My thanks go to John Fraser for the match report and to Tony Graham for the match photos (whilst I was on holiday)
Penicuik Athletic – Billy Bald, Graham Gallagher, Matthew Lynch, Craig Meikle, Kris Steel, Brian Ryrie,
Darren Moonie, Keith Barr, martin Cameron, Graeme Cole, Ross Montgomery. Subs – Colin McDonald, Richie Burke, Mark Cowan
and Grant Killin, Sub G/K Raymie Sandison.
Dundonald Bluebell, James Connolly, David Balfour, Stephen Connor, Gordon Hunter, Calum Bissett, Shaun Greig, Wayne
Wright, Gary Westwater, Raymond Morgan, Martyn Thomson, Gary Cassells. Subs – John Ferguson, Paul Campbell, Callum Connolly
and Ryan Connor.
Referee Scott Jamieson.
Penicuik 1 Dundonald 4
Penicuik had to ring the changes and fielded
only three players (Gallagher, Meikle and Barr) in the positions they occupied against Newtongrange last week with five of
that line up (Foster, Jones, Livie, Killin and Milne) counted out for one reason or another. Goalkeeper Billy Bald was making
his first appearance in a league match this season. Dundonald were struggling for numbers and could not list a full bench
The home team kicked off on a very soft
pitch with the fierce blustery wind in their faces and fell behind right away. There was one minute and twenty three seconds
on the clock when Dundonald took the lead. The alert Morgan who lived up to his Rambo nickname, latched on to a short pass
back intended for Bald catching the Penicuik defence on the wrong foot. His cut back picked out SHAUN
GREIG who made no mistake with an accurate drive.
Penicuik could not get any rhythm into their
play with a series of misplaced passes and missed tackles allowing the visitors to dominate. In the eighth minute Stephen
Connor up with his attack shot over the bar. A minute later WESTWATER picked up a through
ball after a poor attempt in the home defence to play offside and placed his shot well beyond Bald in the home goal to give
the visitor’s a two goal lead.
The home team continued to struggle and
could not get any cohesion into their play. Moonie was flagged for offside in the fourteenth minute when Montgomery crossed
the ball in from the left. Six minutes later Bluebell goalkeeper Connolly easily collected a Moonie free kick. Another misplaced
pass in midfield fell straight to Dundonald and MORGAN who was proving a handful for
the Penicuik defence ran free to hit the back of the net for Dundonald’s third goal in the twenty fifth minute.
Penicuik tried to fight back and Connolly
saved a Cole shot low down in the twenty eighth minute. Five minutes later Penicuik had their best chance to get back into
the game when Cole and Ryrie combined to set up Cameron but Penicuik’s top scorer blazed his shot past the wrong side
of the post. Ryrie also shot past the post but it was not long before Dundonald were back on the attack. Wright got clear
out wide but there were no takers when his cross came over.
A Cassells corner kick was carried over
the bar by the strong wind but in the thirty ninth minute another corner kick led to a fourth goal for a rampant Dundonald
to seal the points. The Penicuik defence failed to clear and the dangerous MORGAN powered
in to send a left foot drive well beyond the helpless Bald.
Half Time: Penicuik Athletic 0 v 4 Dundonald
A five goal second half comeback was unlikely
and an unchanged Penicuik line up were faced with an uphill task. However, an early goal gave a glimmer of hope as STEEL opened Penicuik’s account. His fourth goal of the season came after a Meikle free
kick was cleared only as far as Gallagher. The defenders lob to Cameron’s head fell into Steel’s path after a
strong challenge from goalkeeper Connolly. In the event, the goal turned out to be no more than a consolation effort as Dundonald
looked as likely to score as the home team as the half wore on.
Gallagher and Ryrie were replaced by McDonald
and Burke as Dundonald’s no nonsense approach was out muscling Penicuik all over the park. With twelve minutes of the
second half gone it should have been five. A Connolly goal kick was won by Morgan and his pass through the middle of the Penicuik
defence put Wright in the clear but he shot past the post when he looked odds on to hit the net.
Cassells was booked for a foul on Cole but
Lynch escaped the referee’s attention despite giving away successive free kicks for fouls on Morgan and Cassells. In
the seventy first minute Cassells misdirected his powerful header past the left hand post as Dundonald continued to threaten.
As the game went into the last ten minutes Greig crossed for Morgan to set up Wright but the chance was missed. Offside stopped
Morgan in his tracks as he once again got clear of the Penicuik rearguard.
Late pressure from Penicuik failed to bring
another goal. Connolly saved a Cameron header from a McDonald lob before he made a save from Cole after Barr put the Penicuik
striker through. With three minutes left Connolly was injured in a goal mouth melee after saving from substitute Burke. Lynch
headed the bouncing ball against the cross bar before Connolly bravely dived on the loose ball.
The last chance fell to Wright who looked
sure to score but his shot hit Bald’s legs and went out for a fruitless corner. Penicuik stumbled to their third defeat
on the trot while Dundonald showed some welcome form going into the later stages of the season.
Bluebells are supposed to bloom in May but
one certainly bloomed early in Penicuik Park on Saturday.
Result: Penicuik Athletic 1 v 4 Dundonald