Tranent celebrations 'noted' by Linlithgow Rose after thrilling comeback as manager sees red

Calum Elliot hailed the character shown by his Tranent side as the Foresters Park men struck two late goals – including a last-minute penalty – to draw 2-2 at home to Linlithgow Rose and remain in command of the East of Scotland Premier Division title race.

Tranent remain two points clear at the top of the table with two matches remaining after second-place Penicuik Athletic were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Broxburn Athletic.

The Belters looked to be heading towards just their third league defeat of the campaign as visitors Rose looked in control with a 2-0 lead.

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However, a stunning Kris Renton free-kick and a Jamie Docherty penalty in added-on time effectively put Rose out of the title running on a captivating night.

There was a big crowd at Forresters Park as Tranent hosted Linlithgow

“I don’t think we really deserved to get anything out of the match, they were the better side,” said Elliot who was sent-off midway through the second half by referee Ally Grieve.

“We will take it in the circumstances. We showed great character, when you are not playing well to come back and fight, and get a big point, especially when we were outplayed for large parts.

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“One thing you can’t question about this team is the character they have got, because there has been many times this season that it’s been tough for us, but we’ve shown great belief.

“We had to work really, really hard for that point, but we need to go there [Prestonfield] next week and be better than that, because they are a very good side. We’ve got a long way to go, Penicuik keep grinding out results and we’ve just got to hang in there.

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It was a dramatic night at Forresters Park

“We are down to the bare bones with injuries – we had 10 players yesterday – but we keep grinding out results.”

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Linlithgow must win their remaining three matches and hope other results go their way as they can only win the title on goal difference.

It certainly was going there way until their late collapse, with a first-half Mark Stowe penalty and a Sean Heaver strike putting them in the ascendancy.

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Rose boss Gordon Herd was left to rue his side’s late collapse.

He said: “We didn’t manage the game properly. We can be proud of ourselves given how far we have come from; we came from 11th in the league and we were 15 points behind them. It’s fine margins. If we can’t win the title, we can have a say in where it goes.

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“We need to pick ourselves up, we have a lot to play for. Tranent’s celebrations will maybe inspire the boys for when they come calling to Prestonfield. Their celebrations are noted, they were acting like they won the league.

“For all the money Tranent have spent, you are expecting a better product than that, but they just went long. We were the team trying to play football. It hurts and we need to learn from it.

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“We still have a big season ahead of us, a final to look forward to and a last-16 match on Saturday.”

In the 1-1 draw at Penicuik Park, Nicky Reid equalised for the home side after an exquisite backheel from Scott McCrory-Irving split the Broxburn defence in the 34th minute. Broxburn had gone in front 10 minutes earlier through Dan Nimmo.

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Penicuik must now win away to bottom-of-the-table Camelon before they face Linlithgow on the last day.

After Tranent’s return trip to Prestonfield, they host Jeanfield Swifts on the final day.