Penicuik's Arran Ponton breaks duck in time for Broxburn visit
Arran Ponton thought he'd never break his scoring duck for Penicuik Athletic '“ then three goals came at once.
The winger hit a double last weekend against Kennoway Star Hearts for his first goals in Cuikie colours and followed that up with a goal in a 5-4 friendly victory against Tranent Juniors in midweek.
Now Ponton has set his sights on ending Broxburn Athletic’s sequence of four clean sheets tomorrow amid an unbeaten run which has moved the Albyn Park men to within two points of third-placed Penicuik.
Ponton made the move to Penicuik Park from Premier League club Haddington Athletic last summer. He had sepnt spent four years there, two of them under his current boss Johnny Harvey.
“I was delighted to get the two goals last week because I’ve not scored or assisted as much as I would have wanted to this season,” said the 26-year-old.
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“When the first one went in it was more relief than anything; I want to feel like I’m contributing because we are doing so well and we were doing so well at the start of the season. I scored two on Saturday and I’m already leapfrogging some of the boys in the team because they’ve only scored one!
“I missed pre-season because I was in America so I had a bit of catching up to do. I went right into the team from the start when I got back. I’ve been playing most of the games and been on the bench some weeks, but I feel like I’m finding my form now, which is good, because we’re starting a wee run again – we’ve won the last two.
“Hopefully, we can get another three points tomorrow and get another run like we had at the start of the season. We were top of the league and unbeaten for ten games.”
Recent results suggest Penicuik have got their mojo back after wavering towards Christmas when they allowed league leaders Bonnyrigg Rose to edge ahead of them. A Scottish Junior Cup exit to Kilburnie Ladeside on penalties in November was another tough setback.
“We kind of dropped our standard a little bit,” continued Ponton. “The Scottish Cup game was probably the decisive game; we seemed to take a little bit of a slump after getting knocked out. The Christmas period also has an effect – the pitches and the stop-start nature of it. Now we feel a bit more positive and we’ve got that fight back and mentality of winning, because we kind of lost it for a little but we seem to be coming back on to our game as a team.
“We feel pretty confident against any team in the league. On our day, we are as good as any team in the league, so we’re pretty confident every week.”
Broxburn were on the end of a 5-2 defeat in the Fife and Lothians Cup on their last visit to Penicuik in October but, rather than setting off in trepidation, they’ll travel through from West Lothian in buoyant mood given their current form under manager Brian McNaughton.
“It should be a great game,” said McNaughton. “Johnny’s players are on a good wee run just now. We’re going there on the back of three or four results but it will be a hard game. Both teams have got a bit of confidence about them just now so it will be good to see who comes out on top.
“We’ve got Michael Linton back from suspension and a couple of other players who should hopefully make the bench who missed out last week.”
Elsewhere, league leaders Bonnyrigg entertain bottom club Forfar West End. Linlithgow Rose are on the road at Carnoustie, while Newtongange Star visit Hill of Beath.