Penicuik’s bubble shows no sign of bursting

Penicuik Athletic manager Johnny Harvey
Penicuik Athletic manager Johnny Harvey
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A brilliant penalty save in the final minute from Penicuik keeper Connor Easton kept his team’s long unbeaten run intact as they shared the points with Bo’ness.

“The pressure was on and luckily I guessed right and pushed the shot round the post,” said Easton. “Our defence did a great job in the second half. There was always someone at the back to clear any danger.”

In one of only a handful of Junior games to survive the weather, both teams found it difficult to make a telling pass in the opening half hour on a sticky pitch.

Penicuik broke the deadlock in the 35th minute with a super strike from the in-form Stephen Scott. He raced on to a great through ball from Neil Janczyk to outpace a static Bo’ness defence, round the keeper and stroke the ball home for his third goal in two games.

Bo’ness came out for the second half in a more determined mood and, after Penicuik central defender Darrell Young went off injured early on, the visitors took advantage of the uncertainty and levelled the match. Robert Sloan weaved his way deep into the penalty box and backheeled the ball to Marty Wright who smashed it home from 12 yards.

The game was heading for a draw until in the 90th minute when Penicuik’s Steven Noble was red carded for raising his hands to Michael Gemmell. Then, in injury time, Gemmell was sent crashing to the ground for that penalty. Up stepped Sloan but his effort was brilliantly saved by Easton with the last kick of the game.

Penicuik boss Johnny Harvey said: “We had chances and should have added to our goal but if you consider where we are in the league the players have performed brilliantly. People are expecting our bubble to burst but we keep going and we’re now competing with the best teams in the area now.”

Bo’ness assistant coach Steve Pittman said: “It’s a hard place to come to this season and when we got the penalty I thought that’s job done but the keeper did well. We’ve missed quite a few pens this season.”

Penicuik: Easton, Forbes, Noble, Hume, Young, Janczyk, Connolly, Barr, McCallum, Scott, Montgomery. Subs: Gay, Scott, MacDonald, Jones, Somerville.

Bo’ness: Murphy, Gemmell, Wright, Tierney, Hunter, MacLennan, Keast, Philp, Strickland, Sloan, Scullion. Subs: Eddington, Simpson, Smith, Snowdon, Clark.