My thanks to John Fraser for the match report and photos.
Ballingry Rovers: Kevin Smith, Brian Roberts, Andrew Lawson, Brian Dempster, Adam Moffat, Darren Wilson, Shaun Graham, Shaun King,
Neil McCabe, James Adams and Craig Smart. SubsGraeme Walker, Alan McDonough, Murray Campbell, Ally Campbell and Jamie Connolly.
Penicuik Athletic: Billy Bald, Graham Gallagher, Ross Harvey, Craig Meikle, Kris Steel, Ryan Gay, Liam McKenna, Kevin Milne, Ross Montgomery,
Dean Wallker and Darren Moonie,. Subs Keith Barr, Danny Kelly, Trialist, Gary Kennedy, Trialist, Graeme Cole and John Harvey.
Ballingry 0 Penicuik 0
Following last Saturday’s home defeat to Armadale, Penicuik made four changes for their trip to Fife to take
on promotion chasing Ballingry Rovers. Gallagher, Steel, Moonie and Walker were in the starting line up with Cole, Kennedy,
Barr and Kelly taking a place on the bench.
Ross Harvey joined Craig Meikle in the centre of the defence and it was quickly apparent that they would be put to
the test as Penicuik kicked uphill with a low sun in their eyes. Home goalkeeper Smith fortunately was a bit wayward with
some of his long punts from hand and the visitor’s defence held firm.
Penicuik had a great opportunity in the first minute when a terrible mix up in the home defence presented the ball
to Moonie on the edge of the penalty area. He slipped the ball to Gay who took an extra touch as he steadied himself allowing
Dempster to block his shot. Ballingry were awarded several free kicks and Lawson with his dead ball expertise put the Penicuik
defence under pressure. It was the seventeenth minute before Penicuik gained their first free kick with Milne having to leave
the field for treatment. This was quickly followed by another two free kicks, the second of which saw Moonie head a Gallagher
cross past the post.
With 25 minutes gone Adams was fortunate to stay out of the referee’s book when he continued his run and blasted
the ball past the post after the off side whistle had blown. Penicuik were putting
some passes together and McKenna shot wide from a Walker pass. Moffat shot past for the homesters before Milne was again in
the wars as he worked tirelessly in midfield. On the half hour mark, a McKenna chip sent Moonie clear but his weak parting
shot was blocked and cleared. A minute later Moonie was again set free but was unable to get a clear shot in.
Ten minutes before half time Gay was injured when he was chopped down as he burst clear on the right wing. The Penicuik
man took no further part in the game and the Ballingry culprit was only yellow carded for the foul. Milne headed Montgomery’s
resultant free kick narrowly past the post. Graham was the next Ballingry player
to get a stern telling off from the referee after he upended Kelly who was on as a substitute for Gay. Four minutes before
half time the hard working Walker sent Moonie through but again his weak final effort was cleared.
On the stroke of half time, Steel was penalised on the edge of the penalty area when he jumped to head the ball clear.
Bald pulled off a good save from Lawson’s drive to send the teams in at half time all square.
Half Time: Ballingry Rovers 0 v 0 Penicuik Athletic.
Ballingry started the second half on the offensive but a determined Penicuik defence dealt with strong runs by Smart
and McCabe. A dangerous King corner was cleared back to him but his resultant strong right foot drive sailed high over the
cross bar. With ten minutes of the half gone Moonie ran through on goal but was pulled up for offside. He was yellow carded
for shooting the ball past the post after the referee’s whistle had blown.
A minute later, a Lawson free kick was headed past before another Lawson free kick beat everybody as it crossed the
face of the goals and slipped past for a goal kick. Milne was booked for a barge on Smart as the midfield battle raged. With
seventeen minutes of the half gone Harvey was next to be penalised and this time Smart headed Lawson’s free kick wide.
Graham took his turn to shoot wide before Smart again sent his right foot effort past Bald’s right hand post.
Penicuik started to pass the ball around well with McKenna and Walker prominent. A series of corner kicks came to
nothing as Smith had to be alert to knock a Kelly lob over the bar. Milne was replaced by Barr as Penicuik kept up the pressure.
Dempster and Roberts were defending strongly for the home side before Smith pulled off the save of the match when he managed
to get his left hand to a curling Walker shot . He then followed up with another good save from McKenna after more good work
The home team were dangerous on the break and Lawson again troubled the Penicuik defence with his deliveries from
free kicks. Penicuik replaced Moonie with a trialist up front with twelve minutes remaining. His movement started to trouble
the Ballingry defence but he was booked within a minute of coming on. Smith failed to hold on to a loose ball in the six yard
box and in the ensuing mellee the trialist was booked for kicking out dangerously at the ball after it ricocheted off Lawson’s
hand back to the outstretched Smith on the ground.
As the game moved into the last five minutes, play continued to swing from end to end with neither side able to make
the breakthrough. Good play between McKenna and Montgomery sent Walker through but yet again
a shot went narrowly past. Smith then held a Montgomery corner kick before Ballingry raced up to the other end but
King shot wide. Montgomery lobbed the ball past the post when the trialist headed the ball into his path in Penicuik’s
next asttack. In a swift break, Smart raced clear on the right and missed Ballingry’s best chance of the game when he
again shot past the wrong side of the post.
Despite the blank score line, play swung from end to end in an entertaining game and a determined display by Penicuik
saw them win a hard earned point in their fight against relegation. Milne, Moonie and their trialist were cautioned for Penicuik
while Lawson, Moffat, Graham and Smart from Ballingry picked up yellow cards.
Result: Ballingry Rovers 0 v 0 Penicuik Athletic.