Morton vs Bonnyrigg Rose – Match Preview
by Dean McKinnon.
Morton’s League Cup qualification hopes are looking far more positive than they were at tea time on Saturday. The loyal Morton fans who travelled to Leith were rewarded with an impressive performance and result in the Capital midweek, with The Ton winning on penalties following a 1-1 draw. News broke on Thursday that Hibs defender Rocky Bushiri should have been serving a one-match suspension following two bookings in previous League Cup fixtures. Morton were subsequently awarded a 3-0 victory. This means that, should Falkirk lose in tomorrow’s final group match against Clyde, and Morton beat Bonnyrigg, The Ton will win the group.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Jai Quitongo will return to the fold after serving his two-game ban due to his ordering off against Falkirk in the opening tie, however Cammy Blues and Alex King will serve one match bans following both picking up a second booking of the group stages at Easter Road.
Whilst there are no ‘current’ connections between the two sides, Danish forward Andreas Per Bartram and goalkeeper Craig Coyle have both represented The Ton and The Rose.
Bartram started his career at hometime club Odense BK, before making the move to Greenock in 1966. Over a three year stay on Sinclair Street, he would score twenty goals in thirty-six appearances, before joining Crystal Palace in 1969, where he would play for a season before returning to The Ton in 1970. He rejoined his hometime club, Odense BK, for a six year spell between 1971 and 1977 before seeing out the rest of his playing days with Bonnyrigg Rose.
Edinburgh born Craig Coyle signed for Raith Rovers in 1999, making six appearances over a two year stint before making the switch to Inverclyde, where he would help Morton win the Third Division title following the club’s escape from administration. He would later join Arbroath in 2005, before making the move to then Junior-side Bonnyrigg Rose, where he spent three seasons, helping the Rose win the East Region Super League in 2008/09. He would retire from football in 2017 following spells with Linlithgow Rose, Penicuik Athletic and Hamilton.
Photo - GBR Photographs.
Tale of the Tape
This is the first ever meeting between both sides.
Having watched Bonnyrigg successfully navigate past Fraserburgh on their way to the pyramid playoff final against Cowdenbeath first hand, I’d like to offer my insight into tomorrow’s opponents. Coming into the second leg of the tie with a two-goal advantage, The Rose managed the game well. They were capable of sitting deep and soaking up pressure from the Highland League side, who struggled to create many clear cut chances despite enjoying most of the ball.
The match reached fever pitch in the second half, with Kieran Simpson netting for the home side in the 67th minute to half the arrears and spark the home side into life. Despite the match becoming frantic in the late stages, the Edinburgh side’s resolve shone through as they held on to represent Scotland’s fifth tier in the pyramid play-off final against Cowdenbeath. After a 3-0 home rout of the League Two side, a 1-0 victory in Fife the following week confirmed Bonnyrigg’s promotion.
I spoke to sports journalist Amy Canavan (@amyjcanavan) ahead of tomorrow’s clash, who spoke of a quiet confidence in the new League Two side – “Bonnyrigg Rose may be the new kid on the SPFL block, but there haven’t been any teething problems in their three Premier Sports Cup fixtures to date.
Manager Robbie Horn has been right and ready to relay that this period still very much falls under ‘pre-season’ for The Rosey Posey, who finished their promotion-sealing season so late in May. With that at the forefront of the mind, positives have been pouring out of performances aplenty.
To kick things off with a win against League 1 side, Clyde, was a solid statement to make. A free-flowing first half to match was pleasing on the eye for the ever present, travelling Rose faithful. Could’ve, should’ve had a comfier cushion going in at the interval but the play at times was truly outstanding.
A huge day for the players, the club and the community came against Hibernian. Lee Johnson’s side proved to be cool, calm and clinical under the heated pressure. A scoreline in all honesty which reflected harshly on Robbie Horn’s men who made a decent account for themselves against Premiership opposition – and again, with a heavily rotated side from that who defeated The Bully Wee.
No matter who has taken to the field, all have acquitted equally impressively. A well-earned point against Falkirk could’ve been all three had one of the many well worked chances deep into the second half found the back of the net.
This is still very much a side finding their feet. These games have been terrific exercises ahead of the Rose’s maiden match in the professional leagues, and I suspect Saturday will be no different. Respect, as always, but no fear in sight.”
Photo - GBR Photographs.
All odds are provided by McBookie. Odds are correct as of 8am on Friday 22nd July 2022 and are subject to change. Please only bet within your means and visit BeGambleAware if you are struggling.
The two-tier gap between both sides doesn’t appear to necessarily be reflected by the bookies, with Morton priced 4/6 to win the tie within regulation time, with both a draw and an away win inside ninety minutes priced at 3/1.
Given Morton’s praiseworthy defence performance midweek, the home side to win without conceding a goal may be a shrewd investment at 11/5. If you fancy Morton to banish their attacking drought, you can back them to win on a -1 handicap at 2/1.
Referee - Calum Scott
AR1 - Brian Christie
AR2 - Cameron Telfer