Saturday 21 January 2017, 15.00, Tynecastle Park
Scottish Cup fourth round action between Bonnyrigg Rose and Hibs.
A real David versus Goliath clash with the Junior side East Superleague champions Bonnyrigg Rose up against leaders of the Scottish Championship Hibernian.
The tie was quickly moved from Bonnyrigg’s New Dundas Park to the home of Hibs’ bitter rivals Hearts. Their traditional home could have (allegedly) squeezed in 3,000, while switching it to Tynecastle will provide a big boost to Rose’s finances.
Bonnyrigg enjoyed their spell in the limelight in the lead up to the game, with appearances on satellite and terrestrial TV. The TV companies focussed on the fact that Sean Connery had a spell at Rose in his youth, and the players were filmed wearing Connery masks and bow ties. There seems to be a strong Bond in the team… I’m not sure how all these part time players managed to get time off for their TV appearances!
The Midlothian town hadn’t known much like it before, with tickets and special merchandise to sell for the tie. Indeed our own visit to pick up tickets (there was no facility to sell them online) saw the specified time that they would go on sale ignored as there was “a bit of a queue forming”. The ‘ticket office’ was the away team dressing room and two club employees/volunteers sat and took details of buyers and explained that the tickets had the wrong date on them (listed as the Sunday). It was noticeable that people were coming from all over Midlothian to buy tickets as the region got behind them. Their allocation of 5,000 went in two days. The magic of the Scottish Cup at its absolute best.
Rose sit second in the East Superleague behind runaway leaders Kelty Hearts. Scottish Cup holders Hibs are 6 points clear at the top of the Championship as they try to get back into the Premiership at the third attempt.
To get to this round, Rose have beaten Glasgow University, Burntisland Shipyard, Turriff United in a replay, Highland League Champions Cove Rangers and Championship side, Dumbarton in a replay. Hibs entered the competition in the fourth round.
There was a party atmosphere in the ground as the game kicked off. Although I can find no official attendance figure, there were around 13,000 there. The old stand was shut due to renovation work by Hearts as they prepared to build a new stand.
To the delight of the noisy ‘home’ support, Bonnyrigg won a corner in the first minute, but it came to nothing.
Rose had started confidently and were stroking the ball about well in the opening minutes. It had looked at this point that they certainly hadn’t frozen on the big stage. Hibs were probing, but hadn’t looked like penetrating the defence in the opening 10 minutes.
In 11 minutes, Stevenson played the ball inside to Shinnie as Hibs came forward. The midfielder looked for a pass but couldn’t see an opening so decided to shoot for goal from around 25 yards out. His low effort wasn’t particularly well struck and it would be a comfortable save for Andrews, or so everyone thought. While the ball likely skipped across the wet turf, he really should have dealt with it, but somehow let the ball slip through his grasp and it rolled into the net. I’m sure Rose manager Robbie Horn had been instilling in his players the need to try and keep a clean sheet as long as possible, but nobody could have seen that goal coming.
Bonnyrigg were still licking their wounds in 15 minutes when Shinnie found Keatings in a similar position to where Shinnie had been 4 minutes earlier. The Rose defenders were a bit slow to close him down and he sent a magnificent curling effort into the top corner to double Hibs’ lead.
Hibs keeper Marciano, playing his first game back from injury, went down holding his back in 19 minutes and after treatment, was replaced by Laidlaw.
The enforced change didn’t seem to have made any difference to the game as Hibs went further ahead in 24 minutes. Stevenson broke forward into the Rose box and Andrews managed to palm away his well hit shot. The ball though was in the general direction of Humphrey who ran in to sidefoot home.
Kerr received the first booking for Rose, and of the game, in 26 minutes after fouling Shinnie.
In 33 minutes, a big moment. The ball was played through to McGachie in the Hibs box and he went down under the challenge of Forster. The referee pointed to the spot. A penalty for the Junior outfit! It did look as though there had been minimal contact, but few were complaining in the home end.
Hoskins kept his nerve to stroke the ball home from the spot much to the delight of the Bonnyrigg support. It was a shame that they didn’t score until Hibs were three up.
Shinnie and Humphrey both had shots at the Rose goal in 41 minutes and 43 minutes respectively, but Rose had their tails up after their goal.
This was undoubtedly the best spell for the Junior side, with another penalty claim in 43 minutes when Hoskins’ cross hit the raised arm of Holt, but the referee wasn’t interested. This was probably more of a penalty than the one they did get. From the resultant corner, Turner’s cross found McIntosh free at the back post, but his header just missed the angle of post and bar.
While both of those were chances to reduce the deficit to just one, Cummings almost added a fourth goal for Hibs in injury time, but Hoskins got back to clear as the ball rolled towards goal.
A real shame the circumstances that led to Bonnyrigg losing the first goal, and when they were three down in 24 minutes, it looked like a massacre was on the cards. Credit goes to them for regaining their composure though, and they were starting to create the odd opportunity.
Rose started the second half as they did the first, winning a corner in the early seconds, but again it came to nothing. Kidd followed this up with a shot which went wide of goal after some neat build up play.
Any hopes of the dream starting to reappear again were smashed in 51 minutes. Stevenson took the ball down the left for Hibs and his cross found Cummings all alone in the centre of the box and he volleyed into the corner to make it 4-1. A well taken goal, but the marking was very poor.
In 59 minutes, Holt sent a low cross into the Rose back and it found Stevenson at the back post who tapped in for Hibs fifth.
Holt shot from distance in 71 minutes but it was comfortable for Andrews., but a minute later, Holt shot again after a cutback from Shinnie and although Andrews made a decent save, the ball fell straight to Cummings who nodded in his second and his side’s 6th.
Holt found Boyle in 75 minutes and his lay off fed Keatings on the right hand side of the Rose box and from a tight angle, he also bagged his second of the afternoon to get number seven for Hibs.
Hoskins went into the book in 81 minutes for taking out Humphrey as the Hibs winger burst down the wing and from the free kick, Keatings’ delivery found the head of Forster close in and he headed into the net to make it 8-1.
Mercifully, there were no further goals and the tired Bonnyrigg players took a deserved round of applause from their fans at the end.
Hibs were clinical in their finishing and punished Bonnyrigg for every mistake and although they controlled the game throughout, the final score was a bit harsh on the underdogs. Bonnyrigg could easily have “parked the bus”, but they tried to play football throughout and credit to them for that.
Donaldson and Stewart were the best performers for Rose on the day. Keatings and Shinnie standing out for Hibs.
A rather strange reaction from the Hibs fans who seemed to think that they were actually playing Hearts, rather than just being in their stadium. Many of their songs were targeted at the Jam Tarts and they referred to “you” as if the fans were all Hearts fans. Although a fair few of the Rose team are of a maroon persuasion, and a few fans, many were baffled by some of the songs. Immediately in front of me were a Celtic fan, two Rangers fans and a Hibs fan.
Slightly more amusement from the Rose fans at the Bonnyrigg fan who started the chant “Give me a B!” and proceeded to go through the whole name.
Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 1 Hibs 8
Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Alan Horne, 4 Kerr Young, 5 Dean Hoskins, 3 Ruaridh Donaldson, 8 Andrew Kidd, 6 Jonathan Stewart (Brown 79), 10 Adam Nelson, 7 Lewis Turner (Gray 60), 9 Kieran McGachie, 11 Wayne McIntosh (McLaren 64). Subs: 12 Moyes, 14 Jonny Brown, 15 Ross Archibald, 16 Scott Gray, 17 Fraser McLaren, 18 Jamieson, 25 Rooney.
Hibernian: 1 Ofir Marciano (Laidlaw 20), 23 Jordan Forster, 24 Darren McGregor, 5 Liam Fontaine, 16 Ryan Stevenson, 27 Chris Humphrey, 7 John McGinn (Fyvie 64), 19 James Keatings, 22 Graeme Shinnie, 35 Jason Cummings (Boyle 75), 9 Grant Holt. Subs: 6 Marvin Bartley, 8 Fraser Fyvie, 17 Martin Boyle, 29 Brian Graham, 31 Ross Laidlaw, 43 Crane, 48 Martin.
Referee: Alan Muir