Linlithgow Rose aim to take Cup frustration out on Penicuik

Roddy Maclennan
Roddy Maclennan
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Linlithgow Rose midfielder Roddy MacLennan insists last week’s Scottish Junior Cup collapse against Kirkintilloch Rob Roy is already forgotten about and they are focused on Super League title success.

The Prestonfield men were left stunned in their last-16 clash after the home side staged a remarkable comeback to win 4-3, with Rose having raced into a three-goal lead inside 30 first-half minutes.

MacLennan had given Rose the perfect start after three minutes in Cumbernauld with an effort from distance which flew into the top corner, before further strikes from Martyn Shields and Tommy Coyne increased their lead.

The home side roared back however to pull level before half-time and leave Rose perplexed after such a dominant opening half hour. A red card for Shields in the second half didn’t aid Rose and Rob Roy completed the turnaround late on.

“The annoying thing is we actually played really well,” said MacLennan. “The first half an hour was probably the best we’ve played all season, everything we wanted to do we were able to do, then we switched off for ten minutes – ten minutes of madness and we’d conceded three goals. It was unbelievable.

“You felt the whole momentum shift in the game. We just couldn’t keep the ball from where we’d been. I missed a chance at 2-0 and we missed chances to make it four, five or six. At 3-0 you’d think that was it and it was done.

“We switched right off. At half-time we regrouped and did well, we came out the second half and created chances again. We looked solid. The sending-off never helped but I wouldn’t even say that was the problem because we still created chances.”

Fifth-placed Rose now bid to get their season back on track at home to Penicuik Athletic tomorrow, knowing they will draw level with league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose should they win their games in hand.

Penicuik are one of just two teams to have beaten Mark Bradley’s side in the league this season – Johnny Harvey’s men running out 3-2 winners on the opening day of the season back in August.

“It’s probably a good game to get because they’re doing well and with them beating us we feel we should go out and replicate what we did for the first half hour last week,” continued MacLennan.

“The gaffer was good, he got us in on Monday and tried to get Saturday out of our heads, because that was a one off. We won’t play that well again and get beat. As soon as you don’t win something there is a problem so I think this is the year we need to get back to winning trophies.”

Which is exactly the aim of Penicuik boss Harvey, although he has ruled out his team challenging for the title given their indifferent form recently after such an impressive start to the season.

He said: “It looks very unlikely that we’ll be anywhere near winning the league, so our chances of silverware might fall better with the cup competitions. We’ve got our own personal targets, so we’re going to go right to the end and see where we finish up. We’ve potentially got the chance to get back-to-back top-four finishes and even that itself is a massive achievement for the club, but I’m not here to finish fourth - I’m here to be successful and win things.

“I’m looking forward to going through to Prestonfield. It’s nice facilities on a nice pitch with a decent crowd.”