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Daily Record
Daily Record
Callum Carson

Linlithgow Rose end eight-year wait for silverware with Qualifying Cup final success over Gala Fairydean Rovers

Linlithgow Rose completed the first half of a potential cup double as they struck twice late on to lift the East of Scotland Qualifying Cup.

It was party time in Penicuik for Gordon Herd’s men as they defeated Gala Fairydean Rovers 3-1 in front of a bumper crowd at Penicuik Park.

Alan Docherty was the Rose hero as he bagged the opener before firing them back in front on 83 minutes after the Lowland League outfit had levelled things up before half-time.

Sean Heaver ensured the trophy was heading back to Prestonfield as he stroked home the third in the final moments.

It was Linlithgow’s first piece of silverware for eight years - and they have a chance to make it two in as many weeks when they take on either Whitehill Welfare or Tranent in Sunday’s East of Scotland League Cup final.

The 90 minutes was something of an odd affair in that Linlithgow were utterly dominant in the first half yet went into the break at 1-1 while Gala were far superior in the second half but couldn’t find a second goal before the Rose struck twice in the final seven minutes to bag the trophy.

Docherty was a threat all afternoon and he went close early on as Linlithgow peppered the Rovers goal for much of the opening 45 minutes.

His early free-kick went narrowly wide while Connor McMullan twice went close to opening the scoring - the first effort brilliantly tipped wide by Josh Blair before the Rose man’s delicate chip over the keeper went over the bar.

Liam Allison then saw his header saved by the busy Gala goalie before the pressure finally led to the deadlock being broken on 36 minutes.

Tremendous play down the right flank saw McMullan jink his way into the box before his cutback eventually fell to Docherty with the striker firing home from 10 yards.

The Rose nearly extended their lead twice when both McMullan and Allison went close from Heaver corner-kicks before they were hit on the counter-attack as first half ticked into injury-time.

A long ball caught Linlithgow’s defence cold with former Pumpherston striker Zander Murray racing through and slotting the equaliser past Lewis McMinn.

That sparked a complete change in momentum as Jimmy Scott’s side came out after the interval and controlled much of the second half.

A point-blank save from McMinn denied Marc Berry from four yards out just before the hour mark and then almost immediately rescued his side again as the raced out to thwart Ryan Schiavone before scrambling back to claw the second effort off the line.

Murray looked set to nod Rovers in front midway through the second half when he was found at the back post but his effort lack conviction and was palmed away by McMinn.

Having weathered a sustained period of pressure, Linlithgow eventually grew into the second half.

McMullan was found unmarked at the back post no 74 minutes by Docherty but was unable to direct his header the right side of the post for his liking while skipper Gary Thom saw his header brilliantly saved by Blair.

There was a sense of the Rose now being in the ascendency and they made it count with seven minutes remaining as Heaver’s header found Docherty on the edge of the area.

The striker, running away from goal, fired back across himself and into the far corner to ensure the Rose had one hand firmly on the trophy.

And they got both hands on it in injury-time as Heaver was played in by substitute Mark Stowe, calmly turned inside and curled the ball into the bottom corner to spark scenes of joy amongst the Rose players and fans.

Having waited eight years for a cup triumph, they’ll be hoping it’s just a seven day gap before their next piece of silverware.

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