Bonnyrigg Rose were crowned East of Scotland champions on Saturday as they overcame Broxburn Athletic 3-2.
The Rose have given themselves the chance after defeating Penicuik 2-1 in their opening round robin game but did it against Broxburn the hard way at Albyn Park to clinch the top League title.
Subject to being granted a SFA licence they will play in the Lowland League next season, and will also be entered into the preliminary rounds of the Scottish Cup.
It proved to be an incredible come back as Bonnyrigg were reduced to 10 men with half an hour gone with goalkeeper Bryan Young sent off and Broxburn seizing the initiative to score twice before half time.
The second half, however, saw a miraculous turnaround for Rose netting three goals to win the game in dramatic circumstances and secure the title.
With the score goalless in the opening 30 minutes or so the referee, in the 31st minute, adjudged Rose keeper to have handled the ball outside his penalty box. Young was dismissed and substitute keeper Mike Andrews came on with Keith Lough giving way.
Within three minutes Andrews, having seen two prompt efforts blocked, was beaten by the third effort, hit home by Burn’s Gordon Donaldson to put Broxburn 1-0 ahead.
It got worse for the Rose just before half-time as the hosts went 2-0 up as Ross Nimmo scored with a lob from outside the penalty area, leaving Bonnyrigg with a mountain to climb in the second half. Just into that second period Bonnyrigg were denied a penalty but with 10 minutes gone Rose boss brought on two-goal scoring substitutes to try to turn things round.
On came Kieran McGachie and Aaron Murrell while off went Ross Gray and Neil Martyniuk. And in 70 minutes Bonnyrigg scored their first goal of the crucial afternoon when Lee Currie’s cross was headed home by Dean Hoskins to pull the hosts back to 2-1.
Hoskins again went close in 83 minutes heading a Currie corner off the crossbar, but a minute later it was 2-2 to complete the Rose comeback from 2-0 down and still a man short. As a ball was played into the home penalty area it found Murrell who cracked home the equaliser with six minutes left for play and a draw suffice to see Rose win the league.
However, it was deep into injury time when Rose put the icing on the cake with a third match winning goal.
With the home keeper up for a Broxburn corner, the ball was cleared by the Rose into a counterattack seeing Murrell set up Lewis Turner to finish off the move and score.
Thanks to super Rose displays from the whole team, especially Alan Horne, Jon Stewart and Dean Hoskins, the huge Rose celebrations ensued at the final whistle.
Rose: B.Young, Brett, Martyniuk, K.Young, Horne, Hoskins, Turner, Stewart, Lough, Currie, Gray. Subs: Nelson,Murrell, Swanson, McGachie, M.Andrews, Brian.