PLENTY of twists and turns are predicted between now and the end of the season after Tranent Juniors and league leaders Penicuik Athletic shared the spoils on Saturday.

The top two in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division did battle but could not be separated in a 1-1 draw, which benefits the Midlothian side more than Tranent.

Penicuik, managed by former Tranent, Musselburgh Athletic and Haddington Athletic boss Stevie McLeish, have two games in hand but the sides will renew rivalries in January.

Calum Elliot, manager of Tranent, said: “We have not lost ground.

“There will be ups and downs along the way.

“I would expect that a lot of the teams in the league are going to get better.

“Teams at the bottom don’t want to drop points. You know now if you go down that league table it will be tough to get back up.

“I expect a lot of teams to strengthen, especially between now and the end of the season.

“There are going to be no easy games. Every team poses a different challenge and I am sure they will be doing their best to try to continue to do well.”

East Lothian Courier: Tranent (maroon) came from a goal down to secure a draw with league leaders Penicuik AthleticTranent (maroon) came from a goal down to secure a draw with league leaders Penicuik Athletic

Scott McCrory-Irving’s looping cross had given the visitors to Foresters Park the lead in the second half.

However, Wayne McIntosh, who scored five in midweek against Whitehill Welfare, stepped off the bench to volley home an equaliser.

Elliot was pleased with the impact of the experienced frontman and felt he was getting up to speed, having not played much before joining the club.

He said: “I think everybody can see his confidence and he has had to be really, really patient in fairness to him. Him and Sean Wringe are two good foils for each other and we can play with two up top now, which is really positive.”

The manager felt that the draw was probably a fair result and praised his goalkeeper Kevin Swain for two impressive saves, including one which saw him collide with the post in keeping out a goalbound free-kick.

Tranent’s league title ambitions are sidelined until December now as cup action takes priority.

Lugar Boswell Thistle head to East Lothian in the South of Scotland Challenge Cup on Saturday before Tranent travel to Stirling Albion in the Scottish Cup the following week.

Elliott stressed that there would be no complacency against their Ayrshire opponents, who have won just four of their 19 league contests this season in Conference A of the West of Scotland Football League.

He said: “There will be boys given an opportunity to come in that have not featured.

“That is not me being disrespectful. We have come off a week of 270 minutes and some boys have played considerably less and they need a game.

“We will probably shuffle the pack but that is just the belief we have got in the squad and to make sure everybody is fit and firing for the Scottish Cup.”

While Tranent are looking to make history in the Scottish Cup against the League Two side, their Premier Division title rivals Penicuik will play one of their two games in hand when they travel to Dunbar United.