Penicuik striker Somerville wants a crowded house

Aaron Somerville
Aaron Somerville
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Aaron Somerville hopes a vociferous home support can help to roar Penicuik Athletic into the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup.

The Cuikie host Kilbirnie Ladeside in their second-round replay tomorrow after a 2-2 draw last weekend in North Ayrshire, with Penicuik having led twice in the tie.

Striker Somerville bagged a goal last week to continue his impressive start to the campaign despite having missed the first six weeks of the season due to a holiday then a freak injury in his first game back when he suffered a fractured eye socket against Hill of Beath.

“I’m really enjoying the football so far this year. I missed the first six to eight weeks of the season. Unfortunately my partner is in the police so I can only take holidays when she takes holidays – I’m self-employed so I’ve got to do what I’m telt, as a lot of us have to do,” said Somerville.

“We went on holiday for the first two weeks of the season then on my first game back I got an elbow up at Hill of Beath and I fractured my eye socket, so I was out for another four or five weeks from that.

“Since I’ve been back in I’ve been buzzing and enjoying it, the boys are playing the right type of football and fortunately enough I’m getting the chances. If the chances keep coming hopefully I’ll keep tucking them away.”

The Innerleithen-born frontman is experiencing some of the toughest competition he’s ever faced in football. Manager Johnny Harvey has acquired a plethora of striking talent who are all eager to make their mark in a Penicuik side enjoying a fine start to the season.

Somerville continued: “Fortunately enough I’ve been scoring and the gaffer can’t seem to get me out the team. It’s a hugely competitive squad this year. Before you were looking at 6s and 7s every week to keep you in the team and now it’s 8s and 9s that you’re needing to stay in there.

“Boys are coming on and getting 15 minutes here and there and they are coming up with doubles. It’s given the gaffer a good problem, but it’s keeping us on our toes that’s for sure. To be honest I don’t think I’ve faced as much competition in my department as I am right now. Competition is healthy but at the end of the day everybody wants to be playing, so you’ve just got to do your thing on a Saturday and make sure you are in the team for the next again week.”

Penicuik will be rewarded with a favourable home tie against Lanark United should they down Kilbirnie tomorrow, although Somerville is expecting their visitors to perform better than last week.

He added: “Although it was quite an even game, I felt we slightly shaded it to be honest. They are a very handy side and I think they will come back stronger this week for the replay. They have a few good wee players and they showed a bit of character to come back from being down twice.

“Every game we’ve played this year we’ve not really bothered about other teams, it’s been all about what we do and we were a bit disappointed to let them back into the game twice.

“Hopefully they will find it a wee bit tougher at Penicuik this week. Hopefully the town turns out and we get a decent crowd. As players all you want is to turn up on a Saturday, have a decent atmosphere and have a good game of football.”

Manager Harvey, who last week brought in former Linlithgow Rose assistant manager Steven Hislop into his backroom staff, initially on a temporary basis after Kevin Milne departed for Hibs Ladies, wants his side to demonstrate how good they can be.

He said: “Hopefully we can make it uncomfortable for them and play our game.

“I just want the boys to show everybody how good we are and Saturday provides that platform considering how big a game it is.

“There will be a lot of eyes on us and I just hope the boys can rise to the occasion.”