Linlithgow Rose crashed out of the William Hill Scottish Cup after dominating the game against Aberdeenshire opposition Banks O’ Dee but failing badly in front of goal.
Manager Mark Bradley was an angry and disappointed man after watching his Rose side make the long journey home without a place in the first round of the competition after a 2-1 defeat.
“That was a game we should never have lost, but we wasted so many opportunities to win it,” lamented Bradley. “We tried too hard to make things look good rather than getting your foot through the ball.
“Even a sclaffed effort or a miss hit strike would have been better than what we tried. That’s not what I expected from a Linlithgow team. I’m very disappointed for the supporters who made their way to Aberdeen because they deserve much better that the team gave today.
“I have to be fair though because Banks O’ Dee did their job well. They had only three or four chances and took two of them, while we had probably opportunities – I wouldn’t call them all chances – and failed to find the net.
“We had a couple of good penalty claims turned down by a referee who didn’t do us any favours. There will have to be a big improvement in our play or someone or some people will be leaving.”
The first real chance in the game on Spain Park’s plastic pitch fell to Linlithgow’s Owen Ronald in the 15th minute, but his effort was weak and straight at Craig Duguid in the Banks goal.
The hosts were pushing hard and took the lead in the 20th minute. The Linlithgow defence failed to clear a corner from the left and as the ball fell to Liam McCall some 20 yards out and he curled the ball past Rose keeper Ritchie Barnard.
For the rest of the first half Linlithgow dominated, creating opportunities to grab an equaliser, but all too often they overplayed them and the Dee defence threw themselves in front of everything.
As the half time whistle drew near, Rose winger Roddy MacLennan raced in on goal. He knocked the ball past Duguid and looked to have won the race until the keeper’s right foot caught him to send him tumbling to the ground. It looked like a penalty, but to everyone’s surprise, the referee booked the winger for diving.
Linlithgow started the second half well, having the ball cleared off the line three times.
Then, on the hour mark, they last another goal. Jamie McKenzie gave the ball away with a crazy pass to midfield. Dee pushed forward and again the Linlithgow defence failed to clear the danger, allowing Jack Henderson to score from a tight angle.
Almost from the restart Linlithgow pulled a goal back. However they didn’t score it – it came via an own goal from Dee’s Liam McCall.
Linlithgow took heart from this and pushed hard for an equaliser once again. The last throw of the dice came with a second strong penalty claim for a deliberate hand ball on the goalline, again though the referee turned a blind eye to the claims.
Banks O’ Dee: Shearer, Duguid, White, Allan, McCall, K Winton, Henderson, Barbour, Watt, Philipson, Hall. Subs: Smith, Murray, J Winton, Buchanan, MacLennan, McLeod, Sammalviato.
Linlithgow: Barnard, Thom, Turnbull, McKenzie, Leiper, Sloan, Ronald, Ru MacLennan, Batchelor, Coyne, Ro MacLennan. Subs: Shields, Malone, Devine, Strickland, McLair, Hill.