On these moments, matches turn.
Howard Fondyke’s foul on Idriss El Hafiane was deemed a sending off offence by Kris Griffiths-Jones and Bonnyrigg had to play just over half an hour with ten men.
But, it was a goal that couldn’t have been stopped whether with 10 men or 11 that put Rockdale City Suns ahead and then another swift counter attack that put them clear.
Ben Cornish, just two minutes after going on as a sub, unleashed a 25 yarder that flew past Matthew Nash and into the top corner.
It was a goal worthy of winning any game and it was the result of a lightning quick counter attack from Rockdale City, after they survived a scare when Bo Hyun Chun crossed into their area on a Bonnyrigg attack.
Paul Reid found Nikola Taneski with a measured pass and when the ball made it’s way to the left, Cornish shot and scored a screamer. It was one end to the other in four passes and it was the match’s decisive moment.
Another sub, Nikola Taneski, doubled the lead just six minutes later. It was another counter attack and when the ball made its way to the back post, Taneski feigned to shoot on his right, cut in on his left and finished with surgical precision to wrap the game up.
Bonnyrigg had their goalkeeper Matthew Nash to thank for keeping the scores level in a strangely flat first half.
The pitch was heavy after the quick but violent storm that lashed the area shortly before kick off.
Neither side was able to settle into the match and it took 20′ minutes for the first opportunity to present itself, when El Hafiane turned beautifully and slid a ball through to Toufic Alameddine.
Nash was smartly off his line to block the shot after he narrowed the angle. From the resulting corner, Nash was at his athletic best, leaping to his left to turn wide a header from Paul Kohler, as Rockdale City started to bang on the door.
Five minutes before half time, Tadgh Purcell could have given Rockdale City the lead but strangely opted to try and header a ball inches off the turf.
Bonnyrigg threatened briefly a few minutes before the break, when Robert Younis released Chris Tadrosse, whose cross was well cleared by Askin Oygur.
Fondyke’s red card shortly before the hour mark changed things, but Bonnyrigg was second best even before then.
Purcell had a low free kicked well saved by Nash right on the hour mark, before the double dose from the substitutes Cornish and Taneski killed the game.
It was as swift as it was effective and it proves that Rockdale City, after their IGA Preseason Cup Final win last weekend, are serious contenders.
Bonnyrigg White Eagles 0
Rockdale City Suns 2 (Ben Cornish 72′, Nick Taneski 78′)
Saturday 15th March, 2014
Bonnyrigg Sports Centre, Bonnyrigg
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referees: Lance Greenshields and Joon Park
Fourth Official: Kearney Robinson
Bonnyrigg White Eagles: 1.Matthew Nash; 2.Alexander Mansueto, 5.Chris Tadrosse (C), 6.Nikola Zonjic, 7.Tynan Diaz, 8.Alexander Canak, 9.Robert Younis, 14.Jordan Crighton (34.Dillon Vorster 66′), 16.Howard Fondyke, 18.Adrian Ucchino, 21.Bo Hyun Chun
Interchange: 22.Liam Gobbo (GK), 4.Tarek Ercan, 12.Dylan Fox, 17.Mitchell Osmond
Yellow Cards: Nil
Red Cards: Howard Fondyke 57′
Rockdale City Suns: 1.Tomislav Arcaba; 3.Steven Hesketh, 5.Paul Reid (2.Andrija Petkovic 88′), 6.Takuya Murayama, 7.Toufic Alameddine (10.Nikola Taneski 65′), 8.Paul Kohler, 9.Tadhg Purcell; 12.Idriss El Hafiane, 16.Daniel Barac, 21.Patrick Savor (13.Ben Cornish 69′), 23.Askin Oygur (C)
Interchange: 22.David Bradesevic (GK); 17.Hristijan Tanoski.
Yellow Cards: Steven Hesketh 37′
Red Cards: Nil
3- Ben Cornish (RCS)
2- Idriss El Hafiane (RCS)
1- Matthew Nash (BWE)
– By Matthew Lopez