Saturday 17 February 2018, 14.15, New Dundas Park
Bonnyrigg Rose against Beith Juniors in the fifth round of the Scottish Junior Cup.
The fifth round had thrown up a number of attractive looking ties, but this was the one we decided upon. It was the ninth Junior Cup tie we’d seen this season.
We last saw Bonnyrigg Rose in the previous round, when they comfortably beat Midlothian rivals Newtongrange Star by five goals to two. They went into that game in January still undefeated in all competitions. They’d played two league games since then and won at Lochee United and home to Forfar West End to maintain the run.
Rose sat top of the East Super League after playing 17 games.
Since we had seen them last, Rose added to their squad in the shape of striker Kyle Wilson, who joined on loan from East Fife.
It had been a number of years since I’d seen Beith in action.
Beith Juniors were formed in 1938 as a successor to the disbanded senior side. The original team were formed in 1875 and made their way up to the new Scottish Third Division in 1923. They played in the league for three seasons but were not retained by the league and after the Scottish Football Alliance league decided that it would be solely for First Division’s reserve sides, Beith were without a league.
The Juniors began life in season 1939-40 in the Western League North Division. They are nicknamed either “The Mighty” or “The Cabes” (short for cabinet makers, which Beith was famed for and had also been the nickname of the senior side.)
Their first season saw them reach the Irvine and District Cup Final and also the fifth round of the Junior Cup. Beith won their first trophy in 1954-55, winning the Ayrshire Cup Final and two seasons later, picked up the West League Cup.
The ‘60s saw them win their first league title, in 1965, and they won the Ayrshire League again in 1969. The decade also saw them become the North Ayrshire League Section winners five times as well as winning 8 cups.
Although they spent most of the 1970s challenging for honours, they only had one piece of silverware to show for their efforts, the Ayrshire Cup in 1977-78.
The eighties proved to be just as difficult, with only the League Cup in 1982 to go in the trophy cabinet. Relegation also came in the eighties, but they soon gained promotion again.
A couple of decades with little in the way of rewards to show for their efforts was rectified in the 1990s with seven cups making their way to North Ayrshire. They also reached the semi-final of the Junior Cup for the first time.
The new millennium didn’t start well for Beith and relegation came at the end of season 2000-01. The following season saw them finish in third and qualify for a play-off for a place in the new West of Scotland Super League Division One. They won home and away against Dalry Thistle to begin life in the Super League.
The cups started to return, with Ayrshire Cup wins in 2003 and 2004 and the North Ayrshire Cup in 2004 and the League Cup in 2005.
Season 2006-07 saw promotion to the West Super League Premier Division for the first time. The West of Scotland Cup was won in 2009 and then, in season 2009-10, they won the Super League Premier Division.
That league win meant they entered the Scottish Cup the following season and they reached the third round before going out to Second Division Airdrie in a replay.
Just three years after that league success, they were relegated, although they bounced back straight away to begin season 2014-15 back in the Super League Premier Division.
The Ayrshire Cup was reclaimed in 2015-16, but that paled into insignificance somewhat when they also won the Junior Cup for the first time, on penalties, after a 1-1 draw with Pollok.
Last season saw Beith finish in third place in the league.
This season saw Beith win their opening 5 league games to get off to a great start, but they have fallen away a bit since then and now sit in third place after 12 games, five points behind leaders Kilwinning Rangers.
They reached the fifth round of the Junior Cup with a first round bye, and then a 12-0 win at home to Inverness City, a 5-1 win at Crossgates Primrose and then a 6-2 win at Jeanfield Swifts.
Manager John Millar strengthened his squad for this season with the signings of forward David McKenna from Annan Athletic, midfielders Keir Milliken from Auchinleck Talbot, Jamie Cunningham from BSC Glasgow and Joe Bradley and left back Ryan Docherty from Queens Park.
Leaving the club were Josh McArthur, Cameron Elliott and Calum Watt.
Another big Junior Cup crowd at New Dundas Park swelled by a large and boisterous contingent from North Ayrshire.
Rose lined up with a 3-5-2 formation with Hoskins and Brett as wingbacks while Beith went 4-5-1, with Milliken up top on his own.
The opening minutes were fast and furious as both teams looked to get the upper hand.
Good link up play between McGachie and McIntosh in 8 minutes saw the former chasing the ball on the right just outside the box. Grindlay came out of his goal to send the ball behind for a Rose corner. Currie’s delivery was met by the head of Hoskins, but he couldn’t keep his effort down.
Beith won a free kick about 25 yards out in 11 minutes and Bradley floated the ball into the box where Nicky Docherty found space to head towards goal. With Rose keeper Bryan Young a spectator, the ball came back off the post before the defence cleared.
Frize tried to head the ball back to a team mate from half way in 13 minutes but it was intercepted by McIntosh for Rose. He strode forward and hit a dipping effort which came back off the bar.
A ball over the top of the Rose defence in 18 minutes gave Milliken a chance for Beith, but Moyes managed to outmuscle him on the edge of the box and get the ball away.
McGachie chased the ball into the corner on the right and managed to win a corner for his team off McLaughlin in 20 minutes. After Currie’s corner was headed behind by a defender he trotted across to take one from the other side, and it was won by Moyes, but his header went wide.
As Beith’s Milliken fought for the ball with Rose’s Young on the by-line in 21 minutes, after the ball had gone out for a Rose goal kick, it looked like the Beith striker had lost a tooth.
Beith won a free kick on the left level with the penalty spot near the touchline in 26 minutes after Nicky Docherty was fouled by Janczyk. Bradley’s cross into the box was punched by Bryan Young, but hit Kerr Young, although Rose were able to get the ball away.
Currie became the first player booked in 30 minutes, after he seemed to catch a Beith player with an elbow during an aerial challenge.
Two minutes later Currie was tripped and it wasn’t clear if it had been McGlinchey or Martin who was the Beith player shown the yellow card.
McIntosh played a clever ball down the left for McGachie in 34 minutes and he took the ball into the box where Sheridan went across to challenge. McGachie touched the ball forward and was upended by the defender. Penalty. Hoskins confidently stroked the ball into the corner to give the home side the lead.
While I’m fully aware that everyone is biased towards whatever team they support, one of the visiting fans near us seemed to be a law unto himself. As well as using expletives as punctuation, every foul on a Rose player was met with shouts of “it’s a man’s game!” while every foul on a Beith player should have seen a card for the offender. I’m not suggesting for a minute this is how all Beith fans are, but that we were a bit unfortunate where we had chosen to stand.
In 42 minutes, Beith’s Martin went down in a heap after going for a header with McIntosh, but he was up relatively quickly, and no foul was given. (The bloke behind would have had McIntosh in jail.)
Just before the break Rose worked the ball to Hoskins on the edge of the box and his rifled shot was well hit, but wide.
A tight first half with little between the sides. Both defences had looked solid and it was not a big surprise that it had taken a penalty to separate them.
Beith brought on McPherson at half time to give Milliken some more support up front.
With just two minutes of the second half gone, Beith’s McLaughlin was cautioned for taking out Gray on the half way line.
As had been the case in the first half, two minutes after a player was booked, the other side were shown a yellow card. This time it was Rose’s Gray bringing down Frize as he broke forward into the Rose half.
Grindlay took a free kick for offside in 51 minutes and put it deep into Rose territory. Nicky Docherty headed the ball into the box and it eventually came to McPherson whose overhead kick was straight at Bryan Young.
A Beith corner in 52 minutes was taken by Bradley and he picked out the head of McLaughlin, but it drifted wide.
McGlinchey was the next player to go down after a challenge in the air in 54 minutes, although this time it looked like team mate Sheridan who had caught him.
The referee had his yellow card out again in 57 minutes. This time it was for Beith’s Frize for persistent fouling.
A Rose free kick in 59 minutes was headed across goal and Kerr Young laid the ball off to McGachie, but he could only hit the side netting.
Frize put a good ball into the Rose box in 61 minutes from the right, but nobody in black and white could get on the end of it.
Rose broke quickly a minute later and Gray found McIntosh on the right. He played the ball across the box looking for McGachie but Frize slid in bravely to deflect the ball behind. He required treatment afterwards but was able to continue.
Beith’s McGlinchey was booked in 64 minutes for fouling Gray. The lineswoman called the referee across, but he shook his head and carried on. I had been unsure if it was McGlinchey or Martin who had been booked in the first half and I imagine she was in the same position. It must have been Martin who was booked.
In 69 minutes McIntosh played the ball with the outside of his foot from the left to McGachie in the middle. He controlled the ball then went down in the box under challenge, but the flag was up for offside.
McPherson was brought down just outside the corner of the box on the left in 70 minutes. McGlinchey took the kick but put it well over the Rose bar.
Rose won a free kick in a dangerous position in 73 minutes when Gray was upended about a yard outside the “D” by McGlinchey. Currie stepped up but hit the wall with his strike.
A cross into the Rose box by Christie in 76 minutes was cleared to the edge of the box where Frize had a shot at goal but off balance, he put it wide.
The home side had a chance to break forward in 78 minutes as Kerr Young came forward with the ball on the right. With Turner free on the left he was unable to pick him out and the ball ran through to Grindlay.
McPherson burst into the box for Beith in 81 minutes but some great defending by Horne got the ball clear.
Rose got McIntosh free on the left in 82 minutes and he got away from McGlinchey to get into the box but with players free in the middle he went for goal and had his shot saved by Grindlay. The ball came to Nelson on the edge of the box and he played a fine pass to McGachie on the right, but his shot was blocked and cleared.
Seconds later Rose’s Brett chased the ball with Nicky Docherty into the corner close to the Beith by-line on their left. Docherty went down as they ran. With my view obscured by other players I was unable to see the incident, but Brett was shown a straight red and his team were down to ten men.
With 84 minutes gone a long ball into the Rose box saw McLean go up for a header. He got there first and was then caught by keeper Young. Another penalty. Moyes appeared to be shown a yellow card.
Although Young looked close to it, McGlinchey stroked the ball into the corner to tie the score.
Rose’s Kerr Young was booked after the ball hit the net for something he said to the referee.
Before the game restarted Rose’s Hoskins was shown a red card, presumably for something he said, and Rose were down to 9.
McGachie was the next Rose player to go into the increasingly busy referee’s notebook for a foul in 88 minutes.
Right on 90 minutes, Ryan Docherty was booked for Beith for tripping Currie.
Deep into injury time Beith won a corner and when the ball came over, McLaughlin stooped to head into the net from close range to send the visiting fans wild.
As the players came over to celebrate at the dug-outs, there seemed to be some pushing and shoving with those on the home bench.
The final whistle went seconds later and Beith were through to the quarter finals.
Kerr Young was shown a red card as he remonstrated with the referee after the whistle.
As the players left the field, there seemed to be a number of fans on the pitch at the steps to the dressing rooms and there were certainly punches thrown, although I couldn’t see from the other end if players were involved, they were certainly in the middle of it. Reports suggest that a further two Rose players were sent off after the game had ended, but I don’t know what for.
Fans of both sides seemed to have a number of gripes about refereeing decisions with them debating the penalties and the sendings off. Both looked penalties from where I was, and I didn’t see the incident which led to the Brett sending off. It’s impossible to comment on the Hoskins red card as I have no idea what was said. I’m sure everyone there had their own view of the big decisions.
A very tense and tight affair which could have gone either way. Beith were starting to put some pressure on before the initial sending off, but Rose had been defending stoutly. Rose have done a lot over the bad weather to get games to go ahead when everything else in the area was postponed, but this has taken its toll on the pitch which made it difficult for both sets of players.
Although there weren’t that many clear-cut chances it certainly had this neutral entertained, although the scenes after the final whistle were disappointing. Also disappointing was some of the comments from fans after the lineswoman had given offside following a Beith goal kick. After the referee had conferred with her he restarted the game with a bounce up. It was like going back to the 1970s with some of the sexist comments being aired.
Defences were on top and all the central defenders on show performed well. Other than them, McGachie held the ball up very well for Rose up front and Gray looked a threat. For Beith, Nicky Docherty impressed at left back and Frize had a fine game in midfield.
Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 1 Beith Juniors 2
Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Bryan Young, 4 Kerr Young, 5 Ewan Moyes, 6 Alan Horne, 2 Dean Brett, 7 Ross Gray (Turner 74), 8 Neil Janczyk (Nelson 68), 11 Lee Currie, 3 Dean Hoskins, 9 Keiran McGachie, 10 Wayne McIntosh (Martyniuk 87). Subs: GK Michael Andrews,12 Neil Martyniuk, 14 Lewis Turner, 15 Adam Nelson, 16 Kyle Wilson.
Beith Juniors: 1 Stephen Grindlay, 2 Ryan Docherty, 4 Mark McLaughlin, 5 John Sheridan, 3 Nicky Docherty (Burke 87), 7 Darren Christie, 8 Paul Frize, 6 Tommy Martin (McPherson 46), 10 Conner McGlinchey, 11 Joe Bradley (McLean 72), 9 Keir Milliken. Subs: 12 Ross McPherson, 14 Richard Burke, 15 Kenny McLean, 16 Kevin MacDonald, 17 Jamie Wilson.
Referee: Stewart Luke