Bonnyrigg eased their way into the semi-finals of the League Cup thanks to a brace of goals from Ross Archibald and a second-half strike from Liam McKenna.
It was a mixed blessing for Rose boss Max Christie as he wanted to come away from Albyn Park with no injuries and a place in the last four, but he had David Dunn sent off with both the Steven Thomsons picking up knocks which could see them miss out in the William Hill Scottish Cup tie next week. Dunn will be suspended for that tie and the club will not be appealing.
Christie said: “It wasn’t pretty but we got the job done. We’re not quite there yet but its coming. We had a lot of injuries for the game but the players did their job especially at the back. Defensively we were solid but needed to pass the ball better.”
Bonnyrigg got off to a great start, a goal in the opening minute. They were awarded a free kick out wide left for Stevie Thomson to send over. His cross to the far post saw Kris Renton head the ball back across goal to Archibald who stooped low to head home from 2ft. Broxburn fought back hard but couldn’t find a way past a resolute Bonnyrigg defence and then had striker Jonathon Tague sent off for a lunging tackle on Renton in the 22nd minute. However, they still played with plenty of conviction and equalised with a terrific goal from the manager’s son Scott Pittman. From a free kick down Broxburn’s right, Bonnyrigg keeper Michael Burgess rose to punch clear. His punch landed at the feet of Pittman some 20 yards out. He controlled the ball with one touch before sending a looping volley past Burgess for a stunning strike.
But, just before the half-time, Renton forced the Broxburn defence into a mistake allowing Archibald to drive forward and slide the ball past keeper Charles Clark for his and Bonnyrigg’s second goal.
The second half saw Bonnyrigg enjoy the bulk of the play but Rose keeper Burgess wasn’t under a lot pressure.
Bonnyrigg were incensed by the referee’s decision to send off Dunn for a bad tackle on Michael Gibson. More bizarrely was the sight of Gibson apologising to Dunn for the red card and both players shaking hands before Dunn walked off.
Now both teams were down to ten men as the punters waited to see if Broxburn could mange another equaliser or Bonnyrigg could kill off the game. Bonnyrigg took the matters into their own hands with a well-worked goal from Liam McKenna. The ball was played up to striker Renton from midfield. He ran at the Broxburn defence before sliding the ball out wide to McKenna. His first-time effort rocketed past keeper Clark for a third goal to kill any chance Broxburn had of grabbing a share of the points.
Broxburn boss Stevie Pittman was disappointed with some of the referee’s decisions and his own team’s mistakes.
He said: “We played well enough with the players we had available, but lost a man due to a decision from the referee which nobody could understand. They were good with their set pieces and that cost us the game.
“When we went down to ten men I thought we were the better team. I’ve now been reported for swearing at the referee and I’ll be punished for him having a bad day.”
Bonnyrigg striker and two goal-hero Archibald was delighted with the result.
“We’ve got into a winning habit early doors,” he said.
“It could be a long season for us so it’s important that we hit the ground running.
“I have a lot of experience in the Scottish Cup with Spartans and it’s something I’m looking forward to again.
“We’ve a really good squad here, it’s solid and we all get on well so we feel there maybe something good happening this season.
“I was delighted with my goals but, to be truthful, I’m happy whoever scores.”
Broxburn: Clark, Roycroft, Gibson (McPhee), Fairweather, Miller, Pittman, Martin, Morrison, Tague, Jeffrey, Millar. Subs: Kijinski, McIlhone, Fairbairn, Maley.
BonnyriggL: Burgess, McKenna, Stp Thomson (McCallum), Dunn, Woodburn, Stv Thomson (Bunyan), King, Burrell, Archibald, Renton, Roseburgh. Subs: Carlin.