Champions Linlithgow Rose stormed to the East Superleague title unbeaten last season and kept up that remarkable record when a goal in either half saw them make it three wins out of three to get the defence of their crown off to the best possible start.
This game drew a crowd more than double that at Ochilview for at East Stirlingshire’s game and with ten minutes on the clock they saw Andy Shirra take advantage of some slack defending to give Rose the lead against his former club with an angled drive that found the net low at home keeper Richard Barnard’s left hand post.
Shortly afterwards the Mariners were dealt a blow when striker Kevin Kelbie limped off to be replaced by James Donaldson who had been signed just hours before the game form Bo’ness United.
Midway through the first half Rose came close to adding to their tally when a Billy Gibson header rattled the crossbar but three minutes before the break only a terrific save from Linlithgow’s beanpole keeper Scott Christie denied Camelon the equaliser when he tipped substitute Donaldson’s effort over the bar.
Twelve minutes into the second half Rose grabbed the goal that would seal the points when a swivel of the hips by Ruri McLellan gave him the time and space to fire the ball low into the far corner of the net.
With time running out, Camelon had chances to reduce the deficit, one of which saw Rose keeper Christie head team mate Mark Tyrell’s fierce pass back off his line while another saw Blair Batchelor just off target with a free kick which found the side netting.
After the game Camelon boss Danny Smith was disappointed that a lack of available players gave him little option to change things “We can play better than we did today and while I can’t criticise the effort from those that played there is no doubt our squad today wasn’t big enough to cope, especially when Kevin Kelbie suffered that first half injury. Having said that I’ve got to be happy with two wins from our first three games and other sides apart from us will find it dificult to take points of Linlithgow.”.
This Saturday Camelon will hope to get back on the winning trail when they take on new boys Armadale Thistle in the East Superleague at Volunteer Park. Kick off 2.30 p.m.