Newtongrange Star were well beaten in a Midlothian derby for the second week in a row as they had no answer to the pace and power of a Penicuik side who are fighting it out at the top of the table.
Two goals from Aaron Somerville and an own goal from Sean Melvin gave the visitors a comprehensive 3-0 victory and moved them to fourth in the East Superleague. Newtongrange, meanwhile, are still languishing in the lower half of the table.
If it was not for some good goalkeeping from Kieron Renton and some poor finishing it would have been more. The visitors even had the luxury of missing an early penalty.
The warning signs were there for Star early on as within seven minutes a lightning break released Lumbert Kataleza down the right; his cross was stabbed wide by Sommerville from inside the six-yard box although he knew he should have scored. Sommerville had an even better chance a minute later after an ill-advised challenge from Mitchell inside the box resulted in a penalty.
Renton, however, did exceptionally well to dive to his left to save. The Star defence was all over the place again after 18 minutes. Mitchell eventually cleared off the line after an almighty scramble in the box. Inevitably, the visitors took the lead after 24 minutes when Kataleza skipped away from two tackles before squaring it across the six-yard box. Sommerville was the first to react to beat Renton to the ball to prod the ball home.
Kataleza had a chance to increase their lead three minutes later as he surged clear into the box. Renton did well to race off his line to block. Kataleza’s pace and trickery was causing Star all sorts of trouble and he created another chance on 36 minutes after Melvin dived in, allowing him to skip away; his cross though was mis-kicked in front of goal by Sommerville and the chance was gone.
Star’s only real effort of note was after 44 minutes when a Mitchell header was blocked on the line and they found themselves further behind shortly after the break when Melvin put a cross through his own net on 53 minutes.
The game was put beyond any doubt on the hour mark when Sommerville was allowed to stride forward unchallenged before rifling the ball past Renton from 22 yards.
Star were making no real inroads towards the Penicuik goal but finally brought a save out of Allison after 81 minutes when a decent effort by O’Brien from outside the box was beaten away by keeper who was quick enough onto his feet to tip the follow up round the post.
Star’s misery was compounded after 86 minutes when experienced stopper Wes Mitchell was shown a straight red card for foul and abusive language.
Newtongrange Star: Renton (c), Swaney, K Scott, McNaughton, O’Brien, Forster, Smith, Bracks, O’Hara, Mitchell, Melvin, Subs: Dunsmore, Porteous, Osbourne, Lowson, Weston.
Penicuik Athletic: Allison, Forbes, Williams, Hume (c), Young, Connolly, MacDonald, Jones, Somerville,
Kateleza, Ponton, Subs: McCrory-Irving, Hamilton, Mendes, Baptie, Sampson.