Bonnyrigg Rose shine on their big day in sun as fan collapses cause delays and Hibs' Ewan Henderson scores crackers
This was a momentous afternoon for The Rosey Posey, who were promoted to League 2 last season and were welcoming Hibs to New Dundas Park for what is the biggest match to be played at this ground. This old mining town sits on the outskirts of Edinburgh and it was packed for the visit of Lee Johnson’s men in the Premier Sports Cup. Even SPFL chief Neil Doncaster was in attendance, looking slightly uncomfortable in his suit in the baking heat.
Bonnyrigg are not used to having the TV cameras and a capacity crowd for their matches. Five years ago, when they last faced Hibs in the Scottish Cup, Rose were an East of Scotland club and moved the tie to Tynecastle. Now, having risen up the pyramid, claiming the East of Scotland and Lowland League titles, they are a fully-fledged league club. Their ascent has been steep. Every club official was buzzing around, directing camera crews, supporters, media and players. A small seating deck has been installed and the capacity increased by 200. They are moving faster than they can probably cope but this is a welcoming outfit and a fine addition to the senior set-up.
Survival will be the name of the game rather than ascension this season. They should not have too many problems in staying up, having already defeated Clyde in this competition. The Junior-esque setting of New Dundas Park, the slope, a well-organised team under the canny Robbie Horn will see to that.
Rose fared better than that day in Gorgie in 2017, when Hibs won 8-1. Like then, they scored with a delicate chip via Kevin Smith just before half time, but it was largely one-way traffic as the cinch Premiership team prevailed 4-1
Hibs owner Ron Gordon was part of the 2400-strong crowd to watch Hibs keep their hopes of getting past the group stages alive with the victory. They needed to respond emphatically following a surprise defeat at Falkirk that takes top spot out of their hands. Johnson will be pleased with this display after the Bairns result.
He named as strong as team as he could and within two minutes Hibs were ahead when Joe Newell picked up a loose ball and drilled home. Had Aiden McGeady not missed a penalty minutes later then a rout might have been on the cards, but he screwed his effort wide and Bonnyrigg grew into the match.
They had to rely on goalkeeper Mark Weir – a die-hard Hearts fan – to make some excellent saves before the match was halted on 40 minutes following the collapse of spectator. Three goals came in the injury time thereafter. Ewan Henderson lashed home to make it 2-0, before Smith’s response with a deft finish. Hibs stepped it up right away, Newell scoring his second moments later to put them 3-1 up at the break.
The second period was notable for the debut of Hibs’ Gambian striker Momodou Bojang, who has pace to burn and had a shot cleared off the line, another stoppage for a stricken fan and a glorious second goal for Henderson, torpedoing the ball into the top corner to cap off a good day’s work.