Linlithgow Rose 1
A first-half goal from Linlithgow winger RoddyMacLennan was all that separated the two sides after a cracking 90 minutes at Albyn Park on Saturday.
Linlithgow manager Mark Bradley was happy to go away with all three points from a place he believes will be difficult for most Super League sides to get a result.
“I thought we would get a hard game here and I was right. They were up for the fight after beating Bo’ness last week and we had to work hard to get the result. Not many sides will come here and go away with all three points, so I count on this as a big win for us.”
Broxburn welcomed back from injury Sean Martin and Jon Tague, but it was only Martin who made the starting 11.
They started the game well and were passing the ball about easily with the wind behind their backs.
Gradually, though, Linlithgow came more and more into the game. Broxburn should have taken the lead just after the half-hour mark when Sean Martin raced down the left wing before cutting the ball back for Mark Cowan who hesitated and the chance was lost.
In the 40th minute, the Rose had a very strong penalty claim turned down by the referee for a hand ball in the box which led to Tommy Coyne being booked for dissent.
But the goal was only delayed a couple of minutes. Linlithgow were awarded a free kick out wide left which David Dunn took. His out swinging ball was controlled in the box by Roddy MacLennan before firing it past the keeper and into the net.
Linlithgow came out for the second half with the wind behind them now and soon were camped around the Broxburn penalty box. They couldn’t find a way through a solid Broxburn defence, though, and, with only a slender single-goal lead, were hungry for a second one to kill the game dead.
They had plenty of chances, but no-one was able to put their foot through the ball and grab that second goal. The longer the game went on the stuffier the Broxburn defence became.
Linlithgow did deserve the win. They were the better side over and were worthy of the three points. Broxburn, though, showed they can handle the Super League. Last week’s result wasn’t a flash in the pan.
They have a very good squad of players who gave Linlithgow a hard game. Broxburn boss Steve Pittman now knows his side are in the Super League on merit and has no fears about how his side will perform each week.
Linlithgow showed they are a class side with players who can win games on their own. They will be contesting for the title in May.
Bradley was happy with the result, adding: “We were a bit tippy-tappy around the box, but, otherwise, I’ve got to be happy to come here and go up the road with all three points.
“Two wins and two clean sheets is a great start for us. Broxburn will take points from teams coming here so I’m happy. We needed a goal to finish off the game, but teams can come at us now because they have no fear of relegation, so it should make the season more interesting.
“I’ve been here long enough to know if you get a good start to the season then it can kick off for you towards the end and we’ve made a good start.”
Broxburn boss Steve Pittman thought his side had played well: “I told the players before the game they will have a couple of chances and they must take them.
“If you don’t, then teams like Linlithgow will punish you and that’s what happened.
“We had a couple in the first half didn’t take any and let our concentration slip once and they scored.
“I was proud of the players today, though. We matched them in every department. When we looked at the first two fixtures I would have been happy to take anything from them, so to take three points from two of the biggest sides in Junior football I have to be happy.”
Broxburn: Clark, Roycroft (Kajinski), Gibson, Cairns, Miller, Pittman, Martin (Tague), Fairbairn, Cowan, Jeffrey, Young. Subs; Martindale, Fairweather, Maley.
Linlithgow: Hay, Gibson, Dunn, McKenzie, Ovenstone, Shirra, Ru MacLennan, Nelson, Strickland (Herd), Coyne (Smith), Ro MacLennan. Subs: McArthur, Manson, Paterson.