Trip to Bellsea Park wasn't on Robbie Horn's wish list

Robbie Horn is priming his Bonnyrigg Rose players for a battle.
Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn expects a tough match this afternoon. Picture: Bruce White / SNSBonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn expects a tough match this afternoon. Picture: Bruce White / SNS
Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn expects a tough match this afternoon. Picture: Bruce White / SNS

A depleted Rose squad travel north for today’s Scottish Gas Scottish Cup second round tie away to Fraserburgh, and it is the last place boss Horn wanted to visit.

The trip to Bellsea is a potentially hazardous one for Rose, as they try to navigate their way into Sunday’s third round draw. Horn is without several players through injury, while last weekend’s goalscorers, new boys Liam Buchanan and Taylor Sutherland are both missing for the visit to the Highland League outfit.

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“It’s an incredibly tough place to go, it’s one of the hardest places I have went as a manager,” said Horn.

“We played them in the Scottish Cup before as well [as the Highland/Lowland play-off match] and we got away with one to be honest. They battered us in the second half and we scored in the 94th minute, and then up there last time in the play-off we were pretty comfortable in the game and then we lost a goal in the second half.

“On a slope, the wind comes off that sea and you have to defend your box for your life. It’s going to be a real battle. You have got to be up for the game, if you are not up for the game, you are in trouble. It will be another big test for us and a very tough ask. They will be desperate to beat on the basis of what has happened before, so we’ve just got to deal with it. We’ve got a bit of a changed team since then, we have lost a few players, so we are a bit different now.”

It is an opportunity for players who haven’t had much game time as they’d like, to stake a claim for their place.

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Horn continued: “The two strikers are a big miss because they scored the goals last week, so you are down two right away. It just seems all of a sudden we have picked up a whole load of injuries and we have players unavailable.

“It is frustrating that we aren’t going into it on the back of a good win with a full complement of players, but it is what is, we just have to get on with it. We will still go up there and give it our best shot. If we perform, then hopefully we will get through.

“We need to be up for the physical challenge that they present to us. They just never stop. They have some decent footballers, but they just work incredibly hard, and they’ve got a great spirit about them. It is pretty much the same team that we played last time and in the Scottish Cup, so they haven’t changed much at all.”

17-year-old Sutherland, on loan from Dunfermline Athletic, made an instant impact with a double on his debut in last weekend’s 3-2 win over Clyde.

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Horn is hoping he can keep hold of the youngster for a little while yet.

He added: “Taylor has looked the part in training, and he’s enjoyed it, he’s enjoyed his exposure of getting minutes and playing against men. He looked a class act last week. Hopefully we can keep hold of him when it comes to January.”