but turned it down to stay with Rose. John Coughlin was appointed as Cameron’s replacement on Friday evening.
Free-scoring Rose had gone into the match in buoyant mood having won their last nine in league and cup competitions, hitting 40 goals. However, they found a youthful Broxburn side managed by former Bonnyrigg boss Max Christie, resilient in defence and dangerous on the break.
“It was really disappointing that we didn’t get all three points,” said Horn, whose side went joint-top with Penicuik Athletic. “It was a bit flat just after last week and I think the stuff going on with myself and Berwick had probably been a bit of a distraction which has not helped.
“It was just one of those days and we didn’t play as well as we could. I said to the boys at the end of the game that I can’t be that critical of them because they’ve been outstanding on the run that we’ve been on.”
Horn felt aggrieved that Broxburn’s first-half equaliser wasn’t ruled out by referee Peter Stuart, with Rose’s players appealing vehemently for handball. “I was disappointed with the goal we lost from a set piece,” he said. “The boys were saying it was a handball – two hands on it as well so it wasn’t even a close one, so I’m disappointed the referee didn’t see that.”
Bonnyrigg grabbed the opener after ten minutes. Fraser McLaren’s flag-kick found Ewan Moyes unmarked and he headed down for Andrew Kidd, who swept the ball past goalkeeper Gary Maley from close range. The visitors were unlucky not to equalise through Kieron Anderson’s effort which was deflected wide before Marcus Millar headed the resultant corner over.
Broxburn got their equaliser on the half-hour mark after keeper Michael Andrews failed to deal with Anderson’s corner and the ball was scrambled into the net with Nicholas Locke claiming to get the final touch.
McLaren was put through in the opening minute of the second period but couldn’t find a way past the giant frame of Maley in the visitors’ goal.
The home side were beginning to carve out more opportunities, although the majority of them weren’t clear cut. Lewis Turner created a chance for himself on the edge of the area, his shot looked on target until a nick off a defender sent it onto the goal frame and away to safety.
Anderson was causing Rose problems with his pace through the middle and defender Dean Hoskins had to throw himself in front of the striker’s shot to block after he’d taken the ball into the area.
Rose flung on Scott Gray and Conor Thomson, but they couldn’t find the winner they craved. Broxburn boss Christie was pleased with his side’s performance. He said: “I was praying the game would be off with us missing our big two centre-halves, so I was really pleased to get a point.”
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Brown, Stewart, Moyes, Hoskins, McLaren (Gray), Kidd, McIntosh, Turner, McGachie (Thomson).
Broxburn Athletic: Maley, Donaldson, Millar, Locke, Blaikie, Miller, Nimmo (Cormack), Scott, McQuillan (Lochrie), Keast, Anderson.