Five star Rose stun City to reach league summit

Monday September 4th 2023


Josh Grigor's scores the second goal. All photographs by Joe Gilhooley LRPS.

Match report by Brendan Parkinson, of Bonnyrigg Rose FC

Bonnyrigg Rose 5 Elgin City 1

A nine minute goal bonanza either side of half time secured the first three points staying at New Dundas park this season, maintaining the Rose’s unbeaten start and with it a place at the top of cinch League 2 at this early point in the season.

In glorious Midlothian sunshine where there was unusually not a breath of wind to be found, the game kicked off after an impeccably observed minute silence in memory of club legend, SJC winner and club record appearance holder Archie Young who passed away earlier this week.

As Rose fans are becoming acclimatised to in our relatively new league status, the game for the majority of the first half was an extremely tight affair, with neither goalkeeper having very much to do. Half chances for both sides came and went, but for the most part the two sides cancelled each other out.

That was all to change however when just as supporters were thinking about when to join the never decreasing snack bar queue ahead of the half time rush, the deadlock was broken. A training ground worked corner from Currie was played along the ground into the box towards the onrushing Martyniuk, who got the first touch of the ball ahead of Elgin’s Cooney before going down in the box and referee Scott Lambie pointed to the spot amid the away side’s protestations. The defender duly dusted himself down and coolly slotted the spot kick past McHale to put Rose one up on 40 minutes.

The aforementioned supporters who must have thought “that’s that” and made a beeline for the pie stall would have missed the Rose doubling their lead three minutes later. An awkward pass back to McHale in the Elgin goal under pressure from Osadolor meant some mis-control from the Elgin keeper, and quick fire chances for Gray and Currie were blocked before a volley from Osadolor was deflected out for a corner by MacLennan, with many Rose fans wondering how the lead wasn’t extended. Those concerns were almost immediately alleviated when an inswinging corner from Currie was met by the head of Grigor, with the ball hitting the roof of the net. A debut goal for the centre half on his 44th appearance for the club, which wouldn’t be the last first today.

The City backroom team rang the changes at the interval with Cooney and MacLennan making way for Barron and Taylor. The Rose however seemed undeterred as they started the second period in much the same vein as they finished the first and made it three with just three minutes on the clock. A ball from Faye to Peggie allowed the left wing back to advance. With City defenders backing off he decided to steady himself and shoot from distance – and what a shot it was; a ball that seemed to have no increase in height as the ball honed towards the Elgin goal but increase in velocity as the ball bulged into the net to open his Rose goalscoring account.

As this author was telling the world of Peggie’s goal on social media via smartphone, the noise of the NDP faithful alerted to the fact that an immediate fourth was possible, which turned into reality as Osadolor calmly stroked the ball for his debut goal past the onrushing McHale on 49 minutes, making it four goals in nine minutes in total either side of half time.

Substitutions would be the main stoppage in play over the ensuing twenty minutes with Currie, Gray, Peggie and Osadolor making way for Connolly, Doan, Barrett and Watson after stellar shifts from all of them. On 74 minutes the away side saw the tiniest glimmer of light when McGale was adjudged to have fouled Dingwall and Lambie pointed to the spot for a second time. Not for the first time at NDP Dingwall duly converted to make it 4-1.

The Rose however would have the final say on the game’s proceedings, when in injury time the Gaffer’s final substitute Murray was fouled in the box just when he was about to pull the trigger. Despite protestations from a number of the faithful to allow the felled striker to take the spot kick, regular penalty taker Martyniuk once again made no mistake to make it 5-1 and cap off a resounding victory, ensuring the majority of the 910 attendance left New Dundas Park enjoying today’s proceedings.

Today’s victory puts Rose at the summit of the cinch League 2 table on goal difference, with only one defeat in the last thirteen league encounters. One doesn’t need to look back too far, namely this time last season when the Rose made a similar start, to understand that the league is a marathon not a sprint. On this point, the final words are from the manager. “I’ve said to the players there that I think there’s a stronger mentality within the group this year and we know what to expect, and I’m really proud of them to be honest………It’s a long season, things can change quickly but we’re in a decent place at the moment and everyone is fighting for their place, there’s competition for places and the bench is strong so it’s a happy camp at this moment in time going into the break” ( Due to the SPFL Trust Trophy 3rd round next Saturday).With the manager clocking up his 200th competitive victory today across two spells in only 290 games, it is probably a counsel worth noting.

Our next competitive fixture is in two weeks time on September 16th as we make our first trip to Balmoor to face Peterhead, where we hope to see the usual strong support from the faithful.

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