Bonnyrigg Rose goalkeeper Bryan Young revealed he couldn’t turn down a summer move to the New Dundas Park men after watching them go head-to-head with Hibs in the William Hill Scottish Cup last season.
The 24-year-old jumped at the opportunity to sign for Robbie Horn’s squad after four years with Lowland League team Whitehill Welfare – and he reckons he’s stepped up a level.
The keeper is certainly proving he can cut it in the Junior ranks after he and his defence made it five clean sheets in a row in the Super League on Saturday with a routine 3-0 victory over struggling Bo’ness United.
“Getting five clean sheets in a row since I’ve come in; I can’t really argue with it to be fair,” beamed Young.
“It’s a first for me, but we’ll go again on Saturday and see if we can keep it going. The defence have been unbelievable and I’ve not had much to do in any of the games, to be fair. I’ve just done what’s come to me and let the back four do the rest.
“The last few seasons I’ve been involved in some bad results, but this is definitely a step up. After seeing them getting so far in the Scottish and playing Hibs and going for leagues and cups, it wasn’t a difficult decision. You you want to be playing in a team like that and I’m delighted to be here.”
With last season’s champions Kelty departing for the East of Scotland league in the summer, all the pressure is on Rose to land the title this season given they are seen as the strongest outfit in the East region by most.
Rather than wilt under expectation, Young reckons Rose will relish the tag of favourites.
He added: “We’re the favourites to win it and the pressure is on us, but from the first five games we’ve shown we’re more than capable of going on to win it.”
Having lost their three preceding fixtures, Bo’ness travelled to Midlothian desperate to atone for their terrible start to the new campaign.
Striker Fraser Keast almost got them off to the perfect start after just six minutes. Devon Jacobs’ cross from the right met the head of Bo’ness’ most potent attacking threat, but he sent his attempt wide of the top corner at the front post.
Defending hasn’t been the BUs’ strong point so far this season and a howler from summer signing Hassan Nyang nearly laid the opener on a plate for the hosts.
The centre-back was unconvincing to say the least with his attempted clearance – swiping at thin air as the ball bounced over him and sent Keiran McGachie in on goal, but the striker didn’t look up and directed his lobbed effort well wide.
Home skipper Ewan Moyes made no mistake when he bulleted Lee Currie’s free-kick into the top corner for the opener on 19 minutes.
Wayne McIntosh should have made it two soon after but somehow missed the target from two yards out as he scooped the ball over the bar.
Only a fine save from on-loan Hamilton Accies goalkeeper Alec Marshall – one of three loanees from the Superseal Stadium in the visiting starting line-up – prevented Andrew Kidd from doubling the hosts’ lead.
Rico Quitongo, son of Hearts great Jose, gave the home side an opportunity to double their lead on the stroke of half-time after he swiped Jonny Brown down the right and Currie took full advantage, with a cute free-kick past Marshall.
With the wind behind them in the second half, Bo’ness looked more of a threat and should have pulled a goal back on 56 minutes through Keast, but his diving header was straight at Young.
Calum Scott then smacked an effort from range off the crossbar as the visitors started to show some fight – more of which will be needed if they are to get themselves out of their current predicament.
Rose dispelled any notion of a comeback, however, with their third on 72 minutes as Dean Hoskins made no mistake from 12 yards after Jacobs had dived in recklessly on Ross Gray in the area.
Bo’ness boss Allan McGonigal felt his side had matched the hosts and were unlucky to be on the end of a 3-0 defeat.
He said: “From open play I thought there was absolutely nothing between the two teams and arguably I would say we had the better chances.
“At the moment they aren’t going in for us. We thought we’d get in at half-time just a goal down and the wind behind us would’ve been an advantage, but losing a goal just before the break, the game was always over after that.
“In the games we have played so far, individual errors are killing us. I’m disappointed with the scoreline, but I’m certainly not disappointed with the performance of the boys.”
Bonnyrigg Rose: B Young, Brown, Hoskins, K Young, Moyes, Gray, McIntosh (McConnell), Currie (Turner), McGachie (Jamieson), Nelson, Kidd
Bo’ness United: Marshall, Jacobs, Quitongo (Wilson), Snowdon, Nyang, Comrie, Keast, Gemmell (Cropley), Sally (Kelly), McGregor, Scott