Penicuik Athletic 3-2 Harthill Royal

Penicuik celebrate (archive image)
Penicuik celebrate (archive image)

Penicuik Athletic sealed their place in the semi-final of the Fife and Lothians Cup after a narrow 3-2 win over South League side Harthill Royal.

Cuikie started the brighter and created a flurry of early chances before Andy Forbes broke the deadlock on ten minutes.

The lively Johnston equalised for the visitors but the Midlothian outfit gave themselves a two-goal cushion thanks to strikes from Aaron Somerville and Callum Connolly.

Johnston gave Harthill a glimmer of hope to make it 3-2 late on but Johnny Harvey’s men held on.

Cuikie were quick out the starting blocks and could have been three goals up in the first five minutes through Aaron Ponton, Jones and Somerville.

Kyle Sampson had the ball in the net but it was ruled out for offside before Cuikie made their pressure pay.

Forbes attacked down the right and with everyone expecting a cross, he looked up and curled the ball into the top right hand corner of the Harthill net for the opener.

Johnston looked a threat and forced a save out of Thomas Cordery. It was a warning Cuikie did not heed as Johnston dispossessed Darrell Young and coolly slotted the ball past Cordery to equalise.

Ponton and Somerville missed further chances while Johnston continued to be a thorn in the hosts’ defence but Cuikie regained the lead on 44 minutes when Somerville reacted quickest after Jones’ effort hit the bar.

Penicuik extended their advantage when Connolly blasted a shot past Grier from 25 yards before he flashed another shot past the base of the upright.

An excellent chip over the Harthill defence set Connolly free in the box but his thunderous right foot shot saw keeper Grier pull off the save of the match to deny the midfielder.

Cuikie were made to sweat when a mix up between Cordery and Connolly cost them dear as Johnston capitalised to make it 3-2 with ten minutes remaining, but Penicuik held on to seal a semi-final berth.