Newtongrange Star boss Chris King hails his team's battling qualities in Penicuik Athletic stalemate

Newtongrange Star boss Chris King is confident his side can preserve their East of Scotland Premier status if they can replicate the battling qualities displayed in last night’s 0-0 draw with Midlothian rivals Penicuik Athletic.

There was a crowd of 294 at Penicuik Park of the visit of Newtongrange Star
There was a crowd of 294 at Penicuik Park of the visit of Newtongrange Star

King was happy to see his relegation-threatened Star pick up a point against the league leaders away from home, and felt his side were the only team trying to play football.

“After the last couple of results we’ve had, and this is the last game before the Christmas break, it was important that we didn’t lose the game,” said King.

Sign up to our Football newsletter

“We’ve watched Penicuik and we knew they don’t play a lot of football and like to go long from the full back areas, so we tried to stop that. We knew we weren’t going to be able to get the ball down and play it like we normally do, so we changed the team up a wee bit.

“The players won their battles and I’d say we maybe just edged it in terms of being the better side. We can’t grumble they are top of the league, so to come away with a point and a clean sheet is positive. It’s progress for us. We need to take that battling attitude into every game now. We are happy with a point.

“Overall I think we created the better of the chance. Yes, they are going to have chances as they because they are top of the league and they are good at what they do, but I think we had the most clear-cut chances."

Youngster Michael Jones had the visitors’ best chance on the night when he tested out Cuikie goalkeeper Robert Watt from range, while the impressive Nicky Reid came closest for the hosts.

Star don’t play until January 8th now when they host Musselburgh, and King added: “I’ve never been in any doubt that we aren’t a good football side. We know we have eleven huge games coming up now and if we take that attitude into them, I’m not worried, I’ve got no doubt we are going to stay in the league.”

“We have good players and it’s a good place to play football. We have dominated a lot of games and come way with nothing.”