BLACKBURN UTD 2-4 LINLITHGOW ROSE
The competitive action finally got underway as Rose made the short trip to Blackburn to kick off their 2019-20 EOS Premier League Campaign.
Rose were forced to field a makeshift side with Wilson, McKinlay and Ruari MacLennan all suspended from last season and new signings Collumbine and Hutchison on a pre-arranged holiday.
Also missing were the long-term injury victims, Roddy MacLennan, Luke Whelan and Jamie McKenzie.
Manager Mark Bradley was forced to start with Ian Gray at left back and moved Ross Barbour to right back with Thom and Scullion in the middle, new signings Danny Smith and Daryl Meikle joined Darren Smith in midfield whilst another new signing Ross Allum started up front with Coyne and Ronald.
Rose were first to threaten but Allum saw his shot beaten away. The travelling support were then given a shock when slack defending allowed Campbell to break free and he rounded McKinven in the Rose goal and gave the home side a 7th minute lead.
Rose almost responded right away when a quick passing move allowed Danny Smith in on goal but Mitchell got out quickly to smother the chance. The equaliser arrived shortly afterwards though when Barbour did well on the right and his driven cross into the six-yard area was turned home by ALLUM to level the scores.
Gary Thom was slightly unlucky to find himself the first name in the book when he was cautioned for a hard challenge in the middle of the park.
Blackburn once again exploited a nervous looking Rose defence and when Thom looked to leave a long ball and McQuillan reacted to nip in and restore the home sides advantage.
Rose had the ball in the net again when Browne turned the ball into his own net, but the goal was harshly ruled out for the narrowest of offside decisions on Scullion’s head flick.
HALF TIME – BLACKBURN 2-1 LINLITHGOW ROSE
Rose started the second half brightly and had a good shout for a penalty turned down as Thom was held back in the box, Rose boss Mark Bradley was incensed and found himself yellow carded for his protests. From the resultant corner Rose found themselves level when a deep cross eluded everyone, and Browne headed into his own net from 6 yards.
Rose were looking a different prospect in the second half and Ronald should have done better when he broke through the middle but shot over the top with just Mitchell to beat.
Rose went in front for the first time in the 54th minute when COYNE netted his first of the season drilling home at the back post.
Ronald again found himself in on goal but once again Mitchell in the home goal was out to make the save. And again a few minutes later when again Ronald saw his effort blocked. Gray then saw a 30-yard effort rattle the home sides post as Rose desperately sought a killer fourth goal. Drummond had a good effort for the home side as they pushed for a late leveller with claims for a penalty waived away by the referee Rose broke forward and following a foul on Meikle the home defence stopped but the referee allowed the advantage and Strickland broke clear before squaring the ball to COYNE to net his second and secure an opening three points for Linlithgow.
FULL TIME - BLACKBURN UTD 2-4 LINLITHGOW ROSE
Manager Mark Bradley said afterwards “We were very poor defensively in the first half and that cost us two goals, But we made a massive improvement in the second half and I was delighted in how the young players reacted and settled into the side, we missed a host of chances to make the game more comfortable but we start with a win and move onto Wednesday with confidence”