'A massive game for both clubs’: Craig Stevenson on Tranent v Penicuik Athletic
After 12 goals from their past two games, tomorrow’s top-of-the-table crunch clash couldn’t be coming at a better time for Tranent – and right back Craig Stevenson has vowed they will not allow their performances to drop.
East of Scotland Premier Division leaders Penicuik Athletic make the trip to East Lothian to take on their second-place hosts, with the two title chasers separated by just a point.
With Hearts and Hibs not in action this weekend a bumper crowd is expected at Foresters Park, and former Penicuik man Stevenson is relishing the occasion against his former club.
“Penicuik are going really well and so are we, so it’s a massive game for both clubs. Hopefully we can get a result,” said Stevenson, 29.
“We had a bad result a couple of weeks ago against Inverkeithing Swifts at home, and we were looking to bounce back from that. It was a wake-up call that we maybe needed.
“We’ve managed to get a reaction in both games since then, and we’ve managed to do that, scoring quite a few goals, which is a wee bonus. Our confidence is high going into the game, and we’ll be looking to continue our performances. Hopefully we can get a similar crowd to the one in the Scottish Cup at Penicuik [in September], I think there was around 800 [fans] there.
“It definitely helps having fans. It was strange last year playing in front of no fans. There is only a few hundred at our games, but it does make a big difference.”
Another former Penicuik man, Wayne McIntosh, has certainly put himself in contention for a start after he bagged his first five goals for the club in a 7-0 thumping of Whitehill on Tuesday night.
Tranent boss Calum Elliot isn’t short of options, especially at the front end of the pitch with Rory Currie, Sean Wringe and Steven Thomson all eager to start.
Stevenson continued: “That was Wayno’s first start. He’s been coming on in games getting the last 20 or 30 minutes here and there. He missed a penalty against Blackburn on Saturday so we were wondering when the goal was going to come, but he managed to get his first one in midweek and he just kicked on from that.
“If you aren’t on it, the boys that are on the bench are good players who are going to come on and take your place. Everyone is kept on your toes and once you get that jersey you need to put in a performance to try and keep it.”
Stevenson has been fuelling the fire on Twitter ahead of tomorrow’s big match with the defender quick to remind the official East of Scotland Football League account about his goal after just four seconds several years ago for Lothian Thistle, after they highlighted Penicuik’s Aiden Walsh’s 12 second effort in midweek.
He added: “I know 90 per-cent of the boys, I’m in a group chat with seven or eight of them, so the banter has been flowing back and forth all week. I loved my time at Penicuik, it’s a good club with good people there. I’ve not got a bad word to say about Penicuik, I really enjoyed my time there.”