My thanks to John Fraser for the match report and photographs.
Gary Maley, Colin Gallagher, Paul Wardlaw, Gary Cunningham, Andy Cooper, Derek Carmichael, David Connolly, Kenny Martin, Ally
Graham, Brian Felvus, Craig Meechan. Subs: Derek Stewart, Michael Caputa, Scott MacDonald, Fraser Hutcheson and Sub g/k Ian
David Livie, Scott Gibb, Kris Steele, Craig Meikle, Brian Foster, Matthew Lynch, Graham Gallagher, Keith Barr, Martin Cameron,
Colin MacDonald, Ross Montgomery. Subs: Ryan Gay, Dean Jones, Stuart McKean, Mark Cowan and Sub g/k Billy Bald.
Fauldhouse 3 Penicuik 1
Penicuik had to ring the changes with Kevin
Milne and Brian Ryrie out injured and Grant Killin and Darren Moonie suspended after last week’s defeat by Kinnoull.
Keith Barr and Mathew Lynch returned with Ryan Gay and Dean Jones taking their place on the bench after spells out with injury.
Fauldhouse knew that all three points were needed to pull them away from the relegation zone and looked hungry from the outset.
Penicuik kicked off into driving rain and
a strong wind and took the lead in the fifth minute. The Fauldhouse defence could only clear a throw in from the right out
for a corner kick and when Gallagher’s cross came over, MARTIN CAMERON had an
easy header for the opening goal. A shocked home side almost conceded a second moments later but Cameron’s shot from
a Barr pass went past the wrong side of the post. Fauldhouse came back with a corner kick and Graham’s flighted effort
almost caught out Livie who tipped the ball over the bar. Much to the home team’s annoyance, the referee awarded a goal
Fauldhouse equalised in the tenth minute
following a Graham free kick. Foster headed the cross to the feet of MARTIN who sent
a well struck left foot volley past Livie in the Penicuik goal. Livie was almost beaten by a Carmichael free kick when he
shouted for Meikle to leave it and was relieved to parry the shot which took a wicked bounce off the sodden turf. Steel headed
a cross out for a corner as Fauldhouse pressed. Carmichael’s header from Graham’s accurate cross hit the top of
the bar and went over.
Penicuik enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure
for the next fifteen minutes. A Barr left foot volley was too high and Penicuik could not take advantage when Maley flapped
at a Gallagher corner. Meikle set Montgomery free to win another corner. Meikle and Montgomery combined to set up Cameron
but Maley managed to block Penicuik’s top scorer’s shot out for another corner kick.
In the twenty seventh minute the visitors
were caught out when Fauldhouse made a quick break following yet another Penicuik corner kick. The impressive Graham found
Martin on the left with a long cross field pass and the Fauldhouse number 8 squared to the supporting FELVUS who side footed
Fauldhouse into the lead.
Penicuik went straight back up the park
but their luck was out as the determined Fauldhouse defence survived fierce pressure as shots from Montgomery, Barr and Cameron
were blocked when a goal looked certain. Steel headed a Montgomery cross over the bar before Fauldhouse replied with a Graham
free kick which was blocked by the defensive wall. Maley saved at MacDonald’s feet as Penicuik looked for the equaliser
before the break.
Half Time: Fauldhouse United 2 v
1 Penicuik Athletic
Ryan Gay replaced Colin MacDonald who had
taken a head knock near half time. Penicuik promptly went on the attack with the elements behind them and pinned Fauldhouse
in their own half for long spells. Gay shot past when a slick passing movement between Montgomery and Cameron set him up.
Caputa replaced the injured Wardlaw as Fauldhouse set up a rear guard action. A combination of determined defending inspired
by the experienced Cooper and poor finishing kept the home goal intact with Maley proving equal to efforts from Barr, Lynch
Steel headed over the bar and Cameron was
pulled up for off side as Penicuik dominated.
With twenty seven minutes of the half gone
Fauldhouse replied when Cooper headed a Felvus free kick over the bar in their first real attack of the second half. Two minutes
later, the home side broke upfield with FELVUS driving in from the left. His cross
come shot took a wicked deflection off Brian Foster and looped high over Livie to end up in the back of the net to show the
hapless visitors how it was done. Maley was hurt in a collision with Barr as the Penicuik man rushed through but his defence
came to the rescue. With seven minutes remaining, another swift Fauldhouse break again caught out the stretched visitor’s
defence but Livie deflected Martin’s effort out for a corner. Meikle, not for the first time headed the resultant corner
Gibb was fouled deep in the Fauldhouse half
but the free kick came to nothing. Cameron skied a Barr pass over the cross bar with the home defence claiming off side. A
late Penicuik corner was cleared upfield and Fauldhouse came closest deep into
injury time when a Felvus shot struck the post with Livie beaten. Fauldhouse’s Carmichael had to be restrained by his
team mates and coaching staff at the end of the game when he seemed to lose the place as the team’s made their way off
the park but it did not take the gloss off a hard fought win for the home side in an entertaining match well controlled by
Penicuik’s promotion hopes faded further
with this defeat, their fourth in their last five league games while an overjoyed Fauldhouse were delighted to collect all
three points in their fight to get clear of the relegation zone.
Result: Fauldhouse United 3 v 1