'We need to keep applying pressure to top two' - Linlithgow Rose boss Gordon Herd hails his players after 13th straight win
Thirteen is traditionally known as an unlucky number but try telling that to followers of East of Scotland Premier Division title chasers Linlithgow Rose just now.
An incredible 13th straight Rose victory – in nine league games and four cup ties – was achieved with Saturday’s 1-0 league win at Newtongrange Star thanks to Alan Docherty’s first half strike following Jack Ogilvie’s cross from the right.
“We probably should have been two or three clear by half-time,” gaffer Gordon Herd – whose third placed team now trail leaders Penicuik and second placed Tranent Juniors by eight and four points respectively – told the Journal and Gazette.
"And then second half we missed a penalty and had another good few chances.
"It’s good that we’re creating those chances and I’d be worries if we weren’t creating them. But we need to be a wee bit more clinical.
"It’s been a great run. It’s something that we could only have dreamt of when we came in the door.
"But all credit goes to the players for buying into what we’ve been asking them to do.
"Hopefully we can just keep this run going for as long as we can.
"There will be a wee bump in the road at some stage but it’s good that we’re keeping it going.
"We need to keep applying pressure on the two teams above us.”
The missed penalty Herd refers to came when the normally reliable Mark Stowe saw his second half effort saved brilliantly by home keeper Liam McCathie who had a fine match.
“Being a striker myself I always expect my striker to score a penalty,” Herd said. “You’ve maybe got to give the goalkeeper a bit of credit for guessing the right side but I can’t be too critical of Stowey, he’s been magnificent.
"I think he’s on 23 or 24 goals this season. He could have had a lot more with the chances that he’s had but he’s been excellent, I can’t praise him high enough for the attitude ever since we came in the door.”
On this Saturday’s league game at Dunbar United, Herd added: “It will be a hard game. If you’re not on your game at any given Saturday, then you’ll get turned over with how competitive this league is.
"Dunbar have been pretty decent at home so it’s another tricky away tie for us.
"But if we keep applying ourselves the way we have been applying ourselves, it’s up to us about going and getting a result on Saturday.
"The gap to the top two was something like 15 and 13 points when we came in.
"We have bridged the gap and the plan is just to hopefully keep churning out three points and close in on them for the start of the new year.”