Penicuik Athletic boss appeals to fans to get behind his title chasers
Penicuik Athletic boss Stevie McLeish admitted he would have settled for a draw seconds before his side’s dramatic winner against Hill of Beath on Saturday.
Cuikie came from a goal behind – and being forced to play for 83 minutes with 10 men – to beat the Fife side 2-1 and go clear at the top of the EoSFL Premier Division table.
Two goals in the last six minutes gave them victory, but McLeish said that after Ryan Baptie’s 84th-minute leveller he would have been happy with a point.
Kieran Watson, however, turned one point into three with his 87th-minute winner.
It had seemed a long haul for the home side when Paul Tansey was sent off after just seven minutes for what was deemed violent conduct.
Penicuik then fell behind to a Michael Watt goal just before half-time but came back to grab a victory which sent them two points clear of title rivals Tranent, held to a 2-2 draw by bottom-of-the-table Newtongrange Star.
McLeish said: “I think the 90 minutes had absolutely everything in it - drama, physical challenges and quality play from both teams, to be honest.
"With 10 men for 83 minutes, we still dominated the game, we still made good chances. In the end, we deserved our points because we worked really hard for it.
"They'll feel hard done by because they led for such a long time but I'm really delighted for the boys because they gave us everything they can."
"I turned round to Davie [Lees] about two minutes before that and said I would take the draw right now - and we scored from the corner. It was absolutely euphoric.”
However, McLeish was unhappy with what he felt was unjust criticism of their performance.
He said: “There was a shout at the end that we've not been playing well and that's a bit harsh from the punters, to be honest.
"The boys were playing well and they have been playing well. I think the only game we've let ourselves down in was in the second half against Tranent, so for guys to turn round and say we're not playing well is pretty harsh on the boys.
"And if they keep giving them everything this season, who knows where it's going to take us, so instead of saying that, get behind the team, please."