Bonnyrigg Rose just one win from title after beating Penicuik Athletic

Photo by Ian Georgeson
Photo by Ian Georgeson

Both teams were given a huge welcome on to the pitch at New Dundas Park with over 1000 fans in attendance for this second play off clash between Conference B Champions Bonnyrigg and Conference A Champions Penicuik Athletic.

Broxburn officials and players were also in attendance in anticipation of Bonnyrigg ‘s visit to Broxburn on Saturday 4th May in the final play off game where Rose will bid to win the ultimate East of Scotland League Title for 2019.

Bonnyrigg need to avoid defeat in that Broxburn match as Broxburn would need to win by two clear goals while Penicuik would be top if Broxburn beat Bonnyrigg by 1-0 or 2-1.

And with so much at stake it was a tense struggle at times with initial play seeing Penicuik force a threatening brace of corners ending with Rose keeper Bryan Young punching the ball clear.

Gradually Bonnyrigg got settled and play switched to the other end as a fine run by Lewis Turner saw his parting shot only just miss the far post then Keith Lough gained Rose’s first corner but well dealt with by the strong Penicuik defence.

By the 10th minute the Rose were at the helm with the Cuikie featured in counter attacks.

Jon Brown next in 10 minutes had a great run and shot well taken low down by Penicuik keeper Watt with the huge crowd looking for the opening goal.

Then a close call for the Rose in the 21 st minute as Penicuik skipper Calum Connolly saw his shot deflected on to the Rose crossbar for a corner kick which then saw two Bonnyrigg players Jon Brown and Alan Horne accidentally head collide both requiring lengthy attention before resuming the action.

The match continued goalless into 31 minutes as next Lough set up Lee Currie for a finish but again it was well saved by keeper Watt.

Just three minutes later and it was the Rose breakthrough goal as a right wing cross from Lewis Turner picked out Lee Currie and his header ended in the Penicuik net to set the home fans alight.

Penicuik then survived a spell of inspired Rose play but keeper Watt was again their hero as he produced another excellent save just on the break to deny Ross Gray a second Rose goal before the interval.

And on the resumption an excellent first Rose attack saw Keith Lough with the chance to score but that man Watt again saved the shot.

Sam Jones was then caught offside as Penicuik struggled to make any serious inroads towards keeper Young’s penalty area as the Rose looked the likelier to score.

Lee Currie earned a booking to join Lewis Turner in the referee’s book for a foul on Sampson as next a good Sam Jones interception saw a chance open up but he fired his shot wide of the target again.

Aaron Murrell came on to substitute for Ross Gray as Rose chased a crucial second goal.

And it was to come for the hosts in 63 minutes as a free kick by Kerr Young to Dean Brett saw his parting shot take a slight deflection to elude Watt skipping into the net to push Rose 2-0 in the lead.

In 65 minutes more drama at the Rose end as Sampson was toppled in the penalty area but referee Peter Stuart waved aside Penicuik penalty claims and subsequent protests by Penicuik boss Kevin Milne at the referee saw Milne sent out of the technical area with some 25 minutes left for play.

Ewan Moyes next sent a chance header wide before Bonnyrigg brought on Kieran McGachie for Keith Lough.

Penicuik managed to pull a goal back and ensure a nervy finish to the game for Rose with substitute Aaron Somerville heading in at the near post but it was too little too late for Cuikie.