Broxburn dent Linlithgow Rose’s title hopes

Linlithgow's Jamie McKenzie and Broxburn's Scott Pitman battle. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach
Linlithgow's Jamie McKenzie and Broxburn's Scott Pitman battle. Pic: Malcolm McCurrach
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Broxburn achieved their first-ever win over Linlithgow Rose in the Super League – putting a major dent in the champions’ title hopes in the process.

Brian Fairbairn’s first-half strike was enough to secure the points as the visitors failed to build over last week’s win over Lochee and dropped a whopping ten points behind leaders Newtongrange Star in the table.

Broxburn boss Steve Pittman, meanwhile, was delighted to see his team come out on top against a club whom he represented as a player. He said: “It’s been something we’ve been building towards since we came into the Super League, competing against the big boys like Linlithgow and Bo’ness.

“This season we feel we are doing this now on a regular basis because this result is one we’ve worked hard on and one we really deserved.

“The last couple of weeks we’ve lost to Newtongrange and Camelon but on Saturday we showed we can compete with the big clubs.

“What we’re looking at now is getting a new team together because we are going to lose some of our big players so, come the end of the season, it’s a huge rebuilding job for everyone here at the club.”

Broxburn blew Rose away with a sizzling opening 45 minutes when they could easily have been four or five up without reply. Linlithgow’s only real chance in the first half was a free-kick from Adam Nelson which crashed off the post.

The only goal came when Fairbairn tried his luck from 30 yards with his shot taking a deflection before spinning over goalkeeper Scott Christie, who got a hand to it only to see it land in the back of the net.

This goal gave Broxburn a huge lift in confidence and soon they had the Linlithgow defence on their heels again. Christie was called into action again before Mark Cowan eventually slammed the ball against the post. Linlithgow had Nelson’s effort which also hit the post but it was a weary Linlithgow side who trooped off the field at half-time. At the start of the second half Linlithgow’s new signing from Pollok, Iain Diack, found himself free in space but blasted the ball well over when he should have done better.

Broxburn found their feet again and, with pace to burn down their left wing, created chance after chance with both Cowan and Scott Pittman guilty of poor finishing.

Broxburn full back Nicky Locke even found time to go on a surging run down the left wing before shooting low to the corner where Christie blocked at the second attempt. Broxburn’s fears on not being able to close a game out came to the fore but some stout defending and some poor final balls from Linlithgow kept the chance tally down.

Even when Linlithgow did manage to penetrate the home defence, they found keeper Gary Maley in super form. Broxburn ran out the game with hardly a whimper from Linlithgow.

Linlithgow Rose boss Mark Bradley said: “The way we went about our game wasn’t right. I thought we had got over our bad run but it came back big style. Our set-pieces were disappointing because our touch wasn’t there.

“We missed our two strikers Tommy Coyne and Colin Strickland but that’s football for you. The way it’s going for us that was the type of goal we would lose, a deflected effort.”

Broxburn Athletic: Maley, McGurk, Locke, Cairns, Millar, Manson, Fairbairn (Keast), Weir, Cowan, Pittman, Young. Subs: Morrison, Gibson, Flockhart.

Linlithgow: Christie, Tyrrell, McKillen, McKenzie, Ovenstone, Nelson, Ru MacLennan (Meechan), Shirra, Diack, Ro MacLennan, Herd (Smith). Subs: Wilson, Gibson, McKinven.