With Peebles being in the Borders, it’s quite a surprise that I hadn’t done it before this groundhop. They were meant to be the Sunday game of the hop last year, but it was called off due to the snow that was coming down. It’s only about seven miles from Vale of Leithen and I have been there three times, but I had never been to Peebles. We stayed in the Premier Inn at Farik East on Saturday night (with a fire alarm going off in the early hours) and it was around a 50 minute journey down to Peebles. Peebles is kind of on the way home. We would have gone past the likes of Galashiels and Jedburgh on the way home from Falkirk anyway. Thinking about it, it must be difficult to get income to clubs like this Peebles and Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts. They’re based in a public park and unless you do what Inverkeithing did and slightly rail it off all the way round the pitch, there are numerous different ways people can get into the park and so charging everyone to get in must be very difficult. The stand at Peebles is a thing of beauty. It’s rather old and may not pass every health and safety test in this day and age, but it has bags of character and is what groundhoppers want to see.
Newtongrange Star pick up three points at Peebles
Newtongrange Star maintained their pressure on the top three of the East of Scotland league Conference A with a 1-3 win at Peebles Rovers on Sunday afternoon.
Sean Jamieson put the visitors ahead in the 13th minute, and Kyle Scott doubled their lead before the break.
David Lindsay halved the deficit for Peebles with 17 minutes to play, but Ryan Porteous’ strike ensured Newtongrange took the points.
It was Peebles who created the first chance. Grant Wilson met Lee Zavaroni’s cross but could only glance it wide.
Newtongrange’s first chance came in the sixth minute and fell to Dale O’Hara, but he could only drag harmlessly wide.
However, in the 13th minute, the visitors broke the deadlock. Kyle Lander did superbly well to weave a way through with close control, and he helped it onto Jamieson who finished from eight yards.
Two minutes later, Newtongrange should have doubled their lead. A deep cross found Porteous at the back post whose header was saved. The rebound fell to Lander, but from only two yards, he blasted the ball straight at Tom Kerr who saved.
Lander’s attempted lob then bounced wide, before Porteous headed harmlessly over.
Following a quiet spell, another Porteous header failed to find the target, this time after being picked out by Kyle Scott.
Peebles had a penalty shout for handball turned down in the 39th minute, before Zavaroni fired not too far over from 25 yards.
Just as Peebles were starting to create a couple of chances, Newtongrange Star doubled their lead. A long ball was flicked on to play Scott in, and his confident finish put the visitors two goals to the good.
Following the break, Alan McMath fired an early effort over for the hosts.
A quiet period then followed. Newtongrange Star were looking the better team, but they weren’t creating anything noteworthy.
Two efforts in two minutes from Lander and George Hunter both failed to find the target just after the hour mark.
Jack Wilson then skewed well wide for the Star, before Scott’s effort was well over.
In the 73rd minute, Peebles were gifted a route back into the game. A defensive error gifted Lindsay the ball in the Newtongrange penalty area, and he did the rest by tucking the ball into the net.
Hunter then went agonisingly close when he just say failed to latch onto a deep Newtongrange cross in the 75th minute, before Porteous went close when he deflected free-kick forced a good save from Kerr. Steven Thomson latched onto the rebound, but his effort was also saved.
With 11 minutes to play, Newtongrange Star wrapped up the points by regaining their two goal cushion. Thomson found Lander who in turn found Porteous who fired across goal and in off the post.
As Newtongrange went in search of a fourth, Hunter forced a good save from Kerr.
O’Hara had a couple of late chances with volleys for the visitors, and both weren’t far away from finding the bottom corner.
However, it wouldn’t matter as Newtongrange’s three goals were enough to give them the points.
The result means Newtongrange Star remain in touch with the top three. They’re one point behind third placed Musselburgh Athletic, and seven points behind Hill of Beath and Penicuik.
Full-time: Peebles Rovers 1-3 Newtongrange Star
Next up for me is Billingham Town vs Chester-le-Street Town on Tuesday night.
Peebles Rovers: Kerr, Dodds, Zavaroni (c), Smith, Gettel, Davidson, McEwan (Bisset, 46′), Slater, Wilson, McMath, Lindsay
Unused subs: Hall, Sterricks
Newtongrange Star: Dunsmore, Currie, O’Hara (c), Swaney, Lowson, Richardson (Wilson, 55′), Scott (Forster, 73′), Thomson, Porteous, Jamieson (Hunter, 61′), Lander
Unused sub: Melvin
Referee: Brian Colvin