Monday 8 May 2017, 17.00, New Dundas Park
Bonnyrigg Rose against Musselburgh Athletic in the East Superleague.
We seemed to be seeing a lot of Bonnyrigg Rose. This was mainly due to the fact that they had so many games to play due to their cup runs, that they were often the only game on. This one was a big game for both sides.
After seeing Rose lose at Broxburn the previous Wednesday, they won by 3-2 on the Saturday in the East of Scotland Cup at Carnoustie Panmure. They would have been hoping that defeat at Broxburn was just a blip as they tried to retain the league title they won the season before. Rose have been rotating many of their squad with the plethora of games they have had to face and the injury Dean Hoskins picked up at Broxburn was likely to put him out for the rest of the season.
Musselburgh needed the points for very different reasons. They sat in the relegation play-off spot and with one of the teams below them being Linlithgow Rose, who had several games in hand, they needed to pick up as many points as they could. Musselburgh drew at Linlithgow on the Saturday before.
While it had only been five days since seeing Rose, we had not seen Musselburgh since December.
A great ball forward in 6 minutes by Rose’s Stewart found Gray, who was brought down by Lynch about 22 yards from the Burgh goal. Brett struck the free kick into the wall.
A Musselburgh through ball in 12 minutes saw Rose’s Donaldson chase the ball along with Burgh’s King. Andrews came out of his goal and Donaldson chested the ball past him, but managed to get to the ball in front of King to turn it away from goal.
King had another opportunity in the following minute, but had his shot saved by Andrews.
In 16 minutes, Thomson exchanged passes with Murray and got to the Rose by-line. His cross hit a team mate and went behind for a goal kick.
Turner played the ball forward to Jamieson in 20 minutes and he tried a shot at the Burgh goal. Lynch got a block on it and the ball ran through to Renton in the Burgh goal.
Rose’s Moyes required treatment after an aerial challenge in 21 minutes, but was quickly back on to take his place in the defence.
McGachie got to the by-line in the Burgh box in 23 minutes and played the ball back to Gray. His shot was parried by Renton and Jamieson raced in and shot for goal from a tight angle. The ball came spinning off the post and ran right across the face of goal before going wide at the other post.
Musselburgh won a free kick in the 25th minute about 35 yards from the Rose goal. Lynch decided to go for goal, but it was too high.
A bad tackle by Hogg on Rose’s Turner in 27 minutes saw him yellow carded. Donaldson took the free kick, which was about 22 yards out, but hit it over the bar.
Horne showed good feet on the ball before finding Gray in 29 minutes. He put a great cross into the Burgh box, but it was headed clear.
Rose’s Stewart required treatment in 41 minutes after coming off second best in a 50/50 challenge.
Burgh came forward a minute before the break and the ball was played into the feet of Murray about 30 yards from goal. He turned and lashed the ball goalwards and it flew into the net past a helpless Andrews to give the away side the lead.
Musselburgh took the lead into the break and just about merited it. They were very well organised and although playing five across the back, were moving forward as a Unit. Rose had struggled to break down that defence.
Stewart was forced to come off for Rose in 48 minutes, still looking as though he hadn’t shaken off the knock he picked up in the first half.
Burgh forced a couple of corners but they came to nothing.
With 52 minutes gone, Gray cut in from the right and tried a left footed shot, but it was a comfortable save for Renton in the Burgh goal.
A minute later, Moffat cut inside Brett on the left of the Rose box and saw his shot to the far corner brilliantly saved by Andrews, who turned it around the post to the disbelief of the Burgh players.
Turner was booked in 54 minutes for a bad tackle on Burgh’s Murphy on the half way line.
A good run forward by Thomson in 57 minutes saw him pass through for King on the left side of the Rose box. King took a touch then saw his shot crack off the post.
A through ball was flicked on by King in 60 minutes as Burgh came forward again. It sent Murray racing clear of the Rose defence and he coolly slotted past Andrews to double the lead.
Bonnyrigg responded by bringing on striker McIntosh. He immediately went in over the top on Lynch and was shown the red card. I think he lasted a minute and hadn’t touched the ball.
Moffat put a very hard tackle in on Nelson in 69 minutes and although the Musselburgh player got at least some of the ball, he was shown a yellow card.
In 77 minutes, Donaldson stepped up to take a Rose free kick from about 25 yards. His effort went well over the bar and out of the ground.
Brett swung a cross into the Burgh box from the right with his left foot in 82 minutes. McGachie helped the ball continue in the same direction with his head and the ball sneaked into the corner to give the home side some hope.
Rose’s Donaldson and Gray jumped into each other going for a header in 84 minutes. There was quite an impact and Donaldson required treatment.
Gray played a pass right across the face of the Burgh goal in 86 minutes and it was played back to Nelson on the edge of the box. He let fly and saw his shot come back off the bar.
Musselburgh broke in 87 minutes and Murray crossed for King whose shot produced a fine save by Andrews and Brett was there to clear the ball off the line.
Cherrie picked up a caution in 88 minutes for a late tackle on a Rose player. Bonnyrigg’s McGachie joined him a minute later for trying to steer Brett’s cross into the net with his hand.
The cards were piling up as Burgh’s Murray was yellow carded for dissent in injury time.
Deep into injury time Burgh broke quickly and Murray set up Murphy but Andrews was there again to save well.
The Musselburgh players and fans celebrated at the final whistle as the result was confirmed.
As they did when I saw them the previous midweek, Rose look tired, which is no surprise really and they don’t seem to be dominating teams to the same extent that they did earlier in the season. The sending off of McIntosh clearly didn’t help their cause.
A great result for Burgh who remained organised throughout and created a number of very good chances. While they rode their luck at times in their own goal, they defended resolutely.
Brett and Andrews were best for the home side while the Burgh defence and Murray starred for them.
Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 1 Musselburgh Athletic 2
Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Dean Brett 3 Ruaridh Donaldson (Orru 87), 4 Kerr Young, 5 Euan Moyes, 6 Jonathan Stewart (Nelson 48), 7 Sean Jamieson (McIntosh 61), 8 Lewis Turner, 9 Scott Gray, 10 Alan Horne, 11 Kieran McGachie. Subs: 12 Adam Nelson, 14 Jordan Orru, 15 Wayne McIntosh, 16 Andrew Kidd, 17 Ross Archibald.
Musselburgh Athletic: 1 Kieron Renton, 5 Barry Hogg, 3 Matty Lynch, 2 John McManus, 14 Michael Moffat (Donaldson 73), 6 Declan O’Kane, 15 Conor Thomson (Ralton 78), 7 Sean Murphy, 8 Gary Cherrie, 9 Keith Murray, 10 Mathu King. Subs: 4 David Dunn, 12 Bradley Donaldson, 16 Jack Gillan, 17 Ewan Ralton, GK Ali Adams.
Referee: Daniel Graves