Midlothian junior football round-up

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Bonnyrigg Rose were due to learn their Scottish Cup fate yesterday (Wednesday) with the high noon draw made at Glasgow’s Hampden Park for the 2012 semi finals of the Emirates Scottish Junior Cup.

That tie is due to take place in a fortnight over two legs, with Bonnyrigg going into the ballot together with holders Auchinleck Talbot, Shotts Bon Accord and Arniston’s conquerors Largs Thistle.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Bonnyrigg grabbed a 2-2 draw away to top of the league Linlithgow Rose in the latest “Battle of the Roses” before entertaining North League’s Dundee East Craigie in the third round of the East of Scotland Cup.

The winners will be away to either St Andrews or Stoneyburn, who also play their third round tie on Saturday. East Craigie put out Penicuik 4-3 on penalties after a 3-3 draw in January in the previous round.

Also in this weekend’s East of Scotland Cup third round are Premier League’s Arniston Rangers (beat Spartans at Ainslie Park 3-1 in second round) who are away to Central League Fifers Lochore.

The winners will meet either Haddington or Kinnoull or Musselburgh, the latter two playing a thrice-postponed delayed second round tie this weekend to see who visits Haddington in round three.

Premier League Arniston were held to a disappointing home 1-1 draw by visitors Broughty Athletic on Saturday at Newbyres Park – a repeat of the scoreline at Broughty.

However, better news came from the two other Midlothian Premier League clubs with top of the table Penicuik Athletic winning 3-0 at Ballingry Rovers and Newtongrange Star winning 2-1 at home to Armadale Thistle at New Victoria Park.

Penicuik top the Premier League this week by a point ahead of Oakley United .

On the last Saturday of March, it’s a Midlothian local derby clash with Penicuik at home to Newtongrange. Penicuik won 2-1 at Newtongrange in January, and are looking for a league double over their rivals.

Midlothian continue to see two clubs top of their respective leagues, with Dalkeith Thistle still top in this week’s South League standings following their 2-0 home win over Dunbar United at King’s Park last weekend. This sees the Jags one point ahead of Fauldhouse United, who won 3-0 at West Calder. This Saturday Dalkeith – poised on 69 goals for the season – are away to Livingston United, who beat Stoneyburn 4-1 last Saturday and drew 2-2 with Thistle at King’s Park in October.

Linlithgow Rose 2

Bonnyrigg Rose 2

Bonnyrigg twice took the lead at Prestonfield last Saturday, but both goals were eventually cancelled out by Linlithgow replies, with the ultimate winner proving elusive for both sides.

Bonnyrigg opened the scoring after just two minutes, as Sean Grady picked out Ross Archibald. However, in a competitive game of nine bookings – including six for Linlithgow, – Bonnyrigg’s lead lasted only four minutes, before when the home side equalised, with Mark Tyrrell crossed for Scott Walker to head home.

Bonnyrigg started the second half like the first, as four minutes in, James Steele set up Sean Grady to fire home his 16th goal of the season. More Bonnyrigg good play saw Liam McKenna go close, before Linlithgow’s Jamie MacKenzie was thwarted by an excellent Weir save.

In 75 minutes, controversy, however, when Weir handled the ball outside the box, but he escaped with a yellow and not a red card.

However, just when Bonnyrigg looked to be holding out for victory, Linlithgow equalised in 84 minutes at 2-2, when a cross from Herd found Roddy MacLennan, who beat Weir to square the match.

Ballingry Rovers 0

Penicuik Athletic 3

This game started at a pace when in the opening 30 seconds, Penicuik keeper Billy Bald came to the Athletic’s rescue, diving low to finger-tip Adam’s strike round the post.

Penicuik weathered the initial Ballingry pressure and gradually worked their way into the game, although Adam was denied by another great save by Bald.

Midway through the half, O’Reilly and Roxburgh combined to set up Dean Knight. However, his shot flashed inches past the post, and the first half ended goalless.

Four minutes after the restart, Roxburgh provided a cutback for Keith Barr, who blasted the ball high over the bar. At the other end, Adam saw his shot deflected inches past the post by co-manager Craig Meikle. However, Penicuik stepped up the pressure, when a Charlie Brigain free kick was tipped over the bar by Rovers keeper Smith.

Four minutes later, a McDermott corner kick was only partially cleared and Roxburgh slammed the ball home from ten yards.

Then in the 75th minute, Roxburgh was fouled in the box, and Keith Barr despatched the spot kick into the Ballingry net.

Penicuik missed further chances through O’Reilly and Brigain, but the points were sealed in the 86th minute when Roxburgh turned his marker beautifully and fed O’Reilly who in turn set up substitute Connor Thomson, who coolly blasted the ball past Smith with his first touch of the game.

Arniston Rangers 1

Broughty Athletic 1

Arniston Rangers hit their 30th goal of the season, but it was not enough to lift them from the Premier League relegation zone.

A promising Arniston start saw Gary McCormack denied by Athletic keeper Chris McPherson in the second minute, while on 13 minutes, an excellent Ryan Somerville shot fully tested McPherson again.

Arniston deservedly broke the deadlock in 35 minutes – a glancing header from Ryan Somerville nestled in the Broughty net.

Arniston took the game to their lively opponents, and a great run from Smith was only halted by a block from McPherson, while in 43 minutes Arniston keeper Bartosz Rachowski’s outstretched leg denied Broughty the equaliser.

Arniston pressed for a second elusive goal, but McCormack was denied in 55 minutes by a great save from McPherson. Three more chances all went begging in the space of a minute, and these were to prove costly. With 15 minutes left for play, Barry Myles outran the home offside trap to set up Mark Brash to tap home the equaliser.

A double red card incident involving JP McLennan of Arniston and Mark Brash of Broughty saw both teams reduced to 10 men but a nail-biting finish saw the points shared.

Dalkeith Thistle 2

Dunbar United 0

The Jags cruised to a comfortable win against Dunbar United last Saturday at a misty Kings’s Park to maintain their lead at the top of the league.

Dalkeith dominated early proceedings and went ahead in 17 minutes. Haynes showed neat footwork inside the penalty area, and found McNaughton, who scored a long-overdue goal at the back post.

The home side survived a scare a few minutes later, when keeper Jim McQueen reacted to a late lunge by former Jag Ritchie Weir. However, with some Dunbar fans screaming for a red card, the referee saw sense and flashed the yellow.

Midway through the half, Gatt latched onto Hunter’s through ball, but McQueen saved well.

Dalkeith stepped up a gear in the second half and saw good chances for McNaughton, while the woodwork was hit by Haynes and Morris, but the Jags eventually extended their lead on 72 minutes. Substitute Kenny Fisherset up David Morris to blast home from six yards and seal the three points.

Newtongrange Star 2

Armadale Thistle 1

This game exploded into life in the closing minutes on Saturday, with Star scoring twice to claim three vital points. However, a dull first half only came alive right on half-time when Raraty headed home unchallenged at the back post to put the visitors ahead.

Star continued to toil in the second half, but were given some hope after 78 minutes when goalscorer Raraty received his second yellow card of the game.

Star piled on the pressure, and after a couple of near things, Mel Graham broke clear of the Armadale defence and slammed the ball home to make it 1-1 in the 90th minute.

Armadale’s persistent time-wasting saw five minutes of stoppage time, and Star twice came close to scoring through Kevin Donnelly and Blair Tolmie, before Joe Dunbar was sent sprawling by Valentine for a red card. Gary Cherrie dispatched the penalty.

The drama still hadn’t ended there, as Jack then received the visitors’ third red after clashing with Chris King.