Former Hearts striker Graham Weir is loving life at new club Linlithgow Rose after stepping down from senior football over the summer.
The 31-year-old, who will forever remain in Edinburgh derby folklore for his famous late, late double to rescue a point against Hibs in that 4-4 game over 12 years ago, has settled in well at Prestonfield and netted his fourth of the season in a 2-0 win over title-rivals Newtongrange on Saturday.
Weir joined from Stirling Albion in July and revealed he’s desperate to secure silverware to add to his solitary trophy success – the Second Division title he won with Raith Rovers in 2009.
“I’m really enjoying it here so far, scoring a few goals and getting the win helped on Saturday,” said Weir, who now plays in midfield.
“I wasn’t enjoying my last six months at Stirling, I was injured quite a lot and I wasn’t getting a look in so I just decided to take a step down and hopefully start enjoying it again because I’ve only got a few years left.
“My groin was knackered for a wee while so I wasn’t enjoying it and my confidence was low. I’m getting that back now and just looking to play every week and winning helps.
“Hopefully we can get some silverware this season, that target has got to be to do well in the cups and challenge for the league.”
The early exchanges were frenetic in this tussle as Linlithgow aimed to maintain their unbeaten start to the season to keep the pressure on league leaders Bo’ness, while Star were eager to get the win to push them higher up in the standings.
Home defender Colin Leiper went close with a header before visiting striker Kris Renton did the same. Strike partner Lewis Coult crossed in from the right and Renton did everything right but glanced his header just wide of Ally Adams’ far post.
Trialist keeper Dylan Rooney was then called into action for Star when Tommy Coyne struck goalwards – the youngster producing a fine save to tip the ball onto his post. Striker Coyne should’ve got the opener ten minutes before the interval when left-back Chris Gray’s whipped ball landed right in front of him at the back post but, from point-blank range, he sent his header over the bar.
For all their possession and dominance in midfield, Star were carving out few chances, however they did have the ball in the net through Renton before the interval, only for the far side linesman to raise his flag for offside. Rose boss McGlynn switched to a 3-5-2 after the interval to nullify the threat posed by the visitors in the midfield area, with Craig Thomson, Lee Currie and Gary Cherrie having dominated their home counterparts in the first period.
Weir was inches away from putting Rose ahead on 53 minutes when his instinctive strike from the edge of the area flashed just wide of Rooney’s post.
Presented with a second chance and he made no mistake though, as the diminutive player fired into the net ten minutes later. Star conceded possession down the left flank and Rose broke quickly, with Coyne eventually squaring the ball across goal for Weir who sent a low strike past Rooney.
Coyne then made sure of the points from Gray’s corner with ten minutes remaining after he found himself unmarked five yards out and was positioned well to knock home.
Referee Scott Lambie had to restore calm after an angry exchange late on as Currie dived in on Coyne but didn’t make any contact, before the duo had words. As both sets of players congregated, Star defender John McManus threw a headbutt in Coyne’s direction and was sent off.
Star boss Alan Miller felt his side were unlucky to leave Prestonfield without a point, but rued how little his side troubled goalkeeper Adams.
He said: “There was absolutely nothing between the teams and I thought we were the best footballing side in the first half. But I have to say that throughout the 90 minutes we never really worked the goalkeeper and that’s a wee bit disappointing.”
Linlithgow Rose: Adams, Tyrrell (Thom), Gray, McKenzie, Leiper, MacLennan, Batchelor, Shirra, Strickland, Coyne, Weir.
Newtongrange Star: Rooney, McManus, Tulloch, Tolmie, Dunn, Currie, Thomson, Cherrie, Renton, Coult (King), Wilson (Motion).