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Derek Hall’s report for Tranent Juniors v Penicuik Athletic on 13th November

todayNovember 24, 2021


Tranent 1-1 Penicuik Athletic

No hype needed for this one as the league positions said everything with top of the table Penicuik visiting Foresters Park to take on a Tranent side sitting just one point behind them. Within 30 seconds, home captain Shaun Rutherford found Oban Anderson on the edge of the visitors penalty area and his attempted drive was well blocked by David Edwards. A minute later, Penicuik keeper Robert Watt was forced to clear a looped passback from outside his box with Sean Wringe right there closing him down. Penicuik’s first real foray forward came on six minutes as Nicky Reid managed to pull the ball back from the goal line in the direction of Lumbert Kataleza, but the Tranent defence held firm. A minute later, Kataleza lost out in midfield and Rory Currie skipped forward to send a rising drive over the Penicuik bar from around 28 yards. With ten minutes gone, referee Iain Snedden pulled in Edwards of Penicuik for a warning after he caught Rutherford with a late challenge in front of the dugouts and the home technical area weren’t impressed as the cards stayed in the officials’ pocket. Jake Mitchell sent the free kick into the Penicuik penalty area and when the ball dropped for Wringe on the edge of the box, his shot was blocked and cleared. It was fairly frantic stuff with nobody getting any time on the ball and on the quarter hour, Ben Miller sent another long range effort over the visitors crossbar. A minute later, a nice ball down the wing had Aiden Walsh in on the edge of the Tranent penalty area but keeper Kevin Swain was out quickly to make the block and gather the ball right at the apex of the box. However almost immediately at the other end, some hesitant Penicuik defending allowed Adam Watson to play the ball in to the edge of the six yard area and Miller was there but got his right foot contact all wrong and the ball ended up spinning away from goal for what so far had been the best chance of the match. Less than a minute later, the visitors carved out their clearest chance when Reid was in one on one with keeper Swain but the keeper stayed big and did brilliantly to block the strikers low right foot drive from sixteen yards with his boot. On 20 minutes, a Rutherford free kick into the box was confidently held by Watt before nice combination play between Currie, Wringe and Miller then saw Watson stand up a nice cross to the back post where Penicuik skipper Andy Forbes made the important interception to head the ball behind. However on 29 minutes, the visitors were looking for a spot kick when Edwards went down on the right edge of the box but referee Snedden was unmoved as he gave the offence just outside and Ryan Baptie’s driven inswinging free kick saw the Tranent defensive wall do its job. After 31 minutes, the yellow card made its first appearance of the day as Edwards blocked the progress of Rutherford in a central position about 25 yards out and with the two having tangled earlier, there were few complaints about the caution. However with chances somewhat thin on the ground and with the set piece in a great position, it was a surprise when Rutherford rolled the ball short to Bradley Donaldson who clipped the ball into the Penicuik box and the flag went up for offside, a real anti climax for the expectant home support. However on 33 minutes, some really casual defending by Mitchell just outside his own penalty area allowed Kataleza to dispossess him and the Penicuik striker moved into the Tranent box and looked to be about to pick his spot, only for Sean Murphy to take the ball off his toe with a superbly timed tackle and Mitchell for one breathed a real sigh of relief. Two minutes later, Wringe slid Miller in down the inside left channel and a combination of Forbes and keeper Watt got the ball behind for the concession of a corner to Tranent. On 37 minutes, Scott McCrory-Irving found Walsh wide right but by the time Reid turned his cross into the net, the flag had long since been raised against the Penicuik wide man. Another Watson effort for Tranent was blocked behind and when the same players low corner was driven towards the near post, Currie got across his marker but sent the 10 yard drive over after what had clearly been a pre-planned corner routine. Three minutes from the break, Baptie tried a 30 yard snap shot on his weaker right foot, but home keeper Swain had no problem dealing with this one and as the half time whistle went, the cup tie pace of the first period meant that chances had been at a premium and despite Tranent having had more of the ball, parity at half time was probably about right.
A foul on Reid after 47 minutes saw Baptie’s free kick headed well wide by Edwards for the second periods first attempt on goal from the visitors. At the other end, Wringe worked hard to get the ball across to the back post from the goal line and once again Forbes was there for Penicuik to make the clearance. Sean Murphy then worked his way across the face of the Penicuik box but his 22 yard drive had the pace taken off it by a deflection and Watt made a comfortable save. Penicuik responded immediately as Kateleza rolled the ball to McCrory-Irving who stepped inside his man before sending his left foot 24 yard drive over the top. Miller earned himself a needless ticking off for disputing a nothing throw-in before the same player then played a dangerous ball through which brought keeper Watt sprinting from his line to the edge of his box to get there just before Wringe. On 56 minutes, Baptie tried to find McCrory-Irving at the back post but the cross had too much on it, but two minutes later, the same two players were involved as the visitors hit the front. Baptie’s corner was cleared out to the right wing by the Tranent defence and when the ball was laid back by Edwards to McCrory-Irving, his first time cross from fully 30 yards looped well over keeper Swain and dropped in at the back post for a somewhat fortuitous opener, but there was nobody in the very decent Penicuik support who was in the least bothered about that as they made the vital breakthrough. Before the game restarted, Penicuik replaced Kateleza with Paul Tansey and he was on just in time to see the home side go very close to levelling things up when Miller’s near post cross saw Wringe stoop to guide a brilliant header over keeper Watt but the ball also dropped just over at the back post. After 63 minutes, Tranent’s first change saw Anderson replaced by Jamie Docherty and then the home fans voiced their displeasure as skipper Rutherford went into the book for a foul and Miller then joined him for one comment too many, having previously been warned by the referee. Donaldson was the next Tranent player to earn himself a ticking off for passing an unwanted opinion and with the game temperature beginning to rise, Penicuik’s K. Watson was yellow carded for a fairly cynical attempted trip on Currie. On 69 minutes, Tranent made a further positive change and brought on Wayne McIntosh for A. Watson as they went looking for the equaliser. Two minutes later, Reid played a nice ball through to Walsh but Swain was out once more to make the save at the strikers feet and concede the corner. Tranent cleared the corner quickly downfield and after keeper Watt had cleared on the edge of his box from Docherty, Rutherford then flashed a powerful low 25 yard drive right across the face of the Penicuik goals and just wide. An off balance Reid then sent a left foot drive wide of the Tranent goal but a couple of minutes later, Tansey began a sweeping counter attack which saw McCrory-Irving find Walsh and his perfect lay off to Reid saw the strikers brilliant 20 yard drive superbly finger tipped over the top by keeper Swain, denying the visitors a second after the move of the match. With a quarter of an hour remaining, Penicuik made another change as Gregor Lamb was brought on for Walsh just before a foul by Darrell Young on Currie saw Rutherford this time fire his left foot 30 yard set piece a yard over the top. Twelve minutes from time, Reid of Penicuik was unsurprisingly cautioned for a fairly unsubtle piece of time wasting as he kicked the ball away on the halfway line. However a minute later, the home sides search for the equaliser was rewarded with a goal which owed much to the persistence of McIntosh who chased a lost cause into the corner and won a throw in off his opponent. The long throw into the box was headed on twice and when the ball dropped onto the edge of the goal area, there was McIntosh waiting in predator mode to smash the ball home left footed on the volley from around seven yards, much to the relief of the large home support who roared their approval. After 83 minutes, Penicuik’s final change saw Edwards replaced by Aaron Somerville before Murphy did well to concede a corner as Reid tried to force the ball over from the goal line. Baptie’s inswinging corner was a good one and Reid’s reaction after heading over from around six yards suggested he felt he might have done better. Three minutes from time, Tranent’s last throw of the dice saw Steven Thomson brought on for Miller and almost immediately Craig Stevenson sent Rutherford into the Penicuik box and his low cross was well held by Watt with both McIntosh and Wringe right there looking to feed off any handling error. A minute from time, Tranent’s Stevenson found his name in referee Snedden’s book for yet another piece of unnecessary advice and then as Penicuik pressed for a late winner, Tranent’s Murphy took one for the team as he scythed down Reid in midfield with the home defence a bit stretched. The free kick was fully 40 yards out but Baptie caught his strike perfectly as his thunderous left foot drive arc’d towards the top corner, only for keeper Swain to miraculously turn the ball over up in the top corner, hitting his head on the post as he made the outstanding save two minutes into stoppage time. After some treatment for the keeper, Baptie showed no mercy and his inswinging corner right under the crossbar forced Swain to once again claw the ball away to safety. With almost four minutes of stoppage time played, one final Baptie free kick into the box saw Tansey loop his header wide and at the end of an enthralling game which went up a few notches in an excellent second half, the spoils were shared and it’s as you were at the top of the Premier League for these two excellent teams and both can now prepare for a break from league action next weekend as they look forward to Challenge Cup ties.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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