Penicuik Athletic breathed a sigh of relief last Saturday as a late Kyle Sampson strike rescued a point against Dunbar in Conference A and kept them on course to win the league.
Cuikie dropped to second after Hill of Beath took seven off Arniston Rangers, but crucially for Penicuik they were level on points with the Fifers and had a game in hand, before the trip to Hawick Royal Albert on Tuesday. That game had yet to kick off before the Advertiser went to press. Dunbar, meanwhile, remain in the promotion spots in fifth.
Against Dunbar, Penicuik attacked straight from the kick off and keeper McCathie pulled off a great save to deny Stevenson. In the 18th minute, Stevenson and McCrory-Irving combined cleverly but Stevenson’s strike curled inches wide of the junction of the crossbar and post.
Penicuik continued to press but with Dunbar packing players into their box, they struggled to break down a stalwart defence and were reduced to long range strikes that McCathie dealt with comfortably.
At the other end, a strike by Handling was comfortably saved by Watt, but as he tried to kick clear Handling blocked the kick but fortunately for Cuikie the ball went past for a goal kick.
On the half hour, a cross from the right by Stevenson was headed back across goal by McCrory-Irving but McIntosh’s volley flashed inches past the post. Right on half time, McCathie was at full stretch to tip a Crabbe shot over the bar.
Into the second half and a powerful Jones strike from the edge of the box took a wicked deflection, with McCathie pulling off a superb save to turn the net-bound shot away for a corner kick. Shortly afterwards, Dunbar had a chance, but Handling’s effort from the edge of the box went straight to the hands of Watt.
Disaster struck for Cuikie with five minutes left as a Peden free kick just outside the box was missed by Ballantyne, but Ingram came in at the back post to put the visitors ahead. However, Penicuik refused to give up and in the 92nd minute, McCathie was finally beaten by a superb Sampson volley into the top corner
of the net.