Hearts fan Dean Hoskins will cherish the penalty he tucked away against Hibs at Tynecastle for years to come, but his equalising goal in last weekend’s Scottish Junior Cup could prove to be his most vital this season.
The centre-back popped up in the box five minutes from time in Rose’s fourth-round tie away at Kilsyth Rangers last weekend to rescue a 2-2 draw – producing a finish any striker would be proud of as he tucked away Keiran McGachie’s lay-off with finesse.
The 30-year-old is known for his goalscoring exploits, hitting double figures on Rose’s march to the Super League title, with the majority of them coming from the penalty spot. Saturday’s strike was his third in a row after netting from 12- yards prior to the Hibs cup tie.
“We kind of dominated the first half, it was a weird game,” said Hoskins. “We found ourselves 2-0 down at half-time after dominating. I thought the gaffer [Robbie Horn] was going to go mental at half-time but he wasn’t too bad actually. He let us go out and redeem ourselves which I thought we did, we played really well and totally dominated.
“I’ve always had a wee habit of scoring goals. I take free-kicks and penalties and I’m up for corners; I always end up in double figures at the end of the season. Saturday I showed a bit of striker’s instinct, but I don’t even know why I was up there. I was away wide right, made a run towards the goal and big Kees [Kieran McGachie] laid me off and I just slotted it away.”
Rose host Kilsyth back at New Dundas Park in their replay tomorrow as they bid to reach the last 16, where an away tie against Petershill awaits the victors. With several ‘big guns’ having been knocked out in the last round, the hunt for the major trophy of Junior football is hotting up and Hoskins reckons Rose have a big chance if they can make it through.
He continued: “We’ve got them back on our own patch, it will be a difficult game but we’re good at home. There a couple of big teams that are out already so it’s opening up, we’ve got a good chance of going all the way.”
Hearts under-20s goalkeeper Kelby Mason joined Rose last Friday on a development loan until the end of the season and the 18-year-old was given a baptism of fire as he made his debut in the uncompromising surroundings of North Lanarkshire.
Rose boss Horn had no qualms about throwing the teenager in for his debut, however, and has challenged No.1 Michael Andrews to regain his place in the starting XI following Mason’s arrival.
“Hearts were keen to get him out on loan and he’s here to the end of the season. He’s here to compete with Michael for the No.1 jersey,” said Horn.
“He’s still young but he’s got all the attributes to be a top, top goalie. You can see it in training, he makes good saves and he’s got good habits about him. He did fine last week, he was maybe disappointed with the second goal he lost, but he dealt with everything else.
“No doubt he would’ve been nervous with it being his first game for the club, but he handled it all fine.
“Michael is obviously a very good goalkeeper as well and he’s got his head down and is working hard. That’s what I want, I want two goalkeepers to compete for the jersey. Michael still has a massive future at the club, it’s just a case of him working hard and getting back in the team.”
Elsewhere, Musselburgh Athletic go again in Kirkintilloch after their tie against Rob Roy was postponed due to a frozen pitch last weekend.
Penicuik Athletic lie in wait for Burgh should they get through, while Cuikie boss Johnny Harvey faces his former club Bo’ness United in the battle for third in the Super League at Penicuik Park.