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Season 2016-17 review

Season 2016/17 – A review

We had joy (maybe some) and we watched in rain/snow/sun.  So Terry Jacks almost sang in 1973 and if he had, he would have summed up season 2016-17 for me.  (I’ve no idea where I am going with this either.)

Season 2016-17 started for us at Tynecastle, as Hearts faced Infonet Tallin in a Europa League Qualifying 1st Round, 1st leg tie.

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That first game of the season came on 30 June when everyone is supposed to be on a beach somewhere.  If you wonder why the debate about summer football seems to have dissipated recently, it’s because it is already happening!

The season saw us take in 119 and a half games and see exactly 400 goals.  The half came about when we had watched Whitehill Welfare v Abbey Vale in the South Challenge Cup, then raced to East Peffermill to see the second half of Edinburgh University against Wigtown and Bladenoch in the same competition.  (The solitary goal was scored in the first half.)

We watched 115 different teams and saw games in many competitions, including the Scottish Premiership, Championship League One and Two, the Lowland League, the East Superleague, West Super League Premier, East Premier League, East Region South League, East of Scotland League. We also attended various play-off matches in many of these competitions.

There were several visits to cup ties in many different competitions, including the Scottish Cup, Scottish Junior Cup, East of Scotland Cup, City Cup, King Cup, Lowland League Cup, East of Scotland Qualifying Cup, East of Scotland Shield, Fife & Lothians Cup, South Challenge Cup and King Cup.  Some of these were semi-finals or finals.

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In England, we saw games in the Premier League, Championship and Leagues One and Two, as well as the Northern League Division One.

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We also managed a couple of Europa League qualifiers (and of course pre-season games).

We properly engaged with women’s football in Scotland and attended games in the Scottish Women’s Premier Leagues 1&2 as well as the Scottish Cup and Champions League.

There were many highlights.  East Stirlingshire at Civil Service Strollers in August when the visitors won 8-3, a fantastic Women’s Scottish Cup tie between Hearts Ladies and Hutchison Vale Ladies which Hearts won 4-3 after extra time, the sight of Bayern Munich Ladies in full flow at Easter Road in the Champions League, Haddington Athletic winning on penalties against Shotts Bon Accord after a 3-3 draw in which Haddington were 3 down with 13 minutes left, Oxford United’s 3-2 win at Bury in December, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy’s 4-3 win at Penicuik in the Junior Cup 5th Round, Leith Athletic’s incredible 7-2 win over Tynecastle in the semi-final of the King Cup, Brechin’s play-off final win at Alloa Athletic in an incredible topsy-turvy game which was finally settled on penalties. Tranent’s double cup win, etc etc.

It hasn’t all been about the games though.  There have been several memorable incidents.  These included:

The Thorn Athletic players referring to each other as “big man” or “wee man”, apart from the goalkeeper, who was called “Liam” by them all.

The Spartans v Airdrie pre-season friendly where, with three minutes to half time, a woman behind me asked her companion “Are Spartans in blue?”

The Civil Service Strollers player giving a team mate a hard time for not marking anybody, before having it pointed out that the man he had been marking was in the process of going off after being substituted and his replacement hadn’t come on yet.

Members of the Easthouses Lily team sending texts to other team members saying that the manager had told them to turn up dressed smartly.  This led to them cheering every time a squad member turned up in a shirt and tie.  One player had to “go to Tesco” to get some trousers as he didn’t have any and only had £20 left until payday. 

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Bonnyrigg Rose manager Robbie Horn on the touchline hit by the ball in a very tender area, with players and fans of both teams expressing their concern by pissing themselves laughing.

The East Stirlingshire fans telling a linesman that an offside decision he made had been a guess.  He replied with “Every one is a guess”.

The club official running the line at Dunbar United being asked by his mate behind the barrier what a free kick had been given for, and him replying “Dunno.  I wasnae watching”.  The same person running the line later in the game with his flag in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other.

The tannoy announcer at Ainslie Park for the Leith Athletic v Cumbernauld Colts Scottish Cup game playing music through his phone over the loud speakers at half time, with the crowd suddenly treated to hearing his ringtone for a good 60 seconds as his phone received a call.

Pollok’s Tam Hanlon complaining to the linesman about being given offside.  The flag bearer responded with “You were well off.  You know it and I know it.”  He followed this up by putting his finger to his lips in a ‘shushing’ motion to the Pollok manager on the other side of the pitch who was telling him that was third one he had got wrong.

A Motherwell fan helpfully offered his glasses to the officials in a home game against Celtic.

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The parrot sitting on the bar at Linlithgow Rose and Hearts Ladies captain Megan Paterson being told off by her mum for swearing and being told she wouldn’t get any tea.

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It wasn’t all good of course.  Some of the games were so toe curlingly bad that writing them up seemed impossible.  There were several occasions where at least another half dozen layers of clothes were required.  There were also some disgraceful scenes when pies ran out.

Haddington Athletic had the best pies.  Edinburgh University had the best cakes.

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Some teams have a social media presence and are great at replying.  Others don’t seem to get that interaction is key.  Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare and Penicuik Athletic are two that bend over backwards to help.

Some clubs have started writing up the team names and numbers on a board inside the ground, such as Dunbar United, Whitehill Welfare and Kilwinning Rangers.  The biggest problem I have is trying to get team line-ups and it sometimes proves impossible.

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Programmes are good, although for some, it clearly just isn’t cost effective, but Musselburgh Athletic have the right idea, providing team sheets to all.  Edinburgh University include the programme with admission.

Season 2016-17 was the most games I’ve ever seen in a season.  It was hard going at times and keeping up with writing the games up soon afterwards often became undoable.  Having a job and a life gives little time to do them, particularly with the frequency I often go.

Thanks to all who have visited and welcome to anyone new coming across one of my write-ups.  I try to be objective in every game.  You might not agree with my take on things, but I call it as I see it.  I’m usually a neutral regardless of which end I am in.  It might be you that is biased.

Here’s to season 2017-18.

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Featured post

What’s it all about?

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You know that moment when in your team’s biggest game of the season, your lazy but occasionally talented star striker has an opportunity to make or break your entire season if he can just finish this chance?  I think everyone who watches football can relate to that.  (Maybe not the “talented” bit).  These pages will be reports on some of these games.  Who knows, it might be your team’s biggest game of the season.

This will be the home of my reports on the games I attend throughout the football seasons.  The vast majority will be in the Midlothian/Edinburgh area, but I am prone to going further afield than that. Particularly when it gets to the business end of the season.

Season 2015/6 saw me take in 106 matches, which included games in all top four divisions in Scotland, in the English Premier League, League One and League Two, Scottish Cup and League Cup, Play offs, Petrofac Cup, East Superleague, West Super League, Lowland League, Scottish Junior Cup, Scottish Women’s Premier League, Scottish Women’s Cup, East of Scotland Cup, Fife and Lothians Cup, East of Scotland League, East of Scotland League Cup, Anderson Cup, East Region South League, King Cup, Swan Cup and Friendlies and a Testimonial. So something for everyone.  Perhaps.

I will always attempt to call it as I see it, and will try to remain unbiased although this will be more challenging at some games more than others.

Although there can be no promises, I’ll be looking and listening out for the unusual and/or amusing.  Last season’s highlights included:

  • A delay of around 10 minutes at Fauldhouse United, when the match ball went out of the ground and there was no spare;
  • Kelty Hearts striker Callum Smith being frustrated with another ball which sailed over his head and remarking “That’s F*cking jobbies by the way”; and my personal favourite;
  • Hearts Ladies striker Ashley Carse responding to a family member on the touchline who had told her “You’ve got to put those away Ash” – “Right mum.  F*ck’s sake.”

Thanks for looking.

Featured post

Hearts Women v Buchan Ladies

Sunday 15 October, 14.00, Kings Park

Hearts Women up against Buchan Ladies in the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2.

Since we saw Hearts in their last home game against Glasgow Girls, they lost at East Fife, making it six league defeats in a row.  They started the season in good form, but the departures of and injuries to key players meant that this season was always going to be a bit of a struggle.  Their last win was against the same opponents, when they won 2-0 at Buchan.

This time, Hearts were missing Lynsay Miller and Kara Kidd, but were boosted by the long awaited return of Sharon Hughes, injured since April.  With striker Michelle Stewart starting to find real form after returning from her long-term injury a few weeks earlier, things were finally starting to look up for Hearts boss Andy Enwood.

Hearts appear to have rebranded recently and instead of ‘Hearts Ladies’, are now known as ‘Hearts Women.’

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We last saw Buchan Ladies when they visited Hearts on the opening day of the league season, when Hearts won 3-1.

It’s been a tough season for Buchan and they came into the game with slim hopes of avoiding relegation.  Sitting bottom of the eight-team league with 9 points and two going down, the team they had to target were Hearts in sixth, who were 11 points ahead with four games left.  Hearts also had a vastly superior goal difference.

There were further problems for Buchan as they only had ten players from the start which would make things even more difficult.

Hearts had an unfamiliar set up with striker Carse playing in a deeper role and defensive midfielder/defender Pagliarulo up front.  They played with two at the back with Hunter sitting just in front of centre backs Moultray and Paterson.  With one short, Buchan went with two banks of four and one up top.

Buchan again declined to respond to my tweet requesting their team.

A particularly windy afternoon in Dalkeith.

The players lined up with ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ cards before the game.

The home side made a bright start and Stewart ran into the left hand side of the Buchan box in the opening minute, but her shot was wide of the far post.

In 3 minutes, Hughes burst down the right and put a great cross into the Buchan box onto the head of Hutchison, but the keeper saved her effort.

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Aitchison took a Hearts free kick in 8 minutes which saw McAvoy get there first, but she volleyed over the bar.

Hughes was already causing problems down the right and she got to the bye-line in 10 minutes and again looked for Hutchison in the middle, but this time her diving header was just wide of the Buchan goal.

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Some great skill on Hearts left by McAvoy in 13 minutes saw her beat a defender and cut the ball back for Stewart, but the ball ran away from her and the chance was gone.

A minute later Stewart was brought down on the edge of the Buchan box, but Pagliarulo saw her free kick go into the arms of the keeper.

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Aitchison beat a Buchan defender in 17 minutes and had a go at goal from 25 yards, but it was a comfortable save for the keeper.

Buchan were under a lot of pressure but were certainly not short of effort in trying to keep Hearts at bay.

In 26 minutes, Pagliarulo threaded the ball through to McAvoy in the box.  She turned away from a defender, but saw her shot go inches wide.

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Aitchison put Stewart through on the left side of the box a minute later and although she had Pagliarulo free in the middle, she went for goal herself and found the corner of the net to give Hearts the lead.

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Hearts produced some fine passing football in 31 minutes involving Hunter, Carse and McAvoy.  The ball was fed to Aitchison whose shot from 22 yards was just too high and landed on the top of the net.

The Buchan keeper picked up a knock and required treatment, which included a fellow player massaging her leg.  A defender took responsibility for the goal kicks after she was ready to continue.

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Carse strode forward for Hearts in 35 minutes and shot at goal from 25 yards, but it was too high.

From a couple of yards closer, Hunter struck a low shot at the Buchan goal in 36 minutes which crept in at the post to make it two nil.  Although it was right in the corner, the keeper may have been restricted in her movement following her injury to get across.

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Stewart received the ball in the Buchan box a minute later and as she turned inside Buchan’s number 7, the defender brought her down.  Penalty.  A yellow card for number 7.  Pagliarulo sent the keeper the wrong way to make it three.

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With 41 minutes gone, Stewart passed to Pagliarulo on the right, just outside the Buchan box.  She shot for goal and struck the top of the bar.

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Hughes put another cross into the Buchan box in 41 minutes and Stewart’s shot produced a good save from the keeper.

Hearts were victims of a poor offside decision in 44 minutes when they broke through.  For the first time I’d been at a women’s game, there were no assistant referees.

Just before the break, Carse fed Stewart out wide, but her cross was just too high for those in the middle.

Hearts three up at the break and in complete control of proceedings.

A great ball from Carse to Hutchison inside the Buchan box in 47 minutes saw the keeper get something on her shot and the rebound saw McAvoy’s shot blocked.  The ball was finally fired into the net, but offside was given.

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McAvoy got the ball on the right for Hearts on 48 minutes and crossed to the back post looking for Hutchison.  She stretched to get her head on the ball, but couldn’t keep it down and it landed on top of the net.

Aitchison hit a powerful shot at the Buchan goal in 50 minutes from 23 yards, but the keeper made a fine save to turn the ball behind.

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Another shot at the Buchan goal by Aitchison in 52 minutes went wide, but the referee said it had taken a nick and gave a corner.  Aitchison took the corner herself, but it hit the front post and went behind.

Stewart was next to have a shot, this time from the edge of the box in 56 minutes, but it was straight at the Buchan keeper.

Some nice footwork by McAvoy in 57 minutes created a chance for Stewart, but the keeper made another good save.

Hearts’ Hutchison picked up a knock, but was back up quickly.

A fantastic piece of skill by Pagliarulo in 60 minutes saw her flick the ball up over a defender’s head before squaring the ball for Stewart who swept the ball into the net for her second and Hearts’ fourth.

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Smith crossed from the right in 65 minutes and the ball came to Pagliarulo in the Buchan box.  She was falling as she sent the ball towards goal and it came back off the post.

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In 69 minutes, Aitchison played the ball through for Pagliarulo and she took the ball around the keeper before slotting into the net for the fifth of the afternoon for Hearts.

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A clever ball by Moultray in 71 minutes was in behind a Buchan defender for Kerr and her cutback found Pagliarulo, but the keeper saved well.

Hunter played a defence splitting pass through the Buchan rearguard in 73 minutes and Kerr outpaced the chasing pack before she slid the ball past the keeper and into the net for number six.

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Carse crossed into the visitor’s box in 75 minutes and Pagliarulo met it, but the keeper blocked.  The rebound came to Aitchison on the edge of the box, but the keeper was up to save again.

In 77 minutes, Dodds won the ball for Hearts and passed to Pagliarulo.  She found Aitchison, but once again the keeper was there to save.

The Buchan keeper required further treatment before she could carry on.

Buchan won a free kick about 25 yards out in 83 minutes, but Reid’s effort went over the bar.

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Aitchison received a pass in 84 minutes and she struck a fine shot into the corner to make it seven nil.

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A minute later and Pagliarulo passed through to Kerr, but she lashed over the bar.

Carse played a fine pass to Kerr in 88 minutes, but her shot was straight at the keeper.

Just before the end, Hearts’ Hunter was down and needed treatment.

A comfortable win for Hearts, which sadly meant that Buchan’s two year stay in the SWPL2 was over.  Defeat for second bottom East Fife meant that Hearts were safe, with the Fifers also going down.

Hearts were incessant in their attacks and went right to the end and had a number of fine performances.  Carse, Aitchison and McAvoy all impressed in the middle of the park and saw a lot of the ball.  Stewart is looking sharp up front and Hughes looked like she had never been away with her bursts down the wing.  Pagliarulo was excellent and scored twice.  She was prominent throughout and produced a sublime piece of skill to create one of Stewart’s goals.

A difficult afternoon for Buchan who were hugely restricted by their lack of numbers.  Reid showed some nice touches in the middle of the park and their keeper had a great game, despite struggling with injury for much of the 90 minutes.  Her performance certainly helped keep the score down.

Full Time: Hearts Women 7 Buchan Ladies 0

Admission: £3

Hearts Women: 21 Tegayn Hamilton, 4 Louise Moultray, 6 Megan Paterson (Horne 70), 5 Georgia Hunter, 3 Sharon Hughes (Delworth 61), 10 Ashley Carse, 9 Holly Aitchison, 7 Courtney McAvoy (Smith 61), 17 Stacey Hutchison (Kerr 61), 16 Danni Pagliarulo, 8 Michelle Stewart (Dodds 61).  Subs: 1 Ashley Watson, 2 Louise Kerr, 12 Jennifer Dodds, 15 Jenny Smith, 18 Lucy Horne, 19 Claire Delworth.

Buchan Ladies:  1 , 9 , 8 Danica Ritchie, 7 , 16, 20 , 14 Leanne Reid, 32 , 17 Caitlin Matthews.

Referee: Fiona Morton

Programme: None.

Civil Service Strollers v Brora Rangers

Saturday 14 October 2017, 15.00, Christie Gillies Park

Civil Service Strollers of the Lowland League against Highland League side Brora Rangers in the Scottish Cup Second Round.

We saw Strollers at Edinburgh University in August in a league game, where the sides played out a goalless draw.  Since then, they’ve lost at home to Selkirk, won at Whitehill Welfare and at home to Dalbeattie Star, before losing at home to Edusport Academy.  A defeat at champions East Kilbride was followed up with a fine 4-2 win at home to Lowland League leaders BSC Glasgow.  They sat ninth of 16 coming into the cup tie.

Strollers defeated another Highland League team, Strathspey Thistle, by two goals to one in the first round.

The last time we saw Brora Rangers, they were in the Lowland/Highland League play off of season 2014-15, when they won through against Edinburgh City, only to lose to Montrose in the game to determine who played in Scottish League Two the following season.

Founded in 1879, Brora Rangers didn’t become members of the Scottish Football Association until 1933 and entered the draw for the Scottish Qualifying Cup. They joined the Highland Football League in 1962.

Trophies proved to be few and far between with the North of Scotland Qualifying Cup won in 1979 then the North of Scotland Cup procured in 1981 and 1992.

In 2013-14 they won the Highland League title for the first time and made it a double, winning the North of Scotland Cup.  The following season, they won the double again.  Season 2015-16 saw them win the Highland League Cup for the first time.  Last season saw Brora finish in third place, just one point behind winners Buckie Thistle.

They have a long history in the Scottish Cup, first featuring in 1954-55.  Their best run was in 2014-15 when they reached the fourth round.  Last season they went out in round two.

Brora have boosted their squad for this season with the arrival of defender Mark Nicolson and striker Craig Gunn from Elgin City.

They sat in third place coming into the cup tie with Strollers, four points behind the leader but with a game in hand.  They’d won 9, drawn one and lost 2.

Brora won 5-0 against Girvan in the first round.

There was a decent support down from the Highlands who were making themselves heard in the bar before the game.

As always seems to be the way at Christie Gillies Park, spectators positioning themselves near the small stand meant it was impossible to sit in it and be able to get an unobstructed view of the game.

The teams lined up with the “Show Racism the Red Card” cards before kick off.

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With two minutes gone, Mackay crossed into the Strollers box and Campbell headed against the bar.  The rebound was nodded into the net by Graham, but the flag was up for offside.

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An interesting incident in 6 minutes when Strollers Boyle was taken out from behind by the referee, who was lucky to escape a booking.

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In 7 minutes, Morrison had a go at the Strollers goal from a 25 yard free kick which wasn’t far wide.

Brindle crossed into the Strollers box in 8 minutes and Burnside spilled the ball, but quickly smothered it.

A Strollers free kick in 11 minutes fell in the heart of the Brora box, but a defender managed to get the ball clear.

Brindle outpaced Laird down the left in 13 minutes as Brora came forward, but his cross was turned behind by a retreating defender.  The corner produced an almighty scramble in the box, but Strollers managed to get it away.

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Burnside required treatment in 17 minutes after being caught when punching clear a Brora free kick.  He was ok to continue.

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Brora’s Mackay received the game’s first yellow card for taking out Boyle on the half way line in 20 minutes.

A Strollers throw in after 25 minutes was flicked on to Boyle whose shot took a deflection off Williams and spun over the head of Markey, who twisted his body to make an excellent one handed save and turn the ball around the post.

A minute later, there were Strollers claims for a penalty when Froude went down in the box, but nothing was given.

Graham’s cross from the left in 32 minutes found Campbell in the heart of the Strollers box, but he couldn’t get the ball under control and it was turned behind.

MacLean passed to MacDonald on the left as Brora attacked in 34 minutes.  He crossed into the Strollers box and Graham rose to send a fine header into the corner to put the visitors in front.

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Some good football by Brora in 37 minutes ended with MacLean passing to Campbell, but his shot was well off target.

Brindle played the ball to the feet of Graham in the Strollers box in 41 minutes and he had time to take a touch, but he shot wide.

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Brora one up at half time and although they had the better of the chances, it was a pretty even half.  Brora were playing a very high line at the back, and it was a dangerous game.  They claimed for offside with every through ball, and they got some and not others, although the Brora fans were not happy with some of the decisions from the linesman.

Mackay found some space for Brora on the left in 49 minutes and his cross was headed clear from the box by a defender.  MacDonald ran onto it and took a touch before rifling a low shot at goal which Burnside got fingers to, but couldn’t stop going into the net.  2-0 to Brora.

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Morrison was booked in 57 minutes for a foul on Strollers’ Clapperton.

A Brora corner in 60 minutes taken by MacDonald was met by the head of Mackay at the front post and flashed past Burnside and into the net to make it three.

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Ballantyne was shown a yellow card for Strollers in 65 minutes for a hefty challenge.

Brora won a free kick on the edge of the ‘D’ in 67 minutes and Graham stepped up and curled the ball into the top corner past a static Burnside to put Brora four in front.

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Gunn floated a Brora corner over in 74 minutes and Dutt rose to meet it, but headed over from close range.

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Strollers were struggling to get the ball away and a period of sustained pressure by Brora ended with MacLean’s shot being held by Burnside.

In an increasing rare Strollers attack, Mair had a half chance in 77 minutes, but dragged his shot wide.

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Dutt was still deep in the Strollers half after a Brora corner was cleared and he controlled a pass from Williams before hitting a well struck shot at goal which wasn’t far wide.

Greig picked up the ball from Brora on the left in 83 minutes and ran all the way to the edge of the box, but his shot wasn’t struck well and it was an easy save for Burnside.

A Brora short corner in 85 minutes was crossed to the head of Nicolson, who saw his attempt saved and the rebound was deflected wide.

Ballantyne had a go at the Brora goal from distance in 89 minutes, but it was wide of goal.

In injury time, Graham played the ball down the right for Gunn whose near post cross was swept into the net by Brindle to wrap up the win for the Highlanders.

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An even first half became pretty much one way traffic in the second with Brora relentless in their pursuit for more goals.  Strollers struggled to create and it could have been even worse for them in the end.  Brora will move into the next round with confidence.

Boyle showed some good touches for Strollers on what was a tough day for them.  For Brora, Williams, Dutt, Graham and Brindle all impressed.

Full Time: Civil Service Strollers 0 Brora Rangers 5

Admission: £6

Civil Service Strollers: 1 Stuart Burnside, 2 Iain Ballantyne, 4 Robbie Laird, 5 Shaun Turnbull, 3 Andrew Mair, 7 Kyle Fee (Mitchell 68), 6 Matthew Cunningham, 8 Scott Clapperton (Stewart 68), 10 Jack Downie, 11 Jordan Boyle, 9 Steven Froude (Verth 68).  Subs: 12 David Stewart, 14 Jack Verth, 15 Kris Mitchell, 16 David Churchill, 17 Jonathon Devers, 18 Liam Dillon, GK Kyle Rankin.

Brora Rangers: 1 Cameron Markey, 12 John Pickles, 5 Jamie Dutt, 4 Colin Williams, 10 Stewart Mackay (Nicolson 78), 7 Scott Graham (Greig 72), 17 Martin MacLean, 6 Gavin Morrison, 3 Ally MacDonald, 16 Craig Campbell (Gunn 68), 13 Paul Brindle.  Subs: 2 James Ross, 8 Scott Lisle, 9 Alexander Sutherland, 11 Andrew Greig, 15 Craig Gunn, 18 Mark Nicolson, 19 Joe Malin.

Referee: Steven Kirkland

Programme: £2

Follow me on Twitter @Blowyfootball

Arniston Rangers v St Andrews United

Saturday 7 October, 14.30, Newbyres Park

A second game of the weekend in the second round of the Fife and Lothians Cup with two East Premier League sides – Arniston Rangers and St Andrews United – facing each other.

A first trip of the season to Newbyres.  We were last there in August of 2016 when we saw Arniston play out a 2-2 draw with Haddington Athletic in a league game.

Arniston finished in sixth last season and like many Junior sides, have had a large number of players coming in for the new season.  The biggest departure was enigmatic forward Lumbert Kateleza, who went to Penicuik Athletic.  Coming in were Stephen Woods, Ryan Sanderson, Jack Fairgrieve, Myles Doig and Andy Watson, all from Bonnyrigg Rose’s under 21s, Liam McIntosh from Hawick Royal Albert, Shaun Miller from Leith Athletic, Scott Waugh from Dalkeith Thistle and David Dunn from Musselburgh Athletic.  Other signings were Mo Dampha, Thomas Thomson, Ross Aitchison, Ross Fleming and Cameron Begbie.  Jack Hay, who we had seen playing for Vale of Leithen in August was up front for Arniston.

In Arniston’s 9 league games this season they had yet to win.  They’d had four draws and sat at the bottom of the table.

When we saw St Andrews last, they were knocked out of the East of Scotland Cup by Dunbar United on penalties in September 2016.

St Andrews were relegated from the Super League in 2015-16 and finished a very disappointing thirteenth last season.

New recruits for this season were former Dundonald Bluebell forward Scott Lawrie, Anesu Tabengwa Sweeney who had been playing in America, defender Stewart McDonald from Glenrothes and striker Paul Quinn, who is on loan from Dundonald.  Lee Shiavone and Micheal Perrie have left the club.

The sides have already met this season at Newbyres, in the Scottish Cup, with the home side winning by a single goal.  They have little chance of forgetting about each other with the teams meeting again in St Andrews the week following this game.

St Andrews sat in sixth spot in the league, with five wins, two draws and two defeats from their nine played.

On the day designated as non-league day, there were around 60 in attendance.

In the opening minute, an attempted through ball by Arniston was deflected into the path of Watson.  He lifted the ball perfectly over Hunter and into the net to score a very quick opener.

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The next period of the game saw both sides look to push forward and there was an end to end nature to the play, but little in the way of chances.

Lawrie received a pass from Graham on the edge of the Arniston box in 13 minutes and went down under the challenge of Dunn, but the referee waved away appeals.

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Graham played a fine ball from the left for St Andrews in 15 minutes to pick out number 18, who struck the ball on the volley, but it was straight at Cornet.

St Andrews came forward in 18 minutes with Falconer playing the ball to Orrock.  He passed to Graham who struck an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the goal from 20 yards to bring the visitors level.

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Hay showed a nice piece of skill in 20 minutes to beat a St Andrews defender, but his shot from 20 yards was held by Hunter.

A through ball by McTernan in 22 minutes sent Hay chasing the ball towards the St Andrews goal.  He showed good strength to hold off McDonald, who went down with a yell and claimed a free kick, before sending a magnificent chip over Hunter and into the net to put the hosts back in front.

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Lawrie passed into the Arniston box in 29 minutes looking for Falconer, but Cornet was out quickly to smother.

A good ball up the left by Arniston’s Devlin in 31 minutes found Hay.  He cut inside and laid the ball into the path of McIntosh, but a defender got back to clear.

McIntosh put a fine cross into the St Andrews box in 36 minutes from near the corner flag.  Hay rose for the header, but couldn’t get it on target under pressure.  A corner was given.  St Andrews’ Fleming must have complained about the award as he received a yellow card.  He clearly still wasn’t happy because 10 seconds later he received another one and was sent off.

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In 39 minutes, McInnes was booked for a late tackle on Arniston’s Deland.

Arniston’s Watson payed the ball through for Hay in 40 minutes, but the referee pulled play back for offside.  He looked a couple of feet onside from where I was stood.

Hay was shown a yellow card a minute later for dissent.

Devlin had a go at the St Andrews goal in 43 minutes from a 25 yard free kick, but it was taken well by Hunter.

Just before the interval, St Andrews’ Orrock was the latest player to be booked for dissent.

2-1 to Arniston at the break in a very competitive match.

Lawrie had an effort at the Arniston goal in 49 minutes from the left, but it was off target.

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In 57 minutes, Falconer took the ball along the Arniston bye-line and played it to Lawrie in the heart of the box.  Lots of defenders were back though, and Cornet was able to dive on the ball.

Graham passed to Orrock in 64 minutes as St Andrews came forward.  He squared it to McInnes who shot over the bar from the edge of the box.

The game was raging from end to end as both teams looked to score.

Watson was caught by a late tackle by St Andrews’ McDonald in 68 minutes and was forced to limp off.

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Woods was the next player booked for a foul on St Andrews’ number 18 in 69 minutes and it gave the visitors a free kick 22 yards out.  Lawrie’s low free kick was smothered by Cornet.

Hay was through on goal for Arniston in 71 minutes and he took the ball past Hunter, but McDonald managed to get a foot in to turn the ball behind.

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Arniston attacked again a minute later Deland nutmegged a defender on the bye-line and cut the ball back for McIntosh, but he fired over.

A St Andrews corner in 75 minutes was taken by Anthony and found the head of McDaid, but he nodded over the bar.

The home side put a good move together in 76 minutes between Deland, McTernan and McIntosh with the latter’s cross picking out Hay in the middle, but his volley was off target.

Lawrie lined up a free kick in 80 minutes about 23 yards out after a foul by Woods.  His kick struck the defensive wall and spun wide.

Another St Andrews free kick in 82 minutes saw McInnes cross into the box and it looked like a defender headed the ball wide, but a goal kick was given.

In 83 minutes, Graham was booked for a foul on McFadden.  A fan nearby said that he thought it was “a bit unfair, to be fair.”

As we reached 90 minutes, Anthony was booked for St Andrews after having a bit of a kick at McIntosh as Arniston looked to run the clock down.

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There was still time for another card, as Deland of Arniston was carded for not retreating at a free kick.

Arniston broke forward before the end and with McTernan all alone in the box, McFadden decided to go for goal on his own and his shot was blocked.  Before McTernan could berate him, the final whistle blew.

A close game and it was hard to tell which side had ten men as both sides had spells on top, but it was Arniston who went through to the next round.  St Andrews showed admirable spirit in trying to get back into the game, but Arniston always threatened to add to their lead.

Arniston’s top performers were Deland, Devlin and Watson, while McInnes, Lawrie and Graham were best for St Andrews.

All three goals were very well taken.

St Andrews declined to respond to my tweets asking for their team names and numbers, so apologies if the ones I do have are incorrect.

Full Time: Arniston Rangers 2 St Andrews 1

Admission: £6

Arniston Rangers: 1 Dale Cornet, 2 Ross Aitchison, 5 Stephen Woods, 4 David Dunn, 3 Michael Deland, 7 Thomas Thomson, 8 Scott Devlin, 6 Darren McTernan, 11 Liam McIntosh, 10 Andy Watson (McFadden 68), 9 Jack Hay (Fargrieve 84).  Subs: 14 Jack Fargrieve, 16 Danny McFadden.

St Andrews: 1 Shaun Hunter, 14 Graeme Nutt (3 78), 2 Michael Fleming, 6 Stuart McDonald, 23 Ross Graham, 18 ?, 8 Scott Orrock, 4 Ryan McInnes, 15 Aiden Hendry (McDaid 46), 10 Scott Lawrie, 11 Daryl Falconer (Anthony 50).  Subs: 3 ?, 5 Ben Anthony, 16 Liam McDaid.

Referee: Dale Kerr

Programme: None.

Follow me on Twitter @Blowyfootball

Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare v Bonnyrigg Rose

Friday 6 October 2017, 19.30, Newbattle Complex

Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare against Bonnyrigg Rose in the second round of the Fife and Lothians Cup.

We last saw Lily in January, when they went down at Blackburn United in an East Region South League match.

Lily are now in their third season in the Juniors, after leaving the East of Scotland League at the end of season 2014-15.  Playing in the East Region South League, they’ve finished sixth and fifth in their two seasons so far.

They will have been disappointed with their start to this season, having had two wins, a draw and five defeats.  They sat tenth in the fourteen team league coming into the game with Bonnyrigg.  Their most recent league game saw a 4-1 home win against Harthill Royal, which suggests better things are on their way.

For the new season, Lily have signed Goalkeeper Paul Tansey, striker Keith Buckley and midfielder Chris Taylor from Craigroyston, midfielder Josh Anderson from Bonnyrigg Rose 21s and Lewis Burns, a defender from Preston Athletic 20s.

New keeper Paul Tansey broke his leg in the second league game of the season on the 12th of August.

It’s just a couple of weeks since we last saw Rose, when they beat Shettleston Juniors in the first round of the Junior Cup.  Since then, they won 4-0 at home in the league against Carnoustie Panmure and still sat in second place in the East Super League, two points behind Penicuik Athletic.

Since we last saw them, they have signed striker Keith Lough from Penicuik.

Both teams entered the competition at the second round stage.

Since we were last at the ground, a small stand has been erected on one side of the pitch, which is welcome protection from the Scottish weather.  There are some great views from Lily’s ground, but it’s not the warmest.

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There were around 260 in the ground for a Friday night Midlothian derby.

There was a minute’s silence before the game to mark the passing of former Lily player and Rose coach Chris Maltman who passed away at the age of 42.

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Rose came forward in the second minute and Hoskins played the ball down the left to Martynuik. He passed inside to McConnell who shot for goal, but Findlay pushed the ball away.

Barrie went down the right for Lily in 6 minutes, but his cross into the middle couldn’t pick out Buckley.

With 10 minutes gone, McConnell laid the ball back to Kidd on the edge of the Lily box, but his shot at goal was a few feet over the bar.

A good ball into the Lily box by Brown from the right touchline in 13 minutes saw McGachie rise well to head at goal, but it was just wide.

Turner latched onto a headed clearance on the edge of the Lily box in 16 minutes and Findlay couldn’t hold his shot.  The keeper reacted quickly to smother the rebound at the feet of Moyes.

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A curling shot at goal by Turner in 23 minutes from 20 yards took an uneven bounce and Findlay did well to push the ball behind.

Rose’s Nelson was shown a yellow card in 27 minutes for dissent.

Russell played a ball through to Barrie in 29 minutes and he took it round Bryan Young, but from a tight angle, he couldn’t get enough power in his shot and the defence cleared.

A Rose corner in 32 minutes came all the way to McGachie at the back post and he played it back to Kidd on the edge of the box, but he shot over the bar.

Kerr Young was next to shoot at the Lily goal, running onto a headed clearance by Lily, but his effort was off target.

McDermott had a snapshot at the Rose goal in 37 minutes from 22 yards, but Bryan Young saved.

Lily’s Young was shown the yellow card in 39 minutes for a foul on Turner.

Nelson received the ball from McGachie in 40 minutes, but his curling effort was just too high.

Nelson was possibly lucky to escape a second yellow card for a late tackle in 41 minutes.  Ironically, it was Lily’s Young, their booked player, who got a talking to for complaining.

In 42 minutes, McGachie headed the ball down for Nelson who took the ball into the box, but could only hit the side netting.

McConnell shot at the Lily goal in 44 minutes.  It was well struck, but Findlay held on.

Just before the break Martynuik had a shot at the Lily goal, but it was wide.

Still goalless at the break and although Rose had had the vast majority of the play, Lily had defended stoutly and limited the visitors to very few clear cut chances.

Kerr Young took the ball forward for Rose in 47 minutes and played the ball through for Turner who shot into the corner of the net, but the flag was up for offside.

Hoskins crossed into the Lily box in 49 minutes and McGachie headed towards goal, but it was wide.

Another Rose cross into the box in 52 minutes by Turner saw Nelson’s header parried by Findlay and McGachie reacted quickest to knock the ball into the net from close range to give his side the lead.

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McGachie was involved again in 54 minutes, playing the ball through to McIntosh who took it past Findlay, but Young was back to clear his shot off the line.

A good run forward by Lily’s Shearer in 58 minutes saw him go past two defenders before laying the ball off to Taylor.  His low shot was smothered by Bryan Young.

Rose played the ball to McIntosh on the left in 63 minutes and he played the ball inside to Martynuik who saw his shot saved by Findlay.

A free kick played into the Rose box in 64 minutes by McDermott saw an attempted clearance by Moyes cannon off Kerr Young and come to Shearer who was bundled over by a combination of Moyes and Bryan Young.  The referee had no hesitation in awarding a penalty.  McDermott confidently fired home to bring the scores level.

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A Young kick out in 68 minutes wasn’t well struck and Ferguson took possession for Lily.  He shot quickly for goal from 30 yards and it wasn’t far wide.

Currie found McGachie on the right hand side of the Lily box in 70 minutes, but his first time shot was into the side netting.

There was a role reversal a minute later as McGachie found Currie in the box, but Graham Young was across to block his shot.

In 75 minutes, Lily’s McDermott was booked after a collision with Turner.

Turner passed to the feet of McIntosh as Rose came forward in 81 minutes and he played it back to Brown who shot narrowly over the bar.

Lily’s Russell appeared to be suffering with cramp, but was quickly back on after treatment.

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Currie took a corner for Rose in 85 minutes and played it to Hoskins on the edge of the box.  His shot didn’t look far off from hitting the moon.

With three minutes left Turner ran at the Lily defence and made his way to the edge of their box.  His low shot looked like it took a bobble in front of Findlay and it seemed to go through his hands before nestling in the back of the net.  2-1 to Rose.

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There was one more chance for Rose when Currie found Turner at the back post, but he miscued his effort.

Only the most ardent of Rose fans would have had no sympathy for Lily.  They defended resolutely throughout and limited their more illustrious opponents to shots from outside the box for most of the game.  It was fitting that the best player on the pitch scored the winning goal, but it was particularly unfortunate for Findlay who had a fine game, although would probably be disappointed with his contribution at both Rose goals.

The home defence all did well and captain Arthur in particular had a fine game.  Russell and McDermott put in huge shifts in the middle of the park.

For Rose, Turner looked dangerous throughout and Hosking was solid in defence.  McGachie created so many chances for team mates holding the ball up and laying it off.

Much for Lily to proud of, with Rose happy to be in the next round.

Full Time: Easthouses Lily Miners Welfare 1 Bonnyrigg Rose 2

Admission: £6

Easthouses Lily MW: 1 Daniel Findlay, 2 David Arthur, 5 Graham Young, 4 Liam Hall, 3 Ross McManus (Moffat 61), 7 Stephen Barrie, 6 Lewis Russell, 10 Christopher Taylor, 8 Paul McDermott, 9 Gary Shearer, 11 Keith Buckley (Ferguson 61). Subs: 12 Shaun Moffat, 14 Steven Nethery, 15 Stephen Ferguson, 16 Josh Anderson, 17 Rory MacIver

Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Bryan Young, 4 Kerr Young, 5 Ewan Moyes, 6 Dean Hoskins, 2 Jonny Brown, 7 Lewis Turner, 11 Andrew Kidd (Horne 76), 10 Adam Nelson (Currie 61), 3 Neil Martyniuk, 8 Mark McConnell (McIntosh 46), 9 Kieran McGachie.  Subs: 12 Alan Horne, 14 Ross Gray, 15 Lee Currie, 16 Wayne McIntosh, 25 Michael Andrews.

Referee: Duncan Smith

Programme: None.

Follow me on Twitter @Blowyfootball

Leith Athletic v Eyemouth United

Tuesday 3 October 2017, 19.30, Meadowbank 3G

Leith Athletic against Eyemouth United in the East of Scotland League.

It was a first sight of Leith Athletic of the season and things have changed significantly for them since we last saw them in May.  Manager Derek Riddel left the club after nine years in charge and this signalled the break up of the team.  With an almost entirely new team in place, new co-managers Leighton Jones and Steve Chalmers have a bit of a task on their hands to continue the success of recent years.

Last season saw Leith narrowly miss out on the league title, but they won the King Cup and the East of Scotland Cup.

The new management team, who were previously in charge of the club’s under 21s, have only four players left from last season.  A number of players have stepped up to the first team from the under 21s.

Their five league games had produced four wins and a draw and they sat in second place coming into the game with Eyemouth.

We hadn’t seen Eyemouth United since a pre-season friendly in 2014.

‘The Fishermen’ were formed in 1948 and were previously members of the Scottish Football Association and participated in the Scottish Cup.  They reached the quarter finals in 1959-60 where they lost narrowly to eventual runners-up Kilmarnock.

Their last silverware came in 1972 and the last of their four East of Scotland titles came the year before.  Last season saw them finish in seventh spot.

New signings for this season are defender Ewan Sherry, midfielders Jake Rutherford and Evan Smith and right back Rhys Dixon.

Eyemouth had a difficult start to the season and in their five league games they’d had, they had won one and lost four.  In those 5 games, they lost 37 goals.

Leith’s number 16 broke down the right in 3 minutes and his cross into the box resulted in claims that the ball had hit a defender’s hand, but no penalty was given.

A Leith free kick from the right in 5 minutes was headed back across goal before number 16 got a touch, which saw the ball come back off the post before the defence cleared.

Eyemouth’s Spiers required treatment in 6 minutes after he was fouled.

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Currie burst into the Eyemouth box in 9 minutes, but a defender managed to get across to block his shot.

Leith’s number 9 received the ball on the corner of the box in 10 minutes and shot narrowly wide of the far post.

Leith’s number 5 was next to have a go at the Eyemouth goal, but his shot from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Avery.

With 12 minutes gone, Rutherford played a ball through the Leith defence looking for Smith, but the keeper was out quickly and got to the ball first.  He somehow let the ball run through his legs and Smith had the simple task of putting the ball into the empty net to give the visitors the lead.

Some good quick passing by Leith in 13 minutes ended with Oliff’s cross turned behind by Speirs.  The resultant corner was headed away.

Eyemouth’s Rutherford required treatment in 14 minutes with what appeared to be a leg injury.

Leith number 9’s attempted through ball in 19 minutes was blocked and came back to him, but he screwed his shot wide.

Currie found the number 9 in the Eyemouth box in 21 minutes and he cut inside a defender before seeing his shot hit the post.

A fine move by Eyemouth in 22 minutes saw the ball played wide to Rutherford on the right and he found Sword at the back post.  Pennel threw himself at the ball and managed to get something on it to turn the ball wide.  The Eyemouth players were convinced he had turned the ball around the post with his hand, but the referee didn’t agree.

In 26 minutes Currie made some space for himself in the Eyemouth box, but his shot was pushed away by Avery.

A through ball by Rutherford in 30 minutes saw Leith’s number 6 fail to get a good touch on the ball and Crawford reached it just as the keeper came out to challenge.  The striker got the break of the ball, but the referee gave a foul on the keeper, who seemed to be hurt.  It would have been an open goal for Crawford if play had been allowed to continue.

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Rutherford required treatment after a foul and ended up having to be carried off the pitch and replaced.

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An Eyemouth cross into the box in 35 minutes was met by the head of Crawford, but the ball was saved by the keeper.

Leith’s number 6 played the ball into the box in 38 minutes and found Currie.  He curled a shot at goal only to see the ball again come back off the post.

Surgeon took a pass from number 21 in the Eyemouth area in 39 minutes and created some space, but blasted over the bar.

Hay crossed into the Eyemouth box in 40 minutes and the ball was parried by Avery.  The ball hit Currie who controlled the ball before being bundled over from behind by Dixon.  Penalty.  Currie took the penalty himself and brought Leith level.

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Currie sent a Leith corner back to number 5 on the edge of the box in 42 minutes, but his shot clipped the bar on the way over.

There was nearly a mix up between Leith’s number 6 and the keeper as we reached 45 minutes, but 6 came away with the ball.

Leith’s number 7 showed good skill on the edge of the box as we reached the second minute of injury time before sweeping into the corner of the net to put Leith in front.

The home side in front at the interval and on the balance of play, they deserved to be ahead.  Eyemouth had looked dangerous at times on the break, although partly through defensive mix ups.  They would have been disappointed to lose two goals so close to half time.

There was a delay to the start of the second half as there seemed to be a problem with one of the nets.

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Leith were keen to add to their advantage and Oliff put a dangerous cross into the box in the opening minute of the second half and Hay stretched to get his head on the ball, but couldn’t direct it on target.

In 50 minutes, Leith’s number 5 headed the ball back into Eyemouth’s half from their goal kick and Surgeon outpaced the defence and smashed a shot into the net via the underside of the bar to make it 3-1.

Leith’s number 6 played the ball forward to number 7 in 52 minutes and his shot was just wide of the post.

A pass through the Eyemouth defence in 54 minutes by Leith’s number 16 found Hay who lobbed the outrushing Avery, but yet again, the ball came off the bar.

Wilson took a free kick on the half way line in 57 minutes and put it into the Leith box where Crawford headed the ball down, but Pennel managed to get the ball behind.

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Patterson was a bit late with a tackle on Leith’s number 5 in 64 minutes and the two briefly squared up to each other.  Patterson was booked.

A great ball by Speirs in 66 minutes found Sword in the Leith box, but the keeper managed to get a touch to his shot to send the ball wide.

Currie tried a long range drive in 68 minutes, but Avery gathered the ball comfortably in the Eyemouth goal.

Leith’s number 5 played the ball to the feet of Hay in 71 minutes.  He got the ball stuck between his feet but had time to steady himself before firing home for his side’s fourth goal.

A minute later Crawford threaded the ball through for Patterson who put the ball into the Leith net, but the flag was up for offside.

Oliff released Leith’s number 7 in 76 minutes and he lobbed Avery, but the ball drifted wide.

With 80 minutes gone, Leith’s number 16 clipped the ball through for number 7, but Avery was there to save his shot.

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Leith’s number 10 took the ball into the box in 87 minutes, moved away from a defender then sent a low shot into the net to make it five.

With two minutes left, Leith’s number 15 played the ball across for Currie, but Wilson was there to clear his effort off the line.

Avery made a fine save in 89 minutes to keep out a shot from Leith’s number 7.

In injury time, Currie passed wide to number 15 whose cross from the right dropped for number 10, who tried an overhead kick, but it was off target.

A good win for Leith who seem to have put together a good young side in a very short space of time.  The woodwork prevented them from having an even more emphatic win.  Credit to Eyemouth who never gave up and showed good desire right to the end.

Currie, Hay and numbers 7 and 16 were best for Leith, with Adamson and Crawford the standouts for Eyemouth.  Rutherford had started well before having to go off through injury.

Thanks to Eyemouth United for providing their team.  Repeated messages to Leith’s twitter proved to be fruitless.

Full Time: Leith Athletic 5 Eyemouth United 1

Admission: £5

Leith Athletic: 13, 2 Johnny Pennel, 3 Harry Oliff (22 77), 5 , 6 Neil , 7 , 8 Ryan Currie, 9 Rhys Surgeon (10 67), 16 , 19 Stefan Hay (15 84), 21 . Subs: 10 , 22 , 15

Eyemouth United:  1 Dean Avery, 2 Rhys Dixon, 4 Ewan Wilson, 5 Ewan Sherry, 3 Adam Mutch, 7 Evan Smith, 6 Alan Speirs, 8 Scott Adamson, 11 Andrew Sword, 10 Jake Rutherford (Patterson 33), 9 John Crawford. Subs:  12 Andrew Patterson, Gary Smith.

Referee: Boise Allan

Programme: Free with entry.

Follow me on Twitter @Blowyfootball

Tranent Juniors v Fauldhouse United

Saturday 30 September 2017, 14.30, Foresters Park

East Premier League action between Tranent Juniors and Fauldhouse United.

Plans to go to the Kennoway Star Hearts v Linlithgow Rose were curtailed due to issues with the trains, so a quick look at other fixtures saw us heading to East Lothian instead of Fife.

Tranent finished in fourth place in the Premier last season, one place and ten points off the play-off spot, but it was the cups which made the season so memorable.  They reached the final of both the East of Scotland Cup and the Fife and Lothians Cup, knocking out several Super League clubs on the way.  They then won both finals against Super League teams again, Bonnyrigg Rose and Broxburn Athletic respectively.

With confidence sky high, challenging for promotion was certainly this season’s aim and they got off to a good start with an opening day win at home to St Andrews, a draw at Arniston and a 5-1 win at Downfield.  After that though, home defeats to Dalkeith and Tayport and then a draw at Bathgate dropped them down the table.  A home win against Kirriemuir got them back on track but was followed by defeat at Thornton Hibs.  Their last game before facing Fauldhouse saw a win at Whitburn and they headed into the match in sixth spot.

We last saw Tranent in that East of Scotland Final (after seeing the Fife and Lothians Final win 3 days before.)

Myles Doig has joined the club from Bonnyrigg under 21s and Neil Janczyk had joined from Penicuik, but left to become assistant manager at Bonnyrigg Rose soon after.  Former Penicuik midfielder Ryan Gay came out of retirement to sign for Tranent.  Kyle Mitchell left to go to Whitehill Welfare.

We haven’t seen Fauldhouse since we were at their Park View ground to see them lose out to Dundonald Bluebell in the semi-final of the East of Scotland Cup in May 2016.

There’s been a football team in Fauldhouse since the late 1800s, but the current Fauldhouse United were formed in 1919.

A couple of early trophies were obtained before there was a gap of 22 years until the next silverware, the Lothian and Lanark League, followed by two more cups in 1944-45.  The following season saw them win the Scottish Junior Cup for the only time in their history.  The same season also saw them win the Edinburgh and District League and three other cups.

Since that glory season ‘The Hoose’ have won league titles and cups over the years.  In more recent times, they won the East Region Division Two title in 2002 before reorganisation saw them placed in East Region South Division for season 2006-07.  A year later, they won the league taking them up to the second tier of the East Juniors.

Relegation in 2010 put them back to the South Division, but they went up as runners-up the following season.

Season 2012-13 saw them return to the second tier as champions and they gained consecutive promotions when finishing second in the 2013-14 Premier League, taking them up to the Super league.

Last season saw them fall back into the Premier League after a three year stay in the top division and they began the season as one of the favourites to go back up.

The bookies seem to have got things right so far as Fauldhouse began the season with home wins against Dalkeith and Whitburn, then an away win at Kirriemuir and further home wins against Bathgate and Downfield.  When they won their next game 4-1 at Tayport they had maximum points after 6 games and had scored 24 goals.

A trip to St Andrews saw the end of the 100% record with a 3-3 draw, but they got back on track with a win at Arniston in their next outing.  Their last game before the trip to Tranent saw a very surprising 4-0 loss at home to Blackburn United which meant they came into the game level on points with leaders Musselburgh Athletic, although they had played a game more.

There was a major overhaul of the squad after relegation with only 6 players being kept on.  These have been supplemented by the signings of midfielders David O’Donnell from Lanark United and Terry Dignam from Gartcairn Juniors, striker Jack Currie from Lesmahagow and defender Dean Currie from Shotts Bon Accord.  Others coming in (I don’t know from where!) are left back James Brown, keeper JC Hutchinson, midfielders Dean Arrol, Yami Misanjo, David Dunn and Aiden Ward, right back Sammy Watson, defenders Declan Brady and Kyle Stewart, striker Anothony Higgins and Martin Brogan and Luke Currie.  Striker Kyle Richford has left the club since the season began.

We arrive early at the ground and with no visible turnstiles open, we asked a young lad how to get in.  We’d been before, but weren’t sure how to get in from the car park side.  The lad said he would show us and took us through the pavilion and past the dressing rooms and out through the players’ tunnel and into the ground.  It seemed that we had entered the ground without paying.  When the turnstiles did open, we went from inside the ground and explained what happened and paid our admission.  I’m very aware how tough it is to run a Junior side and every penny is important.

The turnstiles didn’t seem to open until less than half an hour before kick off.

There were around 160 in the ground.

The home side were the first to show with Dawson having a shot blocked.  The rebound came to Fiddler, but he didn’t catch the ball well and Hutchinson saved.

Jack Currie made a good run into the left side of the Tranent box in 4 minutes, but his ball across goal couldn’t pick out anyone in the middle.

A good cross into the Fauldhouse box by Hawkins from the right in 7 minutes found the head of Dawson, but he headed over.

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In 10 minutes, Fisher played a dangerous ball across the face of the Fauldhouse box from the bye-line, but the defence cleared.

Jack Currie went down in the Tranent box in 12 minutes, but the referee ignored his claims.

A great strike at the Tranent goal in 13 minutes by O’Donnell came back off the post to prevent Fauldhouse going in front.

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Fauldhouse’s Ward was given a lengthy talking to in 15 minutes after a foul on Miller.

With 16 minutes gone, Ward picked out McLeod on the edge of the Tranent box, but he dragged his shot wide.

A great passing move by Tranent in 19 minutes ended with Fisher sliding the ball through for Paterson whose shot seemed to almost go through Hutchinson and into the net to give the hosts the lead.

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Fauldhouse quickly won a corner after the opening goal, but Tranent broke quickly and only a great tackle by Brown stopped Paterson being clean through.

Tranent’s Todd looked to go in with two feet in 22 minutes on McLeod and left the striker in a heap.  The referee showed the big defender a straight red card and the home side were down to ten men.  McLeod was able to continue after treatment.

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Hawkins moved back from his midfield berth into defence.

Brown played the ball to O’Donnell in 23 minutes and his cross was only just too far in front of Jack Currie.

Fauldhouse’s left back seemed to be in almost constant dialogue with the locals, who were giving him pelters, but Brown appeared to be smiling back mostly.

Bennett was shown a yellow card for dissent in 26 minutes for disputing the award of a Tranent free kick for hand ball.

McLeod passed forward to Jack Currie in 27 minutes and his shot looked to be covered by Horne, but his low shot went through the keeper’s hands and into the net for the equaliser.

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Tranent certainly weren’t for giving up and Fisher’s curling shot from 20 yards was inches wide, with Hutchinson diving full length to try and save it.

Wojtowycz was the next Tranent player to earn the wrath of the referee for a challenge on O’Donnell. He claimed not to have touched him, but was booked.  Dunn took the free kick into the box but Dean Currie’s header was too high.

Fauldhouse played a ball to the back post from the right in 37 minutes and Bennett brought the ball down superbly before firing across the face of goal.  McLeod ran in at the other post and shot high into the net to put the visitors in front.

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Just before the interval, Dawson received the ball for Tranent 20 yards out and moved away from a defender before seeing his shot come back off the upright.   Soon after there was claim for handball in the Fauldhouse box, but the referee waved away appeals.

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Fauldhouse led at the break and Tranent must have been rueing the sending off.  They started well and took the lead and looked to be in the ascendancy in the opening 20 minutes, but Fauldhouse always looked dangerous and had the better of the second part of the half.

McLeod made some space for himself in the Tranent box in 47 minutes, but could only shoot into the side netting.

Some good play by Dawson for Tranent in 52 minutes saw him take the ball in before hitting a shot at goal from the edge of the box, but it was wide of target.

A clever chip forward by Fisher into the Fauldhouse box in 56 minutes looked for Paterson, but Hutchinson was out quickly to claim.

Up the other end a minute later McLeod laid the ball off to Ward, but his shot from 20 yards was off target.

Miller burst down the right for Tranent in 60 minutes and exchanged passes with Dawson.  He cut the ball back to Dawson again on the edge of the box and he touched it to Paterson whose shot was deflected behind.

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Fauldhouse came forward in 64 minutes with O’Donnell passing to Jack Currie who played it through to McLeod.  His shot was saved by the feet of Horne and O’Donnell put the rebound over the bar.

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Fauldhouse won a free kick on the edge of the box in 67 minutes which led to several scuffles involving multiple players from both sides.  It took a full five minutes to sort it all out with the referee sending off Fauldhouse’s Dunn and booking Jack Currie from the same side and Tranent’s Fairnie.  He also had a word with the Fauldhouse bench before restarting the game.

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The resultant free kick saw Horne make a fine save, pushing O’Donnell’s shot round the post.

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Tranent broke quickly in 72 minutes and Paterson was running in on goal before cutting inside a defender, but his shot was straight into the arms of Hutchinson.

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Gay was next into the book for Tranent in 75 minutes for a foul on Ward.

An attempted through ball by Fauldhouse in 79 minutes deflected into the path of Bennett, but Horne saved well with his feet.

A magnificent cross from Gay in 80 minutes was right on the head of Dawson, but he somehow nodded wide of the Fauldhouse goal.

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Fauldhouse put a fine ball into the box from the left in 81 minutes for Jack Currie, but the striker was off balance and ended up lying down trying to get a foot to the ball, but Horne was there first to claim it.

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Wojtowycz had a well struck shot at the Fauldhouse goal in 83 minutes which produced an unconventional save from Hutchinson, but he got the ball away.

In 87 minutes, Fisher chipped the ball into the Fauldhouse box and Gay saw his header come back off the post.  The ball was played back to Fisher who blasted narrowly wide, but the ball took a nick on the way past.  The corner came to nothing.

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A ricochet in the Tranent box in 91 minutes took the ball into the path of Jack Currie.  Wojtowycz threw himself towards him, but the striker blasted over the bar.

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With Tranent pressing for an equaliser, Fauldhouse broke in 93 minutes and O’Donnell saw his strike saved by Horne’s foot.  The rebound came to Coulter but Horne was up quickly and turned the ball away.

With 95 minutes on the clock a long ball forward caught out the Tranent defence and O’Donnell ran onto the ball and sent a perfect lob over the outrushing Horne and into the net to put Fauldhouse two in front.

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Dean Currie was shown a yellow card in 96 minutes for bringing down Murray on the edge of the Fauldhouse box.  Gay stepped up to take the free kick and Hutchinson looked to get fingertips to it, but couldn’t stop the ball going in off the post to give Tranent their second of the afternoon.

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The final whistle went shortly afterwards to end what had been a great watch.

Tranent could certainly claim they deserved to take something from the game and looked to be on top when both teams had the same number of players.  They came on strong when Fauldhouse were also reduced to ten men before being caught with a sucker punch.

Fauldhouse would have been delighted to get back on track and could easily say that they sat back when they went down to ten men to protect their lead.  That’s not to say they didn’t look a good side.  It’s easy to see why they have been successful and manager Jon Connolly must take great credit for getting what is almost an entirely new team playing as a unit.

Best for Tranent were Fisher, who looked a constant menace in an attacking midfield role and Dawson who held the ball up very well up front.  For Fauldhouse, Dunn and Ward looked like real quality in the middle of the park, although I’m not sure what the former did to get sent off, it certainly detracted from the team’s midfield.

Neither team’s Twitter account responded to my request for team names and numbers, but Tranent had posted theirs in the pie hut while the Fauldhouse manager provided theirs via the Pie & Bovril website.  Thanks to both.

Finally, it’s good to see that the stand-in linesmen were well looked after.

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Full Time: Tranent Juniors 2 Fauldhouse United 3.

Admission: £6 (eventually)

Tranent Juniors: 1 Peter Horne, 2 Neil Smeaton (Murray 77), 8 Michael Fairnie, 5 Jamie Todd, 3 Craig Wojtowycz, 7 Ben Miller, 6 Lewis Hawkins, 9 Kenny Fisher, 14 Lloyd Fiddler (Gay 51), 11 Cameron Dawson (Ferguson 90),10 Kayne Paterson.  Subs: 4 Guy Kerr, 12 Darren Smith, 15 Ryan Gay, 16 Joe Murray, 17 John Ferguson.

Fauldhouse United: 1 JC Hutchinson, 2 Sammy Watson, 5 Dean Currie, 4 Kyle Stewart, 3 James Brown, 7 David O’Donnell, 6 David Dunn, 8 Aiden Ward (Arrol 84), 11 Mathew Bennett (Magee 88), 9 Jack Currie, 10 Jamie McLeod (Coulter 84). Subs: 12 Dean Arrol, 14 Declan Brady, 15 Ben Magee, 16 Jake Coulter, 21 Matty Craig.

Referee: Mark Rennie

Programme: None.

Follow me on Twitter @Blowyfootball

Hearts Ladies v Glasgow Girls

Sunday 24 September 2017, 14.00, Kings Park

Hearts Ladies against Glasgow Girls in the Scottish Women’s Premier League 2.

Hearts disappointing run has continued since we last saw them at the end of August losing by a solitary goal at Edinburgh University Hutchison Vale.  A defeat at Jeanfield Swifts means that they now sit in fifth place in the league with promotion well out of reach.

With several players missing through injury, suspension and lack of availability, they only had two substitutes on the bench for the game against Glasgow Girls.

Glasgow Girls were one of three teams fighting for last season’s solitary promotion place and finished in third spot, level on points with Hearts and two behind champions Hamilton Accies.

During the mid-season break Glasgow signed Goalkeeper Lisa Kerr and midfielder Gill Sloey.

Glasgow Girls came into the game in third place, thirteen points behind league leaders Forfar Farmington.

I think I managed to get most of the Glasgow Girls team, but for some reason, I have been blocked by their Twitter account, so can’t confirm the details. Apologies if any are inaccurate.

There were around 70 in attendance.

Despite the publicised kick off being two o’clock, the home side and the match officials didn’t enter the field of play until ten past, and Hearts then proceeded to do a warm-up.  The game eventually kicked off at 2.15.

With two minutes gone, a fine run from Glasgow’s MacDonald from her own half saw her reach the edge of the Hearts box, but pressure from Miller meant the ball ran through to Hamilton.

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Up the other end in 4 minutes, Kidd’s cross to the back post saw Hutchison hit a first time volley that produced a fine save low down by Rae.

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Coleman tried a long range effort at the Hearts goal in 8 minutes, but it was comfortably held by Hamilton.

Smith played a good ball wide for Miller in 9 minutes and her cross found Hutchison, but Rae smothered her low shot.

In 10 minutes, Kidd shot at the Glasgow goal from the edge of the box, but it was too near Rae.

Evans played a fantastic through ball into the path of MacDonald in 13 minutes and she ran away from the Hearts defence.  She knocked the ball past Hamilton as she came out, but it went inches wide of the post.

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McPherson had a go at the Hearts goal in 16 minutes, but saw her shot hit the side netting.

The visitors were having a good spell and in 21 minutes MacDonald’s cross into the box found Evans, but Miller did well to ease her off the ball.  Hearts broke up the field quickly and Carse played the ball for Stewart to run on to, but McGuire did well to get back and get a foot in to send the ball behind.

A tackle by Brown just outside the Glasgow box in 26 minutes saw the ball run into the box and Stewart finished expertly into the top corner while off balance, but the flag was up for offside.

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MacDonald took possession of the ball for Glasgow on the left with 28 minutes gone and sent an incredible curling effort into the far corner to put Glasgow in front.  I don’t think any goalkeeper would have got near it.

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McAvoy did well to burst into the Glasgow box in 29 minutes but saw her shot blocked. The ball came back to her, but Rae was there to save.

Glasgow’s number 9 was replaced after half an hour.  I can only imagine that she had picked up a knock.

Glasgow were knocking the ball about with some confidence and some nice football in 34 minutes ended with McTear’s shot from 22 yards drifting wide.

In 40 minutes, McAvoy threaded a pass through the Glasgow defence for Stewart and she slotted past Rae for the equaliser.

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With two minutes to the break, Miller looked to send Stewart through on goal again, but it hit the striker’s heel as she ran into the box.

Just before half time Glasgow had the ball on the edge of the Hearts box and Evans was subjected to Moultray and Paterson both tackling her at the same time.  The ball ran through to MacDonald, but she couldn’t get her shot past Hamilton.

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All square at the end of the first 45 minutes and both teams could point to spells when they were on top.  It felt as though the game could go either way.

Kidd and Paterson did some crowd entertaining on the pitch as we waited for the second half to kick off with some strange dancing.  I don’t think they will be troubled by the Strictly Come Dancing producers in the near future.

Stewart showed some good skill on the right for Hearts in 46 minutes, but there was nobody in the middle to turn her cross into the net.

Hearts were through in 47 minutes and Carse put the ball in the net, but again the flag was up.  There seemed to be a number of people unhappy with the decision.  I was well away from the incident so in typical football fan logic, I knew exactly whether or not it had been the correct decision.  (Not a clue.)

Straight up the other end and MacDonald ran into the box where she was challenged by Paterson and Hamilton.  The referee gave a penalty and booked Hamilton.  I’m not sure if this was for something she said or the alleged foul.  Without trying to sound like Arsene Wegner, I missed the incident where she went down, although nobody seemed to claim for it.

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Logan confidently sent the penalty into the net to put Glasgow back in front.

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For the second time in the game Glasgow had scored just after Hearts had had a goal chopped off for offside.

Hearts looked for a second equaliser and Kidd found Stewart in the box in 50 minutes, but again she was judged to be offside as she shot.  The kick was taken quickly but Rae was down in the Glasgow box as she had caught the shot full in the face as she looked to save it.  Everyone in the ground was shouting to the ref to stop play before Paterson managed to put the ball out.  The keeper thankfully was ok to continue after treatment and Glasgow sportingly threw the ball back to Hearts from the throw-in.

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Hearts were starting to have some success going down the right and Miller found Stewart on the wing in 53 minutes and she put a dangerous cross into the box, but the defence managed to clear.

Kirstin McGuire was booked in 54 minutes for a late tackle on Hearts’ Kidd.

Miller played another fine ball down the right for Stewart in 55 minutes and her cross to the back post picked out Carse who sent a looping header back across goal which looked in all the way, but dropped on the wrong side of the post.

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Glasgow’s Cameron was next to pick up a yellow card.

Attacks down Glasgow’s left continued and Stewart passed to Kidd in 62 minutes and her cross saw McAvoy try a volley at goal, but it was off target.

A minute later Carse found herself free in the Glasgow box and Rae did well to block her shot, but the rebound feel to Stewart who gleefully put the ball into the net to make it 2-2.

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Kerr struck a long range effort at the Glasgow goal in 66 minutes, but Rae had it well covered.

It was Glasgow’s turn to have a spell of pressure in what was turning into a fine second half.

MacDonald had a strike at the Hearts goal from outside the box on the right in 72 minutes, but it was taken by Hamilton.

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Just after Evans had received treatment, she chased a through ball into the Hearts box in 77 minutes and a touch took her past Moultray and Hamilton.  Although she was almost on the goal line, she sent a shot into the back of the net from a very tight angle to put Glasgow back in front.  A great finish.

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In 87 minutes Evans’s cross dropped to Kirstin McGuire in the Hearts six yard box, but her attempt at goal was blocked and spun behind.

As the game reached injury time a deep cross from Glasgow’s McGoldrick saw Coleman rise highest to head the ball into the net to make it four.

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The full time whistle went shortly afterwards.

An entertaining game which continued to see both teams having spells of pressure throughout.  Hearts started well before Glasgow came back into it and that theme continued throughout.  It was difficult to tell who was going to win right up until the end.

Hearts lacked a bit of width with the two strikers having to run wide leaving little in the middle.  Pagliarulo was a big loss sitting in front of the back four too.  Paterson and Smith stood out for Hearts in the first half, while McAvoy had an impressive game in midfield.  It was good to see Stewart back among the goals after her lengthy injury lay off and she looked sharp.

Glasgow showed great stamina in forcing the game at the end and looked a good side.  MacDonald played very well up front, ably assisted by Evans and the duo will cause problems for any defence.  McTear and Coleman also put in good performances.  Although Forfar may be too far ahead for Glasgow to catch, they look like they will continue to challenge for promotion to the top tier.

Finally, mention of Hearts coach Scott Noble who looked as if he needed comforting after nearly being hit by the ball while sitting in the dugout in the first half.

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Full Time:  Hearts Ladies 2 Glasgow Girls 4

Admission: £3

Hearts Ladies: 1 Tegayn Hamilton, 14 Lynsay Miller, 4 Louise Moultray, 6 Megan Paterson, 2 Louise Kerr (Dodds 84), 9 Kara Kidd (Hunter 70), 15 Jenny Smith, 7 Courtney McAvoy, 17 Stacey Hutchison, 8 Michelle Stewart, 10 Ashley Carse.  Subs:  5 Georgia Hunter, 12 Jennifer Dodds.

Glasgow Girls: 23 Chloe Rae, 21 Chloe Docherty, 4 Megan Logan, 2 Georgie McTear, 22 Kirstin McGuire, 9 (C McGuire 30), 11 Jayne Cameron (Foulds 65), 5 Lauren Coleman, 3 Samantha McPherson (McGoldrick 56), 17 Kirsty MacDonald, 10 Lauren Evans.  Subs: 7 Charmaine McGuire, 16 Charlotte Foulds, 18 Sophie McGoldrick.

Referee: Darren Cormack

Programme: None.

Bonnyrigg Rose v Shettleston Juniors

Saturday 23 September 2017, 14.30, New Dundas Park

Scottish Junior Cup First Round action between East Super League’s Bonnyrigg Rose and Shettleston of the West Super League First Division.

It was good to get to the football after plans to go to the League Cup Quarter Final between Motherwell and Aberdeen on the Thursday and the Scottish Cup tie between Spartans and Vale of Leithen both didn’t pan out.

A first sight of Rose this season and despite the fantastic season they had in 2016-17, they ended up empty handed.  They will be looking to rectify that this season.

Runners-up in the East Super League to the now senior side Kelty Hearts, a semi-final defeat in the Junior Cup to Glenafton, a penalty shoot-out defeat to Tranent in the East of Scotland Cup Final and a run to the fourth round of the Scottish Cup where they went out to a clinical Hibs.  The plaudits were plentiful, but the silverware was not as the number of games caught up with them at the end of the season.

Since last season, they have signed goalkeeper Bryan Young from Whitehill Welfare, left back Neil Martynuik and midfielder Lee Currie from Newtongrange Star, Ross Gray from Linlithgow Rose, Mark McConnell from Edinburgh City and right back Dean Brett, who had left Rose to join Montrose, but changed his mind and came back.

Left back Ruaridh Donaldson has signed for Stenhousemuir, Chris Tobin has gone to Craigroyston, Scott Gray has gone to the United States and Ross Archibald has re-retired.  Striker Sean Jamieson went to Penicuik Athletic in the week leading up to the game against Shettleston.  The biggest loss has been the departure of manager Robbie Horn, who has taken the reins at Berwick Rangers.  Coach David White has stepped into the Rose hot seat.

Rose have had six wins and two draws in the league and sat in second place, two points behind leaders Penicuik.

It’s a long time since I’ve seen Shettleston in action.  Formed in 1903 they are nicknamed ‘The Town’ and are currently in the West Super League First Division, the second top league in the West Juniors.

They started life playing at Well Park, but were forced to vacate at short notice in 1932 as the land was required for house building.  They moved to Frank Field Park and renamed it Greenfield Park, where they still play their home fixtures today, in the East End of Glasgow.

They have won a number of trophies in their history including the Central A League in 1959-1960 and 1976-1977 and the West of Scotland Cup in 1974-1975, 1992-1993 and 1994-1995.

Their solitary appearance in the Junior Cup Final came in 1959 when they lost 2-1 to Irvine Meadow at Hampden Park.  They also reached the semi-final in 2001.

They have become a bit of a yo-yo club in recent times and most recently played in the top league in 2014-15, but it was a one season stay.  Last season saw them finish in seventh spot.

Some may recognise the name of goalkeeper Gary Whyte.  He gained nationwide fame last season for being sent off in a match against Shotts Bon Accord for urinating behind his own goal during the match.

It’s been a tumultuous start to the season for Shettleston.  A new management duo of James McKenna and Keith Docherty were sacked 36 days after being appointed and just before the start of the season.  The two had made a raft of signings after being left with just 4 players for the season ahead.

Seven players had come on board from Broomhouse Amateurs where Docherty had been manager, and a further nine had also been signed up. Hugh Kelly and Bernie Beacom have now taken on the managerial duties and several of the players brought in over the summer departed after the changes in management.

It had been a tough start and they went into the cup tie rooted to the bottom of the league, with a solitary point from their five games and they also finished bottom of their Central Sectional League Cup Group.

There’s been a few changes at New Dundas Park since we were last there, with some smoothing of ground and new dugouts etc.  Although it may have been the undulations of the pitch, it looked as if the edge of the box had been lined by someone at the end of a night out.

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There were around 250 in attendance.

Rose looked to make a positive start and in the opening minute McIntosh found Gray on the left, but his ball into the middle was too hard for anyone to get on the end of.

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As a gentleman arrived next to us, he was greeted with “Alright Jock, how’s things?”  Jock replied “F*cking terrible.”  When asked what was wrong, he replied “oh nothing, just living the dream.”

In the sixth minute, Hoskins struck a shot on the Shettleston goal from the left which whistled just past the post.

Brown curled a free kick towards goal in 13 minutes from around 22 yards, but it hit the side netting of the visitor’s goal.

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With 17 minutes gone, Martin trotted across to take a Shettleston free kick and sent an attempted cross behind the goal for a bye-kick.  This was the second time he had wasted one from a promising position.

Brett crossed into the Shettleston box in 18 minutes and the ball was booted high in the air by a defender.  It dropped at the edge of the box to McIntosh, whose half volley was just wide of the post.

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McGachie was next to have a go from the edge of Shettleston’s box, but he skyed his shot from 20 yards.

Rose’s Moyes had to go off for treatment in 20 minutes with a bleeding nose but quickly returned to the fray.

In 23 minutes, Hoskins took out Makofo on the right touchline.  Martin went across to take the free kick and again sent the ball behind the goal.

Shettleston worked the ball to Kisuka near the edge of the Rose box in 25 minutes, but his shot lacked power and it was comfortable for Young, although Kisuka may have been caught as he struck it.

A long ball forward into the Shettleston box by Young in 28 minutes saw a defender put the ball behind.  Currie’s corner was met powerfully by the head of Young and it flew into the top corner to give the hosts the lead.

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Young was involved again in 31 minutes when his through ball saw McGachie racing into the box on the right and as Whyte came out he dinked it over him, but could only hit the side netting.

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Rose put some good football together in 37 minutes after Currie had intercepted the ball in midfield.  It ended with Brown playing the ball to Currie who beat a defender before seeing his shot take a nick as it went narrowly wide.

A minute later Rose came forward again and Gray passed to McIntosh on the right.  His cross was taken down expertly by Gray before he volleyed just wide of goal.

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After McDowell had been booked for a foul on McGachie, Brown put Rose’s free kick into the box in 41 minutes.  It was half cleared but played back in to McGachie who looked to miskick, which took him somewhat fortuitously past the keeper, before he rolled it into the net to make it two-nil.

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Scott picked up the game’s first booking in 43 minutes, for taking out Rose’s McIntosh as Bonnyrigg broke.

Two nil to the home side at the interval.

With three minutes of the second half gone Currie chipped the ball into the Shettleston box for Brett, but he couldn’t keep his header down.

A Brett cross from the right in 49 minutes picked out the head of McGachie in the heart of the Shettleston box and his clever header completely wrong-footed Whyte, but shaved the post as it went wide.

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McGachie was brought down just outside the “D” on the edge of the Shettleston box in 60 minutes and it was three Rose defenders who discussed who would take it.  Brett eventually won the argument and his effort took a deflection off the wall and spun into the net past a helpless Whyte to make it three.

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Rose showed no sign of being happy to rest on their lead and when McGachie laid the ball back to Brown in 62 minutes, his first time cross picked out Brett at the back post, but he headed over.

Shettleston’s McIntosh needed treatment in 65 minutes after a challenge by Hoskins.  He limped back on soon after.  He only lasted another five minutes though.

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Kisuka won the ball for Shettleston in 70 minutes and Luczi took it forward, but his shot was too high.

In 74 minutes, Brett cut the ball back to Turner from the Shettleston by-line, but Whyte blocked his shot.

Martin was yellow carded in 75 minutes for bringing down a Rose player on the side of the box after being nutmegged.  Brown played the free kick back to Currie on the edge of the box and he hit a very well controlled shot low into the corner for Rose’s fourth.

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A Rose corner in 80 minutes by Currie was met well by the head of McConnell, but Whyte pushed the ball away from goal.

McEwan picked up a loose ball in 82 minutes and had a go at the Rose goal, but there wasn’t sufficient power in his shot to trouble Young.

With 6 minutes to go Brett’s cross into the Shettleston area eluded everyone in the middle and came to Martynuik at the far post.  He fired the ball back into the mix and McConnell showed good reactions to nod the ball into the net to make it 5-0.

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Currie played a one-two with McGachie inside the Shettleston box in 87 minutes, but off balance, he was unable to get a good strike on the ball and Whyte gathered.

In injury time Young was booked for bringing down Kisuka as Shettleston looked to break.

An easy win for Bonnyrigg who never really looked to be at the top of their game but were very comfortable throughout.  A tough afternoon for Shettleston but they never gave up and kudos goes to them for continuing to try to play football as the match progressed.

Moyes and Currie were both excellent for Rose and Brown also had a very good game, although the whole defence looked very solid.  Shettleston won’t be up against that level of defender every week, but Kisuka, McIntosh and Makofo all showed good touches which suggests they will cause problems in the league this season.

Rather than the Shettleston keeper, it was the crowd that were relieved this time.  Relieved that he managed to hold on until after the game to go to the toilet.

Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 5 Shettleston Juniors 0

Admission: £6

Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Bryan Young, 2 Dean Brett, 5 Ewan Moyes, 4 Kerr Young, 6 Dean Hoskins, 3 Jonny Brown (Martynuik 78), 7 Scott Gray (Turner 66), 11 Lee Currie, 10 Alan Horne, 9 Wayne McIntosh (McConnell 57), 11 Kieran McGachie.  Subs: 12 Neil Martynuik, 14 Lewis Turner, 15 Adam Nelson, 16 Mark McConnell, 25 Michael Andrews.

Shettleston Juniors: 1 Gary Whyte, 2 Lee Martin, 3 Robert Crumlish, 4 Michael McDowell, 5 Calum Nolan, 6 Ryan Scott, 7 Mate Luczi, 8 Cristiano Kisuka, 9 Rikki McIntosh (McEwan 75), 10 Steffa Graham (Treacy 66), 11 Makofo (Kelly 75).  Subs: 12 Greg McEwan, 14 Stuart Kelly, 15 Kyle Robertson, 16 Cathal Tracey, 17 Gareth Watson.

Referee: Alastair Grieve

Programme: None.

Carnoustie Panmure v Penicuik Athletic

Saturday 16 September 2017, 14.30, Laing Park

The East Super League match between Carnoustie Panmure and Penicuik Athletic.

We were one day off it being a year to the day since we last saw Carnoustie Panmure.  On that occasion, they won 3-2 at Camelon in a league match.

It is, however, our first visit to Laing Park, which ‘the Gowfers’ have called home since 2004.  There is grass banking all round with the changing rooms on one side, along with a snack bar and a couple of containers, one of which houses a bar for hospitality purposes.

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With no cover, we had our fingers crossed that the rain would stay off.  It was raining earlier in the afternoon.

They are in their seventh season in a row in the Super League and finished 11th last season.  New signings for this term are winger Marc Walker from Arbroath Vics, central defenders Adam Harwood from Montrose and Derek Paterson from Kirriemuir Thistle, midfielder Jake Mair from Broughty Athletic and strikers Ryan Dignan from Dundee Violet and Pat Martin from Dundee North End.

Panmure began their campaign with a 2-1 loss at Bo’ness United, before losing 5-0 at home to Lochee United.  A 3-2 home win over Broxburn Athletic steadied the ship and then they won 2-0 at Forfar West End.  Wins at Newtongrange Star and at home to Camelon were followed by a 3-3 draw at Kennoway Star Hearts which saw them sitting in fifth place after their seven league games.

Adam Harwood was suspended after being sent off in the draw at Kennoway and captain Steven Cook was on holiday.  Long term injury victims Ryan Roche and Liam Scott were also missing.

We saw Penicuik when they won against Newtongrange in August, making it two wins from two after their opening day win over Linlithgow Rose.  They then won at Dundonald Bluebell and Bo’ness United before drawing at home to Sauchie.  A one-nil win at Hill of Beath Hawthorn set them up for a top of the table clash against Bonnyrigg Rose where they drew 2-2.  They went into the game with Panmure top of the table.

Penicuik were without Keith Lough who was injured against Bonnyrigg, the unavailable Sam Jones and Ross Montgomery and Andrew Forbes, who was possibly experiencing a different kind of strip, as he was on his stag do.  Penicuik only had three substitutes, with one a trialist, rumoured to be manager Johnny Harvey.

Both sides had makeshift right backs, with Penicuik playing a central defender there and Panmure playing a midfielder.

There were around 70 in the ground as the game kicked off.

With 5 minutes gone, Roberts chipped the ball through the Penicuik defence and Dignan beat the offside claims and he hammered the ball across goal from the by-line.  Allison managed to get an arm to block the cross and the defence cleared.

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Dignan played the ball wide to Urquhart in 8 minutes as Panmure came forward again.  His cross into the middle saw Martin go down in the box, but nothing was given.

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Penicuik broke in 11 minutes and Young passed down the right to Kateleza.  His cross was deflected and Mair headed behind.

McGeehan got a sore one in 13 minutes when Kateleza blocked his attempted clearance and he seemed to jar his ankle.  He went off for treatment and limped back on, but soon after had to succumb to his injury.  Buggins went to right back with Conway dropping back into defence.

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Some good build up play by Penicuik in 19 minutes ended with Kateleza crossing into the box, but Paterson headed behind.

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Martin created some space for himself on the edge of the Penicuik box in 26 minutes, but his shot drifted wide.

In 29 minutes, Kateleza nicked the ball away from Conway and charged towards the Panmure goal.  As Robbie came out to meet him, he tried to knock the ball into the path of Jack Hamilton, but there was a misunderstanding between the two Penicuik strikers and Robbie gratefully dived on the ball.

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Roberts may have been lucky to escape a booking in 30 minutes for a late tackle on Penicuik’s Barr, but the referee made do with having a word.

Kateleza showed some great skill in 32 minutes before laying the ball off to Jack Hamilton in the Panmure box.  His shot was close, but hit the side netting.

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More good football by the visitors in 34 minutes saw Ponton through on goal, but he was denied by Robbie who managed to turn the ball behind.

Barr and McCrory-Irving played a one-two in 35 minutes which saw the former through on the right side of the Panmure box, but Conway slid in to block the shot behind.

MacDonald brought down Panmure’s Roberts on the corner of the box in 38 minutes, but the free kick was fired over the bar.

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A fine cross by Kateleza in 40 minutes looked to be right on the head of Jack Hamilton, but Robbie got a finger to it to direct it over his head.  The ball was eventually played back to McCrory-Irving, but his effort was wide.

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Penicuik’s Gary Hamilton picked up the game’s first booking in 42 minutes for a foul.

With 44 minutes gone McCrory-Irving latched onto a headed clearance and curled a shot towards the Panmure goal, but Robbie was there again to tip the ball over the bar.

Just before the break McCrory-Irving found Kateleza and his shot at goal took a nick before going wide of the Panmure goal.

Still goalless at the break and Penicuik were getting more on top as the half progressed and really should have been in front.  Robbie wasn’t in the mood to concede and had made a number of good stops in the first 45 minutes.

With three minutes of the second half gone Hume made a good interception and burst out of the Penicuik defence.  He played a pass over the Panmure defence for Hamilton.  Robbie came out of his goal and managed to block and Kateleza was eased off the ball going for the rebound.

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There were winces all round after Panmure’s Martin was hit with the ball between the legs in 49 minutes.

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Ponton put the ball across the face of the Panmure goal in 51 minutes, but there were no takers.

A great cushioned header by Jack Hamilton found Kateleza in the Panmure box in 54 minutes, but he could only hit the side netting.

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Penicuik reorganised in 57 minutes after bringing Mendes on, with MacDonald going to right back and Young taking over from Gary Hamilton in central defence.

McCrory-Irving intercepted a Roberts pass in 60 minutes and passed into the path of Kateleza who was clean through on the Panmure goal, but the flag was up for offside.

Kateleza was the next Penicuik player booked in 61 minutes.

Panmure attacked in 63 minutes with Dignan finding Martin, but his cut back from the by-line was turned behind by Barr.

There was a bit of a melee in 65 minutes as Barr caught Panmure’s Martin on the touchline, with Simpson spoken to by the referee for mouthing off at some Penicuik fans in the crowd and was booked.

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Mendes was brought down on the edge of the Panmure box in 66 minutes by Conway, who was cautioned, but the resultant free kick hit the wall.

A great run by Barr from half way in 72 minutes saw him go past a number of Panmure players and Hamilton took over at the edge of the box, but his shot was too high.

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Kateleza took the ball into the Panmure box in 73 minutes and Conway’s tackle took the ball into the path of MacDonald whose cut back from the by-line picked out Barr at the front post.  His first time shot saw Robbie get a foot to it, but he couldn’t keep it out and Penicuik led.

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Hamilton ran onto a through ball in 76 minutes and outmuscled Paterson, but his shot was off target.

In 80 minutes Barr found Mendes and he played the ball in behind the home defence.  Kateleza and Hamilton chased the ball and the latter got there first and knocked the ball past the outrushing Robbie and into the net to make it 2-0.

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Penicuik came forward again in 82 minutes with Hamilton playing the ball to MacDonald on the right.  His cross was booted up in the air by Paterson and Hamilton tried a volley when the ball came down, but he was off balance and he couldn’t make good contact.

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Hamilton was through again in 87 minutes, but Robbie saved again.

As Penicuik continued to press Hamilton fed Ponton on the left of the box in 88 minutes.  He stepped inside a defender before shooting for goal and the ball came off the raised arm of Paterson.  Penalty and a booking for the defender.  Kateleza put the ball just out of reach of the diving Robbie to make it three.

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As Hume won the ball from Dignan in the Penicuik box in 89 minutes, the Panmure striker held onto him.  Hume looked like he was going to react as he went towards him, but he restrained himself before offering the ball to Dignan as he “hadn’t had a shot of it all through the game.”

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MacDonald was booked just before the whistle for kicking the ball against Panmure’s Roberts as he lay prone on the ground.

A convincing win in the end for Penicuik to remain at the top of the league although they did leave it late. Robbie had kept ‘the Gowfers’ in the game, but the pressure told eventually.  Not a good day for Panmure.

Robbie was best for Panmure and Conway performed well after going back into defence.  For Penicuik, Hume, Barr and Hamilton all played very well, with Barr’s energy and running a real stand out.

Special mention to the tap in the gents toilet in the ground.  I’ve not seen one like that before.

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Full Time: Carnoustie Panmure 0 Penicuik Athletic 3

Admission: £6

Carnoustie Panmure: 1 Jamie Robbie, 2 Luke McGeehan (Steel 18), 3 Jake Mair, 4 Ewan Buggins, 5 Derek Paterson, 6 John Roberts, 7 Marc Walker (Simpson 57), 8 Alan Conway, 9 Ryan Dignan, 10 Patrick Martin, 11 Robert Urquhart. Subs: 12 Bailey Steel, 14 Jamie McCabe, 15 Sam Simpson, 16 Liam Scott, GK Alan Cormack.

Penicuik Athletic: 1 Kyle Allison, 2 Darrel Young, 3 John Williams, 4 Craig Hume, 5 Gary Hamilton (Mendes 57), 6 John MacDonald, 7 Scott McCrory-Irving, 8 Lewis Barr, 9 Jack Hamilton, 10 Lumbert Kateleza, 11 Aaron Ponton. Subs: 12 Fernando Yaffa Mendes, Aaron Somerville, Trialist.

Referee: Chris Fordyce

Programme: £2

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