'If you don't turn up you get punished' - Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd assesses shock defeat at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts

All good things must come to an end and that famous old saying applied to Linlithgow Rose on Saturday, as they crashed 2-1 at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts having won their previous 21 matches in league and cup.

Gordon Herd's men went down to a 2-1 defeat at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts (Library pic by Scott Louden)
Gordon Herd's men went down to a 2-1 defeat at Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts (Library pic by Scott Louden)

A below par Rose side went 1-0 down after 13 minutes of this East of Scotland Premier Division encounter when a long punt forward wasn’t dealt with and Greig Spence nipped in to score.

Alan Sneddon equalised in brilliant style for Rose with a right footed shot before half-time but Swifts sealed it when Spence shot home a second half winner after a cross from the left.

“The two goals we lost were bad goals,” Rose manager Gordon Herd told the Journal and Gazette. “We have not defended like we have over the period when we’ve been winning games.

"So we were really disappointed. But to be fair to Inverkeithing they came with a game plan and the boy Spence who scored two goals caused us all sorts of problems.

"We didn’t play well on the astroturf pitch as well but we have no excuses. We should have had enough tools and personnel to go there and beat Inverkeithing.

"It was a great goal from Snedds. It was his fourth in four games, he deserved his start so he’s stepped up really well.

"But like I keep saying, if you don’t turn up in this league you get punished and that happened to us on Saturday.”

Despite the setback, Rose remain top of the table with 59 points from 25 games, two points ahead of second placed Penicuik Athletic who have played two matches fewer.

Also still in the hunt are third placed Tranent Juniors who have 56 points from 24 fixtures.

Herd, whose side will be hoping to get back to winning ways in the league at home to bottom club Whitehill Welfare this Saturday, refused to lay into his players.

He added: "The boys have been tremendous. They’re allowed an off day so we can’t be too critical as they’ve been on that super run.

"The challenge is now for them to pick themselves up and go on that kind of run again.

"Because if they do that they’ll win the league.

"The boys trained well on Tuesday night and seemed pretty determined to bounce back so we look forward to Saturday.”