Wednesday 17 August 2016, 19.00, New Dundas Park
A Midlothian derby in the East Superleague between current champions Bonnyrigg Rose and Fife and Lothians Cup holders, Penicuik Athletic.
Bonnyrigg Rose were founded in 1881 from the remnants of Bonnyrigg Swifts. Their home ground is New Dundas Park, where they have been since 1953 and they traditionally play in red and white hoops. They have won the Junior Cup twice, in 1966 and in 1978, as well as finishing runners-up in 1972.
The East Superleague was won in 2008-09, 2011-12, and they won it again last season.
They’ve had some notable former players, including Hibs legend Pat Stanton, from Spurs 1961 double winning side John White and future actor Sean Connery. (Yes that one). The locals do have a bit of a Bond with their side.
They’ve managed to keep the championship winning squad together with only captain Ross Archibald departing through retirement and Ross Drummond’s loan expiring. They’ve signed striker Sean Jamieson from Musselburgh Athletic and midfielder Alex King has returned to the club from Linlithgow Rose.
Rose lost their opening league game at home to Kelty Hearts, the 2014-15 champions, before getting back on track with a narrow win at Newtongrange. At the weekend they defeated Glasgow University by eight goals to two in the first preliminary round of the Scottish Cup.
My third sighting of Penicuik this season and they have the full set of results in their three league games to date. A win at Jeanfield Swifts on the opening day, a home draw with Musselburgh Athletic, then a home loss to Linlithgow Rose.
There’s around 280 in the ground on a sunny night in Midlothian.
A good chance for the home side in the third minute when Jamieson’s shot from the edge of the box was blocked by Bejaoui, but came back to McGachie who could only put it into the keeper’s arms who was still on the ground.
In 7 minutes, Stewart picked out McLaren on the left side of the box who tried an acrobatic volley, but it went wide of goal.
It’s worth making mention of Rose goalkeeper Michael Andrews. He is one of the more vociferous keepers in the Junior game, but his shouts are pretty much incomprehensible and sound like the shouts of someone at sheepdog trials. A joy to behold.
Penicuik showed for the first time in 8 minutes when McCallum played the ball forward to Lough in the box, but he lashed over with the defence claiming offside.
The ball broke to McGachie on the edge of the box in 13 minutes, but the Bonnyrigg striker’s shot on the turn was wide.
In 16 minutes, McCallum struck a 25-yard free kick for goal and it spun off the wall and went just wide.
Turner had a good strike from distance in 20 minutes at the Penicuik goal, but Bejaoui did well to push it away.
The same player latched onto a misplaced Penicuik pass and bore down on goal a minute later but Sproule managed to get a touch to stop his progress in the box.
Bonnyrigg continued to threaten and a Nelson free kick fell to Donaldson whose half volley went just over in 22 minutes.
In 26 minutes, the goal that had been coming arrived. A Nelson corner from the right saw McGachie beat Bejaoui to the ball and head into the net to give the hosts the lead.
A good ball forward by Young had Bonnyrigg on the attack again in 31 minutes as he picked out Jamieson on the left. He took the ball in his stride and rifled it into the far corner to make it 2-0.
Lister turned well in 41 minutes and played the ball across the face of the Rose goal. The ball clipped a defender’s head and went just wide.
Penicuik’s Noble received the game’s first booking in 43 minutes for bringing down McGachie, who looked to have pushed Lister in the aftermath.
There was a chance for Jamieson to extend the lead in first half injury time when Bejaoui failed to claim the ball under pressure, but he could only put it into the side netting.
Things continued to deteriorate for Penicuik with McCallum limping off at half time.
One of Penicuik’s half time subs, Montgomery, had a go at goal from 25 yards at the start of the second half and his well struck shot had Andrews struggling, but it was just too high.
In 49 minutes, the evening took a bad turn for home manager Robbie Horn. Standing on the touchline he was hit by the ball in a very tender area. It was heartwarming to see players and fans of both teams express their concern by pissing themselves laughing.
McGachie went down in the box in 55 minutes following an aerial challenge and the home fans appealed for a penalty, but the referee wasn’t interested.
In 59 minutes, Nelson chipped the ball forward to McLaren in the Penicuik box. With Bejaoui rooted to his line and no defender going towards him, he took his time to chip the ball to the back post where Jamieson headed home to make it three nil.
Montgomery tried to get Penicuik back into the game with a lob from inside the centre circle a minute later, but the ball drifted wide of goal.
Penicuik seem determined to play the ball out from the back and were increasingly giving the ball away, bringing pressure upon themselves.
Lough picked up the ball for Penicuik in 74 minutes on halfway and played it to Sproule wide on the right. He put a great ball into the middle, but Hoskins managed to get his head to the ball to turn it behind.
In 79 minutes, Kidd got to the byline for Rose and played the ball across the face of goal about a yard out, but it somehow evaded everyone.
Turner shot for goal from outside the box in 86 minutes and the ball spun off a defender and curled over Bejaoui, but went just wide of the Penicuik goal.
A convincing win for the home side who look very strong and will certainly be challenging for the title again this season. A bad night for Penicuik who seemed to go back to having no width like they did the first time I saw them this season.
All the best players were in Bonnyrigg red and white with Young, Hoskins and Turner particularly impressive.
Full Time: Bonnyrigg Rose 3 Penicuik Athletic 0
Bonnyrigg Rose: 1 Michael Andrews, 2 Alan Horne, 3 Ruaridh Donaldson, 4 Kerr Young, 5 Dean Hoskins, 6 Jonathan Stewart, 7 Fraser McLaren (Tobin 80), 8 Lewis Turner, 9 Keiran McGachie (Kidd 67), 10 Adam Nelson (King 75), 11 Sean Jamieson. Subs: 14 Alex King, 15 Andrew Kidd, 16 Chris Tobin.
Penicuik Athletic: 1 Youssef Bejaoui, 2 Wayne Sproule, 3 Steven Noble, 4 Craig Hume, 5 Darrell Young, 6 Neil Janczyk (Inglis 75), 7 Kyle Scott (Montgomery 45), 8 Jordan Lister, 9 Ryan McCallum (Somerville 45), 10 Lewis Barr, 11 Keith Lough Subs: 12 Chris Inglis, 14 Ross Montgomery, Steven Scott, 16 Aaron Somerville, Daryl Devlin.
Referee: Stewart Luke