Rovers’ return to action at home ended in defeat as Whitehill Welfare notched four times without reply in a pre-season friendly at Whitestone Park.
Proceedings had barely got underway when the ball was played into Lee Barrett who skipped past his marker and pinged a short ball from the left across the face of goal that was gobbled up by his brother, Bradley, who promptly blasted past McGinley from a yard
Things soon went from bad to worse for the Rovers, with Bradley Barrett notching a second just under three minutes later after lashing home the ball from a free-kick with a powerful volley just outside the box.
A sharp move from Peebles sought to end this curious spell of goal-leaking- with Ross Lamb hitting a sweet outside-the-foot shot that narrowly grazed the top of the cross-bar from 10-yards out.
A terrific Renwick free-kick saw Gregor Lamb go close to pulling one back; with the midfielder hitting a sweet ball from 15 yards out that forced a terrific save from Jardine in the Whitehill goal.
A swift counter-attacking move from Whitehill saw their trialist striker dash off on a mazy run following a sweet Lee Barrett ball. The forward looked set to crash into the box, before Robbie Renwick moved across to blast the ball to safety.
Willie Kidd defended stalwartly for Whitehill, making a superb goal-line clearance on 33 minutes from a well-worked chance from Lindsay and McMath; much to the ire of the Rovers players.
A raft of changes were made in the second-half with Saul Schulz-Keith, James Runciman and Robert Sterricks all entering the fray as Rovers looked to salvage something in the second-half.
A lax back-pass from Murray on 54 minutes saw Alan McMath go close to prodding the ball beyond Jardine between the sticks, with the Whitehill ‘keeper moving quickly to block McMath’s fleet feet.
Rover’s best chance came on 66 minutes when a tidy McMath ball picked out Schulz-Keith, whose side-footed effort forced a save out of Ross Jardine. From the resulting corner, McMath’s thumping header whizzed over the crossbar to no avail.
Whitehill kept carving out chances however, with sub Stevenson narrowly missing out on adding a third to the score-sheet for the Rosewell outfit after lashing a well-struck effort from just outside the box which zoomed past the left-hand post.
69 minutes in, Welfare had that third goal- with a cute through-ball from midfield gifting sub Hamish Hunter the opportunity he needed to go one-on-one with Tom Kerr and tuck the ball away.
To their immense credit, Rovers kept plugging away- with Robbie Renwick bulldozing his way through the Welfare midfield, evading his marker with some nifty footwork before powering a tremendous effort at Jardine from 15-yards out, an effort that the ‘keeper gratefully sucked into his gloves.
Whitehill added a fourth with a 90th minute penalty, when Jack Wright was fouled in the box- with Declan Knox stepping up to fire the ball home and send the away side back to Rosewell with the win.
Peebles: McGinley, Renwick, Brown, Newell, Dodds, Rossi, R. Lamb, G. Lamb, Lindsay, Cockburn, McMath
Subs: Kerr, Sterricks, Schulz-Keith, J. Runciman, B. Runciman, Glass
Whitehill: Jardine, Robertson, McGrath, Murray, Kidd, McPartlin, Trialist, Wright, Smith, B. Barrett, L. Barett
Subs: Knox, Gormley, Reynolds, Hunter, Stevenson, Trialist, Wishart, Park