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Penicuik Athletic v Linlithgow Rose 8th February report by Derek Hall

todayFebruary 9, 2020


Penicuik Athletic 2-2 Linlithgow Rose

A cracking match served up in testing conditions by Penicuik and their visitors Linlithgow Rose and in the end it was to prove impossible to separate these two on the day. Just over a minute gone saw a snap shot from McCrory-Irving go well over for the games first effort on goal. On four minutes, home keeper Watt was smartly off his line to smother the ball at the feet of Nimmo near the edge of the box. Three minutes later a promising position for the home side was ended when Kateleza pushed Thom in the back right in front of the assistant referee. After eight minutes a nice pass from Scullion allowed Ross to get into the Penicuik box near the goal line but his attempted cross skewed off his foot and went wide. On ten minutes Allum got down the right flank and pulled a great ball right across the face of the Penicuik goals but Forbes got back to hook the ball away and clear the danger. However on thirteen minutes the home side got their noses in front with a nicely worked goal when McCrory-Irving sent Tansey down the left and he got to the goal line before pulling back a lovely ball along the ground and Somerville got across his defender and clipped the ball into the roof of the net from about six yards at the near post. The visitors responded with Slaven slipping the ball to Allum who pulled his long distance effort well wide of target. On seventeen minutes, Forbes conceded a corner which was swung in by Ronald and Thom almost got there at the near post but the ball was scrambled behind for another corner which came to nothing. On twenty minutes, Somerville required treatment after falling heavily in jumping for the ball but thankfully was able to continue. Midway through the first half Nimmo had possession in midfield for the visitors but a clumsy touch saw the ball run to Forbes and as Nimmo tried to regain the ball, his lunge in on Forbes was robust to say the least and resulted in an immediate and correct yellow card from referee Whyte.

On 26 minutes, a Baptie cross into the Rose box saw Thom screw his clearance up into the air but the ball went straight into the hands of keeper McKinven. On 27 minutes, Tansey became the games second caution for a foul on Meikle in midfield, he was being his usual busy self but this one wasn’t his first foul and he could have few complaints. On the half hour the equaliser arrived in somewhat unexpected circumstances, Ross won a corner which Ronald took and the ball was cleared away by the home defence and was eventually worked out wide to Hare only a couple of yards from the right touchline and there seemed little danger as he swung in a cross, but the ball appeared to completely deceive keeper Watt who was fairly static as the ball looped over him and dropped in at the back post to stun both sets of fans and players. Two minutes later and Meikle had a very decent right foot strike from around 28 yards which bounced right in front of keeper Watt who this time did really well to get down to his right and beat the ball away and then gather at the second attempt. On 34 minutes the keeper was in action again after Ru MacLennan had tried to slip in to Slaven and Watt was out to gather with help from Forbes. Two minutes later, Kateleza did well to dispossess his man in midfield and then set up Connolly but he sat back on his shot and blazed well over. On 38 minutes Baptie stepped onto a loose ball and hammered in a strike which certainly looked to be on target but Nimmo got his body in the way and conceded the corner. Three minutes from half time, Forbes threw a really good cross into the heart of the Rose penalty area and McKinven did well to punch clear under pressure from Somerville and just on half time Somerville was there again to roll the ball into the path of Tansey just inside the Rose box but rather than take a touch, he decided to go first time and lashed the ball well over the top with his left foot effort. A minute into stoppage time a cross to the heart of the penalty area saw Tansey produce a prodigious leap to get up above his man and loop the header over McKinven but the ball came back off the bar and as Kateleza headed home the rebound, AR Hanlon’s flag for offside brought very few complaints so at the break, honours even in an enthralling contest.

Within a minute of the second chance, the visitors had a great chance when Slaven worked his way into the Penicuik box down the left and his drive along the ground on the angle was pushed up onto the post and behind for a corner by keeper Watt. On 52 minutes, McKinven flapped at a cross from McCrory-Irving and the ball dropped outside the box where Connolly tried a snap shot which drifted wide. A minute later and a nice one-two on the edge of the Rose box between Kateleza and Tansey saw the latters back post cross well cleared by Hare. After 59 minutes, McCrory-Irving sent Kateleza into the Rose penalty area but his cross come shot on the angle looped up and over the crossbar. Just 30 seconds later the same players were involved as first Kateleza saw his shot beaten away by keeper McKinven and the follow up left footed strike from Tansey was blocked by the hard pressed visiting defence. On 63 minutes, Ru MacLennan spotted keeper Watt off his line and tried to get the ball over him with a driven lob from inside the centre circle but the optimistic effort went wide of the keepers right hand post. Two minutes later, a cross to the back post found Nimmo arriving late but his drive was easily held by Watt. Penicuik went straight upfield although an overhit ball into the corner looked to be a lost cause but Tansey decided otherwise and got to the ball on the goal line before flicking the ball back to Kateleza who side stepped a defender and then rolled the ball across the penalty area and there was Connolly arriving to cushion a ten yard left foot drive confidently past McKinven to put the home side back in front. On 67 minutes, it was Baptie’s turn to see a keeper off his line but this time the lobbed effort from 40 yards was right into McKinven’s hands. Two minutes later and a Forbes cross from the right saw Tansey head the ball across goal and Kateleza at the far post just couldn’t make contact with the ball and a minute later the same player saw his shot along the ground well blocked by Thom. However on 71 minutes the game was squared again as Slaven turned beautifully on a ball down the middle and outpaced his covering defenders before cooly rounding keeper Watt on the edge of the penalty area and then rolling the ball into the unguarded net from a fairly wide angle.

In the 73rd minute, Ross of Linlithgow was cautioned for taking out Tansey in front of the dugouts, no hesitation again from referee Whyte in pulling out the fully merited yellow card and a minute later Penicuik shuffled their pack as Jones replaced Somerville. On 77 minutes, McCrory-Irving was next into the book as he delayed a free kick by not moving back the required distance, before Linlithgow made a change with Meikle being replaced by Daniel Smith. With nine minutes left, McCrory-Irving rolled the ball into Jones path but his shot lacked power and didn’t trouble McKinven. On 82 minutes Stevenson pulled down Slaven about 28 yards out in a central position and after fairly lengthy treatment for the Rose forward, Ronald stepped up to get a lovely effort up and over the wall before beating keeper Watt, only to see the ball crash back off the crossbar and be hooked clear. With four minutes remaining, Thom was the fifth caution of the game as he fouled Kateleza resulting in an injury which saw him limp off a minute or so later to be replaced by Ponton. In 88 minutes, a Ronald corner found the head of Nimmo and when the ball was finally cleared out of the area, Ross gained possession and from 25 yards rifled in a sweet 25 yard drive which slipped just wide of the Penicuik post. A minute from time, Ronald robbed Stevenson in midfield and clipped the ball through to Slaven but he caught his shot all wrong and the ball went well wide of goal. Two minutes into stoppage time and a cross into the Penicuik penalty area was deflected just out of the reach of Allum at the back post for a corner and when it came across, Thom’s header was cleared off the line by Forbes before at the other end there were half hearted appeals from the home side for a spot kick as Tansey went down but referee Whyte awarded a free kick the other way for a handling offence. In the end, both teams had to settle for a point, having served up an excellent contest in progressively worsening conditions as Storm Ciara really started to get going, both sides had good spells and very decent chances but a share of the spoils was about right on the day.

Written by: Russell Aitken

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