Bonnyrigg Rose hoisted themselves to pole position in the Lowland League following a fine 3-1 win over East Stirlingshire on Saturday.
An excellent crowd of home supporters turned out at New Dundas Park and the result is starting to show some early title candidates, including Bonnyrigg, second top Kelty Hearts and second equal Caledonian Braves, who beat defending champions East Kilbride.
Saturday’s encounter was a tough tussle against a battling Shire. The scores were even at half-time before two second-half goals from the Rose sealed all three points.
Overall, Mark Weir only had to make the one first-half save as Rose went 1-0 up on 14 minutes when a Lee Currie free kick hit the crossbar and landed over the line on hitting the ground.
However, just eight minutes before the break, the Shire pulled level through former Stirling Albion man Evan Horne to see the half finish at 1-1.
It was all to play for in the second half with both sides in search of victory and all three points.
That eventually came Bonnyrigg’s way despite Shire going all out themselves with goalkeeper Weir having to make a brave save at the feet of a Shire attacker.
Rose put in a good second half shift and went 2-1 ahead in 56 minutes following a ball in from Keiran McGachie to Lee Currie, who netted the chance to restore the Rose’s advantage over their visitors.
Rose put the game beyond doubt on 76 minutes through George Hunter as he shot home on the turn to put the seal on a fine victory and claim their place at the summit.
Speaking to the club’s official website after the match, Rose manager Robbie Horn said: “Today’s result was a great win for us with all things considered.
“Bonnyrigg are possibly underdogs in this league because there are a lot of big spending clubs around.
“I’m not saying we’re not, but the club have had to spend a lot of money in ground improvements which we will benefit from in seasons to come.
“Clubs such as East Stirlingshire have a much bigger player pool than us, so for us to beat clubs like this is a testament to the quality we have.
“Shire have a squad of 24 players while we have 18: 18 players though who are a really tight knit unit who play superb football.
“Today’s result shows that we are a match for anyone in this league and with the support of our great fans we are looking forward to some great adventures ahead.
“I don’t like singling out anyone for attention but Lee was Man of the Match for me but everyone played their part, especially our defence.”
Next up for the Rose this Saturday is the visit of Dalbeattie Star to New Dundas Park in another league match.
The Galloway side sit bottom of the league table having lost all four of their opening league games, shipping 16 goals in the process without scoring any themselves.