Fairytale Scottish Cup win for Bonnyrigg

Rose boss Robbie Horn and goalscorer Adam Nelson
Rose boss Robbie Horn and goalscorer Adam Nelson

Bonnyrigg Rose did the unimaginable on Tuesday night to beat Championship side Dumbarton in the third round of the Scottish Cup.

The win sees the Rose face Scottish Cup winners Hibernian in the next round with a venue still to be decided but it looks likley to be Tynecastle.

Adam Nelson struck the winner for the Super League champions four minutes from the end of a tightly-contested replay.

And the full-time whistle was greeted by a pitch invasion and chants of “Bring on the Hibees” from the jubilant Bonnyrigg supporters.

The victory over a Dumbarton side they arguably should have beaten in the goalless first match ten days earlier maintains a superb Scottish Cup run in which Rose have eliminated Glasgow University, Burntisland Shipyard, Turriff United and Cove Rangers.

Bonnyrigg manager Robbie Horn said: “It’s an absolute dream, I’m delighted for the supporters and all the guys on the committee who put their heart and soul into the club and deserve this reward.

“The club have got to maximise what they can make out of the tie. I’d be delighted if it’s at Tynecastle because I’m a Jambo. I hope it’s there because I think the whole of Bonnyrigg as well as a lot of neutrals would turn out for it. The Scottish Cup holders against a Junior side – it’s a fairytale game.”

Horn is adamant that his team will be intent on making their presence felt against the holders, adding: “We’re not just going to turn up to enjoy it – we’re going to try and win it.”

Bonnyrigg started in bright fashion and carved out the first clear chance of the match in the sixth minute when Ruaridh Donaldson’s pass up the left channel put Keiran McGachie in behind the home defence, but, with goalkeeper Alan Martin advancing to close him down, the striker curled his effort beyond the far post from the edge of the box.

Dean Hoskins then tried his luck with a firmly-struck free kick from a central position 25 yards out, but Martin was equal to it. The sense that the visitors might be able to pull off an upset was lent further weight in the 15th minute when winger Lewis Turner burst into the box and smacked an angled shot against the crossbar from 15 yards out.

This seemed to act as a wake-up call to Dumbarton, who gradually started to make their presence felt, creating a string of half chances, mostly from set-pieces, before the break. However, they never really looked breaching a spirited Rose rearguard, and the visitors were deservedly applauded off at the interval.

Bonnyrigg, who had fallen out of the game as an attacking force since the opening 20 minutes, began to reassert themselves after the break and felt they should have broken the deadlock on the hour mark. McGachie latched on to a pass from Kerr Young just outside the box and spun away from Gregor Buchanan before running on to slot into the net, but referee Greg Aitken had already ruled that the Rose striker had used foul means to get clear of the Sons defender. The Bonnyrigg players and supporters were livid at this perceived injustice.

At the other end, Stevenson drilled a low free-kick just wide from the edge of the penalty area. However, Bonnyrigg had looked the likelier side for most of the second half and they hit woodwork for a second time in the match when Nelson’s inswinging corner kick dropped on to the crossbar in the 73rd minute.

Nelson wasn’t to be denied, however, with the midfielder sparking jubilant scenes when he smacked an effort in off the inside of the post from the edge of the box.

Rose: Andrews, Horne, Donaldson, Stewart, Young, Hoskins, Turner, Kidd (Gray 80), McGachie, Nelson, McIntosh (McLaren 80). Subs: Rooney, Moyes, Archibald.