Red card anger as Penicuik end Linlithgow’s home record

Linlithgow keeper Darren Hill watches anxiously as Jamie MacKenzie tries to clear the danger.
Linlithgow keeper Darren Hill watches anxiously as Jamie MacKenzie tries to clear the danger.

Linlithgow Rose slumped to their first home league defeat of the season as Penicuik completed the double over Mark Bradley’s side.

Penicuik were 3-2 winner over Rose on the opening day of the season, but faced a Prestonfield outfit looking to bounce back from their Scottish Junior Cup KO.

However it took the visitors only three minutes to come close when Lumbert Kateleza split the Rose defence wide open with a lovely pass to John MacDonald, but Darren Hill was quickly off his line to block the shot at the expense of a corner.

Kateleza himself then shot just over after a scramble in the Rose box at the end of a move he started himself with another perfectly weighted pass.

At the other end good play by Ruari Maclennan freed brother Roddy for the Rose’s first chance but his shot was too high.

Penicuik had started the better so it was a surprise when the Rose went ahead in the 18th minute.

Robert Sloan sent in a great free-kick from the left and Colin Strickland’s near post header flashed high past Kyle Allison into the net.

Penicuik tried to hit back and when Iain Gray didn’t deal with a high ball into the box the ball was headed back across goal and it took another fine point blank save by Hill to deny Callum Connolly.

The resultant corner was a well worked pre-rehearsed move by the visitors and Kateleza’s shot from just inside the box went narrowly wide.

Sloan was yellow carded just after the half hour for a poor challenge on Fernando Mendes before Penicuik got a deserved equaliser when Hill did well to palm away Ponton’s close range shot but Craig Hume was first to the rebound to fire home from a tight angle.

Just before half-time after what looked like a clear foul from behind on Strickland was ignored by referee Duncan Smith, who then booked both Blair Batchelor and Strickland for their complaints.

The second half started with a booking for Hume for a foul on Batchelor before he had to leave the field injured after a challenge with Roddy Maclennan and be replaced by Gary Hamilton.

Tommy Coyne then appeared to be fouled wide on the left but was instead booked for diving.

Just before the hour a great turn and run by Roddy Maclennan ended with his shot going across the front of goal and then it took a great tackle by Andy Forbes to halt the same man as he went through into the box.

John Williams for a foul on Batchelor and Ruari Maclennan for a foul on Mendes were next in the referee’s book before Ruari Maclennan was then a bit lucky after another foul on halfway stopped a Penicuik attack.

The match was then perhaps won and lost within the space of a minute.

There was just over 20 minutes to go when Batchelor found Coyne in the box and Allison could only parry his fierce low shot. The ball came back out to Roddy Maclennan who took it first time but somehow side-footed the ball past the post with the empty goal gaping in front of him.

Penicuik went straight down the park and Sam Jones and Aaron Ponton linked up for the latter to get in a low shot which Hill stopped but Sampson tapped home the rebound from close range.

With 15 minutes to go Kateleza went clear into the corner of the box and tried to round Hill who got a big hand to the ball as the forward tumbled to the ground.

Referee Smith quickly awarded a penalty and was immediately surrounded by several furious Rose players with Ruari Maclennan was sent off for his remarks.

The referee then consulted his assistant, but refused to change his decision and then booked Hill before Forbes slammed the spot kick high into the net to extend Penicuik’s lead.

Bradley was then sent to the stand for comments to the referee as Penicuik eased to a what was a deserved victory.

But at the end of a game when the talk should have been of how well Penicuik had played with young midfielders Connolly and Jones outstanding, it was instead of the referee’s eight yellow cards, one red, manager sent to the stand and hardly a bad tackle in the game.