Rose's Kieran McGachie heads for goal. All photographs by Joe Gilhooley LRPS.
Match report by Brendan Parkinson, of Bonnyrigg Rose FC
Bonnyrigg Rose 0 Stenhousemuir 1
Bonnyrigg Rose contested a top of the table clash at home to Stenhousemuir in a match that pitted cinch League Two’s 1st placed side against 2nd place.
It was also the league’s top scorer’s, Bonnyrigg Rose against the league’s best defence, that being the Warriors, so it was bound to be a closely-contested affair. Robbie Horn made 3 changes for the visit of Stenhousemuir with Lee Currie, Zander Murray and Conor Doan coming into the team to replace Ross Gray, Callum Connolly and Smart Osadolor.
Given the importance of the game to both sides, the match was very cagey in early stages with neither side able to create any clear-cut chances.
It took until 20 minutes into the contest for the first shot on target of the game as Reis Peggie’s volley from outside the area was saved by Darren Jamieson in the Stenny goal.
Zander Murray, still searching for his first Rose goal, was next to go close as his low-drilled strike was denied by Jamieson.
Stenhousemuir started to ramp up the pressure before the break and after some nervy, error-strewn moments at the back for Rose the Warriors almost took the lead as Paddy Martin got down well to deny a long range effort that found it’s way through a crowded box.
There were some moments for both sides in the first-half, but the opening goal wouldn’t come until later on in the second as on 66 minutes Edin Lynch rose highest to meet the corner and powered his header past Martin to put Stenhousemuir a goal to the good.
Robbie Horn brought on some attacking reinforcements as Dean Watson, Keiran McGachie and Bradley Barrett all made their way onto the field for the final 15 minutes.
However, the equaliser Rose were looking for wouldn’t materialise as they peppered the Stenhousemuir box with high ball after high ball but the Warriors stood strong and defended like their lives depended on it.
One of the final moments of the game was a controversial penalty call as Dean Watson appeared to have been fouled inside the Stenhousemuir box, but the referee determined the foul to have been outside the area.
Bonnyrigg Rose will look to get back in the win column and they look to navigate their way through a tricky few weeks when they make the short journey to Ainslie Park to take on Spartans next weekend.
A former fire station now used as a booming Borders football club’s headquarters is to be reignited as a £400k community hub.
Scottish Borders Council this week granted planning permission to Melrose FC to extend the club’s base, known as The Engine Room, in Gibson Park.
Historically, The Engine Room outbuilding provided storage for the horse-drawn carriage used to pull the town’s fire engine in the early 1900s.
The current premises has been adapted for use by Melrose FC since February 2011 and is used as the club headquarters, and as a storage space, changing room, showers, toilets, and kitchen.
The bid coincided with a 27 per cent increase in the club’s junior and youth playing membership since 2019.
But club chairman Greg Simpson said the vision was not just an improved sporting facility but a community hub that would provide opportunities for a range of groups in the town.
He said: “Obviously for the football club we need new changing rooms but we are also bringing an architectural heritage asset back to public use. We are essentially going to restore it back to its former glory with all the fire station livery.
“Melrose Primary School will use the facility for education and learning and it would also be available to other community groups in the town, for the cubs and guides, obviously it would used during the Melrose 7s but also can be used for parents’ groups, toddlers’ groups, Rotary meetings. It’s not just a sports facility but also a community hub. That’s the vision.
“Since we’ve come back from Covid we have had a huge boost in player numbers, they’ve gone up 27 per cent and we have over 300 players now and the big boom has been in girls football. We are the biggest girls club in the Borders, with 120 players playing in all age groups.
“We are currently not able to give a good welcome because we have this little engine shed with a couple of benches in and it’s not really a changing room with proper facilities or privacy and so we got hold of CSY Architects and we have come up with this plan.
“We did a lot of background work with Scottish Borders Council, the Gibson Park Trust, Melrose Primary School, the tennis club, the rugby club, St Mary’s School, the community council, we went to them all and laid out the plans.
“We are already in discussions with SBC and the Scottish FA for funding and I’ve got a couple of calls to Sports Scotland. Ideally we would complete the building warrant process by early next year and have funding in place by early next year and go to build probably around summer 2024. My target is to have the facility complete by 2025, which is the 30th anniversary of the forming of the club.”
In her report approving the application, SBC’s lead planning officer Julie Hayward, says: “The original fire engine station is a small, traditional sandstone building with large double timber doors in the front elevation and a slate roof. It was built in 1901 to house the horse-drawn fire engine and is of significant architectural and historical merit.
“The proposal includes the repair and retention of the fire engine station, which is welcomed and the use will ensure its future.”
A new video has been produced visualising how the new complex will look can be view below.
Owen Thompson, Midlothian MP, at Bonnyrigg Rose's New Dundas Park.
Football fans across Midlothian have been “vilified” by planned new guidelines for supporters’ buses on matchdays, according to Owen Thompson MP.
The new UK Government guidelines could prevent football fans from enjoying a pre-match pint – unless it’s served with a meal.
Thompson hit out at the UK government’s senior traffic commissioner Richard Turfitt’s consultation on taking passengers to sporting events.
Under the proposals, supporters’ buses would require police permission to stop anywhere within ten miles of the stadium they are travelling to or from.
Thompson said: “Football is alive and kicking in Midlothian. It is part of the tapestry of our local life.
“I am a football fan and even occasionally a player myself. These nonsensical proposals need to be booted into touch.
“Being a football fan is not a crime. We should support our teams and our fans not vilify them.
“These UK Government plans are ill conceived, discriminatory and also ultimately unenforceable.
“It is totally unsurprising that a UK Government loaded with multi-millionaires is so out of touch with the people’s game.”
The UK Government published the consultation document last week ‘Guidelines for taking passengers to sporting events in Scotland’ seeking permission to impose limits on buses carrying fans to games to north of the border.
Proposals include stopping buses from stopping anywhere within 10 miles of grounds without police permission.
Buses would not be allowed to stop at any pub for a beer unless it’s sold with a substantial meal.
Buses would need to arrive at the venue no earlier than two hours before and not later than one hour before the scheduled start of the game unless otherwise directed by police.
Buses could not drop off or pick up any fans at any unauthorised locations without prior permission of the police.
Bus companies would need to tell dedicated football officers 48 hours before the game, the number of supporters expected to travel, the number of vehicles booked and the name and the contact number for the person who made the booking.
Richard Turfitt, Senior Traffic Commissioner for Great Britain, wrote: “Having recently consulted on updating the guidelines for England and Wales, I believe that it would be appropriate to consult on the introduction of the voluntary guidelines for designated football matches held within Scotland.
“In order to help us understand whether the guidelines should be adopted in Scotland, we would like to hear from industry and its representatives and other stakeholders who have an interest in the carriage of football fans by PSVs.
“We invite you to offer your thoughts and contributions on the proposal. These guidelines have historically applied to Scottish operators when conveying passengers to all football matches in England and Wales but have not previously been applied to matches held within Scotland.”