Penicuik UNITED recorded a convincing victory on Saturday, by hammering Civil Service Strollers 5-1 in the LEAFA Centenary Cup second round at Penicuik Sports Pavilion.
A superb hat-trick by Brett Dalgliesh and Richard Meldrum’s close range effort gave the hosts a comfortable win.
Civil contributed to their own downfall by chipping in with an own goal, but did manage a consolation late on through David Hope.
Player-coach Gary Walker said: “We played really well in the first half and you can’t complain with a 5-1 victory. I’m very disappointed not to keep the clean sheet today. It was a stupid mistake, but we got the victory in the end.”
Penicuik began brightly and had a couple of early chances to take the lead. Goal hero Dalgliesh missed an early headed opportunity, before strike partner Ross Allan’s sliding effort was directed wide of the target.
But the home side did grab an early advantage on 13 minutes when Dalgliesh grabbed his first of the afternoon. Playmaker Mark Ireland delivered a pinpoint cross from the left flank, picking out the centre forward who was on hand to volley home from ten yards.
Strollers almost hit back when Keith Truslove beat the offside trap to find himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Chris Walker, but his tame effort drifted wide of Walker’s left-hand post.
Penicuik soon clicked into gear once more, playing the ball wide at every opportunity and trying to deliver crosses into the danger zone. And their patient approach paid dividends on 22 minutes when they doubled their advantage.
Civil defender Michael Heath’s attempted clearance could only find the feet of Dalgliesh, who drilled a shot low into the far corner of the net.
Strollers goalkeeper Darren Gunn kept the scoreline at 2-0 just two minutes after this, as he produced a wonder save from Mark Ireland, whose curling left-foot effort appeared to be destined for the top corner.
Penicuik had a further opportunity before the interval, but again Ross Allan couldn’t convert his chance after some neat build-up play between Ireland and Dalgliesh.
The home side appeared to take confidence from their impressive first-half display and flew out of the traps early in the second period to put the game beyond doubt.
Energetic midfielder Darren Cornet picked out team-mate Stuart Inglis with a fantastic cross on 49 minutes. Inglis’ cut-back inside the penalty area appeared to be heading for the feet of Brett Dalgliesh, but was turned into the net by a retreating Strollers defender, before the frontman could make contact.
Three soon became four just two minutes later as Dalgliesh completed his hat-trick in fine style. Having carried the ball from inside his own area, Craig McVay slipped a deft ball through the Strollers defence to pick out Dalgliesh, who made no mistake in smashing the ball past Gunn.
Strollers were well beaten by this stage, but continued to work hard and scrap for possession in search of a consolation.
But Penicuik added further insult to injury by grabbing a fifth goal just before the hour mark. A quick free-kick by Gary Walker was not dealt with by Civil ’keeper Gunn, allowing Richard Meldrum the simplest of tasks to tap home into an empty net.
In a second half of few chances, Strollers did a have chance to reduce their arrears, with skipper William Wells seeing his headed effort cleared off the line.
But their persistence paid off, and they did notch a deserved late goal on 85 minutes. Winger Sean Walsh showed good skill before picking out team-mate David Hope, who neatly dispatched his effort into the bottom corner.
After the match, Civil gaffer Scott Hale admitted his side were outclassed.
He said: “We started birghtly inn the first ten minutes but I think we were a bit intimidated.
“We lost a silly goal which settled Penicuik and rattled us. They were deserved winners.”
Penicuik United: Chris Walker, Ryan Kerr, Jai White, Craig McVay, Gary Watt, Mark Ireland, Stuart Inglis, Richard Meldrum, Darren Cornet, Ross Allan, Brett Dalgliesh, Paul Sclater, Darren Crosbie, Gary Walker.
Civil Service Strollers: Darren Gunn, Jules Cattanach, Jon White, Michael Heath, Ryan Cairncross, Matt Reid, Kevin McColl, William Wells, Keith Truslove, David Hope, Chris Sutherland, Scott Hale, Stuart Bain, Sean Walsh.