Linlithgow Rose boss delighted as team pounds Whitehill Welfare

Linlithgow Rose thumped six goals past Whitehill Welfare as they delivered a statement of intent that they will be up challenging for the East of Scotland Premier Division title this season.

By Scott Thomson
Monday, 5th August 2019, 6:30 am
Danny Smith fires the ball home for Linlithgow Rose's opener. Pic: TSPL
Danny Smith fires the ball home for Linlithgow Rose's opener. Pic: TSPL

Rose produced a stunning second-half showing as they showed no mercy against relegated Lowland League outfit Whitehill, who were lucky to return to Rosewell in the end with just the six goals conceded.

The Prestonfield men hold a two-point lead at the top of the table and boss Mark Bradley wants them to maintain the standard they have now set.

“We were excellent from start to finish apart from maybe apart from a five-minute spell after our first goal when we let them into the game a wee bit,” said Bradley. “We still never conceded any chances but I thought we were excellent against a team who has come from a division above us.

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“We scored six and I think it could’ve been more if I am honest. I think we should have got two penalties before we got our penalty at the end. I thought we played some brilliant stuff and we were professional and we managed our game excellently.

“We’ve started great with three wins from three. I still wasn’t happy with the first two games with the goals we conceded but it is early on in the season – boys are getting to know each other and we are playing people out of position. If we can keep playing like that we will win more games than we’ll not and if we keep putting points on the board you don’t know what can happen. We’ve got a great mix of youth and experience and hopefully we can keep that standard going throughout the season.”

Summer arrival Danny Smith fired in the opener for Rose after 18 minutes with a terrific first-time finish from Owen Ronald’s free-kick, his pinpoint effort from 25 yards sneaking in past Whitehill goalkeeper Youssef Bejaoui.

The visitors had been camped inside their own half until the opener finally arrived, but they grew stronger as the first half wore on with defender Ross Connell going closest.

Rose were far too strong in the second half with Whitehill defending wave after wave of attack from the hosts. The home side’s second of the afternoon arrived on 56 minutes with Tommy Coyne poking out his right foot to find the corner of the net from Ross Barbour’s cross.

Centre back Gary Thom’s goal for number three was the pick of the bunch as he fired in a thunderbolt from 35 yards which flew over the head of Bejaoui and bounced in off the underside of the bar.

Substitute Colin Strickland made it four from close range, before captain Ruari MacLennan robbed Whitehill player-manager Craig Meikle inside his own area and showed composure to slide the ball under Bejaoui.

Coyne got his second of the afternoon with almost the last kick of the game when he converted from the penalty spot.

Linlithgow Rose: McKinven, McKinlay, Thom, Barbour, Ronald (Collumbine), Ruari MacLennan, Coyne, Darren Smith, Allum (Strickland), Meikle, Danny Smith (Slaven).

Whitehill Welfare: Bejaoui, Dowie, Keane, Meikle, Connell, Hunter, Somerville (Connor), Lister (McQueenie), Lough, Froude (Wright), Devlin.