Scottish Cup: Linlithgow through – now for league improvement

Kevin Kelbie beats Blair Batchelor to score the third against Selkirk
Kevin Kelbie beats Blair Batchelor to score the third against Selkirk
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Linlithgow Rose striker Tommy Coyne bagged a double to ease the Prestonfield men through to round two of the William Hill Scottish Cup and then insisted they must kick on in the Super League.

Juggling league matches and last season’s run which took them all the way to the fifth round, proved tough for Rose.

Facing Scottish Premiership Ross County in Dingwall will stay with Coyne for the rest of his career. He’d love to do it all over again, but is adamant their league form can’t suffer with Rose already 15 points adrift of Super League leaders Kelty Hearts.

Coyne is lethal from 12 yards and he nonchalantly disposed off an early second-half spot kick after Selkirk defender Mark Samson saw red. From then on it was a procession for Rose against their Lowland League hosts as Coyne and Kevin Kelbie ensured their place in tonight’s draw for round two with a 3-0 victory.

“On another day it could’ve been five or six but I think that would’ve been harsh on Selkirk because they put a lot into the game,” said Coyne. “It was a tricky place to come with the travelling, so we’re just delighted to get into the next round.

“Playing in the Scottish Cup is different from what we are used to. You get to go and play at better grounds, in front of more people and there is more spotlight on you. We had a fantastic run last year and playing against Ross County was probably one of the highlights of my career. But I always think it’s a bonus for us, we need to get back winning in the league and focussing on that. We need to get our heads down and get three league points because we badly need them.”

After travelling the length and breadth of Scotland in last season’s run, clocking up more than 2000 miles along the way, Coyne would love to get back to home comforts when the SPFL League Two sides enter the next round.

He said: “We don’t seem to get any home ties in the Scottish Cup. I wouldn’t like to think how many miles we travelled last year and here we go again. I’m sure they will find somewhere up north for us in the next round.”

Rose were quick out of the traps and intent on securing an early goal to get them off to a flyer. The home side had to ride an early storm with Gary Thom and Blair Batchelor both close to opening the scoring in the first 15 minutes.

It was on-loan Hearts youngster Dale Baxter that should have put the home side in front when put through one-on-one against Lithgae keeper Darren Hill.

The winger tried to slide the ball under the former Forfar Athletic goalie, but Hill made himself big to make the stop.

Hill was justifying Rose manager David McGlynn’s decision to drop captain Richard Barnard and he saved his side again when Phil Addison was denied from point-blank range.

Rose boss McGlynn later revealed he gave his side a half-time rollocking for an inept first-half performance and it worked wonders as they went ahead after just one second-half minute.

Batchelor was shaping to shoot when he was cynically taken out by Samson who was swiftly shown a straight red for making no attempt to play the ball and Coyne converted.

They didn’t have to wait long for the second as Coyne lashed home at the near post from Graham Weir’s corner kick.

Deployed alongside Coyne, Hearts legend Weir linked up well with the Rose No.10 and they carved out a chance together which should have seen Coyne seal his hat-trick but his header was saved.

Substitute Kelbie wrapped up the win 14 minutes from time after Ross Gray’s through ball wasn’t cleared and the striker lashed home.

Prestonfield boss McGlynn revealed his players’ confidence had been left shattered after two successive defeats to title rivals Bo’ness United and Kelty

“I’m delighted to get through, I wasn’t happy with the way we played in the first half, I thought we were very within ourselves and we lacked a bit of confidence,” he said.

“I gave them a wee bit of a rollocking at half-time and they’ve rallied with that. We scored some good goals and we could’ve scored more – that’s probably the most disappointing thing. We’re in the hat for the next round and that’s all that matters really.”

Selkirk: Wilson, Samson, Christie, Harley, Fleming, Miller, King, Baxter (Collin), Doyle, McCormack (O’Connor), Addison.

Linlithgow Rose: Hill, B Donaldson, R Donaldson (Gray), Thom, MacKenzie, Hamill, Batchelor (McAllister), Shirra, McNab (Kelbie), Coyne, Weir.