Rose roar into Junior Cup final

Linlithgow Rose 4 Lochee United 1

LINLITHGOW striker Tommy Coyne grabbed a double as the ten men came from behind to reach another Scottish Junior Cup Final after John Adam had been red carded in the second half against Lochee United.

Coyne, son of the Celtic striker of the same name, said: "My dad scored so many important goals in his time and he's delighted with what I'm doing now. This is my first full season in Junior football . I've managed to get into the Junior International set up and I'm delighted to be in the Scottish Cup Final."

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Rose went into this semi-final second leg trailing by a goal and fell two behind overall after conceding early on.

Linlithgow boss Dave Baikie said, in explaining his team's recovery: "It's been said by so many managers in the past that their team showed real character in games, well our players had that in abundance today."

If the last game lacked the excitement of a typical Scottish cup tie, then this was the opposite. It sizzled and crackled from the first minute to the last. Referee Ross Haswell and his team did a superb job in controlling a match which threatened to boil over at times.

Rose came out at a cracking pace and had enough chances in the opening 15 minutes to win more than one game. But against the run of play Lochee opened the scoring in 20 minutes when Phil Hagan played a long ball deep into the heart of the home defence for Paul Blackwood to loop the ball over the advancing keeper into the net.

Rose were stunned as Lochee were down to nine men at the time with two players receiving treatment and it took the home team a while to recover their composure.

Then just on the half-time whistle they were rewarded with a goal to give them a lifeline. Gordon Herd was brought down in the box allowing Coyne to score the penalty and send the teams in level at the break.

Rose again came out at pace. In the 52nd minute a through ball to Herd gave him a glimmer of a chance and he took it in some style for a 2-1 lead that levelled the aggregate score at 2-2.

Both sides were now pressing hard for that all important third goal and Rose were dealt a huge blow when John Adam was sent off for a challenge on Hagan.

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Both managers made changes to freshen things up and with penalties looming a breakthrough was made in the 85th minute. Another long ball was launched into the heart of the Lochee defence where Colin Watson hesitated. Coyne didn't and ran on to blast the ball into the net for Linlithgow's third.

Lochee had no option then but to push forward in search of an equaliser and the inevitable happened with only a couple of minutes to go. Rose substitute Steve Manson picked up the ball just outside his own penalty box and ran at the Lochee defence. They were caught out leaving him a clear run in on goal and he drove the ball home from an acute angle to complete the scoring.

A cracking game, played in front of a crowd approaching 1,500, well controlled by referee Haswell and his team, with Linlithgow taking the honours on the day. They showed great inner strength to come back from that two-goal deficit and taking their place in the final when they will play Largs at a venue still to be decided.

Afterwards a delighted Linlithgow boss Baikie added: "The turning point was the penalty just before half-time. We deserved that for the way we bounced back. At half-time I spoke to the players saying that a couple of weeks ago we were in Lochee on league business and trailing by a goal with ten minutes to go. We scored three times in that ten minutes so I said we had 45 minutes this time to score three goals and they showed tremendous character to do that, especially being a man down.

"We had big performances from all the players none more so than Danny Smith who is a winner from start to finish. Even if he never touches the ball he is contributing to everything we do. I'm pleased for him because the last time Linlithgow were in the final he had a broken leg and couldn't play."

Linlithgow Rose: Pinkowski, Donnelly, Virgili, Ward, Wilson, Smith, Tyrrell, Adam, Herd (Manson), Coyne, McLennan (McArthur). Subs: McMenamin, Flannery, Livingstone, Bradley, McPherson.

Lochee United: Ross, Krobot (Robertson), Watson, Hay, Thompson, Alexander, Abbott, Cargill, Middleton, Blackwood (Voigt), Hagan. Subs, Bannon, Heggie, Kohler, Kirk, Brown.