Linlithgow Rose 2-0 Broxburn Athletic
EOSFL Premier Division
Linlithgow Rose took the bragging rights in West Lothian in a dour derby match at Prestonfield. Goals from Mark Stowe in the first half and Jack Ogilvie in the second were enough to see off local rivals Broxburn Athletic. Broxburn missed their chance to close the gap at the top of the table and head back along the B9080 empty handed.
Rose started with keeper Dean Shaw in the sticks, with a back 4 of Cammy Thomson, Connor McKenzie, Willis Hare and skipper Gary Thom. Calum Bremner, Connor McMullan and Thomas Halleran in the middle of the park, Jack Ogilvie on the left, Mark Stowe on the right and Alan Docherty up top. Athletic lined up like for like, with Connor Wallace in goal, Craig Newal, Ross Hutchinson, Andy Gillen & Jordan Wright at the back, Greg Nicol, David Greenhill & Tom Cowley in the middle, Joe Tait wide left, Ross Nimmo on the right and Ross Allum up front.
This one was a bit of a slow burner to be honest, taking until well into the first half to really get going. Athletic probably just edged the opening 15 minutes without really taking control. Allum got in behind the home defence on a couple of occasions but couldn’t test Shaw. At the other end, Rose were huffing & puffing but struggling to make any kind of impact. The long ball was paying off for them, getting into some decent positions, but the final ball was always lacking.
It took 20 minutes for either team to work the keepers, Docherty finding space and although his shot was straight at Wallace, at long last somebody was showing some intent. Bremner was next to have a go, but again his shot was right at Wallace and the keeper was able to gather easily. In the other box, Allum almost capitalised on a defensive slip, but fired high over the bar with just the keeper to beat. After some food build up play on the right, Ogilvie teed up Stowe and his shot looked to be heading into the top corner, but Wallace got a fingertip to it and pushed it over the bar.
The opener came from the resulting corner. Drifted in from the left, it evaded everybody and landed perfectly for Stowe at the back stick, where he had time to take a touch and fire low into the net with a deflection on the way in. He really should have double the lead just a minute later but fired tamely at the keeper.
The longer the half went on, the better Rose began to look, and the chances began to rack up, but each time, the quality of the final ball always let them down. Athletic on the other hand, looked solid enough at the back, organised in midfield, but offered next to nothing in the final third. Allum looked isolated and spent the half chasing shadows.
Rose had a chance to double the lead immediately after the restart, the ball played directly across the face of goal, but McMullan couldn’t apply the finishing touch at the back post. It was a positive sign, but really, any momentum that had been built up at the end of the first half seemed to be killed by the halftime break and the game ticked along without ever catching light. The second came around the hour mark, after a good old fashioned goalmouth scramble, Ogilvie getting the final touch to force it over the line.
For a derby game, it was a bit of a tame affair. There were no crunching tackles, no flash points, no… well not much of anything really. With both Tranent & Penicuik on Scottish Cup duty, it was a perfect opportunity for third placed Athletic to make up some ground on the leaders, but they never really got out of first gear. They made a switch up top, Craig Brass on for Allum, which gave them a bit more of an attacking outlet, but the most Shaw had to do all afternoon was tip a cross-cum-shot over the crossbar. In the end, it was pretty comfortable for Linlithgow after a bit of a shaky start.
The leaders apart, things are pretty congested in the Premier League table, and the three valuable points lift Rose up from 11th spot to 5th. Next for Rose is a trip to Whitehill, while Broxburn are also on the road, away at Sauchie.
Man of the Match: Jack Ogilvie was full of energy & drive and was the difference in the middle of the park.He capped a fine performance with the goal that killed the game off
See the whole match gallery HERE