Linlithgow Rose 4 (Hare 25mins, Allum 63mins, Ronald 73mins, Ro.Maclennan 77mins)
Blackburn United 1 (Hutton 88mins)
United gave a debut to young Livingston FC loanee John Queen but it was the hosts who had the better of the opening exchanges, Strickland seeing a shot from distance tipped past by Darren Mitchell before ex-Blackburn man Allison, also a debutant, headed Ronald’s corner just over the top. On the seventeen minute mark United too came close when home ‘keeper Wilson fumbled an overhit Danny Campbell cross and was lucky to see it only land on the roof of his net. Ruari Maclennan was the next Rose man to try his luck but when his effort emerged through a sea of legs Mitchell did well to react quickly and block. However, only a moment or so later Linlithgow took advantage of some poor defending to force their way in front, HARE pouncing on a weak Michael Browne clearance to break into the right of the area and drill a shot across the face of goal and in at the bottom left hand corner.
The second half sprung to life six minutes in when Campbell was desperately unlucky to see his twenty yarder clatter off the face of the crossbar after neat work between him and Calum McDowall had created the chance and the hosts almost took advantage of their good fortune moments later when David Taylor was caught out in the middle of the park to allow Maclennan a run and shot that Mitchell saved and when the ball broke back for Strickland Marty Lawrie was on hand to clear his follow-up effort off the line. However, just ten minutes more had passed before the Rose found the net again, a long ball forward finding ALLUM sprinting clear and he made no mistake in picking his spot behind Mitchell. Mitchell then held a Strickland pop from a Ronald pass before Blackburn coughed up cheap possession again and were punished once more, RONALD getting in on the left to beat Mitchell with a low effort. Three minutes later the difference was four when substitute Roddy MACLENNAN completed the scoring for the hosts after finding time and space to guide a shot home, although Blackburn did manage to finish the game strongly and were rewarded when Richie HUTTON made ground on the left in the final minute to draw Wilson from his line and slide the ball behind him from a tightening angle.
Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren, Lawrie (Gunn 85), Taylor, Browne, Smith, McDowall, Watson, Campbell, Howe (Donnelly-Kay 74), Queen (Hutton 68) Subs (not-used): Young, McIntosh, Welsh, Saunders
Linlithgow Rose line-up: Wilson, Gray, Meikle, Allison, McGowan, Hare, Ronald, Ru.Maclennan, Strickland, Allum, Scullion Subs: Dar.Smith, McKinven, Ro.Maclennan, Thom, Hutchison, Slaven, Dan.Smith
Assistants: Mr. W.McAleese & Mr.J.Kelly