Robbie Horn: Bonnyrigg Rose were denied clear penalties against Civil Service Strollers
ROBBIE HORN felt his Bonnyrigg Rose side could have been awarded three penalties during their 1-1 draw with Civil Service Strollers – but was still satisfied with their start to the campaign.
The Midlothian outfit claimed maximum points from their opening two Lowland League matches and arrived at Christie Gillies Park aiming to preserve their 100 per cent record. Strollers had also enjoyed an impressive start, but both teams were left to reflect on a frustrating afternoon during which referee Colin Whyte and his officials came under severe scrutiny.
Horn said: “I’m quite happy with the week we’ve had, albeit slightly disappointed that we never took three points from this game.
“The first half was a bit of a non-event, but we were the team in the ascendancy during the second half when we lost a goal out of nothing.
“I say that, but it was a stonewall penalty we had turned down at the other end. Our player is clean through on goal and has no reason to go down unless there is substantial contact, so it looked a clear penalty in my view.
“They then break up-field, there is a handball which isn’t deemed deliberate in the build-up and they score, which was quite hard to take but the boys dug in and showed a lot of character.
“We had them penned in, created numerous chances and eventually got the goal we deserved. On another day, we could’ve had two or three penalty claims go our way, but it just wasn’t to be.”
Civil manager Gary Jardine was similarly aggrieved, adding: “We had a perfectly good goal chalked off right at the death when the linesman flagged for offside, but our player was clearly a foot onside.
“It’s always tough to play so many games in a short space of time. We’re pleased to have picked up seven points, but it could easily have been nine.
“Bonnyrigg are going to be up there challenging but our remit is to improve again on what we achieved last season.”
The first half struggled to live up to the pre-match hype with Scott Main’s last-ditch challenge on Bonnyrigg’s Kieran McGachie ensuring both teams went in level at the break. Parity remianed until two minutes shy of the hour mark when Bonnyrigg had strong appeals for a penalty waved away after George Hunter was brought down in the box.
Full-back Craig Newall then broke up the field and picked out team-mate Andrew Mair, who rifled a low shot across the keeper into the bottom far corner of the net.
The visitors responded well to the set-back and defender Kerr Young stooped above a cluster of bodies to power a header past the keeper at the back post with five minutes remaining.
Civil were then reduced to ten men when Alieu Faye was shown a second yellow card for kicking the ball away in frustration before Hunter came within a matter of inches from stealing all three points with a late volley which fizzed wide of the post.
Meanwhile, The Spartans bounced back from their opening day defeat by easing to a 2-0 win over Edinburgh University at Ainslie Park.
Dean Hoskins and Cameron Dawson netted in either half, while the Students had defender Ross McGuire sent off in the closing stages for a foul on Jack Smith.
Civil Service Strollers: Burnside, Newall, Main, Fee, Turnbull, Clapperton, Faye, Yeats, Muirhead, Downie, Mair Unused: Morris, Devers, Robertson, Ballantyne, McConnell
Bonnyrigg Rose: Weir, Brett, Martyniuk, Horne, Baur (R. Gray; 74), Young, S. Gray (Turner; 66), Stewart (Docherty; 79), Currie, McGachie, Hunter. Unused: Andrews (GK), Moyes
Referee: Colin Whyte