Penicuik boost title hopes with victory over Bathgate

Grant Killin scored the opener for Penicuik
Grant Killin scored the opener for Penicuik
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Penicuik Athletic boosted their Premier League title hopes last night with a 2-0 home win over Bathgate Thistle.

Penicuik Athletic boosted their Premier League title hopes last night with a 2-0 home win over Bathgate Thistle.

Second-half goals from Grant Killin and Ryan McCallum secured all three points for the hosts as they moved up to second place – six points behind leaders Fauldhouse United but with four games in hand.

For Bathgate, who came into the league clash on the back of a 9-0 win over Pumpherston, their aim of third place and a promotion play-off is now out of their hands after a run of six games without defeat came to an end.

Thistle sit fifth with three games remaining and are seven points behind third-placed Oakley United who can all but secure a play-off place with victory away to Glenrothes in their final league game of the season this Saturday.

Penicuik had dominated the first half but it wasn’t until the 66th minute that they broke the deadlock as substitute Killin powered a header past goalkeeper Mark Reid.

Striker McCallum then sealed the win in the 90th minute with a delightful free-kick from the edge of the box which flew over the Bathgate wall and into the top corner.

Penicuik player-manager Craig Meikle was relieved to get the win after his had found it tough in front of goal in the first-half.

He said: “It was pretty much one-way traffic the whole game, we dominated from start to finish.

“For a wee while I thought there was going to be a travesty after we missed four great chances. I thought it was going to be one of those nights where I could see them nicking it, but justice prevailed in the end.”

Meanwhile, Penicuik’s title chances could yet be boosted further when a disciplinary committee meet next Tuesday to decide whether Arniston Rangers fielded a suspended player in their recent match against Penicuik which Rangers were 4-2 victors.

If Arniston are found guilty it is likely that Penicuik will be awarded a 3-0 win and three points which would edge them closer to their title dream.