LINLITHGOW ROSE boss Mark Bradley insisted poor finishing was to blame as his side threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with Deveronvale in their William Hill Scottish Cup second-round tie.
Rose have it all to do again this weekend at Prestonfield as the Highland League side were given a second bite they scarcely deserved.
Bradley said: “Our strikers must take some of the blame for us not getting through at the first time of asking because they missed enough chances to win several games.”
Linlithgow started like a train and took the lead with a Calum Smith header in the fifth minute. Colin Strickland controlled the ball down the left before rolling it back to Ritchie McKillen whose deep cross to the back post found Smith, who headed it down and into the net.
Rose then pummelled the Deveronvale defence with Tommy Coyne, Strickland, Coyne again, then Smith and Roddy MacLennan all having chances to double or triple their lead in the opening 15 minutes but failing to find the net.
Linlithgow went two up in the 70th minute from the penalty spot. Smith was sent crashing in the box by Scott Henry with Coyne scoring.
Linlithgow then switched off and gave the home side a glimmer of hope when, in the 82nd minute, Jamie McKenzie was slack with a clearance and Graeme Rodger poked the ball past goalkeeper Scott Christie.
Even so, Linlithgow had chances to finish the game but the strikers again failed to find the net and they paid the penalty when Scott Fraser volleyed the equaliser in the last minute to take the tie to a replay.
“The game should have been won in the first half when we dominated play but didn’t get the second goal that would have finished them,” added Bradley.
“A single-goal lead is always risky but, when we scored our second we should have seen the game out. We weren’t ourselves in the second half but we switched off thinking this is easy, but we were caught out.
“We never played anywhere near our best and we let ourselves down but we have to make sure we don’t play like that next week.”
Deveronvale: McConnachie, Rennie, Simpson (Cowie), Henry, Fraser, Rodger, G Charlesworth, Urquhart, Scott (Lombardi), M Charlesworth, Watt (Aitken). Subs: Adams, Morrice, Wardrope, Fyfe.
Linlithgow Rose: Christie, Gibson, McKillen, McKenzie, Tyrrell, Shirra, Ro MacLennan, Meechen, Strickland (Dunn), Coyne, Smith (Herd). Subs: Ru MacLennan, Hilland, Fleming, Hamilton.