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Despite the shock of seeing Mark Stowe’s early penalty saved after a foul on Connor McMullan, Linlithgow Rose regrouped and comfortably saw off Whitehill Welfare 4-0 on Saturday to keep their East of Scotland League Premier Division title bid on track.

Mark Stowe (left) had an early penalty saved but later scored in 4-0 win over Whitehill Welfare
Mark Stowe (left) had an early penalty saved but later scored in 4-0 win over Whitehill Welfare

Seven days after their incredible winning streak was ended at 21 matches by a 2-1 league defeat at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Linlithgow bounced back to win comfortably with goals by Lewis Payne, own goal, Cammy Thomson and Stowe.

In a game in which Rose also missed several other good scoring chances against the team sitting bottom, Whitehill skipper Ricky Miller was sent off late on after receiving a second yellow card for a bad foul on Alan Docherty.

"It didn’t worry us when the guy saved the penalty because it was just a case of getting the breakthrough and building on it,” Rose manager Gordon Herd told the Journal and Gazette.

"Our home form is very good so we knew that we would get the breakthrough at some point.

"Their goalie’s had a great game to be fair to him. He’s kept the score at a respectable level.

“We should have scored more and we were looking for a better performance.

"But considering the defeat they took last week it’s good to get back on track with four goals and a clean sheet.

"It helps our goal difference as well which could be pivotal in the run-in.

"It was pleasing but there are some aspects we need to tidy up on. I just felt that the intensity that we normally play at wasn’t there.

"The park’s taken a bit of a doing in the last two or three weeks and Whitehill just sat and made it hard for us.”

Herd also gave his opinion on the robust challenge on Docherty by Miller which resulted in the Welfare man heading off early.

"I think he (Miller) is one of their more experienced players,” the Rose boss added. “So it’s not what you’re looking for.

"Their fighting relegation but that’s Whitehill’s issue it’s not ours. We conducted ourselves in a professional manner so it’s not anything for us to worry about.

"It’s really good to have Alan back. It was his first game back since the Camelon game and we had Willis Hare back after a wee lay-off as well so we’re starting to get some bodies back.”