Flip side for Tommy Coyne as he ends his Linlithgow goal drought

Tommy Coyne scored twice in the first half and also had a hand in the fourth
Tommy Coyne scored twice in the first half and also had a hand in the fourth
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Linlithgow Rose striker Tommy Coyne wasn’t concerned in the slightest that he was suffering from a goal drought as he bagged his first two of the season.

The Rose hitman had not scored in any of their previous eight games this season, albeit he had missed four of those with a niggling knee injury.

Scoring is what Coyne knows best, the striker, in his ninth season at Prestonfield, now just 13 goals from breaking the club’s all-time record of 276 held by Rose legend David Blaikie. So he knew they would soon arrive.

“It would be a long wait for somebody, but not for me, I knew it was coming,” said the 30-year-old.

“It’s been a bit of a stop-start season for me so far. I was injured, I missed four games, so it was good to get back on the scoresheet again.

“That was my third game back since I had been out. I felt a big difference on Saturday to the first two games; I felt a lot sharper and a wee bit quicker.

“It was a good result and performance, especially in the first half. I thought we were excellent in the first half.

“That’s a decent wee run we are on now in the league. If we can keep it going, we’ll have good things to come.”

Good things will certainly be ahead for Mark Bradley’s men if they can play the kind of football they showed in the first half on Saturday, as they laid siege on the visitors’ goalmouth.

Bradley had tweaked his set-up, opting for a back three and two wing backs for the first time this season, but to those unbeknown this would have looked like a tried and tested system.

The hosts had the ball in the net as early as the fifth minute though Owen Ronald, although he was judged to have strayed offside.

Rose got a break when referee Colin Whyte only flashed a yellow card at midfielder Martyn Shields for his reckless lunge on Broughty’s Jamie Winter, and the same player then clipped the bar with a fizzing volley from 25 yards out as Rose sought the opener.

Top scorer Ronald squandered a glaring chance with the goal gaping on 24 minutes, but they were ahead three minutes later.

Brothers Roddy and Ruari MacLennan exchanged a one-two on the edge of the box, before Coyne placed the ball into the far corner.

Stewart Devine then sought out Rose’s marksman with a fine cross from the left which left Coyne with a simple tap in from two yards out.

It was soon three as Ronald, a player who gets the fans expecting something special when he takes hold of the ball, latched onto Devine’s pass down the channel, nonchalantly lifted the ball over Broughty goalkeeper Iain Ross and stroked the ball into the empty net from the edge of the box.

Rose weren’t as fluid as they had been in the first half after the interval, however they made it four on 80 minutes when Coyne’s unorthodox assist – a wayward scissor-kick – landed perfectly for Roddy MacLennan to tap home.

Substitute Dale Robertson pulled a goal back for the visitors with a fine individual effort late on.

Rose boss Mark Bradley was delighted with his team’s showing.

He said: “The first half was excellent, it’s a lot of what we’ve been working on and asking for. I thought we were totally dominant, the only disappointment was we didn’t go further ahead.

“It was frustrating to concede the goal late on. Roddy lost possession, he should’ve just cleared his lines, but to be fair the wee man put in a right shift.”

Linlithgow Rose: Barnard, Gray, Devine, MacKenzie, Leiper (Malone), Thom, Ronald (Sloan), Ruari MacLennan, Shields (Strickland), Coyne, Roddy MacLennan

Broughty Athletic: Ross, Blair, McLellan, Winter, McWalter, Hay, Myles (Suttie), Davie, McCord, McNaughton (McConnachie), Milne (Robertson)