Linlithgow Rose show their mettle with key win away at Dunbar
Linlithgow Rose captain Ruari MacLennan feels they are made of sterner stuff this season after they bounced back from their first defeat of the campaign to take all three points from a tough trip to Dunbar.
In recent years Rose have had a vulnerability about them when they have looked like they could implode at any moment. However, they look mentally stronger this season – and proved that on Saturday – with MacLennan bagging the winner in a 2-1 triumph after the hosts had equalised.
“There’s been times in recent years when we’ve went maybe one goal down and next minute you are three down, but we look a lot stronger this season than we have,” said MacLennan.
“You can’t always play in this league, especially with the teams you are playing. It’s a tight league and you’ve just got to grind results out. Everyone wants to beat Linlithgow, it’s the way it is, and a lot of boys in our changing room need to realise that – it’s a cup final for all these teams.
“It was a good result for us, especially after losing to Camelon last week. They are a big strong team and it was a bit of a battle, but we did well and dug in to get the three points.”
The Prestonfield club have been starved of silverware since they lifted the Fife and Lothians Cup in season 2013/14 and MacLennan is desperate for that to change this year as they seek promotion to the Lowland League.
He continued: “I think I got told It’s been five or six years since Linlithgow won anything, which is ridiculous. You see good teams like Tranent winning doubles, Penicuik winning their league and Bonnyrigg going up to the Lowland League and doing really well, so you see that and we feel we have to get to that level where Bonnyrigg are now, because we’ve always been the main team.”
Former Kilmarnock youngster Ross Barbour brought out a terrific save from Dunbar goalkeeper Liam McCathie after 20 minutes with the centre back’s free-kick destined for the top corner.
McCathie watched on helplessly ten minutes later, though, as defender Zach Szemis played a stray pass straight to visiting striker Ross Allum, on the edge of the box and with the Dunbar keeper off his line, Allum found the net.
The home side were disappointing in the opening period with numerous unforced errors, however they got back into it just three minutes after the interval with Dean Ballantyne netting from the penalty spot after he had been brought down by Gary Thom.
Midfielder MacLennan produced a terrific finish from the edge of the box to put Rose back in front, although defender James Harley must have thought he had levelled for the hosts but saw his header come back off the post.
Dunbar boss Geoff Jones felt his side were unlucky not to emerge with a point, he said:
“I thought when we got the goal there was an opportunity there for us. We showed character to get back into the game, but again the second goal was avoidable because we didn’t close the guy down and at this level, they are going to punish you. It’s disappointing but I thought we competed really well and we were a width of a post away from a draw.”
Dunbar United: McCathie, McFarlane, Peden, Harley, Szemis, Ingram, S.Tait, McTernan (Cropley), McLaren (McCraw), Ballantyne, Fiddler (K Tait).
Linlithgow Rose: McKinven, Gray, McKinlay, Thom, Barbour, Ronald (Slaven), MacLennan, Coyne, Smith (Columbine), Allum (Scullion), Meikle.