Derby comeback delights Linlithgow manager Bradley

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Bo’ness United 2

Linlithgow Rose 2

Linlithgow manager Mark Bradley was delighted with the battling spirit shown by his side as they hit back to claim a 2-2 draw in Saturday’s derby clash at Bo’ness.

The Super League fixture was a tough test for his first match since being put in charge of Rose on a permanent basis and it’s one Bradley can look back on with a great deal of satisfaction. “That’s three games in total now I’ve been in charge – with this the first as boss – and to go to the league champions and take a point is a good result,” said Bradley. “It should have been a win but were undefeated now since I took over and that’s what we’re aiming for.

“We were the better side in the first half but couldn’t get the second goal, then to lose a couple within five minutes of each other took the shine off a good half for us. But to come back and get the equaliser showed the spirit at the club.”

Linlithgow played with the wind in the first half and, within five minutes, had the dream start they wanted. A high, driven ball was picked up by Roddy McLennan and he charged at the Bo’ness defence before drilling home from 15 yards.

Linlithgow then dominated for long spells without causing any great damage. Bo’ness managed to get a grip on the game and equalised in the 38th minute. Nicky Walker crossed from the right wing with the wind hanging the ball straight to the feet of Chris Donnelly, who side-footed home from eight yards.

Just before the referee blew for half-time, Donnelly went on another mazy run before shooting straight at Allison in the Linlithgow goal. The ball was blocked out for a throw-in and, from this throw, Lee Duffy pounced to blast it into the net for a sensational goal.

Linlithgow had a couple of strong penalty claims turned down by the referee in the second half, while Bo’ness pushed for the goal that would kill off the game. Winger Nicky Walker was giving Linlithgow full back Adam Nelson a torrid time as he drove down the wing time and again and sent over countless inviting crosses but no-one could finish them off.

But, as the play switched from end to end, Linlithgow grabbed a deserved equaliser with 15 minutes to go. Tommy Coyne, out on the right wing, played a one-two with Calum Smith before firing the ball across the goal area. Roddy McLennan came running in from the left and glanced the ball towards the net when it hit defender Will Snowdon and bounced into the far corner.

There were plenty more chances at both ends but neither side could get their noses in front.

For Bo’ness boss Paul Ronald – a work colleague of Linlithgow counterpart Bradley – it was a bitter sweet game. “I’m disappointed and delighted at they same time,” he said. “I’m disappointed with the result and to lose a goal so quickly, but delighted with the way we fought our way back only to lose that goal near the end.

“When you’re 2-1 up and kicking with the wind in the second half, you expect to run the game down but we didn’t do that. We sat back and let them come at us. We should have scored at least a couple in the second half but the wind was a problem. This result just goes to show how tough this league really is.

“We feel it’s a couple of dropped points rather than a point gained.”

Bo’ness United: Christie, Snowdon, Mulligan, Gibb, Reilly, Duffy, Walker, Shields (Bonnar), Stewart (Watt), Harvey, Donnelly (McLaren). Subs: Tarditi, Hay, Scanlan, Allen.

Linlithgow Rose: Allison, Benton (Ru McLenna), Nelson, McKenzie, Walker, Tyrrell, Manson (Brown), Shirra, Smith (Strickland), Coyne, Ro McLennan. Subs: Herd, Fleming, Pinkowski.