Broughty Athletic 1, Penicuik Athletic 1
FOLLOWING heavy overnight frost, Broughty Athletic officials thought it appropriate to call for an early pitch inspection on Saturday. However match referee Mr Roncone passed Whitton Park playable, a tribute to Broughty’s groundsman Alex Middleton.
Jordan Timmons was missing from the Fed line-up, with Gary Fraser back. There was also a welcome return for Paul Farquharson, who took his place on the bench.
Fine weather greeted the arrival of the Penicuik party and the pitch looked in top condition as the match kicked off.
The home team was under early pressure but defended well. They also survived an early penalty claim when the ball struck Burns on the hand but he was adjudged to have had no chance of avoiding being hit.
After half an hour the Ferry men started to play much better and were switching play more effectively. The Fed took the lead when DONALDSON’S 30-yard effort took a deflection over the Penicuik ‘keeper.
In 32 minutes, Kris Brash put himself under pressure for the rest of the match when he was booked for a rash tackle. It was a dangerous position to give away a foul but the free kick was well defended by the Fed.
In the next three minutes the home side came close with a couple of corners but on both occasions Mark Brash was unable to get his headers on target.
At this stage it was clear that Broughty were well up for the game and their best chances fell from further corner kicks.
Half-time: Broughty Athletic 1, Penicuik Athletic 0.
The visitors drew level within minutes of the restart and by half way through the second half the match was finely balanced, although there were few incidents of note.
In an effort to tip proceedings Broughty’s way, Donaldson was replaced by Timmons and shortly afterwards Farquharson replaced Allan.
It didn’t really work and with 20 minutes left not only did the match seem to be petering out but it was Penicuik Athletic who were just shading it. At this point a Kris Brash corner was delivered onto Burns’ head but it went over and a real chance was lost.
The character of the match then changed and for the final few minutes it was end-to-end stuff. The Penicuik players could smell victory but the Fed rear-guard held firm with Cormack outstanding in goal. One save in particular was worth the entrance money as he flew to his left to claw a goalbound effort away. Another shot clattered the upright and shot away to safety.
In the same period Broughty, racing forward on the break, were unlucky with a couple of chances and one offside decision.
Club secretary Hugh Jamieson said he was delighted with the team spirit. He continued: “The result was secondary to seeing the team work hard and fight for the jerseys.”