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The pick of the bunch: Oscar MacVarish finishes off a superb move in suitable fashion.

The pick of the bunch: Oscar MacVarish finishes off a superb move in suitable fashion.

Brook Street opened up a two-point lead at the top of League III.9 this evening with a fine 5-2 win over -*FC BARCELONA*- at New Home Park. Within an action-packed first sixteen minutes, Athletic were 3-1 up and the writing was already on the wall for the visitors.

Onésimo Murube opened the scoring in the third minute and Oleg Zhigalov doubled our lead six minutes later. Although Paolo Fanello pulled a goal back for the visitors thirteen minutes in, Abel Soffia restored our two-goal lead three minutes later.

The game settled down after that, and it wasn’t until the sixty-eighth minute when the game roared back into life as Ezequiel Alexandrino produced a fine block to deny Szymon Brodzińskian almost certain goal.

This proved to be decisive, as within eleven minutes Brook Street had netted another two goals through Oscar MacVarish and Nemanja Janković to almost put the game to bed.

Alexandre Camboim found the net with six minutes left, but this was to be no more than a consolation for the visitors as the game’s outcome was a forgone conclusion by then.

Marcus Lövman was clearly delighted by the win, but even more so by the unexpected news that Blue Order had dropped two points at sooside meaning that Brook Street now find themselves two points clear at the top of the league.

“That was a real bonus. We go to sooside next week, so the pressure will really be on us. Getting such a good win this week sets us up nicely, but we’ll certainly be taking nothing for granted”.

He continued, “We played very well today, and but for a freak goal at the end our winning margin would have accurately reflected our dominance. However, three points is what it’s all about, and we’ve got them in the bag”.

“We’re probably punching above our weight again this season, but there seems to be a subtle difference this term; we’re much more comfortable. We’ve made a superb start, and have already clocked up more than half our points total for last season”.

He concluded by saying, “It could easily be argued that we under-performed last season, and in some respects that is true, but we’ve shifted personnel around and it’s had a real positive effect. We’ve built a solid base to work on and for us, the only way is up”.

municipal50pcThe club are delighted to announce that our first international friendly match of the season will see Cameroon Troisième Division side Municipal Maroua visit New Home Park next Wednesday.

Although only formed in May this year, Municipal managed to finish in fifth place in their league last season and have also reached the third round of the Cameroonian Cup this season, knocking out Elite League side F.C. Yaounde in the process.

The game kicks-off at 1030 BST on Wednesday morning.

Fraser Carragher goes in for a 50-50 but comes off second best and now faces a spell on the sidelines.

Fraser Carragher goes in for a 50-50 but comes off second best and now faces a spell on the sidelines.

As expected, the reserves bowed out of this season’s Scottish Cup, going down 4-0 at Dunfermline City. All the goals came in the second half through Finlay Spalding and a Rudolf Gerard hat-trick, and despite being disappointed by the manner of the defeat, Brook Street coach Marcus Lövman wasn’t too downbeat at full-time.

“I don’t think there were four goals between the sides and I think the scoreline perhaps flatters them a bit. However, we came here fielding what is essentially our reserve site while they put out their first team”.

He continued, “I reckon the lads were unfortunate to lose by that margin, but the league is much more important to us and that is why we were playing it cool today. We’ve a very big game ahead of us on Saturday, and while the Cup run has been a welcome distraction, it’s ultimately of secondary importance”.

Of more concern to the Swede was the injury picked up by Fraser Carragher. “It’s not looking good”, he confessed. “Fraser’s taken a real sore one and it looks like he’s going to be out for a while. We’ve got good cover though with Ed Roberts coming in today and performing very well. It’ll give him a chance to stake his claim for a starting place.

Leoš Loos finishes off a fine move to open the scoring at McDiarmid Park this afternoon.

Leoš Loos finishes off a fine move to open the scoring at McDiarmid Park this afternoon.

A 5-0 win for Brook Street ensured that the bragging rights would head back east following this afternoon’s Tayside derby at McDiarmid Park.

Three goals from Leoš Loos, Maranaj Batusha and Oscar MacVarish in a devastating six-minute first half onslaught had the visitors coasting, and a further Leoš Loos strike in thirty-four minutes had the home fans in the 38,861 crowd heading for the exits and back to the pubs.

And by the time Oscar hit his second midway through the second half the home side had thrown in the towel.

Marcus, clearly delighted with the win said afterwards, “That was a terrific result for us today. We played some great football, and I don’t think anyone could deny we thoroughly deserved the victory”.

He continued, “I don’t think had a shot on goal, so it was a tremendous performance all round. We totally dominated the game and took our chances when they arose., so from our point of view it was a textbook performance”.

The win saw us move onto seven points, ahead of Blue Order on goal difference. Airth Castle Rovers with six points move up to third after their 6-1 away demolition of FC BARCELONA and Vine’s Cross move up to fourth having defeated sooside 3-1.

Rab Henderson watches on as his second goal of the match roars into the net.

Rab Henderson watches on as his second goal of the match roars into the net.

After a close first half, Brook Street blasted Xenomorphs to pieces in the second with a devastating attack at LV-426 this morning, to coast into the Scottish Cup Fourth Round.

Brook Street held a narrow 3-2 lead at the break thanks to goals from Rab Henderson and two from Matt Cocker. However it was a whole different story in the second forty-five, as two goals each from Lloyd Stephen and Rab Henderson, to complete his hat-trick, saw Xenomorphs perhaps not get on “the express elevator to hell”, but certainly on one straight out of the Cup.

“That was an awesome display in the second half, and I don’t think many sides could have lived with us on that form”, claimed Marcus afterwards. “I don’t think any of us were expecting such a comprehensive victory. Even when we went down to ten men when Matt Cocker was ordered off, we didn’t even break stride. There was no way they were getting past us”.

On Cocker’s sending off the coach said, “It was handbags, nothing more. The referee never even saw it and has ordered the lad off on the basis of what his assistant, who was much further away, thought he saw. That’s poor refereeing in my book”.

He continued, “Matt was having a good game too, and it’s really taken the shine off his performance. We don’t even have a mechanism to appeal the decision, so it looks like we’ll just have to take it on the chin”.

The coach was full of praise for Rab Henderson and Lloyd Stephen who between them now have nine goals in the Cup this season.

“The two of them have been superb in this season’s Cup campaign. They’re showing a real eye for goal despite their youth, and that bodes well for the future”.

Brook Street’s reward for disposing of Xenomorphs is a trip over to Fife to face League 4 side Dunfermline City in the Fourth Round.

Marcus said of the draw, “They appear to be fielding their first team in the Cup, so we’ll have a good look at them at the weekend, and we should get a fair idea of what we’ll be facing”.

Ville Yrjölä in action.

Ville Yrjölä in action.

A day after his thirtieth birthday, Ville Yrjölä became the latest player to leave Brook Street this evening signing for French side fc carpo in a deal worth almost £517,000.

“Before he was injured, Ville told me he wanted a fresh challenge”, admitted Marcus this evening. “He didn’t want to sit on the bench after Zee became our first choice keeper, so we decided that for all parties it would be best if he moved on”.

He continued, “I would have expected Ville to have stayed and fought for his place, but Zee has youth on his side, and perhaps he saw that his opportunities would quite probably be limited if he stayed. I can’t blame him for wanting to move in the circumstances and wish him well in France”.

During his time at the club, Ville made a total of one hundred and sixty-six appearances in all competitions.

Emanuel Bohucký curls a sublime free-kick over the wall to tie the game at 2-2.

Emanuel Bohucký curls a sublime free-kick over the wall to tie the game at 2-2.

Brook Street and Blue Order served up a real cracker of a game at New Home Park this afternoon, sharing the honours in an eight-goal thriller. Yet, as early as the fifteenth minute it looked very different, as the Blues juggernaut threatened to simply sweep Brook Street aside as they raced to a two-goal lead.

With some home fans contemplated an early return to the pub, Athletic set about retrieving what appeared to be a lost cause. With just over half an hour gone, Brook Street made the breakthrough.

In a well-rehearsed move, Emanuel Bohucký flighted in a free-kick which was met by the head of Jake MacConnechy who, instead of heading for goal, flicked the ball onto Maranaj Batusha who had time to pick his spot and rifle the ball home.

Emanuel was in fine form from dead-ball situations this afternoon, and it was from the Slovak’s right boot that Brook Street hauled themselves level just before half-time when he curled a sublime free-kick over the wall and beyond the Blues keeper.

The Blues coach must have given his charges the hairdryer at the break, and it had the desired effect for them just three minutes after the restart when Šimun Porenta restored their lead.

This however was short-lived; three minutes to be exact, before Onésimo Murube blasted home the equaliser, then with sixty-nine minutes played, what seemed to be the unthinkable just fifty minutes earlier happened as Brook Street took the lead.

Nemanja Janković’s low drive saw the pendulum swing in the home side’s favour, however as is so often the case, an equaliser wasn’t far away; this time only six minutes had to elapse before Ryan Emslay fired the ball home for the final goal of the day.

While slightly disappointed that his side couldn’t hold on after taking the lead, Marcus Lövman was relieved that we’d secured a very unlikely point.

“I think that if we’d come away with a win, Blues could have grounds for thinking they had been robbed. In fact they may think that about the draw, but my players fought tooth and nail to get back into the game and I think for that reason alone, they deserved to take something from the game”.

He continued, “If anyone had said to me fifteen minutes in, ‘you’ll get a point’, I’d have thought they were completely mad, but the lads dug deep and produced probably the finest fightback at this club that I can certainly remember”.

“They were absolutely outstanding”.

Elsewhere, there were wins for ownerless sooside athletico, Airth Castle Rovers, and it was honours even between Vines Cross and -*FC BARCELONA*-. Brook Street remain out in front in the embryonic league, ahead on goal difference on four points from Blue Order and -*FC BARCELONA*-.

Lloyd Stephen makes it two goals in two games with a thundering header in the seventy-second minute.

Lloyd Stephen makes it two goals in two games with a thundering header in the seventy-second minute.

The reserves stuttered into the lunchtime draw for the Scottish Cup Third Round with a less than convincing 3-1 away win against Scottish Knights this morning.

“We’ll need to play a lot better if we’re to progress much further”, was Marcus Lövman’s frank assessment of the performance. “Ok, we were tweaking the formation and style a bit, but we should be putting games like this to bed much quicker”.

Brook Street were stunned by Kevin McMartin’s fifth minute opener and it looked like a shock could be on the cards as chance after chance was passed up until the sixty-seventh minute when Germán Olmos Ribas powered home the equaliser.

The visiting fans breathed a collective sigh of relief when Lloyd Stephen made it two goals in two games with a thundering header in the seventy-second minute, and a minute later Abel Soffia’s drive made sure there would be no comeback for the League 5 side.

“We got there in the end, but we’ve got to be more clinical in front of goal”, admitted Marcus. “We had a lot of young players out there today and you occasionally get erratic performances like todays, but we wasted another penalty opportunity today and sooner or later that’s going to come back and haunt us”.

Brook Street’s reward for the win is a Third Round trip to face League 4 side Xenomorphs.

“It’s not the greatest draw for us as I think they may be fielding their first team in the Cup. They seem to be a very strong side and we’ll have them watched at the weekend”, said Marcus.

“The bottom line is we’ll have to play an awful lot better than we did today if we’re going to progress any further in this season’s competition”, he added.

Leoš Loos pounces on a mix-up between Carbrain's keeper and defenders to fire us into a two-goal lead.

Leoš Loos pounces on a mix-up between Carbrain’s keeper and defenders to fire us into a two-goal lead.

Notorious for our slow starts, Brook Street got off to a flier in the new league campaign this afternoon with an excellent 3-0 win away to Carbrain. Two goals from Leoš Loos followed Onésimo Murube’s opener to give us our first opening day victory for four seasons.

“We were outstanding today and well worth our win”, said a clearly delighted Marcus Lövman afterwards. “We guessed how Carbrain would line up and we were ready for them. We bossed the midfield and were able to pick them off in textbook fashion. I couldn’t ask any more of my players”.

The coach also praised his strike partnership who both hit the net saying, “They played exceptionally well together and have been threatening to do that to someone for a while now”.

In particular he singled out Leoš Loos, who after having had a tough start to his career at New Home Park, was coming good.

“Leoš got a rough time from a section of our support as it took him a long time to settle after he came to the club. He’s now answering his critics in the best way possible; by scoring goals”.

He continued, “Leoš is a confidence player and his goals today will have given him a huge lift, but this result has given the whole team a real boost, and to get such a good win under our belts so early sets us up for the season ahead”.

He cautioned however, “We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves here though. We’ve a Cup-tie midweek and a very difficult tie next weekend against Blue Order. Our feet are firmly on the ground”.

Phil Mullally opens the scoring to send us on the road to the Scottish Cup Second Round

Phil Mullally opens the scoring to send us on the road to the Scottish Cup Second Round

Brook Street cruised into the Scottish Cup Second Round with an emphatic 8-0 win over The Gothenburg Greats this morning.

Emanuel Bohucký hit a hattrick, there were doubles for Phil Mullally and Rab Henderson, and Lloyd Stephen fired in his first goal for the club since promoting from the Academy.

“All in all a good day”, said Marcus afterwards, “however the only blot on the copybook was the ordering off of Germán Olmos Ribas for two bookable offences”.

“He should know by now you just can’t go in for challenges like that when you’ve already been booked”. Marcus continued, “To be fair, Germán slipped as he was going into the challenge which made it look far worse than it actually was. However, the referee had been blowing for everything all match, so it was probably inevitable that he’d get hauled up for it”.

With the Spaniard’s red card comes an automatic suspension which rules him out of Saturday’s league opener.

“Ironically, that’s saved me from a real quandary for the weekend, as Emanuel’s hat-trick today obviously brings him right into contention too”.

The draw for the Second Round took place just after lunchtime and saw us drawn away to another League 5 side in the shape of Scottish Knights.

“They seem to play a defensive set-up”, said Marcus, “so we’re pretty sure what we’ll face”. He finished by saying, “We have the players to get through, and we know how they are most likely to play, so there’s no reason why we can’t get through. All things considered, defeat is unthinkable”.

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