Penicuik want to prove Fife club Hill of Beath aren’t bogey team

Callum Connolly (in red) tries to get around Dale Richardson when playing for NewtongrnageCallum Connolly (in red) tries to get around Dale Richardson when playing for Newtongrnage
Callum Connolly (in red) tries to get around Dale Richardson when playing for Newtongrnage
East of Scotland Conference A league leaders Penicuik Athletic are determined to prove league rivals Hill of Beath don’t have an Indian sign over them, according to Cuikie midfielder Callum Connolly.

The top two meet tomorrow at Penicuik Park, with the hosts having suffered defeat just twice this season so far – both times at the hands of the Fife club.

Penicuik are in pole position at the league summit and could go eight points clear with victory tomorrow, a result which would provide Kevin Milne and Tony Begg’s side with a bit of breathing space as the business end of the season fast approaches.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“It is disappointing to have been beaten twice by the same team. All the boys are desperate to put the last game right and get a win,” said 25-year-old Connolly.

“The first game was in the cup. I can’t remember much of that game to be honest, but the second game, we were very unlucky to get beat, we should have at least got a draw, but that’s football.

“We scored and we were on top, we looked the more likelier of the two teams to go on and win it, then they kind of snuck it at the end; it was almost the last kick of the game.

“They are just a bogey team for us, it’s one of those things, but hopefully we can put that right on Saturday. There is a feeling we need to put it right, especially considering they are our closest contenders for the league.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“If we win on Saturday it would put us in a very good position to win the league – I’d like to think so anyway, but you can’t speak too soon.”

Penicuik have displayed remarkable resolve since former manager Johnny Harvey departed the club in October for League Two Berwick Rangers, taking three players with him in the process.

Promotion is a realistic aim for all in blue and white this season and they proved they have the credentials to compete in the Lowland League in midweek as they knocked out Stirling University in the Football Nation Qualifying Cup to book a semi-final spot against Spartans.

Former Whitehill Welfare player Connolly continued: “It was good to test ourselves against a Lowland League club and it was a very good result. We needed that going into Saturday because we hadn’t had a game for a couple of weeks and the last game we got beat on penalties from Coldstream – I don’t think any of us seen that coming. It was good to get a few goals and a clean sheet, and we played well as well.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“After Johnny left, at first I thought it was going to be tough but it’s been dealt with really well. Tony was the assistant and Kev has been here before so they know all the players and they knew everyone was comfortable around them, so it wasn’t really much of a change in terms of how we play. The three players that left were players who were regulars but the boys that have come in have been brilliant, I’ve been really impressed with them.”

Co-manager Milne believes no matter the result tomorrow, the destination of the league 
title won’t be confirmed.

He said: “At this stage of the season, every game is going to be difficult. The result on Wednesday meant more than just getting to a semi-final, it meant there would be momentum going into the big game tomorrow.

“The league won’t be won or lost on Saturday, it is just going to give the advantage to one of the teams. There will still be a lot of work to go after that, so it’s not the be-all and end-all.

“They have been a little bit of a bogey team for us. We will just be going out to perform and make sure we go out to try and win the game.”