League leaders Bonnyrigg Rose lost three players and three points in this title showdown against second-placed Bo’ness United on Saturday.
Bonnyrigg still retain the leadership, one point ahead of Bo’ness in this week’s standings, but the latter have played three more games. The title race looks like being between the Rose, Bo’ness and 2015 champions Kelty, who currently sit five points behind Bonnyrigg with a game in hand.
In a goalless first half at Bo’ness, Rose’s Wayne McIntosh was off target with a scoring chance, as were Ruaridh Donaldson and Dean Hoskins in a reportedly ordinary game which lacked the expected excitement.
However, only four minutes were gone in the second half when Bo’ness opened the scoring after a failed Rose attempted clearance fell kindly for Jack Simpson to fire home past goalkeeper Mike Andrews to break the deadlock.
Manager Robbie Horn had warned his players to “keep the heid” as Bonnyrigg tried to quickly hit back, but a Scott Gray attempt was blocked and cleared.
After 57 minutes, Bo’ness extended their lead when, following a double block by Andrews during a goalmouth stramash, the ball was finally forced into the Rose net by Fraser Keast.
The BU s were on their way to avenging their 3-2 defeat at New Dundas Park last October.
Bonnyrigg were able to pull a goal back in 85 minutes with an excellent strike by Fraser McLaren, but it proved to be a consolation goal.
McIntosh and Donaldson were sent in for early baths, Dean Hoskins having been dismissed earlier, leaving Bonnyrigg with just eight players at the end. There were yellow cards for Nelson and Turner.