Linlithgow Rose striker Tommy Coyne has had to wait a long time for a goal against their local rivals, but he ended his barren run against Bo’ness in style with a double to keep the Prestonfield outfit in the Super League title race.
Rose now face a do-or-die encounter at home to league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose on Wednesday night, knowing that anything less than three points will effectively kill off their championship hopes given Linlithgow are currently ten points behind, albeit they have a game in hand.
“It was a good day all round,” said Coyne. “It had been a wee while since I scored against Bo’ness, so I’m delighted personally, but I thought we were excellent as a team, it’s a great result for us.
“It must’ve been four or five games since I last scored against Bo’ness, which is too long to be honest, because I had a good record before that against them. But, it’s not just about me, it’s about the whole team and I thought we were excellent.
“If somebody said to me before the game that I’d score two goals and set up one and we’d win 3-0, I’d take it. I thought we were the better team the whole game, I thought we kept the ball and passed it really well, I don’t think anyone could grudge us that 3-0 to be honest.
“Wednesday is a massive game for us. Every game is a must-win for us now. We need to win all our games and hopefully they [Bonnyrigg] slip up and we’ll see what happens.”
The home side were in control against a Bo’ness team who simply couldn’t match the ruthlessness of their hosts after a turbulent week which began with manager Allan McGonigal placing seven of his regulars on the transfer list.
Coyne should’ve done better when presented with his first opportunity in front of goal after five minutes, but from the edge of the box, he sent his attempt well over.
Bo’ness’ Robert Sloan then found Ross Campbell at the back post from his deep free-kick out wide. The defender knocked his header across goal, but no one in a blue-and-white shirt could divert the ball goalwards.
Coyne fired his side in front after 11 minutes. After latching onto a long ball, he rounded goalkeeper Scott Christie and managed to squeeze the ball home despite defender Stuart Hunter’s best efforts to stop him.
Rose were linking up well in the final third and after a quick one-two between Coyne and Strickland, the former was placed well to notch his second, but he got under the ball too much and sent his effort over the bar.
A surging run from Bo’ness midfielder Ross Philp down the left flank, a standout for the visitors, ended with the ball breaking nicely for Sloan. However, he scuffed his effort from outside the area and Ally Adams gathered easily.
Philp then brought out the best in Adams as Bo’ness ended the first half on top, the former Alloa youngster curling an effort towards the far corner, only for Rose’s No.1 to tip wide.
Two quick-fire goals put Rose out of sight after the interval. Strickland produced an instinctive finish after Coyne’s flick on, before their roles were reversed three minutes later as Strickland teed up Coyne 15 yards out and he rifled a half volley high into the net past Christie.
Bo’ness’ Jack Simpson almost made an instant impact minutes after coming off the bench, but a deflection en-route to goal took the sting out of his strike and Adams collected.
Coyne was then denied a hat-trick by Christie, before Adams preserved a clean sheet for the hosts as he stopped Marty Wright’s header and a Sloan free-kick.
Linlithgow Rose: Adams, Thom, Baptie, MacKenzie, Leiper, MacLennan, Batchelor, Shirra, Strickland, Coyne (MacGregor), Kelbie (Kelly).
Bo’ness United: Christie, Snowdon (Hamilton), Devine, Campbell, Hunter, Gemmell (Simpson), Walker, Philp, Donnelly (Wright), Sloan, Keast.