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Two goals in five second half minutes were enough for Wilburhampton to sink Athletic in this afternoon’s match at New Home Park. However the victory margin could have been much greater had it not been for heroics between the sticks by Ville Yrjölä and, on one occasion, the intervention of the crossbar.

“Ville was outstanding once again”, said Arjen afterwards, “and if it weren’t for him we would have lost by a much greater margin”.

He added, “Again, our second half performance has cost us, however on this occasion we were facing the league leaders, and if I’m being completely honest, were perhaps lucky”.

“We altered our tactics to limit the damage their front line could do, however that proved to be insufficient. We probably got off lightly compared to other sides in the league, so in that respect, despite the defeat we have done comparatively well”.

We’re still just out of the relegation places, so we’ve got to ensure that continues until the end of the season. We’ve got one more team to play before the return fixtures, so we know exactly what we’re up against to secure our safety”.

Arjen concluded, “Everyone is disappointed that we’ve lost our last two matches, however we’ve got seven points on the board already, so we’ve got something to build upon. We are still very much in the hunt for a mid-table finish in what is the toughest league in Division III and that achievement cannot be underestimated”.

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With BSC VII starting next week, Athletic completed their schedule of International Friendlies for the time being with an entertaining 2-0 win over Peruvian side NuevaVilla at New Home Park this morning.

Fons Consheim opened the scoring in thirty-four minutes finishing off a pass from the left with the touch of a striker, and making up for his earlier opportunity that NuevaVilla keeper Antonio Olaechea blocked brilliantly.

Debutant striker Giuseppe Failla almost doubled the lead a minute later but for a blocking challenge by Neptali Caro, and the home side took the narrowest of leads into the break.

The youngster however only had to wait until just after the hour mark to open his scoring account for Brook Street as he raced in from the left before firing home from an acute angle.

Giuseppe turned from saint to sinner within the space of nine minutes however.

Three minutes after scoring he was booked for shirt pulling, then with sixty-nine minutes on the clock he committed the cardinal sin of going into a 50-50 challenge with a straight leg and his studs showing. This gave the referee his easiest decision of the morning, producing a yellow card followed by a red.

Although the Italian’s inexperience probably played a part in the poor decision making; however his new coach was in no mood to make excuses.

“He simply can’t go around making rash tackles like that when he’s sitting on a yellow card, and I’ve let him know it in no uncertain terms”.

Arjen continued, “He’s also been told that he’s no good to this club if he’s sitting in the stand. He showed just how good a finisher he can be and took his goal very well, but then went and blotted his copybook”.

“The first yellow was stupid, and he maybe got away with shirt-pulling in Italy, but he certainly won’t here. As for the challenge he went into, I am lost for words. He’s now well aware that he’s on probation now, and another red card could see him shown the door”.

Amidst the furore over one player’s debut, another made a far less controversial start to his Brook Street career. Coming on as a seventieth minute substitute for Maranaj Batusha was 17 year-old wing-back Gavin Brandrick, who was surprisingly promoted from the youth set-up last week.

“Gavin made a solid if unspectacular start to his career with the senior team, and gives us a number of options down the left-hand side”, said the coach. He added, “We’ll keep an eye on him and see how he progresses”.

Andy Hautala slams home the opening goal of the afternoon against Chopper Athletic.

Despite going in at the break tied at 2-2 this afternoon, Brook Street were swept aside by Chopper Athletic in the second half, eventually going down 5-2.

Brook Street had started brightly and, from a set piece, took the lead after twelve minutes.

In a clearly rehearsed move, Paul O’Healihy floated the ball in to Eldvinas Sumlinskas who headed it back across the box. This caught the home defenders flat-footed and left Andy Hautala with enough time to bring the ball down before crashing it into the net.

The equaliser in the twenty-first minute had something of the bizarre about it, Frazer Ross’s cross-come-shot completely outfoxing Ville Yrjölä who was left grasping fresh air as floated over the his head and into the goal.

Seven minutes later, and Brook Street found themselves behind, Arturo Caldas showing Marcus Lövman a clean pair of heels before thumping the ball home.

Brook Street fought back, and with thirty-eight minutes played, a great pass from Yann Schories released Andy Hautala who slammed the ball home without a second thought.

The home side came out for the second half all fired-up, and set about the Brook Street defence with renewed vigour.

Choppers had the chance to take the lead after sixty-three minutes as some great play in the middle of the park released Stojan Radmilovic, however the Serbian striker’s shot rattled off the crossbar before being headed behind.

From the resulting corner however the home side went back in front, Cyril Bordewijk powering home a header which Ville Yrjölä just couldn’t get a fingertip to.

Choppers were now well on top, so it came as no surprise when Arturo Caldas met Cyril Bordewijk’s hooked cross flush on the forehead to give Ville Yrjölä absolutely no chance.

Brook Street were being forced further and further back by the incessant pressure, and with eleven minutes left, Frazer Ross breached the defence one last time to make the score 5-2.

“We played very well in the first half, but simply had no answer to them in the second”, said Arjen at the post-match press conference.

“Credit where it’s due, Chopper Athletic were unstoppable in the second forty-five”, he added.

He continued, “We’re all really disappointed with the outcome as we’d done so well in the first half. Andy [Hautala] took his goals really well, and we looked a real threat going forward, but in the second half they pinned us right back and we simply couldn’t break out”.

Looking forward, Arjen said, “We’ve got no time to dwell on the defeat as we’ve got a huge game next weekend when Wilburhampton visit New Home Park. We bounced back well after our last defeat, so I’ll be looking for us to do the same next weekend”.

Andy Hautala hit a hattrick as Athletic’s Reseve side recorded an emphatic 6-0 win over laheroica fc in Montevideo last night.

It was however recent signing Emil Vasilu who opened the scoring, and his account for the club, with a real thunderbolt of a shot after fourteen minutes.

Seven minutes later and it was 2-0, Andy Hautala holding off challenges to clip the ball past the home keeper for his first of the evening.

A clever free-kick routine straight off the training ground with twenty-three minutes played pulled the home defence all over the place, freeing Andy Hautala to slip and place the loose ball behind the keeper.

The home team were still dangerous coming forward though, and were unlucky not to pull a goal back when Ramon Guasco’s bicycle kick slammed off the post with Emilio Juarez well beaten.

Just before the half hour mark, Andy Hautala could have completed his hattrick, but the ball bobbled as he struck it, and the shot went wide.

He was not to be denied however, and just six minutes after the break got his hattrick goal. A swift interchange of passes between Oleg Zhigalov and Emil Vasiu carved an opening in the home defence which the Englishman was quick to exploit, firing the ball into the net.

Athletic were in top gear by now, and three minutes later short-term signing Daniel Hasnas did his chances of securing a longer contract when he cut in from the right before slamming the ball home.

The home team were in damage limitation mode by now, but could do nothing to stop Oleg Zhigalov adding to the scoreline when he broke through the centre of the home defence with twenty minutes to go.

Despite now being 6-0 down laheroica still came forward on occasion, and Emilio Juarez was called into action to make a spectacular block to deny Marco Bocca a consolation goal.

Arjen Bogaert was satisfied with the performance but felt that his side had taken the foot off the gas in the second half.

“I guess we were cruising at that point, but I do not want to see a repeat of that in a league game”, he said.

“Andy took his goals well and really showed his experience tonight, talking Daniel [Hasnas] through the game; it was good to see him get a goal too”.

He continued, “I was particularly pleased with the bond that seems to be forming between Oleg [Zhigalov] and Emil [Vasiu] in the middle of the park. They showed a maturity well beyond their years, and already look like being very important players for us in the years to come”.

The draw for Group Phase of Brook Street Cup VII took place tonight and has thrown up some intriguing ties.

Athletic have been drawn in Group 1 and our first match will see a re-run of the final of Edition III with partner club Knights Alliance FC visiting New Home Park. Next up will be a trip to face BFC Büderich 05 for the second time, while the back-to-back fixtures will be against French side FC URBERT who are making their first appearance in the Cup. The first of the ties will be at New Home Park.

Current holders sapho fc begin their defence of the title with an away tie to francezii. Bergzilla FC visit in week two, before a trip to Germany to face FC Sandhasen Vorderpfalz.

Elsewhere, last Edition’s beaten semi-finalists, Hardy’s and Újpest Partisans meet in Group 2 along with tomfire’s Eleven and French debutants Manlostudio FC.

There is also a welcome return to winners of the inaugural Cup, Kristberg who have been drawn in Group 4 along with the last runners up Car Dusan, Hertha Berliner Sportclub, FC Chalbermatti.

The first round of fixtures take place on the week commencing Monday 2 May and the full list can be found here.

It has been confirmed this morning that the reserves will play a friendly match in Montevideo against División VI side laheroica fc on Wednesday. The match at laheroica’s Profesor Bengoechea ground kicks off at 23:30 BST (19:30 UYT).

The club this evening confirmed that Ailpein Caird has moved to Czech Liga VI club Cruzeiro EC 1921 in a £250K deal.

The 26 year-old originally graduated from Brook Street’s youth set-up, but has since failed to break into the first team.

“He is at an age where he needs a new challenge”, said the coach. Arjen added, “He was unlikely to get a chance of first team football at this club, so we decided it was best to release him”.

We wish him well with his new club.

Kyle Fair fires in our equaliser against Lead Balloons this afternoon.

Brook Street and Lead Balloons fought out an entertaining draw at New Home Park this afternoon. Both goals came in the first half, Kyle Fair’s strike after half an hour levelling the scores after Balloons’ Toni Loikas had given them the lead ten minutes earlier.

Once again Athletic punched well above their weight, with Ville Yrjölä pulling off a couple of point-blank saves to deny the visitors when they did manage to break through a highly organised home team.

“We set up to match them, and that exactly what we achieved”, said Arjen afterwards. “We got our tactics spot on today and we have learnt from last weekend’s disastrous showing”.

He continued, “Every point is a prisoner in this league and with the margin between survival and relegation being so tight, every point we win takes us that wee bit closer to safety”.

“Warriors have already been cut adrift at the bottom, but the difference between us in third and the team in seventh place is just one win. It couldn’t be tighter”.

He added, “Survival has to be our aim this season, and we’ve made an excellent start in that quest. We can’t however afford any slip-ups if we are to achieve our goal. We have another very difficult away game on Saturday, but we’ll be looking to take at least a point again”.

A very young Athletic side were given a real lesson in finishing by what appeared to be the Kiya first team this morning, as they crashed out of the Scottish Cup, going down by 6-0.

Arjen admitted, “We were asleep at the back for their first goal, and from then on we were chasing the game”.

He continued, “We did however have a very young team on the field today while Kiya fielded, what looked to me, very much like a first team. I can’t be overly critical of my players in such circumstances”.

He added, “I was disappointed by our older players however, and I feel they didn’t help the youngsters out as well as they should have. We’ll discuss that at training tomorrow.

The reserves will now have two weeks of friendlies before the Brook Street Cup campaign kicks off in three weeks time.

Brook Street yesterday signed Moldovan 17-year old attacking full-back Daniel Hasnaş on a short-term deal as cover for the injured Bruno Le Ber.

“We need cover while Bruno is out injured, and Daniel fits the bill”, said Arjen. “He has initially signed for a month and if he does well, we’ll take it from there”.

He continued, “That doesn’t mean to say that he’ll be out the door as soon as Bruno is back though. He has a month to show us he merits a longer deal and he most certainly has the chance to earn himself a longer contract”.

Daniel is almost certain to make his debut against Kiya in the Scottish Cup Fourth Round on Wednesday.

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