Penicuik Athletic's Cameron Dawson ‘itching’ to beat 'hometown' team Tranent

Striker Cameron Dawson hopes a Midlothian derby double will be enough to earn a second successive starting berth when East of Scotland League Premier Division leaders Penicuik Athletic host third-placed Tranent tomorrow.
Penicuik Athletic striker Cameron Dawson in action against Whitehill Welfare. Picture: Kayem PhotoPenicuik Athletic striker Cameron Dawson in action against Whitehill Welfare. Picture: Kayem Photo
Penicuik Athletic striker Cameron Dawson in action against Whitehill Welfare. Picture: Kayem Photo

Dawson, on a season-long loan from Spartans, struck twice as Penicuik thumped Whitehill Welfare 5-1 last weekend. The 22-year-old has enjoyed his spell so far with the Cuikie, but wants to be starting more games.

“I’ve really enjoyed my time here so far, I’ve not really had a good run of games, I’ve been injured a few times, so hopefully this is the start of getting games,” said Dawson.

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“It was my first start for a good wee while, I’ve been on the bench and I’ve been trying to get into the team. I finally broke into it [last weekend] and took my chance.”

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The towering frontman, incidentally, is from Tranent and says it’s a match neither side can afford to lose.

He continued: “Every game is a big game for us now. We are top of the league but we still have half of our games to play so it’s a long way to go. A win would be a massive result, it’s a game that Tranent can’t afford to lose and we can’t afford to lose to as we want to keep our home record up [unbeaten in the league this season].

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“I’m itching to win, most of my family are from Tranent. I went to see them against Inverkeithing [in October] with a couple of the boys, and they got beat, so I was quite happy. It was good to watch.”

Tranent meanwhile, are in the midst of an injury and coronavirus crisis as they look to keep pace with the leaders.

Boss Calum Elliot says it’s been the toughest period of his young management career, with tomorrow’s match only their second competitive fixture since the end of November. Elliot will give his injury-ravaged squad until the last minute to prove their fitness before naming his starting XI.

“It’s been challenging, it’s certainly been the toughest period since I’ve become a manager,” said Elliot. “We’ve had injuries and then most recently, we’ve been hit with Covid issues which has made it very, very tough.

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“We had five positive cases and combined with seven injuries that we’ve got meant it was impossible for us to field a side against Dunbar [last weekend]. It will be touch and go for some of these boys for Saturday.

“We’d want to go into this match having been playing for a number of weeks, with a fully fit squad to choose from but circumstances dictate that’s not possible. In the same sense if there is ever going to be a period that galvanises a group, that brings the boys together, it has to be this occasion. We are fortunate we have a strong squad, so we can play boys out of position because they are good football players.

“We are going into a game against a team that we probably know more about them than they know about themselves, and vice versa. It’s a big match, the league table suggests that, it’s down to which group of players ultimately perform on the day. We’ve went there and beat them this season [in the Scottish Cup] convincingly, so we will certainly go there full of confidence.”

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