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Daniel Zieleźnik runs to celebrate with the fans after puting Brook Street 3-1 up against Chopper Athletic.

Goals from Onésimo Murube, Marcus Lövman and Daniel Zieleźnik gave Athletic a fine 3-2 win over Chopper Athletic this afternoon.

The win fires Athletic off the bottom of the table and right back into the battle for a play-off place, and had it not been for Finlay MacLewis’s winning goal for Ginger Warriors seven minutes from the end, Athletic would tonight be sitting in sixth position instead of seventh.

The match at New Home Park however started slowly, and it was not until the twenty-first minute that the first notable action took place, Ville Yrjölä diving low to save Alessandro Pennoni’s effort.

Despite having the bulk of the play, Athletic were having trouble breaking down the Chopper’s rearguard, and to add insult to injury the opening goal came as a result of a soft free kick awarded as one of their counter-attacks petered-out; Arturo Caldas firing home first-time from the looping free-kick with thirty-nine minutes on the clock.

Athletic however did not allow this set-back to distract them and only three minutes later they were back on level terms, Onésimo Murube cutting in from the right before unleashing an unstoppable shot past Kaspar Wengler in the visitors goal.

Brook Street came out for the second half with their tails up and deservedly took the lead after sixty-five minutes when Marcus Lövman finished off a superb move on the left.

Thirteen minutes later and Athletic’s third win of the season was assured when Dan Zieleźnik bulleted home a header from Yann Schories’ perfect cross, while five minutes from the end Oleg Zhigalov could have wrapped things up with a thunderbolt of a shot that was a bar width too high.

It wasn’t all plain sailing for Athletic though, and Eldvinas Šumlinskas could miss the rest of the season following a brutal challenge that went unpunished in the eighty-sixth minute. Almost right after, Murray Beveridge got a second goal for the visitors, that they scarcely deserved, to give the home team a nervy couple of minutes before the final whistle.

“Our front-line finally kicked into action today, and it showed”, said Arjen Bogaert afterwards. “This was an important win for us, and keeps us in the hunt for a play-off place. The boys got what they deserved today”.

The coach was however critical of the referee who, he felt treated Choppers leniently.

“The challenge on Eldvinas was a common assault, nothing less, yet there wasn’t even a card shown. I’m sure if it had been one of my players he would have seen a card, possibly even a red”.

“All I want is to be treated the same as our opponents. Is that too much to ask?”

He concluded, “I am however delighted with the result, albeit I was disappointed with the goals we conceded. Three points is three points though, so I’ve got to be happy with that”.

Athletic made a surprise move in the transfer market this evening by securing 18-year old Israeli defender Liran Tzur from Italian Serie VIII side Dinamo Diffida for just over £0.5M.

Introducing the club’s new player to the press at New Home Park late tonight, coach Arjen Bogaert said, “I think we’ve uncovered a real gem here. He is young, but is already showing great promise. We aim to nurture this raw talent and develop him as far as we can”.

Liran himself said, “It’s all been something of a whirlwind. I woke up in Tuscany this morning, but now I’m here in Scotland with a new club.”

He added, “I’ve got to be honest and say I don’t know much about Brook Street Athletic, but I can assure everyone I will do my level best for the club. The coach told me much about the club and his plans, and from what I’ve heard; I am keen to make an impact with this team”.

The youngster will most likely be included in the squad to face BFC Büderich 05 in the Brook Street Cup on Wednesday

Daniel Hasnas chips home his first goal for the club to open the scoring.

Athletic seem set to face their customary early exit from the Brook Street Cup following this afternoon’s 5-2 defeat by FC URBURT in Marseille.

It had all started so well for the visitors. After just five minutes, Daniel Hasnaş chipped in his first goal for the club since signing a permanent deal a fortnight ago.

A team is at its most vulnerable right after it has scored, and so this proved with Athletic; URBURT raced up the park and Maciej Kowala slammed the ball home to equalise.

After such an action-packed opening six minutes, it was only natural that the game slowed somewhat. However, that was all to change just before the half-hour mark when Andy Hautala fired Athletic back into the lead.

Just as it looked as if Athletic would go into the break ahead, Mauro Oropeza was in the right place at the right time to rifle home the equaliser four minutes from half-time, following a well-executed free-kick routine.

Whatever, UBURT coach Claudinho de Sá Couto said to his players at half-time certainly hit the mark, as they hit three unanswered second half goals to sweep Athletic aside. Goals from Danilo Dramić, Guy Noffsinger and Nino Šerović put paid to any thoughts of an away win, and destroyed any aspirations of reaching the semi-final Athletic had, especially following this evening’s Knights Alliance FC’s 3-1 win over BFC Büderich 05.

In the other groups, Újpest Partisans had a surprise 1-0 win away to Manlostudio F.C. while Hardy’s had a narrow 2-1 win over tomefires Eleven. In Group 3, sapho fc got back on track with a fine 3-1 win at home to FC Sandhasen Vorderpfalz, while Bergzilla FC and francezii fought out a 1-1 draw in Denmark.

The highest-scoring match of the round occurred in Berlin where Hertha Berliner Sportclub were edged out by the odd goal in seven by Car Dusan, while the match between FC Chalbermatti and Kristberg ended 0-0.

Ville Yrjölä pulls off another breathtaking save to keep Athletic in the game.

Despite the heroics of Ville Yrjölä between the sticks, Athletic ultimately lost 5-1 against Wilburhampton Wanderers this afternoon, and the defeat combined with Ginger Warriors’ surprise win away to Chopper Athletic saw us drop to the foot of the league.

The league position, whilst disappointing does not faze Arjen Bogaert who said at the post-match media conference, “We’ve still got six games remaining, and those six include games against teams we’ve did well against earlier in the season”.

He stressed, “We are under no illusion that this is the toughest league in the Division and simply surviving would be a tremendous feat, and that has been our goal since day one”.

He continued, “Of course it’s disappointing to be propping up the league, however it should be borne in mind that we are only two points off a play-off place, so it’s not as if we’ve been cut adrift”.

“We’ve still got our destiny in our own hands, but we’ve got to cut out the mistakes. We’re gifting far too many goals and we’re not creating enough up top”.

Athletic steadied the ship after losing an early Eduard Petre goal to only trail the league leaders 1-0 at half time, thanks to Ville Yrjölä who single-handedly denied the Wanderers’ forwards time and again.

The Finn took up where he left off at the start of the second half, denying Ovidiu Costea, but he was left helpless around the hour mark as, first Noah Haas then Giovanni Zanellato fired home to increase the lead.

With nineteen minutes remaining, Jose Eransus reduced the lead to two, racing forward before executing the most delicate of lobs over the on-rushing Taylor MacQuarrie that nestled in the net.

This was however not the signal for a fightback and a suicidal pass across the back three put paid to any possible comeback with twelve minutes remaining, Eduard Petre accepting the gift and driving the ball home.

Straight from the re-start, Athletic lost possession, and following a swift interchange of passes that tore the visiting defence apart, Dementrio Gorbea hammered the ball home to complete the visitors’ misery.

Had it not been for another inspired performance by Ville Yrjölä the defeat could have been much worse. Even if we were not expected to take anything from the game prior to kick-off, the fact that we created only a single chance in the whole game must be cause for some concern.

If Brook Street are to achieve their goal of a play-off place, then they will simply have to be more creative while cutting out the errors at the back. We can’t rely on Ville baling us out every week.

Oleg Zhigalov powers home a header to double our lead against FC URBURT this morning.

A goal either side of half-time from Oleg Zhigalov was enough to give the reserves a comfortable 2-0 win over French visitors FC URBURT at New Home Park this morning.

The young Russian opened the scoring in the twentieth minute, turning home a Vitor Leocadio cross after getting free of his marker.

Emil Vasiu made a surprise return to action following his injury, but his comeback lasted only thirty-two minutes before he had to hobble off having twisted his ankle.

It was 1-0 at half-time, but just seven minutes after the break Oleg got his, and the team’s, second goal of the match. Once again Vitor Leocadio was the provider, swinging in a tempting cross that Oleg powered home with his head.

Around the hour mark, Danilo Dramic had a chance to reduce the lead, however Emilio Juarez got a trailing leg to his shot to clear the ball to safety.

“We did well again today, and I’m really pleased for Oleg”, said Arjen Bogaert afterwards. “He works hard in training, and it’s really paying off. He’s now our top scorer in the Cup”.

The news wasn’t so good for Emil Vasiu however as the coach confirmed that the teenager faces a longer spell on the sidelines.

“Emil looks like he’s going to be out for up to three weeks. He’s twisted his ankle, but he’s also aggravated the existing injury and it’s flared up again”.

He continued, “My heart goes out to the lad. He’s absolutely devastated. It was one of those million-to-one injuries, but we’ve just got to get on with it”.

Arjen concluded, “We’ll not be rushing Emil back though. I would not rule out him missing the rest of the season. If that’s what it takes to get him back 100% for the start of next season, then so be it”.

In the other Group 1 match, leaders Knights Alliance FC had a narrow 2-1 win in Germany against BFC Büderich 05 to maintain their three point lead over Athletic and remain the only unbeaten side in the cup.

Elsewhere, in Group 2 Tomfires Eleven and Hardy’s fought out a very entertaining 2-2 draw in Switzerland, while Manlostudio F.C. recorded the largest win of the round, thumping Újpest Partisans 6-1 in Budapest.

The curse of the defending champions appears to be striking again in Group 3, with sapho fc going down to their second successive defeat, this time 0-1 away to FC Sandhasen Vorderpfalz. In the other match francezii had a narrow 1-0 win over Bergzilla FC.

Finally, in Group 4 Car Dusan recorded a narrow 1-0 win over Hertha Berliner Sportclub in Belgrade while in the other match FC Chalbermatti were given a walk-over 3-0 win against Kristberg.

Andy Hautala attempts to break free of the his Genesis markers in today's match.

Two first half goals by Cedric Rueger and Damian Klimowicz were enough to put Athletic to the sword this afternoon. While the result was an improvement the previous weeks’ against Genesis, the Strathclyde club were still far too strong for Athletic.

Fortunately however, other results largely went our way to ensure that we are still in touch in the race to avoid relegation, as Arjen Bogaert alluded to in his post-match press conference.

“While we are obviously very disappointed at today’s result, we have to take heart in the fact that we are only realistically two points away from a play-off place”, he said.

He added, “We must ensure that we do not slip any further back, and if I’m being honest we are fighting for our lives. We have to scrap and fight for every point, and it is now we need everyone to step up to the plate”.

Arjen concluded, “I can guarantee that the players at this club will do exactly that”.

Oleg Zhigalov is fires home the opening goal in our match with Büderich.

Athletic got their Brook Street Cup VII campaign back on track with a 3-0 win over BFC Büderich 05 in Germany yesterday evening. Two first half goals from Oleg Zhigalov and Nemanja Jankovic were added to late on by Fons Consheim to give the New Home Park side the points.

“That was much more like the kind of performance I’m looking for”, said a happy Arjen Bogaert after the match.

“We were much more in control and dominated the game, and created a lot of chances. My only concern is that once again our front players failed to score”.

It was not all good news for Athletic though, as recent signing Emil Vasiu had to be helped from the field following a heavy challenge. He now looks like spending some time on the treatment table.

“It doesn’t look good for the boy”, said the coach. He added, “Emil took a real sore one, and from initial reports suggest that he may be out for up to two weeks. This is really tough for the boy as he had settled in well and was really coming on well”.

He concluded, “We’ll give him time to get back to full fitness before bringing him back in. He’s a quick healer, but there’s no way we’ll be rushing him back too soon”.

In the other Group 1 match this evening, Knights Alliance defeated FC URBURT 3-1 in Porto to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the table.
Elsewhere this week, in Group 2 tomfire’s Eleven received a default win over Újpest Partisans, while in the other match, Hardy’s defeated Manlostudio F.C. 3-1.

In Group 3 there was a shock as current cup-holders sapho fc crashed to a 0-3 home defeat to Bergzilla FC, while in Romania, francezii defeated FC Sandhasen Vorderpfalz 2-0.

Hertha Berliner Sportclub were awarded a default win against Kristberg in Group 4 while in the other group match, Car Dusan had a narrow 1-0 win in Switzerland against FC Chalbermatti.

Yann Schories fires in what was to be our only consolation goal against Invisible Touch today.

Cedric Rueger proved to be Athletic’s tormentor in chief as Invisible Touch romped home to a 5-1 win yesterday. Yann Schories netted our consolation goal as the New Home Park side were simply outclassed by their opponents.

“I feel we were still in the game until they went 3-1 up, then the roof caved-in”, said Arjen afterwards.

He continued, “We knew things would be tough for us this season, and this match I think and indeed hope, will be our low point”.

Athletic will go into the second half of the season in second-bottom place, just two points ahead of Ginger Warriors.

Two goals in two minutes set the tone for this match, Cedric Rueger netting the first of his hattrick after twenty-three minutes, before Ant Nash doubled the lead.

In between the two goals Maranaj Batusha had a gilt-edged opportunity to equalise, however American keeper Al Stansfield just got a fingertip to it to turn the ball round the post. Had that gone in, then who knows how the game would have panned out.

As it was, Genesis had the bulk of the play and almost went three up seven minutes after the break but for another spectacular Ville Yrjölä save, however just two minutes later Yann Schories gave Athletic a lifeline charging through the centre of the home defence before dispatching the ball into Stansfield’s net.

Athletic were however unable to break through the home rearguard again, and Piotr Dziadura couldn’t miss the chance that presented itself with seventy-two minutes on the clock to restore Genesis’ two-goal advantage.

Athletic were now clearly on the back foot, and two goals within a minute from the impressive Cedric Rueger simply emphasised the home side’s dominance.

So Brook Street will go into the second half of the season in seventh place, just two points off bottom, but with the hope that this is the season’s low ebb.

Emil Vasiu challenges for the ball against Knights Alliance yesterday.

The reserves got off to the worst possible start in their Brook Street Cup campaign yesterday, going down 1-3 to a very strong Knights Alliance side at New Home Park.

Maurizio Nickel gave the visitors the lead after eighteen minutes, before Maranaj Batusha levelled the scores with thirty-four minutes played.

It’s said that a side is at its most vulnerable just after it has scored, and so this proved for Athletic, for within sixty seconds they were behind again, Olivier Roux being the man on target

A minute before Brook Street’s equaliser, Jake MacConnechy had entered the referee’s notebook after a badly timed challenge and this was to prove costly in the thirty-eighth minute when he was too forceful in complaining and found him receive his second yellow for dissent.

With ten men, things were always going to be difficult, but the home team managed to stay in the game and create chances until just after the hour mark when Olivier Roux delivered the coup de grace.

“Knights fielded a very strong team, so we were always going to up against it when we went down to ten”, said Arjen afterwards. “We competed well though, so there are positives to be taken from the defeat”.

In the other Group 1 match, FC URBURT and BFC Büderich 05 fought out a goal-less draw in France.

Elsewhere, no Group 2 matches were played with default wins being awarded to Újpest Partisans and Manlostudio F.C., and also there was also a default win in Group 3 for current cup-holders sapho fc, as Romanian side francezii are on an extended run in the Cupa României.

The other Group 3 match ended with FC Sandhasen Vorderpfalz and Bergzilla FC deadlocked at 1-1.

Meanwhile in Group 4, BSCVI runners-up Car Dusan lost 0-2 at home to Kristberg while Hertha Berliner Sportclub had a 2-0 win over FC Chalbermatti.

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