Rose striker dents Bo'ness title hopes

Linlithgow snatched all three points in this local derby thanks to a second-half strike from Tommy Coyne and Rose boss Dave Baikie claimed: "The result makes it more difficult for Bo'ness to retain the Super League title."

This was the first league game for both sides after several weeks battling the wintry weather and playing catch-up in the Scottish Junior Cup.

In front of a packed crowd, Linlithgow raced into an early lead. Adam Nelson swung over a free-kick from the left, the ball evaded everyone except Daio Quinn at the back post and he somehow managed to squeeze the ball home off the post.

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Gradually, though, Bo'ness found the pace of the game and equalised after a good spell of pressure. A corner from the left wasn't cleared by a hesitant Linlithgow defence, allowing Roger Duffin time on the ball. His first effort was blocked back out to him but his second took a slight deflection off Coyne before bulging the net.

Bo'ness were soon pushing hard for the lead with Linlithgow on their heels although Stuart McArthur raised their hopes with a mazy run, beating four players before firing over the bar.

The second half started the same as the first ended with Bo'ness pressing hard. They forced corner after corner but couldn't get the ball in the net.

In the 51st minute, there was an almighty scramble in the Linlithgow box with first keeper Steven Pinkowski blocking the ball on the line then Chris McFadyen slamming the bar with another effort. However, they were punished within 20 seconds as Linlithgow broke away to score a second.

John Ward hoofed the ball upfield where Coyne headed on to Colin Strickland. He waited until Coyne had made space for himself before sliding the ball into his path. Now in a good position, Coyne made sure with a right-foot drive past the keeper.

Bo'ness forced the play to the other end again and were proving very dangerous at set pieces. Linlithgow had to survive the onslaught, sometimes with a large slice of good luck. When Bo'ness did find a way through, they found Linlithgow keeper Pinkowski in superb form. His full-length save from Roger Duffin at his near post was out of the top drawer.

Rose manager Baikie added: "I was disappointed in our first-half performance and told the players that at the break.

"We gave away far too many crosses and free-kicks which allowed them into the game.

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"It's another three points for our target and makes life difficult for our opponents. It's a big game to win. They were a handful at corners and set-pieces because of the big players they have. But we coped and eventually got the winner with a super breakaway."

Bo'ness boss Willie Newbigging said: "I can't believe we were beaten. We were the better team and had better chances. We'll play a lot worse than that and win."We always thought we could win here and the way we were playing who would have bet against us? But that's football for you. We've put so much into the game and to come away with nothing is really disappointing.

"The players are shattered. They played their hearts out and got nothing in return. However, we have to start again and bounce back from this result."

Linlithgow Rose: Pinkowski, Donnelly, Tyrrell, Ward, Quinn, Adam (Kelly), Nimmo (Manson), Nelson, Strickland (Roddy McLennan), Coyne, McArthur. Subs: Virgili, Ruari McLennan, McPherson.

Bo'ness United: Baillie, Snowdon (Anson), Hunter, Duffin, McQueen, Fraser, Plenderleith (Ballantyne), Shirra, McFadyen, Walker, Donnelly. Subs: Cooper, Forrest, Hamilton, Ure, Longmuir.

Linlithgow Rose 2

Bo'ness United 1