By Taylor Murray
The Rovers picked up a win in their first game of 2023 as they hit four past a dejected Bonnyrigg Rose side.
Goals from Luke Graham, Jamie Leslie and a double from Charlie Reilly saw the Coatbridge side pick up the three points as they move off the bottom of the table and send the Rovers faithful into a frenzy.
It was the Rovers’ first win since the 19th of November when they beat Stranraer at The Reigart Stadium and will look to build on the second half of the season after having an excellent start.
Coming into the game Rovers were in need of a result after many weeks of hard luck seeing good performances not ending in points. They faced a Bonnyrigg Rose side that was unbeaten in five games and had potential to open the gap to the Rovers to six points with a win.
The game got off to the best start for the Wee Rovers as they took the lead in the opening 10 minutes. Charlie Reilly was found in the box from a Jamie Leslie cross, with the Rovers number 11 having time to take a touch and fire it into the bottom left-hand corner on the half turn.
This set the mood for the rest of the half as Rovers built on their momentum with chances coming their way through Callum Wilson, Blair Malcolm and Joe Bevan all looking to double the away side’s lead.
Rovers’ fans erupted into cheer after Jack Leighfield performed an outrageous save from a dangerous Rose free kick. The Rovers keeper was at full stretch when he stopped the freekick from soaring into the top left-hand corner.
And just moments later it looked like the Coatbridge side doubled their lead as they had the ball in the back of the net from a Jamie Leslie strike, but it was deemed to be offside.
Despite this setback, it would be only two minutes later Leslie would get his just desserts after smashing home a Charlie Reilly corner in at the back post.
The momentum was with the away side, and they made it count as defender Luke Graham had a deflected strike hit the back of the net and giving the Rovers a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time.
In the second, the home side had grown into the game as they looked to get a goal back early on. The pressure from Bonnyrigg saw gaps open in their defence and Leslie almost made them pay early in the half with his second goal.
A strike from the edge of the box whisked past the post and it was almost a dire blow to an already exceedingly impossible take for the Rosey Posey.
Chances came calling for Bonnyrigg in the second half, but Leighfield was up to the task in stopping them all.
However, he had to rely on his midfielder to stop the Rose from scoring as Kyle Fleming got back to block Bonnyrigg from getting a goal back.
As the game came to a close, there would be one final chance for Rovers to extend their lead after Callum Wilson was fouled in the box in the 90th minute. In-form Reilly stepped up and slotted away the penalty into the bottom left-hand corner and gave Rovers a four-goal lead and secured the three points.
The win saw Rovers now swap places with the Rosey Posey as they sit in 9th place, with both teams on 20 points.
The 4-0 win was the first time the Rovers have hit four past an opponent in the league since Annan Athletic away on March 26th when they ran out 4-2 winners.
Rovers now look to build on their winning start to 2023 as they travel to Stranraer next week with The Blues side sitting in 7th place.