Saturday 26 November 2016, 13.30, New Dundas Park

Scottish Cup Third Round tie between East Superleague champions Bonnyrigg Rose and Scottish Championship side Dumbarton.

A fourth visit to see Bonnyrigg in what is undoubtedly their biggest game of the season so far.  A win would take them through to the fourth round where the Premiership teams enter the competition.  Rose began in the first of two preliminary rounds and despatched Glasgow University and then Burntisland Shipyard.  In the first round proper they beat Turriff United in a replay before beating Cove Rangers in round 2.

Former Rose captain Ross Archibald who retired at the end of last season re-signed for the club leading up to the game and took a seat on the bench.

Dumbarton are Scotland’s 4th oldest football club, founded in 1872 and were

one of the greatest clubs of the nineteenth century, winning the Scottish Football League in the first two seasons of the competition.  Since those heady days “The Sons” have spent most of their time outside the top flight, last playing there in 1985.

Their formation came after several local shinty players attended a football match between Vale of Leven and Queens Park and were so impressed that they decided to form their own football club.

As well as the early league wins, they appeared in five Scottish cup finals between 1881 and 1891 although they were only successful in the 1883 final.  They made the final again in 1897, but were unsuccessful.

As professionalism entered the game, Dumbarton lost many of their best players to other clubs.  Their side was overtaken by many and the early successes gave way to more modest achievements.  They won Division Two in 1910-11 and 1971-72 and a Second Division title in 1991-92.

Following their win in the 1872-73 Scottish Cup, Dumbarton played English Cup Winners Blackburn Olympic where they won 6-1 and were proclaimed to be Champions of the World.

In more recent times, they won the Third Division in 2008-09 and then were promoted to The First Division in the 2011-12 play offs.  Despite being favourites for relegation every year, they have stayed in the second tier since then and survived comfortably.  They currently sit in ninth place in the ten team Championship.

Dumbarton entered the Scottish Cup at the third round stage.

An impressive 1,552 were in attendance.  The kick off was delayed by ten minutes to let the big crowd in.  The request for people to come early clearly hadn’t been adhered to.

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In the second minute, Nelson put a good ball into the Dumbarton box which was eventually headed behind for the first corner of the game.  It came to nothing.

A good run down the left by Dumbarton’s Stirling in 8 minutes saw him put a decent cross into the box, but the defence managed to shepherd the ball to safety.

Nelson played a Rose free kick into the box in 9 minutes which found the head of Young, but his header was too high.

There were three former Hearts players in the Dumbarton team, but it was Ryan Stevenson who was the target of the locals, with numerous chants of “you Hearts bastard!” throughout.  Strange as the majority of people I know in Bonnyrigg support the Jam Tarts, as well as the captain and manager.

In 13 minutes, Young played a great one-two with McIntosh as Rose came forward.  His powerful shot at goal was pushed away by Martin in the Sons goal.

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After being set up by McIntosh, Donaldson had a shot from the left at the Dumbarton goal in 21 minutes.  It was well hit, but over the bar.

There seemed to be a lot of flies about for the time of year.  I’m not sure what happens in Bonnyrigg.

There was a chance for the home side in 25 minutes when a quick break forward saw McGachie beat Martin to the ball and Turner crossed to the back post, but Barr managed to clear.

A ball lobbed forward by Docherty of the Sons in 28 minutes was backheaded by Donaldson towards his own goal and Fleming quickly ran onto it.  As he burst into the Rose box, Andrews came racing out of his goal to block the striker’s shot.  The rebound fell to McCallum, but Andrews blocked again.

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Turner crossed from the right for Bonnyrigg in 31 minutes and found Kidd, but his sidefooted effort flashed wide of goal.

A good ball into the box by Donaldson in 33 minutes found McGachie who took the ball down well, but Pettigrew managed to block.

A ball into the Rose box from the left by Stirling in 43 minutes left Andrews unsighted and he fumbled the ball at the feet of McCallum, but Andrews managed to block the ball with his bum before diving on the ball.

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As the half time whistle blew, Rose could be very pleased with their first half performance.  They had been the better side and certainly hadn’t been overawed by the occasion.  It looked like many of the games that I’ve seen them play in the East Superleague, but they would have been disappointed that they hadn’t managed to get the breakthrough.

A good interception by Hoskins saw him charge down the left for Rose in 47 minutes.  His early ball into the middle was too quick for any of his team mates to catch up.

In 53 minutes, Kidd headed on a Bonnyrigg free kick and it came to McIntosh in the box.  His shot was well held from close range by Martin, but the flag had gone up anyway.

Good build up play by Rose in 57 minutes ended with a Turner cross being met with Kidd’s diving header, but it was off target.

After McIntosh was fouled on the touchline by Smith in 59 minutes, Nelson put an excellent free kick into the Sons box and McIntosh headed towards goal from close in.  Martin made a great one handed save before Dumbarton were given a foul in the follow up.

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The Rose fans took a break from giving Stevenson abuse to have a lengthy period of singing “Last Christmas” with the only differentiation with the original being the line “I’ll give it to Lewis Turner”.

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A ball forward by Rose in 68 minutes was headed down by McGachie for Nelson, but his attempted lob drifted wide.

Nelson put a high ball into the Sons box in 69 minutes and Hoskins beat Martin to the ball in the air, but Buchanan managed to head the ball away.

Dumbarton won a free kick in 75 minutes and Docherty’s ball was met by the head of Buchanan, but it flashed wide of the post.

In 77 minutes, Pettigrew latched onto a Bonnyrigg headed clearance, but his shot was well over the bar.

Rose put some great deliveries in to the box, but just couldn’t get the finishing touch.

Another ball into the Sons box in 80 minutes by Turner was headed to the edge of the box where Nelson struck goalwards on the volley, but Martin saved.

Turner crossed into the box again in 82 minutes and Martin was forced to turn the ball over the bar.

In 84 minutes, Docherty’s free kick from halfway was headed towards the Rose goal by Buchanan and it was Andrews’ turn to push the ball over the bar.

Turner produced a great tackle on half way to win the ball for Rose in 86 minutes and he sent the ball to McIntosh on the left.  He ran past Docherty, but his shot across goal was wide.

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No goals in the end but an entertaining afternoon and a performance for the home side to proud of.  Massive underdogs, they looked the better team.  They just couldn’t get that bit of luck in front of goal.

McGachie proved that he is more than capable of his usual powerful performance up front for Rose against better quality defenders and Turner and Nelson showed their quality in midfield.

Stirling made good use of his pace for Sons and their defenders did well to hold out against a hungry attack.

It would be interesting to see how Rose would fare in the replay.

Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 0 Dumbarton 0.

Admission: £12

Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Alan Horne, 6 Kerr Young, 5 Dean Hoskins, 3 Ruaridh Donaldson, 8 Andrew Kidd, 4 Jonathan Stewart, 10 Adam Nelson, (Gray 85), 7 Lewis Turner, 9 Kieran McGachie, 11 Wayne McIntosh (McLaren 85). Subs: 12 Ewan Moyes, 14 Scott Gray, 15 Fraser McLaren, 16 Ross Archibald, 25 Dylan Rooney.

Dumbarton: 27 Alan Martin, 17 David Smith, 14 Darren Barr, 5 Gregor Buchanan, 2 Craig Pettigrew, 3 Mark Docherty, 22 Andy Stirling, 7 Josh Todd, 6 Ryan Stevenson, 9 Garry Fleming, 15 Donald McCallum (Thomson 66). Subs: 10 Robert Thomson, 16 Ross Lyden, 18 Frazer Wright, 19 Jamie Ewings, 24 Liam Crawford.

Referee: Stephen Finnie

Programme: £2

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