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The reserves comfortably saw off their Yemeni visitors in this morning’s friendly match, defeating Lonely girls 6-1 at New Home Park.

Garabed Palasyan opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute and further goals from Phil Mullally and Matt Cocker had us 3-0 up at the break.

Kenny Corney fired in our fourth goal eleven minutes into the second half, and although the visitors struck back immediately through Aymeric Vachet, late goals from Matt Cocker and Lloyd Stephen made the scoreline a more accurate reflection of the game.

“We played well enough”, said Marcus, “but we were far too quick to pull back assuming that the job was done. I would have liked us to press for longer, but that’s a minor detail”.

Both Jim Barnstaple and Fabrizio Sonnemoser got a half each as the coach admitted that he didn’t want to have one of his keepers missing out on training.

“While Zee is our first choice keeper at the moment, he’s carrying a knock which could flare up at any time. Fabrizio was brought in as a direct replacement while he was sidelined recently and he performed well. Jim was promoted from the Academy and is more of a long-term prospect”.

He admitted, “Now that Zee is back, everyone’s been pushed down the pecking order which in the past could have seen Fabrizio getting the training and Jim offloaded. I don’t want to do that, and if I can keep both then I will”.

Adding, “Giving both part of the training is preferable in my mind, and should one eventually move on, then we will get more of a return. It seems the logical thing to do”.

Turning back to the game, Marcus said, “It was good to see Matt Cocker get a couple of goals today. He’s been filling in out on the wing, and he’s really not suited to playing there. He certainly benefitted from playing back in the middle of the park”.

Another player on the crest of a wave is of course Lloyd Stephen who yet again powered another header home as his rich vein of form continues.

“I might throw him on against sooside in a couple of weeks and see what happens”, admitted Marcus. “He’s banging in goals for fun with the reserves, and while he’s not ready to play against some of the sides in the league, he might just wreak havoc in the sooside defence. We’ll wait and see how things pan out over the next few weeks though”, said the coach.

Oleg Zhigalov slots the ball home after bullying the home defenders into making a mistake.

Oleg Zhigalov slots the ball home after bullying the home defenders into making a mistake.

Leoš Loos netted twice as Brook Street chalked up an impressive 5-1 win over Airth Castle Rovers at Turret Park this afternoon. While both last week’s and today’s meetings between the sides were very close, a late goal-rush gave this game the impression of a much more one-sided encounter.

There was nothing between the sides as far as percentage of possession was concerned, however Brook Street proved to be far more incisive when it came to attacking and this was to prove pivotal in the last ten minutes.

Marcus Lövman had surprised many onlookers by changing the set-up which has served us fairly well this season, by playing both Leoš Loos and Onésimo Murube much deeper while concentrating on attacking down the wings.

This proved to be a masterstroke as wingers Abel Soffia and Nemanja Janković both tormenting the home defence all match. Abel even got on the scoresheet with a superb volley, and the strike pair netted three between them. Igor Zhigalov scored our fifth goal after bullying the home defence into making a mistake.

“It was a conscious decision to play that way”, admitted Marcus afterwards. “We were convinced Rovers would play 2-5-3, so we knew that if we bossed midfield and concentrated on wing attacks, it would bear fruit. Fortunately that’s how things panned out and we’ve got ourselves a good win”.

With the top three all winning there was no change at the top, however we’ve now opened up a six point advantage over -*FC BARCELONA*- in fourth.

“I say… Ding Dong!” Lonely girls will be visiting New Home Park on Wednesday it was officially announced this afternoon. However settle down lads, as these Lonely girls are the Hattrick Yemeni Division Four side. The match kicks off at 10:30 GMT.

The reserves chalked up another win at New Home Park this morning, defeating Benin side Howles Bowles 6-2. The visitors had to play three-quarters of the match with ten men after their Italian central defender Martino Ragona received his marching orders after an off the ball incident with Rab Henderson.

By then however, the visitors were already behind to Oleg Zhigalov’s opener, and within three minutes of going down to ten men they found themselves trailing by two, Phil Mullally firing in after a fine solo run.

Other teams would have thrown in the towel at this point, but Howles battled on and earned their reward just after the half hour mark when Tansu Aşik blasted home from point-blank range to stun the home side.

This served as a warning, and Brook Street heaped on the pressure as the match headed towards half-time. This paid off six minutes from the break when Lloyd Stephen found the net from a tight angle to restore our two-goal lead.

Brook Street kept the pressure up into the second half, and Garabed Palasyan was on hand to capitalise nine minutes after the re-start when he won the ball from the Howles defenders before rounding the keeper and slotting the ball into the net.

Just as in the first half the setback spurred the visitors on, and a minute later they reduced the lead. Abazu Rouga had been firing in some very good crosses all game without any takers, but finally Eric Santos got on the end of one and buried the ball behind Jim Barnstaple with a fine half-volley.

The match seemed to slow considerably at this point, and it wasn’t until the sixty-eighth minute that it sparked briefly into life when Emanuel Bohucký rose high to head home Garabed’s looping cross.

Both sides seemed content to play out the remaining time by knocking the ball about in midfield, but Lloyd Stephen had other ideas and pushed forward whenever he had the ball.

This tenacity almost paid off eight minutes from time when his shot from the left glanced the top of the bar. However he only had to wait sixty seconds before netting his second goal of the game.

Matt Cocker had come forward with the ball and drawn the Howles defenders out to meet him, leaving Lloyd to run into the box unmarked and give the visitors’ keeper absolutely no chance from close range when Matt cut the ball back.

When asked about the performance of Lloyd Stephen afterwards, Marcus Lövman said, “Lloyd is proving to be a real handful for defenders and has an eye for goal. He’s definitely not the finished article and he’s really raw round the edges, but he’s progressing far better than we’d anticipated”.

He continued, “He came up from the Academy as a wing-back, but he’s already proved he’s far more versatile. He’s also hit four goals in the Cup this season and now another six in four friendlies. That’s prolific in anyone’s book”, he added.
“This was a real team effort though”, said Marcus. We put some good passes together, but we got caught at the back again so we’ll maybe need to concentrate on that in training”.

Debutant Fabrizio Sonnemoser makes an outstanding stop to deny the visitors.

Debutant Fabrizio Sonnemoser makes an outstanding stop to deny the visitors.

Brook Street got back to winning ways this afternoon with a 3-2 home win against Airth Castle Rovers. The visitors had taken the lead just before the half-hour mark, but goals from Nemanja Janković, Germán Olmos Ribas and Leoš Loos all but secured the points.

After Jake MacConnechy fired a penalty past the post, a goal from Rovers’ Belarusian striker Mikalaj Chygrynau with sixteen minutes remaining made for a nervous last quarter of an hour. However the home defence stood firm and the victory was secured.

“The result was a bit closer than we would have preferred, but we took maximum points and that’s all I asked for”, admitted Marcus at full-time.

“We’ve had a couple of bad results so it was important to get back on track, and that’s exactly what we’ve done”, he continued.

The coach was also delighted by teenage keeper Fabrizio Sonnemoser’s debut performance.

“He didn’t stand a chance with the goals, but he made two crucial saves, one of which was simply outstanding. For a debut performance, it was excellent”.

The win sees Brook Street stay in third place, four points behind leaders Blue Order.

The reserves will face opposition from Benin for next week’s friendly at New Home Park, as the club confirmed that Howles Bowles have accepted our challenge.

The match kicks off at 10:30 BST next Wednesday, and special thanks go to our friend LM_– for making the game possible.

Despite the encroachment, Emanuel Bohucký fires home the first of his two penalties against Varanda.

Despite the encroachment, Emanuel Bohucký fires home the first of his two penalties against Varanda.

The reserves hit the goal-trail at New Home Park this morning, netting seven goals without reply against Cape Verde side Vardana.

From the moment Matt Cocker swept home Fraser Carragher’s free-kick in the second minute the writing was on the wall for the visitors, and by half-time the game was over as a contest as Lloyd Stephen, and Rab Henderson had added a goal each.

Second half goals from Emanuel, Fraser Carragher and Kenny Corney wrapped up the win for Brook Street, while at the other end of the park Jim Barnstaple marked his debut in goal for the seniors with a clean sheet.

“We played very well today and got ourselves a good win”, said Marcus after the match. “Getting the early goals certainly settled us down, but I don’t think it affected the outcome as we were in control of the game from the kick-off”.

On keeper Jim Barnstaple’s performance the coach said, “Although he didn’t have much to do, what he had to, he did well. It was a good solid debut and a great confidence boost for the lad”.

“He’s got a good future ahead of him if he sticks in and develops as we’d hope”, Marcus concluded.

The club are delighted to announce that Cabo Verde Divisão III side Varanda will visit New Home Park on Wednesday for a friendly match.

Special thanks go to our friend DoubleRR for making this match possible.

As one Swiss keeper comes in from Turkey, another heads off in the opposite direction as Aurel Bernhard has this evening signed for Istambul side bademspor. We wish him well with his new club.

On Saturday evening, Brook Street moved swiftly to put in place cover for injured Ezequiel Alexandrino by signing 18-year-old Swiss keeper Fabrizio Sonnemoser from Turkish side _GALATASARAY S.K_ in a deal worth around £500,000.

“Aurel confirmed to me that he wanted to move on”, admitted Marcus on Sunday morning, “so we had to move to put in place cover while Zee is out injured”.

He continued, “Fabrizio was available and it made sense to get him in place as soon as possible. Fabrizio will be first-choice keeper in Zee’s absence, as I do not feel it would be beneficial to either the club or the player, to throw Jim [Barnstaple] straight into the first team”.

Fabrizio will go straight into the squad for next Saturday’s match against Airth Castle Rovers.

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