Clubs look to kick off to a winning start in 2017

Action from Spartans v Whitehill Welfare on December 31
Action from Spartans v Whitehill Welfare on December 31

The second half of the junior football season kicks off in 
earnest this weekend with a full fixture card for Midlothian clubs.

Following a two week festive break all six junior clubs in the area have competitive matches in their respective leagues and cups with Lowland League club Whitehill Welfare also involved.

Welfare were the only team to play a competitive match over the festive period when they faced Spartans on December 31, losing 2-0.

Some junior clubs did manage to stage friendlies over the break.

These included Bonnyrigg Rose, who beat Dalkeith 8-1; Newtongrange Star who had a 6-2 win over Haddington and a 2-2 draw against Arniston; and Penicuik, with two matches, a 3-2 win over Leith Athletic at Meadowbank and a tie scheduled against Tynecastle FC on January 4.

This Saturday, however, it’s back to league business with Super League champions Bonnyrigg away to Dundonald Bluebell, while Newtongrange host Broughty Athletic.

Penicuik Athletic take a break from the league campaign to stage their East of Scotland second round tie against Glenrothes.

January will prove to be an important month for the Rose as they aim to make inroads on the 17 point gap between themselves and league leaders Kelty.

With a local derby against Newtongrange on January 14, they then face their match of the season when they take on Hibernian at Tynecastle on January 21.

The physical demands of competing against the Championship side could have a bearing on the remainder of their season.

In the Premier League, Dalkeith play host to Whitburn while Arniston are away to Sauchie .

Easthouses Lily, who recently unveiled their new 75- seater stand at the Newbattle Complex, are away to Blackburn United but will be at home to Edinburgh United on January 14.