Tranent Add East of Scotland Cup To Trophy Cabinet

Tranent 1 Bonnyrigg Rose 1 (Tranent Win 4-1 on pens)

Report by Gordon Baird
You wait 40 years for a trophy and then like buses, they come along in pairs – two in four days in fact. Tranent Juniors added the DJ Laing East of Scotland Cup to the Fife and Lothians trophy they won on Wednesday, with a resilient display against a hard working Bonnyrigg Rose side, who dominated possession throughout, but couldn’t find the clinical final ball.
The Belters went behind to a Kidd penalty before conjuring up a fine equaliser through Fisher.  Rose couldn’t find a way to goal and Tranent might have won the cup in ninety minutes with better finishing in the last 20 minutes . The Belters kept their cool in the penalty shoot, as they have done on a number of occasions this season, and when Wojtowycz slotted their fourth kick, it sparked scenes of joy among their large support.

After a hugely successful season, Bonnyrigg Rose hoped to end it with some silverware as they faced a resurgent Tranent Juniors in the final match of the season – the D J Laing East of Scotland Cup Final at Creamery Park, Bathgate.  The SuperLeague giants finished second in their defence of their League crown and reached the semi final of the Scottish Junior Cup, losing out narrowly to eventual winners Glenafton. They also reached the fourth round of the Scottish Cup where they faced Hibernian, having defeated Championship side Dumbarton in an earlier round.

The Belters finished fourth in the Premier League but won the Conservatory Converters Fife & Lothians Cup, with a stunning win over Broxburn Athletic on Wednesday night and have conquered SuperLeague opposition seven times in cup ties this season.  These sides met in the Fife & Lothians Cup last season when Rose won very easily after the Belters had a man sent off early on, but Tranent have shown marked improvement this season and the match was sure to be close.
Despite a week of heavy rain, Creamery Park was in splendid condition and there was a large and noisy crowd in attendance as the sides kicked off on a fine afternoon. From the off Bonnyrigg showed their intent on pressing Tranent and in the opening minute Christie was caught in possession,  and only a well timed Todd intervention averted the danger. Seconds later McIntosh tried a shot for Rose, but it hit Kerr in the face and was cleared. Bonnyrigg were pouring on the pressure and from an early free kick, Moyes got a header on goal.
With only six minutes played  Todd put himself under pressure when he received the first yellow card of the afternoon. The big defender put himself on a tightrope with such an early card! Tranent were struggling to weather the storm but after six minutes they won a free kick in a dangerous area and Patterson brought out a good stop from Andrews in Rose’s goal.
A minute later Jackson in the Tranent goal made a good stop from Gray, after the winger made a good run. Tranent looked sluggish in the early exchanges and Bonnyrigg were sharp and dominating the play and winning all the 50/ 50 balls.
After fifteen minutes, Manson had dangerous effort deflected for the Juniors but he was judged offside anyway.
Turner went down for Rose in their next attack and looked like he’d take no further part, stretching Bonnyrigg’s playing resources even further, but the tough midfielder recovered after treatment.
Rose then won a corner which Nelson swung in. Young got on the end of it but his header was deflected onto the bar and behind by a defender- at this point Bonnyrigg were winning everything in the air and McIntosh in particular was giving the Tranent back four a torrid time with his aerial ability.
Midway through the half another Nelson free kick was headed just wide by Young. Gray then had an opening for Rose after good play between Nelson and McGachie, but he shot over when well placed. On the half hour Kidd was just wide with a chipped effort.
Tranent were really struggling to retain possession of the ball and Bonnyrigg looked certain to score. A goal did come for Rose but in the strangest fashion. Brett crossed the ball in from the left and the cross looked to be going long, until Kerr put his hand up and deflected the ball. Referee Lambie pointed to the spot and yellow carded the defender. It was an unusual incident and it appeared that the experienced defender had been pushed as he leapt for the ball causing him to raise an arm. KIDD stepped up and put the kick away, although Jackson got his fingers to it.
However, within four minutes Tranent were level. Manson played a one two with FISHER on the left of the box and the goal scoring hero of Wednesday night, finished off clinically, giving Andrews no chance. This was typical of the Tranent team’s resilience in their cup runs and Bonnyrigg were clearly rattled by the loss of the goal.
It was a first half in which Bonnyrigg had shown why they have had such a successful season, but they couldn’t find the killer ball to cut open a stubborn Tranent defence which had grown in confidence during the half. Tranent must have been delighted to reach the break still level as they simply couldn’t keep the ball.
Half Time  Tranent Juniors 1 Bonnyrigg Rose 1
There were no changes at the break and Rose started off on the front foot again with a McGachie run. After forty eight minutes, Rose thought they had retaken the lead. Turner did well on the right and sent in a great cross which McIntosh fired home, but the offside flag was up.
Minutes later McIntosh nearly had the ball in the net again but Wojtowycz cleared his effort off the line with Jackson beaten. Next Moyes got on the end of a through ball but again Jackson made the stop. Tranent were really struggling to get forward and a Manson shot was all they had to show for their efforts in the second period. Bonnyrigg’s next raid saw Young have a half chance, but he didn’t test Jackson.
With sixty two minutes played, Bonnyrigg nearly got caught out pushing forward. Manson got on the end of a long ball, but shot wide when he should have scored. However, it was a foretaste of what was to come as Tranent at last started to get into the game.
Jamieson replaced McGachie up front for Rose as they looked to freshen things up. With sixty fours minutes played Tranent should have taken the lead. Wojtowycz’s corner was played straight back to him and his curling cross found Todd at the far post,  but with the goal gaping he put his header wide – another let off for Rose. Rose then introduced Brown for Horne looking to exploit his ability to get forward. Tranent withdrew Manson and brought on Watters.
After seventy four minutes, Andrews made a fine stop with his legs after Patterson had latched onto a good through ball. Tranent then replaced Smith and Fisher with Murray and Fiddler as players tired on a warm afternoon. With fifteen minutes remaining McIntosh side footed a Jamieson cross wide, when he looked sure to score. Minutes later Brett struck the outside of the post with a fine free kick.
Tranent were dangerous when they got forward and Patterson’s pace was still causing problems, but his finishing let him down. Bonnyrigg kept probing but the Tranent defence were now coping well and it would take something special to beat Jackson. As time ran out Rose had one late chance, but Kidd blasted over.
There was to be no last minute winner for Tranent in this Final,  so the game went to penalties. Jackson saved two of Bonnyrigg’s first three attempts, while Tranent were perfect. When Wojtowycz stepped forward to take Tranent’s fourth kick he knew it was to win the cup. The full back gave Andrews no chance and the East of Scotland Cup was going back to join the Fife & Lothians Cup, at Foresters Park. As is usually the case in a shoot out, the goalkeeper was the hero and Jackson’s two fine saves were the difference.
As well as Jackson the winners had stars in Kerr, Wojtowycz and Todd. Darren Smith showed some fine touches in midfield and was a calming influence. Andrews was solid for Rose and Gray worked hard to create openings.
It’s been a remarkable few months for Tranent Juniors since they changed their management team and winning two cups must be beyond their wildest dreams. They stood up to a Bonnyrigg side who have simply played too many games in the last few weeks and have lost key players to injury. Tranent have a great team spirit and skilful players and never know when they are beaten.
They are the kings of the penalty shoot out. They were a sleeping giant of Junior football and have now be reenergised and will look forward to next season. Bonnyrigg have had a magnificent season but sadly ended without any silverware. They flew the flag for the Junior game in the Scottish Cup and did so with style. Referee Scott Lambie and his team handled the game well.
Tranent Juniors: Jackson, Christie, Wojtowycz, Todd, Kerr, Smith, Miller, Hawkins, Fisher, Kane, Patterson, Manson. Subs:  Watters, Murray, Fiddler, Smeaton, J Patterson.
Bonnyrigg Rose: Andrews, Horne, Brett, Young, Moyes, Turner, Gray, McIntosh, McGachie, Nelson, Kidd. Subs: Brown, Archibald, Jamieson, Stewart, Hoskins.
Scott Lambie

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