There will be no repeat of last season’s historic William Hill Scottish Cup run after Linlithgow Rose suffered a 3-0 defeat at the hands of League Two opponents Stirling Albion.
Rose became the first Junior club to reach the fifth round stage last season in a stunning cup run, but if luck had at times aided them last year, it had certainly run out before this second round tie.
The final scoreline was incredibly flattering on Stirling, who for most of the 90 minutes were forced to defend, with their final two goals coming on the counter attack.
Rose struck the post twice and missed several gilt-edged chances, while the Binos had goalkeeper Chris Smith to thank for preserving a clean sheet.
Home defender Colin Leiper, who was given the captain’s armband by caretaker boss Todd Lumsden in his first start for nine weeks after a knee injury, wasn’t too downbeat at full-time and believes they’ll achieve success this season if they can replicate their performance level from Saturday.
“On another day we would’ve got something but the guys aren’t too downhearted in the dressing room,” said Leiper. “We set up well to nullify their strengths and still, at the same time, gave us an opportunity to use our strengths.
“It’s probably the most shots we’ve had in a first half since I can remember and I think we were very unfortunate to go in behind at half-time and ultimately suffer a 3-0 defeat. We caused them plenty problems but their goalkeeper had a great game.
“If we turn up in any league games or Scottish Cup games at Junior level and perform like that, we can be positive about what we are looking to achieve for the rest of the season.
“The league is maybe too much for us, but we’ll still give it a crack. We are certainly trying to do something in the cups, the Scottish Junior Cup first and foremost.”
Home striker Kevin Kelbie signalled their intentions against his former club inside the opening minute with a long range effort which flashed just wide.
Rose were coping well amid a lively start as they got the ball forward quickly and created numerous chances in a frantic opening 15 minutes.
Kelbie should have hit the target when well placed inside the area after Ross Gray teed him up on 19 minutes, but he blazed over.
Stirling’s opener arrived against the run of play eight minutes later, but they were clinical when the opportunity presented itself.
Winger Marc McKenzie’s cross flashed across goal and found Moses Olanrewanju at the back post, with his effort beating Darren Hill via a deflection off a maroon shirt.
Rose were unperturbed and fashioned a good opening through Ross Gray minutes later. His pinpoint through ball found Tommy Coyne, whose shot was beaten away by Smith at his near post.
Jamie McKenzie should have put Rose level on 36 minutes when Jack Beaumont’s flighted ball found the defender at the back post, but he somehow put his effort wide with the goal gaping.
Stirling had barely threatened the Rose rearguard since the opener, but they went further ahead on 60 minutes after Beaumont was robbed of possession. McKenzie stole it off him and strode from just inside his own half before tucking past Hill.
Rose knew if they could pull one back they would ensure a nervy finish for the visitors. Robbie McNab thought he had done just that after he struck first time after being fed by Gray, however the ball rebounded off the inside of the post and away to safety.
Blair Batchelor then hit the woodwork from the edge of the box, with Smith able to keep out Lewis Small who pounced on the rebound.
In stoppage time, Stirling added another as Eddie Ferns struck past Hill to wrap up a cruel afternoon for Rose.
Linlithgow Rose: Hill, McNab (Kelly) Donaldson, Thom, McKenzie, Leiper (Small), Gray, Beaumont, Coyne, Batchelor, Kelbie (Weir).
Stirling Albion: Smith, McGeachie, Hodge, Olranrewaju (McCue), Davidson, McMillan, McKenzie, Petrie, Henderson (Kavanagh), Dickson (Morrison), Ferns.