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Athletic are delighted to announce that Azerbaijan Divizion 4 side Taliş FC will visit NHP on Wednesday for our first international friendly match of the season. Kick-off is at 10:30 BST.

Athletic gained their first home win of the season, romping to an 8-0 win over RTS WIDZEEEW this afternoon.

Marcus Lövman opened the scoring in bizarre circumstances with only four minutes played when his speculative lob goalwards evaded the fingertips of Marek Sidor to nestle in the RTS net.

A late challenge from RTS’s Dominic Candrin on Paul O’Healihy saw the Swiss defender booked and the Irishman helped from the field. This challenge sowed the seeds for Athletic’s second goal as, three minutes after coming on as Paul O’Healihy’s replacement, Jake MacConnechy tore through the RTS defence and drilled the ball into the net.

A minute later Athletic had the opportunity to go further ahead from the penalty spot, but having been appointed stand-in set piece taker, Jake MacConnechy blasted the ball over the bar.

This was however forgotten very quickly, as within sixty seconds, Marcus Lövman out-foxed the visitors’ defence to fire in his second goal of the afternoon.

Eldvinas Šumlinskas made the game completely safe in the twenty-fourth minute, and less than a minute later Kyle Fair rattled the RTS crossbar with a ferocious strike.

Ten minutes after the break it was 5-0 as Andy Hautala powered a header home. After this the pace of the game clearly dropped as, with the match well and truly won, Athletic clearly went into “training mode”.

However within the final ten minutes of the match Athletic upped the pace once more and gained an additional three goals for their efforts.

With his second headed goal of the afternoon, Andy Hautala made it 6-0 with nine minutes to go, before Onésimo Murube broke through the centre to fire in the seventh goal just two minutes later.

It was left to José Eransus to round off the scoring with five minutes to play. Having been played through by a fantastic play through the middle, the Argentinean finished with aplomb.

It was a very happy Arjen Bogaert who attended the post match press conference.

“We’ve scored thirteen goals in our last two games without conceding any. You can’t ask any more than that”.

He continued, “The league is already looking to be very tight, so it’s not really rocket science – keep banging in goals whilst not conceding is obviously going to be a good strategy”.

“We blotted our copybook in the first match, but we’ve certainly gone a long way to atone for this since”.

As anticipated, Athletic’s reserve side bowed out of this season’s Scottish Cup, losing 2-0 to the Andy’s XVR first team.

However, far from being disappointed, Arjen Bogaert was pleased with his charges’ performance. Indeed, had Igor Bulatov’s shot fizzed to the other side of the post and Liran Tzur’s drive not cannoned back off the same upright, the performance could have had the potential to have been even greater.

Youngster Eric Belford made his debut and played the last fifteen minutes, putting in a solid performance.

The coach said, “The boys put in a very good performance, and despite the final scoreline they can be justifiably pleased with their efforts”.

Andy Hautala slams home the opening goal of the game with only two minutes played.

Brook Street Athletic got their first points of the season on the board today with an excellent 5-0 win away to Whiskaz Wonderers. Goals from Nemanja Jankovec (2), Andy Hautala, Kyle Fair and Eldvinas Sumlinskas gave us the win with a performance that the coach described as “thoroughly professional”.

Andy Hautala fired Athletic into an early lead only two minutes into the game and from that moment, the New Home Park side never looked back.

Nemanja Jankovic doubled the lead ten minutes later as Athletic piled on the pressure, and could have added another after twenty minutes but for a goal-line clearance after he had rounded the home keeper.

That third goal was on the cards though and it came from the Captain, Kyle Fair who rifled home a real pile-driver in the twenty-eighth minute.

Athletic still weren’t done, and Nemanja Jankovic got in close to score his second and Athletic’s fourth with only half an hour gone.

From this point, Athletic eased off safe in the knowledge that there was not to be any comeback, and it’s fair to say they strolled through to half-time.

Only a fine save prevented Yann Schories from adding to the lead in the seventy-third minute, but nine minutes later Eldvinas Sumlinskas pounced on some sloppy defending to bury the ball in the home net to make it 5-0. The big Lithuanian could have had a second goal five minutes from the end however the home keeper made an outstanding block to keep the score semi-respectable.

After the match, Arjen Bogaert said, “We were thoroughly professional today and dominated the match from start to finish”.

“We were composed on the ball and knocked it around well. We dealt with everything they tried to do and we bossed the match. They never got a sniff of a chance, which is very pleasing”.

He added, “We’ve now got points on the board, and although two sides are still on maximum points, we’ve got something to build on”.

Athletic’s next match is our Scottish Cup tie with Andy’s XVR on Wednesday, and the coach reiterated his intention to play the reserves despite the likelihood that Andy’s will play their first eleven.

“If we go out, then so be it; if we win, then so be it. The league is of more importance to us and I’m not prepared to risk losing players through injury in a cup which we have absolutely no chance of winning”.

He concluded, “If our opponents want to play their first team, then that is entirely up to them. We will be fielding our second eleven”.

Brook Street’s reserve side cruised into the Third Round of the Scottish Cup, courtesy of a 7-0 win against Strathmore in Stirling. The win however relied on two goal bursts, which swept the hosts aside.

Daniel Hasnaş opened the scoring in the twenty-second minute following fine build-up work by Vítor Leocádio, who in turn knocked in the second five minutes later, having rounded the home keeper.

Within two minutes, Athletic doubled their lead. Emil Vasiu capitalised on a defensive blunder with twenty-eight minutes on the click to make it 3-0, and recent signing Dario Zintu blasted home his first senior goal a minute later.

With the match well and truly won, the second half was played at the pace of a training match; which it had effectively become.

Despite this however, Athletic still found the net on three occasions within as many minutes very late in the half.

Bruno Le Ber had come on as a substitute for Fons Consheim in the seventieth minute, and it was he who scored the first of the second half goals with only four minutes of the game left..

An Igor Bulatov corner a minute later was powered home by Liran Tzur to make the score 6-0, and within it was 7-0 as Dario Zintu thundered a volley home to score his second goal. Indeed the young Italian could have netted a hat-trick, but for the width of the crossbar.

On qualifying for the Third Round, Arjen said, “Overall, I’m pleased with our performance. We dominated the match from start to finish, and got the big win despite taking things easy”.

He continued, “There were many pluses to come from this match, but the only minus was the injury to Vítor Leocádio. We’re hopeful however that that he’ll be alright for the weekend”.

In the next round, we have been drawn away to Fife side Andy’s XVR.

“It looks like we will face their first team, but there’s no way we will be playing our first eleven”, said the coach. “The league is far more important to us than the Cup”.

He continued, “I suppose we won’t be surprised if we are knocked out next week, but I am not prepared to field our first team simply to get to the next round of a cup we have absolutely no chance of winning”.

Athletic made the worst possible start to the new league campaign this afternoon, going down 1-2 to Accretia at New Home Park.

“We needed to hit the ground running”, said a clearly disappointed Arjen Bogaert at full-time, “but instead we’ve fallen flat on our faces”.

He continued, “Accretia are in my opinion favourites to win the title, so to take points off them today was essential. Instead we’ve handed the initiative to them, and we’ll have to win every single one of our matches to give ourselves a shot at the title”.

Such a damning indictment of Athletic’s chances of winning the league will come as a shock to many of the club’s fans, but when challenged on this said, “Many people thought that we simply need to turn up to win the title, but in my opinion this is just a hard league as the one we’ve just left. Today’s result should have brought that home to them”.

On the actual match itself he said, “Their midfield bossed the game and that’s where I feel we lost the match”. He added, “What proved to be their winner came from an unfortunate slip, but these things happen. There’s no point in dwelling on it; we’ll dust ourselves down and go again next week”.

It all started well for Athletic, Paul O’Healihy firing home from the spot following a hand-ball by an Accretia defender ten minutes into the game. The lead however only lasted six minutes before Antun Lazić finished off a fine through ball, and a slip by Laurent Étcheverry with twenty-one minutes on the clock allowed Lazić in to score what proved to decisivebe the decisive goal.

Of concern to the coach however, will be the fact that his side failed to put the Accretia goal under any pressure once they went behind.

Andy Hautala hit five goals and Jose Eransus three, as Athletic stormed into the Second Round of the Scottish Cup courtesy of a 9-0 thumping of Aberdfeerer this morning. We will now face Stirling side Strathmore at their Lochness ground.

Aberdfeerer were forced on to the back foot straight from the kick-off and found themselves two down with only five minutes on the clock, Nemanja Jankovic opening the scoring after four minutes and Andy Hautala opening his account a minute later.

Andy Hautala could do no wrong today, and had added his second on the thirteenth minute mark and completed his hattrick eight minutes before the break. He wasn’t done yet and added his fourth and Athletic’s fifth three minutes later to give the visitors a 5-0 lead at the break.

A devastating four-minute spell around the hour mark saw Jose Eransus bag a hattrick and Andy Hautala hit his fifth before Athletic really took their foot off the pedal, with the match well and truly won”.

“We got a real morale boost from this result”, said Arjen, “and we can now look forward to our opening league fixture on Saturday with some confidence”.

It was also good to get through the match without picking up any injuries”, he added. “The squad have all had a run-out and everyone is ready to go on Saturday”.

Athletic will kick off the new league campaign at home to Accretia before an away trip to the north-east for face Whiskaz Wonderers.

The full fixture list is as follows:

16 July, Accretia (h)
23 July, Whiskaz Wonderers (a)
30 July, RTS WIDZEEEW (h)
06 Aug, Glenury Untied (a)
13 Aug, Handball Rovers (h)
20 Aug, gunner bairns (a)
27 Aug, Jimmy’s Wiggles (h)
03 Sep, Jimmy’s Wiggles (a)
10 Sep, gunner bairns (h)
17 Sep, Handball Rovers (a)
24 Sep, Glenury Untied (h)
01 Oct, RTS WIDZEEEW (a)
08 Oct, Whiskaz Wonderers (h)
15 Oct, Accretia (a)

Teenage striker Dario Zintu breaks clear during his debut against d00m3rs in Malta yesterday.

Athletic geared up for the kick-off of the new season with an excellent 4-1 win over d00m3rs in Malta yesterday.

The match got off to a bad start as Vitor Leocádio felt a twinge in his injured ankle and was substituted immediately as a precaution.

As anticipated, new signing Dario Zintu made his debut for the club and played the first hour before being replaced by Onésimo Murube.

The only goal of the first half came in the thirty-fifth minute, when despite the heavy rain, Yann Schories showed the home defenders a clean pair of heels to race through and fire Athletic into the lead.

The home side were back on level terms just after the break, Andreas Alexandersson turning in Bernard Cachia’s cut back.

Athletic almost regained the lead in the sixty-eighth minute but Oleg Zhigalov’s delicate lob bounced off the top of the crossbar. Within sixty seconds however, they had made the breakthrough. Coming forward unopposed, Bruno Le Ber cut inside before unleashing an unstoppable shot past the home keeper.

Five minutes later, and the Andorran’s match was over as he had to come off with a back injury. With no substitutes left, Athletic had to play out the remaining sixteen minutes with only ten men.

Despite this, the New Home Park side increased their lead with seventy-seven minutes played, Daniel Hasnaş coming in from the right and driving the ball home.

This goal knocked the stuffing out of the home players and Daniel Hasnaş added his second and Athletic’s fourth goal with nine minutes left.

A clearly delighted Arjen Bogaert said afterwards, “The boys have been training very hard and today showed just how hungry they are to win”.

He continued, “When we went a man down, the match was finely poised, however we simply upped our workrate and pace, and the home team just couldn’t keep up”.

Commenting on new signing Dario Zintu’s performance, the coach said, “Dario did exceptionally well given that he’d only met his new team mates for the first time last night. Our intention was to give him an hour in his first game, and he came through it with flying colours”.

He added, “He’ll be an excellent acquisition for us, but let’s not forget the fact that our starting front line had a combined age of only 35! Dario and Daniel could well become a tremendous partnership for the future and will guarantee competition for first team places for seasons to come”.

On the injuries to Vitor Leocádio and Bruno Le Ber he said, “Vitor felt a twinge in his ankle so we took him off straight away as a precaution. Our medical people have taken a look at it and he will be fine for next week. Bruno twisted his back, but we’re anticipating him making a full recovery in time for the Cup tie next Wednesday”.

When asked about that Scottish Cup tie against Aberdfeerer he said, “When the First Round of the Scottish Cup is drawn, it is usually a step into the unknown for us, however this time we know exactly what we’ll be up against. That’s not to say we’ll be treating Aberdfeerer with the utmost respect; anything less would be unprofessional”.

He concluded by saying, “Aberdfeerer will be looking to get some revenge for our 7-0 win on their patch last season, so we’ll have to be fully alert”.

It was a case of déjà-vu when the first round of the Scottish Cup which was drawn this morning.

In a repeat of last season’s First Round tie, Athletic have been drawn away to Aberdfeerer next Wednesday with a 10:30 kick-off.

A repeat of last season’s performance, a 7-0 win, would set us up nicely for the league opener the following Saturday.

For the record, the scorers the last time the sides met were Daniel Zieleźnik (2) Onesimo Murube (2), Paul O’Healihy (2) and Marcus Lövman.

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