GOAL-crazy Linlithgow Rose made it 30 goals in just four games as they crushed ten-man Tranent to ease through to the last 16 of the SFA South Region Challenge Cup.
In what was the perfect warm-up for their William Hill Scottish Cup second-round trip to former Junior foes Beith next weekend, midfielder Roddy MacLennan, who netted a stunning lob from the edge of the box in the second half, claimed they would love a crack at a Lowland League club in the next round which comprises clubs from the East of Scotland, South of Scotland and Lowland League.
“That’s where we want to be; that’s the next step for the club,” said MacLennan. “We want to see where we are just now. If you are going to play these teams you want to play them when you are playing well and when you have a full squad. Whoever we get, we’ll just go out and try and give our best performance; if we play like that we will be fine, we will be a match for anyone.”
Key to Rose’s performance was their start with goals from Ruari MacLennan and Blair Batchelor inside 16 minutes.
Roddy MacLennan was back in action after sitting out the last few games and his performance would do no harm in helping to stake a claim for a starting place this weekend – in particular his finish for Rose’s fifth which he claimed will go down as one of his best-ever.
He continued: “We needed that. They are a good side. We started really well, the middle three set the tone for us – Batchy [Blair Batchelor], Ruari [MacLennan] and Ross [Barbour] nobody bosses them – they dominate midfields and they were against good players too.
“In the last few weeks we’ve been brilliant, although I’ve not been playing, I’ve been out of the team.
“I was injured for two or three games and then I’ve been on the bench the last three. I’ve been getting on and playing half an hour. I don’t know what the gaffer will do, but that’s what he wants, all we can do is put our name in the hat.
“The gaffer freshened things up on Saturday, and I feel I did well. I’ve not been in the team, so I needed that; I needed a wee spark. I would have been happy just to win, but it’s good to get a wee goal. It is certainly up there as one of my best. I scored one similar against Bo’ness, which I probably preferred a wee bit.”
Brother Ruari produced a fine goal of his own after seven minutes, as he slalomed his way through the heart of the home defence before waiting for home goalkeeper Haris Alysandratos to make his move then clipping the ball into the net.
Former Hearts and Rangers midfielder Ian Black was first to make his way into referee Iain Snedden’s book, one of eight home players to pick up a yellow card.
Tranent captain Eck Christie held his hand up for goal number two after being caught in possession on the edge of his own box, with Batchelor robbing him and going through to score.
Centre-back Dean Whitson pulled a goal back just two minutes later, and the home side took confidence from that, but went into the interval a further goal behind as veteran defender John Ovenstone headed in Rose’s third.
Former Kilmarnock youngster Ross Barbour was a real standout for the visitors in the engine room and he added a fine goal six minutes after half-time with a curling free-kick.
Roddy MacLennan then left keeper Alysandratos helpless with his precision lob from the edge of the area after 55 minutes.
Black was spared a second booking and an early bath as he was subbed off, just moments after gifting Rose their sixth when he was caught in possession deep in his own half after being crowded out by three opponents. Roddy MacLennan seized the ball and pulled it across goal with Eck Christie sliding it into his own net.
Christie then scored for Tranent on 68 minutes, finding the net from 25 yards with a rare goal, before he was sent off for a second booking late on.
Home boss Max Christie was furious with his side’s discipline. “We cut our own throats early on. We’ve been doing well but we were flat; we didn’t train properly this week. We let ourselves down with our behaviour, I’m not running a gang.”
Tranent: Alysandratos, Hawkins, Inglis, Christie, Whitson, Miller, Paterson, Black (Gray), Devlin, Fisher (Barrett), McGovern (Rutherford).
Linlithgow Rose: Marley, Gray, Turnbull, Thom, Ovenstone, Barbour, Batchelor, Ruari MacLennan (Smith), Strickland (Watt), Roddy MacLennan, Ronald (Urquhart).