Seven talking points as Linlithgow Rose exit Scottish Cup after double from ex-Hibs striker Jamie Gullan
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Pride of the Rose
East of Scotland Premier Division leaders Rose could hold their heads high as they competed with their Championship visitors for long spells, but ultimately came up short in their bid to reach the last-16 of the national tournament for just the second time. Gordon Herd’s team will now turn their attentions to winning the title and attempting to get promoted to the Lowland League.
Poor goals admission
Linlithgow goalkeeper goalkeeper Cameron Binnie said: “We had it in our minds that we were going to challenge for the game. We were all positive and we had a right good feeling about it. It’s disappointing losing in the way we did and the goals we conceded, and I hold my hands up, the first one was my fault.”
Gullan makes mark
Raith will face Motherwell in the last 16 after Gullan struck in 55 and 88 minutes for Ian Murray’s team, who are seventh in the Championship.
Now 23, Gullan was a youth at Hearts before being released and joining Hibs and breaking into the first-team, but most of his appearances were from the bench and, after a few loan spells at Raith, he signed permanently for the Fifers a year ago. His double at Linlithgow takes his goals tally for the season to six.
Rose’s bright start
In a frantic opening 15 minutes Rose signalled their intentions with a quick start as they looked to get talisman Mark Stowe on the ball. Raith braved the early storm and got the first sight of goal for either side through Dylan Easton, but his effort was straight at home goalkeeper Binnie.
Stowe had Rose’s best chance to open the scoring just before the half hour mark. He took Alex Webb’s high ball over the head of defender Tom Lang to put himself one-on-one with former hearts goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald, but he scuffed his right-footed effort wide of the post.
The home side had a strong penalty appeal waved away by referee Graham Grainger after Stowe appeared to be upended by Easton just inside the area late in the opening period.
Binnie then denied Lang’s goal-bound header from Easton’s corner on the stroke of half-time to keep the tie goalless going into the interval.
There was controversy at Prestonfield four minutes into the second half. Webb headed backwards towards his keeper with Gullan offside from the ball forward. Gullan chipped Binnie to put the ball in the net for the visitors but he was flagged by the stand side linesman. Referee Graham Grainger overruled his assistant to award the goal but then changed his mind. Raith boss Ian Murray was furious.
Gullan’s big chances
Six minutes later Gullan fired in the opener after beating the offside trap. Binnie rushed from his goal to attempt to clear, forcing the Raith striker wide but he fired into the unguarded net from a tight angle on the right side.
Gullan was a post length away from doubling Raith’s advantage with just over ten minutes remaining after beating the offside trap, but saw his effort rebound off Binnie’s left-hand post. He should have wrapped up the tie on 83 minutes after striding clear of centre back Webb, but Binnie produced a superb save to keep Rose’s dream alive.
Raith’s striker made no mistake, however, when presented with a further opportunity. Latching on to a ball through the heart of the home defence he fired emphatically past Binnie.Linlithgow Rose: Binnie, Webb, Thomson, Thom, Skinner (Allan), Stowe, McMullan (Cunningham), Docherty (Davidson), Ogilvie (Bremner), Sneddon (McKenzie), MacPhersonRaith Rovers: MacDonald, Dick, Nolan, Spencer, Connolly (McBride), Gullan (Mitchell), Vaughan (Stanton), Lang, Brown, Easton, Masson (Ngwenya)