Midlothian Junior Football Round-up

This weekend sees Midlothian clubs hoping for better weather as only Bonnyrigg Rose completed a planned fixture last Saturday – winning 2-1 away at Bankfoot in the East of Scotland Cup. Weather hit the Penicuik, Arniston and Dalkeith games and Newtongrange had no official fixture anyway.

Penicuik Athletic will be at home to face Bathgate Thistle in the East Premier League – only the third league match played at Penicuik in 18 weeks. Previous home league games saw them lose 5-4 to Newtongrange in February and beat Dundee Violet 2-1 in November. Their game against Bathgate with be the Cuikie’s 20th overall game in eight months, compared to likes of Newtongrange who this weekend play their 30th.

Penicuik have four other remaining home league games to play – against Tayport , Broughty, Jeanfield and Glenrothes – and seven away league matches, including a rematch with Bathgate at Creamery Park.

Meanwhile, Penicuik have seen Sean Paliczka return to Bonnyrigg Rose while Stephen Thomson has travelled in the opposite direction.

Last Saturday’s postponed cup trip to Forfar West End will be rearranged with the winners away to Linlithgow Rose in round two.

Bonnyrigg Rose achieved their 30th game of the season unbeaten in edging past Spartans 3-1 in their first round tie a fortnight ago, while Linlithgow are still to play Bo’ness United at Prestonfield this Saturday (postponed last Saturday) in that huge Emirates Scottish Junior Cup quarter final tie.

Also off last Saturday in the Scottish Cup was the Kelty v Auchinleck tie in Fife.

Bonnyrigg Rose return to Super League business on Saturday with an away visit to Broxburn Athletic. The Rose, poised on 69 goals for the season, pursue the second-top place in the Super League behind title favourites Linlithgow Rose as Max Christie’s men need to bounce back from that 1-0 defeat at Musselburgh in the Super League championship a fortnight ago.

Newtongrange Star have their penultimate league away game this weekend – at Perth’s Jeanfield Swifts, who had an impressive 5-0 home win over Dundonald Bluebell in the first round of the East of Scotland Cup. The Star, of course, beat Jeanfield 5-0 when they visited New Victoria Park in early September.

Nitten have still to visit Bathgate Thistle in the Premier League, in what will be their last away Premier League match of the season. This leaves a solitary home Premier League match to play against Penicuik Athletic in Star’s title/promotion bid for next season’s East Super League status.

Premier League side Dalkeith Thistle still contest the two local cup competitions, as well as having six Premier League games to play following last Saturday’s postponement at unplayable King’s Park. Thornton Hibs had been due to visit in the second round of the East of Scotland Cup. This Saturday Thistle are set to play their fourth last home Premier League match of the season, against visiting Dundee Violet (Thistle still to go to Violet in return). Other home league matches still to play for Thistle feature Tayport, Ballingry and Jeanfield.

Third top of the South League Arniston Rangers are set to visit second top Haddington Athletic in a massive match on Saturday for both clubs in the promotion race to next season’s Premier League. Arniston already accounted for the East Lothian Hi Hi 3-1 in November at Newbyres Park and seek a league double over their local derby rivals.

Arniston, with a dozen South League matches left to play compared to Haddington’s eight, have still to face seven games away from home. They also have yet to entertain Stoneyburn, Livingston , Spartans, Pumpherston and league toppers unbeaten Fauldhouse United. Faulhouse look to be solid title favourites, leaving the chase on for the second, third and fourth promotion places. With April midweek games only a couple of weeks away, some clubs have only played half their league matches for the season – so there is still plenty to play for.

Current Tranent boss Johnny Harvey, on a temporary contract which finishes at the end of the season, is keen to continue using his management skills with a new club for the autumn. With his wealth of playing experience Johnny has a lot to offer the Junior game and would be a fine catch to take charge of any junior club.

Match reports in this week’s Advertiser (March 21)

Send your sport reports, photos and results to midlothiansport@jnlothian.co.uk