Penicuik Athletic boss Tony Begg praises his players' fitness and mentality
Penicuik Athletic boss Tony Begg revealed he had settled for a point in their Premier Division season opener at Broxburn Athletic with 15 minutes remaining, but his players had other ideas as three goals in the final ten minutes secured an impressive 4-1 victory at Albyn Park.
“I’m really pleased to get three points as this probably one of the most difficult places to come, they are a very good, well organised team,” said Begg. “It was a performance that showed different sides to us. There was long spells in the game when we had to dig in and defend properly. There was a strong wind in the first half which we had to play against and deal with that, which I thought we did very well.
“We were a wee bit off it in the second half at times, but then to be fair when we got into the last ten to 15 minutes I thought we were the stronger side and the goals we scored were terrific.
“They are a fit group and to score three goals in the last ten minutes tells you everything you need to know, not just about their fitness, but about their mentality as well. To be honest, with 15 minutes to go I’m saying ‘a point at Broxburn in the first game of the season is a good, good point and I’ll take that’, but that clearly wasn’t the attitude of our players, they wanted the three points and they went and grabbed it.”
Paul Tansey had got Penicuik off and running for season 2021/22 when he got on the end of Robbie Neave’s pinpoint through ball before firing in off the far post midway through the first half.
Broxburn were much improved after the interval and drew level through Cameron Ross, with his cross-cum shot from wide left looping over the head of Penicuik goalkeeper Robert Watt and into the top corner of the net.
If anything, the home side looked the more likelier to net the winner, with summer signing Joe Tait, on loan from Spartans, firing agonisingly wide just minutes before Penicuik debutant striker Cameron Dawson, also a recent signing from Spartans, headed in at the second attempt after Brox goalkeeper Connor Wallace produced a point blank save.
Penicuik trialist Aidan Walsh ran on to Lumbert Kateleza’s through ball before rounding Wallace with a minute remaining for their third, although replays proved the home side’s appeals for offside were vindicated with Walsh a yard or two ahead of the Broxburn backline. Kateleza then netted from close range for number four after being set up by the impressive Neave.
Broxburn boss Chris Townsley rued missed chances. He said: “I didn’t see that coming. It was a tight game and we missed a couple of good opportunities to go ahead. There is lots of positives to take out of it. There’s just a few things we need tighten up on but I think we’ll be alright. In this league you need to take your opportunities when you get them.”
Elsewhere in the Premier, Tranent secured an opening day victory after coming from behind twice away to Hill of Beath to win 3-2 with Matthew Knox, Adam Watson and Cameron Muirhead on the scoresheet for Calum Elliot’s side.
Linlithgow Rose secured a point late on away to Crossgates to draw 1-1 through Ruari MacLennan, while Dunbar United started the season in style with a 3-1 win away to Sauchie after going behind, with goals from Nicky Weir, Andy Jones and Michael McFarlane.