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Derek’s Double for Saturday 28th November and 1st December

todayDecember 3, 2020


On Saturday 28th November, Derek represented 107.8 Black Diamond Fm at this a very important game for our local football team to win.
Here is Derek’s report on the 1st of 2 games

Penicuik Athletic 2-3 aet Musselburgh Athletic
A mouthwatering Scottish Cup tie and the only down side being one of the Lothian’s big guns would fall at this seasons first hurdle with last years non league heroics from Penicuik still a wonderful memory and looking to start the same type of run against a Musselburgh side making history by playing their very first Scottish Cup tie. A minute in and Downie tried a snap shot which home keeper Tait held easily. Sommerville was fouled by Whyte and when Baptie put the cross into the visitors penalty area, Sommerville was flagged offside. On four minutes, Downie flicked on to Whyte and his dangerous cross went through the Penicuik penalty area without being touched but a minute later the visitors had better luck as Downie played in Moffat and with Tait advancing from his line, Moffat flicked the ball up and over the keeper from just inside the box to give the East Lothian side the perfect start. However Penicuik responded immediately and after just seven minutes we were all square with a Baptie cross to the back post knocked on by Devlin and there was Sommerville to touch the ball home past keeper McGurk from close range. After 10 minutes, Devlin fed Tansey who bustled his way into the away penalty area and his rasping 16 yard drive was brilliantly blocked behind by keeper McGurk who stayed big to make the save and when the corner came over, Connolly’s header was easily cleared. Tansey was involved again a few minutes later, glancing a header wide from a Watson cross before Stevenson tried to play in Lamb but keeper McGurk was off his line quickly to grab the ball. With 16 minutes gone, Tait had to save smartly down to his left for Penicuik after a good take and shot on the turn from Moffat who was then again in the thick of it two minutes later as he played in Evans almost to the goal line and his driven cross flashed right across the six yard area but there were no takers. After 22 minutes Watson played in Sommerville who moved the ball on to Devlin but he had strayed offside before a couple of minutes later, Watson was the first player to receive an official warning from the referee after a foul on O’Kane just inside the centre circle.
After 26 minutes, Whyte fought hard to win possession on the edge of the Penicuik box before getting the ball to King who hammered a rising 20 yard drive just over. Evans was then very interested in chasing down a long clearance but home keeper Tait was alert to the danger before Evans combined down the left flank with Orru and his cutback to the edge of the box saw Moffat’s drive bring out an excellent save low to his left from keeper Tait who parried the ball and then grabbed it at the second attempt. Evans was looking lively now and another pass released the striker into the Penicuik penalty area but a brilliantly timed tackle from Thomson kept the scores level and at the other end, Tansey left C Donaldson for dead down the left flank but couldn’t get past B Donaldson, who then passed a comment to the referee and was strongly warned. Whyte dispossessed Connolly and his ball into the home penalty area found Downie but this time it was a superb tackle from Baptie to clear his lines and within seconds, we had the games first caution as scorer Moffat went into referees book for a somewhat robust challenge in front of the dugouts. A Lamb foul on King saw a free kick into the home penalty area find the head of Evans but Tait wasn’t troubled although sixty seconds later, a lovely flick from King put Evans in again and he outpaced Thomson before flashing a low drive on the angle across the keeper but past the post. Honours even at half time and it was anyone’s guess at this stage who would come out on top between two well matched sides.
Four minutes into the second half, the visitors were back in front and it was a lovely opportunist goal from King who controlled an O’Kane corner facing away from goal but somehow managed to twist and hook the ball over his shoulder from around ten yards into the bottom corner of the net, a brilliantly improvised strike. Three minutes later, King found Evans and he gave O’Kane the chance to cross but it drifted disappointingly behind. Ten minutes into the second period, Evans found Downie and his dangerous cross was headed clear by Young and at that stage, Musselburgh seemed to be building up a head of steam. A minute later it was almost a disaster for Penicuik as Musselburgh’s pressing play led to Thomson completely missing his keeper with an overhit passback and keeper Tait did well to get back and hack the ball away from almost on his goal line. A back post ball saw Baptie make a great block from a King half volley but on the hour the Penicuik full back was the games second caution after clipping the heels of Evans as he moved across him. On 61 minutes, a lovely cross from O’Kane saw a great 10 yard header from B Donaldson go just over and at this point the home sides’ Watson received an injury which required almost three minutes of treatment before he had to leave the field along with Lamb and Tony Begg brought on Page and Edwards in an attempt to change the flow of the game. After 65 minutes, Page knocked a pass back to keeper Tait who only managed to slice the ball high in the air just missing Evans and Page had to come back into the box to clear the danger. Penicuik finally made some progress midway through the half as Tansey and Sommerville combined to set up Devlin and his cross was taken well by keeper McGurk whilst under pressure almost under his own crossbar. After 71 minutes, it was Musselburgh who made their first change as Thomson came on to replace King who as usual, had had a big influence on the game and shortly afterwards Myles replaced the other Musselburgh scorer, Moffat.
The flurry of substitutions continued on 79 minutes as Tansey was replaced by Reid and he was involved right away as he drove towards the Burgh penalty area but O’Kane got between him and the ball and was able to marshall it clear. On 81 minutes, Page brought down Evans in midfield and was probably fortunate to escape without even a warning before a corner from Devlin found Reid but the shot was both high and wide. However, with six minutes to go, the home side shocked their opponents and it was a goal seen so many times at Penicuik as Baptie whipped an inswinging corner towards the near post and Sommerville escaped his marker to glance a header home from around eight yards with a static Musselburgh defence caught completely cold and from nowhere, the home side had gutsed out an equaliser. A minute later Devlin got down the inside left channel into the Burgh box and he would have been disappointed as he pulled his shot across well wide across McGurk’s goals and with four minutes to go Devlin was presented with an even better chance one on one with keeper McGurk centrally just inside the box but the keeper made another outstanding block to preserve parity. Three minutes from time, Edwards caught O’Kane with a somewhat late contact and again referee Gentles saw no need to bring out a card before Myles sent an 89th minute left foot 20 yards drive high and wide of the Penicuik goals. In the last minute, the visitors replaced O’Kane with McManus before Downie blazed a 15 yard drive high over with a minute of stoppage time played. So all square at the end of a pulsating cup tie and it was going to take another 30 minutes to separate the two sides, although Musselburgh would feel they had let this one slip away after a great second half showing, but Penicuik had dug deep and showed the character and resolve to pull out the draw.
Orru showed real composure in cushioning a cross from Baptie back to his keeper before Musselburgh looked for a spot kick as Reid hit the ground inside the box but no whistle was forthcoming. On 98 minutes, Evans was released down the left flank and as Tait raced out, Evans slipped the ball past him from around 25 yards but the ball also went past the post. Devlin and Page combined well down the right flank but Orru broke the move up and a minute from the end of the first period, Whyte surged forward for Musselburgh but just tried to beat one man too many. Just on half time, Evans raced into the Penicuik box and his cut back to the back post picked out Myles who somehow managed to skew his left footer wide from eight yards with the goals gaping, a huge let off for the home side. Kataleza was on for the last fifteen minutes for Sommerville as the home side looked to win it and his first contribution saw a nice pass just fail to pick out Devlin. However on 108 minutes it was the visitors who hit the front for the third time as Evans played in Thomson and he slipped the ball to Downie who squeezed the ball past Tait and in at the far post to break the extra time deadlock. Penicuik responded and a back post cross from Edwards saw Devlin put a header into the side net before Penicuik then looked for a spot kick as a drive from Edwards was blocked and they claimed loudly it was handled but again referee Gentles was unmoved. On 113 minutes, Whyte was brought down by Baptie in midfield and the Penicuik full back received his second yellow card and was ordered off to leave the home side with a mountain to climb being a goal down and a man down. At the same stoppage, scorer Downie was replaced by White, but not before Downie was yellow carded for time wasting as he sauntered off. A brilliant run from the lively Whyte then best three home defenders before Edwards conceded a corner with an excellent tackle. Two minutes from time, Burgh’s Evans also received a yellow for more time wasting and then in the last minute, Whyte of Musselburgh received a straight red card for a lunging tackle on Thomson. In the last minute, Penicuik again appealed for a spot kick as, after a Kataleza shot was blocked, Lamb went to ground but referee Gentles again wasn’t having any of it and at the end of a frantic cup tie, Musselburgh celebrated their first ever Scottish Cup tie with a victory. On the day, probably the right result as Musselburgh had more of the ball and looked that wee bit more dangerous throughout but a fighting show from a Penicuik side not quite at the top of their game but still showing many of the qualities that makes them one of the top EOS sides. The big disappointment for me is that we lose one of the Lothian’s top sides on the very first Saturday of this seasons Scottish Cup, the draw not being kind to East of Scotland football in general on this occassion

Notice the similarity of both these games, not the report but the same two teams playing days appart, first the Scottish Cup game, second league game. as usual Derek captures the flow and flavour of both games.

Penicuik Athletic 3-2 Musselburgh Athletic
After producing an absorbing Scottish Cup tie on Saturday over two hours on a heavy pitch, it speaks volumes for the fitness and character of these sides as they were able to give us another tremendous game in this league fixture at the same venue just three days later. After Evans was brought down by Baptie, Jeffries brought out a great save from home keeper Tait low to his right from the free kick before Penicuik raced to the other end and Kataleza just failed to get on the end of a Tansey pass. A minute later, Kataleza outpaced McManus on the flank and his cross only just failed to find Sommerville before McManus almost picked out Ballantyne on the edge of the Penicuik penalty area with Evans looking for the knock down. On eight minutes the busy Kataleza laid the ball to Sommerville who cleverly got past two defenders as he moved across the face of the Burgh penalty area but he couldn’t make the space to get his shot away. However two minutes later, Tansey took a thrown in on the right flank and cut inside his man before unleashing a blistering left foot drive on the angle from around 24 yards which lasered into the top corner across the diving keeper McGurk for a spectacular opener for the home side. Musselburgh tried to respond on twelve minutes as captain McManus got past Tansey on the right flank and his pull back saw Evans control the ball but he seemed caught in two minds and the final effort was neither a shot or a cross and sailed harmlessly wide. With almost 14 minutes gone, Connolly and Moffat clashed in midfield and after the ball had gone, Connolly flicked out at the Musselburgh winger who was still on the ground and referee Calder had no hesitation in stopping the game and cautioning the Penicuik No 6. Tait was then quickly off his line as he raced from his box to clear from Evans before Baptie then found Kataleza in the Burgh box but a great challenge from Donaldson saw the ball out for a corner. Baptie’s corner was only half cleared and when it was returned into the box, Kataleza was first to react and volleyed the ball home from around 10 yards to put the home side two up. On nineteen minutes McManus found Evans in space down the right flank but as Page knocked the ball out of play, Evans needlessly bowled him over, costing his side good field position. A minute later, Ballantyne beat Baptie and almost played in Evans but keeper Tait was off his line to grab the ball before on 22 minutes, Myles of Musselburgh went into the book after catching Stevenson with a late challenge close to the dugouts. Baptie’s free kick was solidly headed clear by McManus before a minute later Edwards tried a snap shot for the home side from fully 30 yards which keeper McGurk watched carefully as it slipped by the base of his right hand post.
Penicuik suffered a blow after 26 minutes when Sommerville had to be replaced by Reid before Evans then skipped down the left flank for Burgh but his cross went right through the penalty area without anyone getting a touch. At the other end, a Tansey cross only just missed finding the head of Watson and keeper McGurk gratefully grabbed the ball before a foul on Tansey led to an inswinging free kick from Baptie overshooting everyone in the Burgh penalty area. After 36 minutes, an errant clearance from home keeper Tait struck Thomson only a few yards outside the Penicuik penalty area but luckily it ricocheted to safety before on 37 minutes, Edwards of Penicuik became the games next caution after a late contact stopped a Burgh attack just outside the home penalty area but Thomson fired the free kick over the crossbar. Five minutes from half time, a poor pass back gifted Penicuik a corner but the home side failed to capitalise before Kataleza sent an inviting cross over into the Burgh box but there were no takers. On 42 minutes, Baptie put a long cross into the Burgh box and as the defence waited for a flag which didn’t come, Tansey stole round the back but his header drifted wide. Tansey was then fouled by White, but then got involved after winning the free kick and it was the Penicuik winger who received the ticking off from referee Calder. Musselburgh had been out of sorts for most of the half and the two goal lead for Penicuik nearing half time was probably a fair reflection of play but two minutes from half time, Donaldson found Evans who played in McManus and his cross was met first time by Ballantyne who clipped the ball over first time from fourteen yards, certainly the away sides best chance of the half so far. Right on 45 minutes, a nice clipped ball through saw Musselburgh keeper Tait out to take the ball off the toes of Kataleza before a minute into stoppage time, Musselburgh threw themselves a lifeline when a cross into the Penicuik penalty area was headed down by Evans to Ballantyne who steadied before crashing a thunderous 16 yard drive past keeper Tait and off the underside of the crossbar but Evans predatory instincts kicked in and he was onto the rebound in a flash to head home from around six yards out. At the break then, Burgh back in it with a late counter which had looked unlikely for most of a first period during which they had played second fiddle to a Penicuik side whose movement and tempo had deservedly saw them into a strong position but this game never fails to throw up something unexpected and it was now very much game on again.
Musselburgh made a change at half time as Fiddler replaced Jeffries but his first touch was with his hands as he gave away a free kick in midfield. A nice cross from Moffat saw home keeper Tait take the ball confidently with Evans sniffing around as usual for a hint of a mistake but in 48 minutes after an error by keeper McGurk, only a brilliant saving tackle by Myles as Kataleza was about to pull the trigger prevented the home side extending their lead. Musselburgh were starting to exert some pressure and a sustained spell of possession on 53 minutes ended with a tremendous drive from substitute Fiddler from around 30 yards being blocked before it got to keeper Tait. Two minutes later, Fiddler was brought down about 28 yards out and Evans stepped up to send the ball towards the postage stamp corner and only a fantastic diving save high to his left by keeper Tait to turn the ball round the post one handed preserved the home sides’ advantage. The corner kick dropped at the back post just inside the six yard area and Penicuik made very heavy weather of finally scrambling the ball clear but the game was on a knife edge now. In 56 minutes Penicuik put together an excellent counter attack as Tansey found Kataleza who slid the ball across towards N Reid and only a timely intervention from his name sake Liam Reid saw the visitors stay in touch. The game quickly swung to the other end and on 58 minutes a driving run from Moffat saw the break of the ball fall to Ballantyne whose left foot drive from sixteen yards was parried out low down to his left by keeper Tait and the ball ran to Moffat who had continued his run but on the angle from about eight yards, he fired over the bar. On the hour, Musselburgh replaced White with Orru and on 62 minutes, a great ball through by Fiddler saw Moffat move into the home penalty area but a brilliant covering tackle by N Reid prevented the Burgh winger getting his shot away in what had now turned into a fascinating contest. A minute later Penicuik made their first change of the second half as Watson was replaced by Lamb and within about a minute the substitute drove the ball over the Musselburgh bar from about 24 yards. On 66 minutes, Musselburgh’s Orru was pulled down by Edwards in midfield and Burgh were less than impressed as referee Calder contented himself with just the award of a free kick and their mood probably wasn’t improved two minutes later when Penicuik restored their two goal advantage as a lovely one two between Kataleza and Tansey down the inside left channel saw Kataleza draw McGurk off his line and then beautifully dink the ball over the advancing keeper from around fifteen yards to make it 3-1. Before the game restarted, referee Calder came over to have a quiet word with the Burgh manager Kevin McDonald as emotions were now running fairly high but no card was required to be shown.
On 71 minutes, Musselburgh rang the changes bringing on two scorers from Saturday’s cup tie, King and Downie, for Thomson and Ballantyne. A long ball by Edwards seemed to be under control by Donaldson but Kataleza dispossessed the Burgh defender and after the ball was only half cleared, Tansey tried a snap shot from around 18 yards but Donaldson redeemed himself by getting his body in to block the ball behind for a corner which came to nothing. With 15 minutes remaining, Orru and Downie combined nicely on the edge of the box and played in Fiddler whose cross from the goal line was safely handled by home keeper Tait diving on the ball on his six yard line. In 79 minutes, a trade mark inswinging corner from Baptie was met by the head of Thomson but was glanced wide before Penicuik replaced the excellent Tansey with Viola for the final ten minutes. Six minutes from time, a long ball released N Reid down the middle for Penicuik but a brilliant last ditch tackle from Donaldson which had to be timed perfectly ended the attack. However three minutes from time, Musselburgh were right back in it and it came as Moffat fed the ball to Fiddler who let go a tremendous rising 28 yard drive which keeper Tait magnificently tipped up on to the crossbar but when the ball dropped a scramble ensued and although Evans was right in amongst it, the suspicion was the final touch may have come from a home player, but which one was open to debate, with the only certainty being the scoreline was now 3-2. In 89 minutes, N Reid moved through the inside left channel for Penicuik only to be taken down by Donaldson who became the games’ fourth caution. Two minutes into stoppage time, a free kick into the home penalty area was headed clear, and Fiddler controlled the ball before curling in a lovely 25 yard shot which Tait again had to tip over from right under his crossbar to keep his side ahead, but at the end of a pulsating match, it was Penicuik who came out on top and gained a modicum of revenge for Saturday’s cup tie defeat. These teams have now served up two cracking matches in the last four days, testing both the physical and mental strength of all those involved and the calibre of play on show from these well matched and well coached sides has proved to be proof yet again, if it were ever actually required, that the top level of EOS football is quality entertainment. Let’s hope we can have some fans in soon to see these matches and give them the appreciation, atmosphere and audience that they deserve.

Thanks again Derek


Written by: Russell Aitken

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