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Bonnyrigg 4, St Andrews 3: Match Report

ADVERTISING boards were on show in Bonnyrigg at the weekend publicising the arrival of Peter Pan at the nearby capital’s Kings Theatre.

But New Dundas Park was the location for a pantomime of its own on Saturday with the fans not having far to look for the stereotypical baddie and his henchmen.

Battling St Andrews United were eventually thwarted by a revived Bonnyrigg Rose side but not before the game had taken more twists and turns than Jack’s Beanstalk.

Saints stand-in gaffer Gus Malone was forced to make changes for his second game in charge following the suspension of Kevin McMullan.

Former Aberdeen defender Phil McGuire came in to make his long-awaited debut alongside Allan Ramsey and Jamie Mackie who replaced McMullan, Kamil Kadela and Sam Buchan.

Meanwhile, the home side were without dangerman Sean Grady in attack and gaffer Max Christie could only find room on the bench for Alex King, Paul Currie and frontman Paul Harvey who they signed from Musselburgh only last week.

The first chance of the game fell to Bonnyrigg’s Kris Renton who beat Craig Wedderburn in the air and flicked the ball onto Stuart Roseburgh but the midfielders strike flew the wrong side of the post.

St Andrews started well themselves but it was against the run of play they took the lead in the first twist of the storyline.

Sean Woodburn was forced into conceding a corner in 11 minutes and when Mackie delivered the corner James Drummond was on hand at the far post to nod the ball past David Hay.

Bonnyrigg were stunned and continued to press forward but the Saints rearguard held firm against the tide.

The home side continued to push for a leveller and on the half-hour mark a great tackle by Ramsay thwarted Renton in the box as the striker was about to let fly and in 38 minutes Liam McKenna headed over from Alan Horne’s cross.

St Andrews almost held out until the interval but with perfect theatrical timing Roseburgh danced around two defenders on the right before squaring the ball for Stephen Manson who fired past the helpless Richard Cargill to level the game.

It may have been a pie and bovril rather than sweets and ice cream for the punters at half-time but the story took another twist in 53 minutes.

St Andrews were awarded a free-kick which Mackie quickly slid into the path of Barry Sibanda who let fly from 35 yards and as the crowd held its breath the ball flew like an arrow straight past Hay and into the top corner.

The strike from Sibanda was worthy of a bow from the midfielder and it was certainly an entrant for any goal of the season competition.

The home side were desperate to preserve their winning run of five straight wins in the Superleague and Christie needed to change things about for his team.

Kevin McDonald, Manson and McKenna were replaced by King, Currie and Harvey and his cast change paid off immediately as new boy Harvey managed to touch the ball into the net after a scramble in the St Andrews box which meant yet another change to the script.

Christie’s men completed the turnaround by taking the lead for the first time in 75 minutes as the baddie in this piece awarded Bonnyrigg a penalty after Ricky Patrick was harshly adjudged to have handled in the box.

Kris Renton tucked in his costume and converted from the spot with ease.

But did Bonnyrigg’s third mean the game was over, oh no it didn’t, as battling St Andrews fought back in 84 minutes when Mackie’s throw-in caused a stramash in the Bonnyrigg box and Wedderburn stabbed the ball home to draw things level.

However, this production was far from over and Buchan saw his performance come to a premature end as he exited stage right after receiving a red card for saying something to the baddie which was definitely not in the script and the visitors were down to 10 men.

The finale to this show arrived in 86 minutes after a free-kick, which was wrongly awarded to Bonnyrigg, found the unmarked King and the midfielder rifled the ball into the bottom corner, cue a standing ovation from the home supporters.

On the sounding of the final whistle the officials, stage name the baddies, were met with a barrage of boos from the travelling support as they saw this pantomime end sourly for them.

The defeat for St Andrews means they remain near the foot of the Superleague beanstalk but things are looking much more colourful for Bonnyrigg’s season as their sixth win on the bounce mean they continue their climb towards the golden egg.

Mark Johnson

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4 Responses to Bonnyrigg 4, St Andrews 3: Match Report

  1. bill taylor Reply

    December 10, 2013 at 11:28 am

    It was a free kick that King scored from not a corner. Who gives you the match report?

    • Paul Jain Reply

      December 12, 2013 at 12:31 pm

      bill, the report was sent in by guest blogger Mark Johnson.

  2. Bill Taylor Reply

    December 12, 2013 at 2:04 pm

    Must have spent too much time in the Social Club or the Calderwood

    • Paul Jain Reply

      December 13, 2013 at 8:33 pm

      Bill, oh know he didnt!