Penicuik Athletic keeper Thomas Cordery admitted his relief after his team-mates spared his blushes by coming back from two goals down against Newtongrange to make up for his two keeping mishaps by winning 4-2.
The East of Scotland Conference A league leaders found themselves two goals behind inside half an hour against their Midlothian rivals with Cordery at fault for both goals.
He firstly let Ali Forster’s header through his legs for the opener and somehow failed to hold on to George Hunter’s header as it slipped through both hands for the second goal.
The 23-year-old would go on to have a fine game, however, as he kept his team in the match long enough to complete a fantastic comeback as they increased their lead at the top of the table to eight points.
“We showed a lot of character to dig deep and get the three points, I’m delighted,” said Cordery. “It was a mistake from myself for the first one, it just went through the smallest gap in my legs and I didn’t know much about it. The second goal was a hard one – the boy got a free header and I got a hand to it, but I don’t think I could have done more.
“Coming back from that showed a lot of spirit and a lot about our dressing-room. We’ve got that bit between the teeth now and that’s what we need if we expect to go on and win the league. It’s a good three points for us.
“We’ll keep plodding on; we’ve got the points on the table and it’s up to everybody else to try and chase us.”
Penicuik co-manager Kevin Milne hailed his players for their strength of character with goals from Wayne McIntosh, Sam Jones, Arran Ponton and Aaron Somerville ensuring a terrific turnaround.
“When we found ourselves 2-0 down so early on, I was thinking what the hell is going on here? The boys showed great character. I think it’s the first time we’ve been tested like that in terms of going a couple of goals behind.
“Newtongrange had a few boys missing but it was a great game for the neutral and that’s what derbies are all about.
“Tam has been great for us all season. He’s made a couple of mistakes or maybe even just one mistake, I don’t know, but he pulled off two or three great saves after that. He’s been a great player for us this season and he’ll continue to get better.”
Cordery would have wanted the ground to swallow him up as Forster headed in Scott Swaney’s lofted cross on nine minutes. Penicuik then had a mountain to climb as Hunter got on the end of Kevin Bracks’ cross to put the threadbare hosts, who had several key players missing through injury and suspension, two goals to the good.
Striker McIntosh pulled one back on 27 minutes when he lashed home Craig Stevenson’s delightful through-ball into the far corner of the net. The visitors were then level when Jones tapped in, but not before Cordery somehow denied Forster by clawing away his top-corner bound effort.
Ponton put Penicuik ahead for inside 30 seconds of the second half when he prodded home from close range after Keiron Renton had saved from the winger. Substitute Somerville made the points secure in the final minute after surviving a barrage as he lashed into the the net from McIntosh’s ball across goal.
Star boss Stevie McLeish felt his team performed admirably.
“When you consider we had 12 players to choose from on Saturday, I thought we did pretty well. If we had got a third goal at 2-0, I don’t think there was anyway back for them after that, but they scored pretty quickly after we got our second.
“That’s our first defeat here in 17 games and I think a performance like that and getting beat isn’t an embarrassment, the game was fantastic.”
Newtongrange Star: Renton, Swaney, Currie, Mitchell, Young (Jamieson), Lawson, Richardson, Bracks, Scott, Forster, Hunter (Forbes)
Penicuik Athletic: Cordery, Stevenson, Baptie, Young, Page, Connolly, Sampson (Somerville), Jones, McIntosh, Crabbe (Sproule) (Caddow), Ponton