Penicuik Athletic leapfrog Tranent into third in East of Scotland Premier Division as Kevin Milne hails players' character

Cuikie co-manager delighted to take maximum points from Broxburn and Tranent games to keep pace at the top

Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:49 pm
Updated Sunday, 15th December 2019, 12:58 pm
Aaron Somerville was on target for Cuikie as they ran out 2-0 winners over Tranent
Aaron Somerville was on target for Cuikie as they ran out 2-0 winners over Tranent

Penicuik Athletic co-boss Kevin Milne hailed his players’ character as they leapfrogged Tranent into third place in the East of Scotland Premier Division with a 2-0 victory over the East Lothian side.

A second-half strike from captain Aaron Somerville and Scott McCrory-Irving’s penalty secured all three points to make it four league wins in a row, with Penicuik now 11 points off pacesetters Bo’ness United but with three games in hand.

“Looking at the last two fixtures, Broxburn and Tranent, we were hoping to get maximum points to keep in within a good challenge at the top and we’ve done that,” said Milne.

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“It was a real test of character for the boys to come down from such a high spectacle game with Partick [Scottish Cup match] to playing against teams within our league. To get two wins against what I would regard as two of the best footballing teams in the league is highly pleasing.

“It shows good character from the boys. The conditions weren’t great for both teams, and to be fair to Tranent, they are a very good team. I rate them a lot; Calvin [Shand, Tranent manager] has got them playing some really nice football, they are well-organised and in the first half they probably edged it - they probably felt a wee bit aggrieved that they weren’t ahead.

“We changed it in the second half. We made a shape change and a couple of changes in personnel, and again that has won us the game. We went four at the back and put two upfront, and it went really well.”

Cuikie host local rivals Whitehill Welfare in their last match of 2019 this Saturday as they look to end the year on a high.

Milne continued: “There was a couple of other games off, which was really pleasing. We are playing catch up at the moment, teams have played three or four more games than us.

"It was good to get the game under our belts and get the win. It’s not an easy league, so if you can climb up it as quickly as possible and put pressure on the teams at the top, then that’s what we are all about.

“We have another difficult game this weekend against Whitehill and a lot of people will write them off just purely based on their league position.

"You look at their win over Linlithgow Rose last week and it just goes to show you they do have quality in their team and they can hurt you if you let them play.

"It doesn’t matter who we are playing against, it is just massive games week in week out now.”