East of Scotland Premier League – Saturday 5th March 2022
Penicuik Athletic 1 (Watson 47)
Blackburn United 2 (Allison 66, Heath 87)
Burnie started the game with trialist Chris Ashley in goal after a bit of a goalkeeping crisis with both Craig Saunders and Gavin King unavailable, and Hamilton loanee Jamie Smith recalled by his parent club without playing a game owing to their own injury problems.
It was the trialist who was involved in an early incident when he raced out his box for a ball but didn’t get there ahead of the Penicuik forward and took him down, and he was shown a yellow for his troubles. Liam Allison had the first chance of the game on 12 minutes when his shot was beaten away by Robert Watt in the Cuikie goal and Danny Campbell’s follow up was blocked. Like last week, it was turning into a game of few chances, but just before half time Liam Allison danced past two challenges before firing over from 20 yards, then Richie Hutton beat his marker on the right and drove into his box but his shot from a tight angle was saved by Watt.
The second half started with the home side immediately claiming the lead, a low ball in from the right caught the Burnie defence napping and Kieran Watson slid the ball home from the back of the 6 yard box. Penicuik got a boost from the early strike and pressured Blackburn in search of a second, with David Edwards shooting over from close range. Danny Campbell created the first chance of the half for Burnie on 52 minutes when a volley from the edge of the area flew directly into Watt’s arms.
However the equaliser came on 66 minutes when Richie Hutton broke away on the right wing and crossed into the box, Campbell got his head to it and flicked it onto Liam Allison who looped a header into the far corner of Watt’s net. The game was pretty even at this point and settled into a midfield battle.
With nine minutes left Dave Edwards was shown a second yellow for a late challenge on Liam Allison but immediately the 10 men created a chance to win the game when Nick Reid was sent clear one-on-one with Ashley but the trialist stood his ground and blocked the shot. However with three minutes of normal time remaining Burnie grabbed the winner. Callum Heath collected the ball inside his own half before feeding Liam Allison on the left, Heath continued his run forward and took a return pass before driving into the left hand edge of the box, holding off the attentions of Forbes before firing an angled shot across Watt into the far corner to claim all three points for the Burnie.
Penicuik Athletic: Robert Watt, Jack Furness, Lewis Collins (Cameron Dawson 87), Darrel Young, Reece Hope, David Edwards, Andrew Forbes, Kieran Watson, Aiden Walsh, Nichola Reid, Paul Tansey. Unused subs: Ben Weekes, Liam Robertson, Aaron Somerville, Liam O’Donnell.
Blackburn United: Chris Ashley, James Mildren (Lyall Cameron 67), Kyle McLung, Fergus Owens, Marcus Millar, Daryl Meikle, Richard Hutton, Dominic Kane (Michael Browne 46), Dany Campbell (Laurie Devine 74), Jack Garrad (Callum Heath 80), Liam Allison. Unused Subs: David Howe, Sam Thomas, Callum Macdonald.
Referee: Jordan Curran Assistants: Iain Gallacher, Scott Downie. Att:251
Penicuik Athletic 4 (Somerville 1min & 43mins, Jones 72mins & 86mins)
Blackburn United 2 (Campbell 8mins & 10mins)
Last season’s Conference A winners got off to the perfect start at a sunny Penicuik Park when, in the games first attacking moment, Stewart found space on the left to pull a ball back into the stride of SOMERVILLE who lifted a first time effort from the edge of the area high past Darren Mitchell and into the top left hand corner. For United, Danny Campbell then had a snap shot into the side netting and Andy McQuillan sent a header just over before the scores were quickly brought back to parity when CAMPBELL cut in off the right and curled a terrific effort from the corner of the eighteen yard box over the head of the beaten Swain in the home goal. Barely a further two minutes had elapsed when CAMPBELL all but matched his earlier stunning effort with another cracker, this time controlling a loose ball some twenty or more yards out and rifling an unstoppable shot beyond Swain to put Blackburn ahead. On the quarter hour mark the hosts were very nearly level after a Mitchell clearance from a Martin Lawrie pass back fell kindly for Stewart but the ‘keeper made up for his error by tipping the resultant shot over the crossbar before Ponton beat the offside trap but was off target with his effort. Before thirty minutes had passed United were forced into a reshuffle when Richie Hutton limped off to be replaced by Laurie Devine and the youngster was quickly into the action when setting up Dominic Kane for a pop at goal that flew narrowly past the left hand upright. From a quickly taken throw-in McCrory Irving was next to try his luck for the Cuikie but Mitchell was alert enough to touch his shot past. Two minutes from the interval though and the hosts did pull themselves back level when, from the second of two successive Baptie corners, SOMERVILLE got across his man on the near post to flash a header inside the post that Mitchell just couldn’t quite get to.
Blackburn began the second half with the second of two enforced changes, Craig Young replacing the injured Devine and he helped set up the first chance of the half with a ball that put McQuillan in behind the Penicuik back line for a shot on the run that Swain seemed to push past the post, although the referee didn’t agree and awarded a disputed gaol kick. At the other end McCrory-Irving fired over the top from twenty yards and Somerville, in search of his hat trick, saw a half blocked effort held by Mitchell. However, it was the home ‘keeper who was to be severely tested and come up with the answers when, after substitute Take Hirooka had been fouled in the act of shooting, Young hammered a free-kick from twenty five yards that the big stopper somehow managed to claw away. From the resultant corner the ball wasn’t properly cleared but the almighty scramble that ensued couldn’t see a United player take advantage. With the game still very much in the balance Penicuik then came close themselves, Stewart executing a spectacular overhead kick that flew over the junction of right hand post and bar. However, the hosts next attack brought much greater reward when JONES broke through a challenge twenty yards from goal to half hit a shot that broke back to him off Michael Browne and when he took aim with his second attempt it fairly flew past the diving Mitchell and into the waiting net. Two minutes later Tansey almost added a fourth for his side but dragged his shot past. With six or so minutes remaining Blackburn almost dragged themselves back on terms when Young’s free-kick arrived in the box for James Mildren to connect with a diving header that Swain saved but couldn’t hold, although he was relieved that no one in United colours was on hand to tap the rebound in. Four minutes from time Penicuik put the outcome of the game beyond doubt when JONES controlled a throw-in on the edge of the penalty box before clipping a perfect right footer high past Mitchell who might just have got a fingertip to it but couldn’t quite keep out.
Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh, Lawrie, Browne, Mildren, Kane, Hutton (L.Devine 27) (Young 46), MacLeod, McQuillan, Campbell (Hirooka 61), McDowall Subs (not used): S.Devine, Mackay, Trialist – Robertson, Clements
Penicuik Athletic line-up: Swain, O’Donnell, Baptie, Page, Connolly, Somerville, Williams, McCrory-Irving, Ponton, Stewart, Stevenson Subs: Watt, Young, Caddow, Jones, Watson, Tansey, Sampson
Referee: Mr. Alex Shepherd
Assistants: Mr. Blair White & Mr. Stuart Robertson