East of Scotland League: Subs make impact as Penicuik Athletic stay five points clear

Penicuik Athletic remain five points clear at the top of the East of Scotland Premier Division after a 4-0 victory away to Vale of Leithen, with boss Stevie McLeish hailing the impact of his substitutes for changing the game.

The Cuikie continued their impressive start to the season, making it seven victories from eight matches. Scott McCrory-Irving's opener after eight minutes wasn't added to until the 72nd minute when striker Aaron Somerville doubled their lead. Andy Forbes got a third before substitute Cammy Fraser scored with his first touch after coming off the bench.

McLeish felt it was the introduction of Fletcher Hendry and David Edwards, brought on with half an hour of the second half remaining, which swung the match in Penicuik's favour.

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“I am delighted that we won but it maybe took us a wee while to turn up,” said McLeish to Penicuik TV. “In the first half we started quite well, we got a good goal and we had a couple of chances after that, that we should have done better with. We kind of let the game get away from us a wee bit and we let them get in the game. They were delighted at half-time, high-fiving each other because it was only 1-0.

Penicuik Athletic manager Stevie McLeish

“We should have probably been two or maybe three up, and we said to the boys at half-time that we needed to up the intensity and stretch the game a little bit. I felt in the second half we were a bit better, the two first two subs which came on kind of changed it for us and added an intensity for us that maybe wasn't there.

“Suddenly we started to get more of the ball, we used the ball a little bit better and we scored three really good goals to be fair in the end.

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“On another day we would have maybe come away with a 1-0 because we didn't hit all the bases, we weren't quite as good as we were last week. We weren’t bad by any stretch, we had periods in the game when we were very, very good and periods in the game when we weren't so good. To get three points away from home with a clean sheet and to score four goals, I am quite happy with that.”

Elsewhere, Linlithgow Rose, who have a game in hand on Penicuik, went second after a 4-1 defeat of Broxburn Athletic. Mark Stowe and Sandy Cunnigham each grabbed a double, with Gary Bress netting a late consolation for the visitors.

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Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale took the bragging rights after their 3-0 victory over Tynecastle, with Sean Guiney netting a penalty before a late Sean Wringe double. Haddington Athletic and Musselburgh Athletic drew 0-0 at Millfield Park.