A bit of a sore one……

East of Scotland Football League Conference C – Saturday 23rd March 2019

Blackburn United             0

Linlithgow Rose                7             Coyne 7 (pen), 53 & 66, MacLennan 24, Ronald 35 & 88, Strickland 63

With an outside chance of the Conference C title and a place in the East of Scotland Championship play-off should table toppers Broxburn Athletic slip-up, the Rose arrived at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium looking to make an instant impact and were presented with the perfect opportunity to do just that within seven minutes of the start, James Mildren heading clear a long MacKinnon ball into his box only to see it land at the feet of Roddy MacLennan and when he was sent tumbling on the very edge of the eighteen yard box referee Mr. Brown hesitated only slightly before pointing to the penalty spot. From the kick the prolific COYNE made no mistake in beating Ian Ure in the United goal. Encamped now in the Blackburn half the visitors doubled their lead on twenty four minutes when a right to left pass found Roddy MacLENNAN in space to unleash a twenty yarder on the angle  across Ure and into the waiting net.   After half an hour it was almost three, Coyne spinning into a yard of room on the right corner of the box to lift a delicate effort goalwards that landed on the roof of the net. However, four minutes later, RONALD showed his team mate how it was done when, from similar position, he found the top left hand corner. Before the interval Coyne and Ronald linked for the latter to hit another angled shot which Ure saved.

The Rose started the second period just as they had the first—with a penalty, but this time Ure was equal to Coyne’s spot-kick and saved well. Moments later United had their first real effort at the Linlithgow goal but from Ewan Herriot’s cross Michael Browne saw his header saved by McKinven. Three minutes later the Prestonfield men did move four ahead, Gray sending a long ball forward that Herriot and Ure seemed to leave to each other, allowing COYNE to stick a toe between them and redirect the ball into an empty net. From a Craig Young corner at the other end that was only half cleared Ross Williamson showed a piece of deft chest control but his consequent half volley flew over McKinven’s crossbar and moments later the visitors found the net again, Coyne enjoying a fair few yards of room on the back post to square across the face of goal where STRICKLAND had the simplest of tasks to roll home from no more than a couple of yards. Blackburn were, by now, chasing shadows and a sixth goal arrived on sixty six minutes, a looping MacKinnon ball being challenged for in the air by several players before dropping kindly for COYNE to hook home for his hat-trick. Two minutes from time, and shortly after Stuart McLeod had hit the side netting for United, the scoring was complete when RONALD added his sides seventh of the afternoon.

Blackburn United line-up: Ure, Herriot, Lawrie, Mildren, (S.Devine 69) Drummond, Browne, Williamson (Gowans 75), Young, Downie, McLeod, Hutton (Trialist—L.Devine 57)   Subs (not used): Bonnar, Sinnet

Linlithgow Rose line-up: McKinven, Gray, MacKinnon, Thom, McKinlay, Smith, Ronald, Ru.MacLennan, Strickland, Coyne, Ro.MacLennan   Subs: Sloan, Shields, MacKenzie, Turnbull, Marley

Referee: Mr. Stephen Brown

Assistants: Mr. Michael Harte & Mr. James Taylor

Attendance: 242