'He was outstanding but not Curtois-esque' - Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd hails keeper Lewis McMinn after club's first cup win for eight years

Although he admits that goalkeeper Lewis McMinn was outstanding in Sunday’s 3-1 East of Scotland Qualifying Cup final win over Gala Fairydean Rovers, Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd doesn’t subscribe to the Gala camp’s view that McMinn’s performance was reminiscent of brilliant Real Madrid keeper Thibaut Courtois the previous evening.

By Craig Goldthorp
Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:27 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2022, 3:28 pm

Courtois made a succession of outstanding saves to deny Liverpool as Real prevailed 1-0 in the Champions League final in Paris and ex-Rangers under-20 keeper McMinn, 24, proved to be a similarly impenetrable barrier as Gala dominated the majority of the second half at Penicuik Park having been fortunate to get in at half-time at 1-1.

But when asked if he thought McMinn’s fine display reminded him of Curtois, Herd said: “I wouldn’t go to that extreme. I thought Lewis had three really good saves but the Gala goalie’s had a few good saves as well to keep them in it.

"Goalkeepers are paid to keep the ball out the net. I think reading between the lines Gala thought they were the better side, bit they’ve had a 15 or 20-minute spell so I can’t see how they can say that.”

Linlithgow - whose last cup success had come in the Fife and Lothians Cup in the 2013-2014 season – bossed the first half and missed chances before deservedly taking the lead through Alan Docherty’s strike on 40 minutes.

But Rovers equalised on the stroke of half-time through Zander Murray’s shot and then gained the ascendancy after the break.

But Docherty’s low shot put Rose back ahead on 84 minutes before Sean Heaver clinched a 3-1 win for his side with an angled strike late on.

Herd said: "We are absolutely delighted to get a trophy through the door for the first time in eight years at Linlithgow.

"It’s a bit of pressure that’s been lifted from us (Herd and his assistant manager John Millar who took the reins last August).

"When we came in I promised the president Jon Mahoney that we’d get a trophy through the door.

"To get that is a great achievement but all credit must go to the players. They’re the ones that’s got us there, they’re the ones that’s dug deep to get us through quarter-finals, semi-finals and get us over the line in the final.

"The players have been magnificent and they are all looking forward to pushing on now that wee bit of pressure’s been lifted from everybody because it can weigh on players’ minds.

“Over the 90 minutes we definitely deserved to win on Sunday. I think we had something ridiculous like 16 corners in the first half when we put a good bit of pressure on them.

"They’ve scored probably with their only breakaway of the game and then, to be fair to Gala, they’ve come out in the second half and put us under a wee bit of pressure for about 15, 20 minutes.

"We’ve had to rely on McMinn who I thought was excellent to keep it at 1-1.

"Then we’ve made the substitutions – Jack Ogilvie and Mark Stowe coming on – and I think they’ve given us a wee injection of life.

"Obviously I thought it was one of big Alan Docherty’s best games for Linlithgow. He has scored his second and then we’ve wrapped it up near the end with a brilliantly taken goal by Sean Heaver.

"I thought all three of our goals were brilliant.”