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Andy Harte fires us into the lead. Unfortunately it would not last.

Andy Harte fires us into the lead. Unfortunately it would not last.

Brook Street’s recent good run of form came to a juddering halt against Vodikavkaz yesterday as, after Andy Harte had opened the scoring, two un-answered goals saw the points stay with the home side.

In a brief press conference appearance afterwards, Marcus admitted, “I’ve got to admit we’re all disappointed by the result”. He continued, “We thought we’d set up in the right way to take at least a point from the game, but it hasn’t panned out that way”.

He concluded, “We were second best today, and we have to ensure that is a one-off”.

The defeat saw Brook Street drop to fourth place in the league. Elsewhere, Sparta Bragg stayed at the top of the division with a 2-0 away win over Airth Castle. In a high-scoring match at Villiers Park, Kessler’s Eleven ran out winners over EK Tuggers by six goals to four, while Vines Cross’ 3-1 win over Arnelle Sporting Club saw next week’s opponents rise up to second place.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his extra-time shot enters the net to secure the win.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his extra-time shot enters the net to secure the win.

Brook Street were given a real scare in this morning’s Hattirck Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie with AthleticScotland, and it took an extra-time Andrew Cleary strike to send the New Home Park side into this afternoon’s Fifth Round draw.

The match had ended regulation time tied at 3-3, thanks to a last minute Germán Olmos Ribas equaliser which broke the hearts of the home support who were already celebrating victory.

Indeed, the home side had made all the running and were 2-0 up after just over half an hour thanks to goals from Barry Robshaw and Kerewin de Wilde. Fraser Carragher and Andrew Cleary then fired Brook Street level, before the grandly titled Hauke-Klaus Niemeyer-Wasserer netted to send the League IV side into the break in front.

And so the scoreline remained until the final minute when Germán Olmos Ribas struck to send the tie into extra-time.

It was hard for the home side to lift themselves following such a crushing blow, and things got even worse for them midway through the first period of extra-time as, a fine play on the left gave Andrew Cleary the kind of chance the just doesn’t miss, and the Scotland U-20 Internationalist made no mistake to fire Brook Street into the Fifth Round for the first time in four seasons.

“We got very, very lucky today”, admitted Marcus afterwards, “but then again we’ve been on the receiving end of results like this in the past, so I think we were due a break”.

The coach praised his side for their ‘never say die’ attitude saying, “Even at 2-0 down we kept playing away and to pull it back to 2-2 was an excellent effort”.

However with full-time approaching and trailing 3-2 he feared the worst.

“I’ve got to admit I thought we would be bowing out as usual in the Fourth Round when Germán popped up to produce an outstandingly composed finish to tie the game”. He continued, “We knew that losing the goal so late would have really affected them, so we went into extra-time, not only buoyed by the late, late goal, but by also knowing that they were on the back foot and reeling”.

“Sure enough, when Andrew netted what proved to be the winner, you could visibly see them deflate”.

Brook Street’s reward for reaching the Fifth Round is our first home tie in the Scottish Cup for four seasons, and sees us face fellow League III side Kobis.

The sides have met once before in the Scottish Cup, in the Fourth Round four seasons ago. Brook Street ran out 2-0 winners at Kobi Park that day with Oleg Zhigalov and Onésimo Murube scoring the goals.

Next weeks match takes place on Wednesday with a 10:30 kick-off.

Abel Soffia runs to celebrate with the fans after his speculative chip finds the net.

Abel Soffia runs to celebrate with the fans after his speculative chip finds the net.

Brook Street’s rise up the league continued yesterday with an impressive 3-0 win over Kessler’s Eleven at New Home Park, the win taking us up to second.

“We rode our luck early on, but once we got into our stride there was only going to be one winner”, said Marcus Lövman afterwards. “We dominated midfield and took our chances when they arose”.

The coach singled out double scoring Abel Soffia for specific praise saying, “Abel put in an astonishing shift and thoroughly deserved his two goals. He doesn’t get nearly the number of goals we think he should, and prior to this season, he’d only scored eleven times in his whole career. He’s got three now this season, and his confidence is sky-high. Long may that continue”.

Brook Street had survived an early scare, but went on to dominate the goal-less first half and really should have been ahead at the break.

At the break, Marcus had told his players to “stick to the game-plan and the goals will come”. They did, and the opening goal duly arrived five minutes after the restart, Abel getting the first of his goals with an audacious chip from the edge of the box.

With chances at a premium, it took until the final eleven minutes for Brook Street to make the points safe. By this time however, Kessler’s were down to ten-men as, having used all their substitutes, there was no-one to replace the injured Andy Scott.

Leoš Loos doubled Brook Street’s lead with eleven minutes to go, and Abel Soffia, following a fantastic move, blasted home our third goal a minute later to make the points safe.

“We got a break when they went down to ten-men, but that’s the risk you take when you commit all your substitutes with so long to go”, said Marcus. “We’ve all been there; sometimes you get away with it, sometimes you don’t. Kessler’s were unlucky today, but I don’t think it would have made a difference to the outcome had they had eleven men on the park. We were bossing the game and I would say I think we were well on top at the time. Maybe we wouldn’t have scored again, but we’ll never know. Needless to say, I’m delighted with the three points”, he finished.

Elsewhere, Sparta Bragg went top on goal difference with a 4-0 win over Vodikavkaz, morning leaders EK Tuggers lost for the first time this season, going down 1-3 to Vines Cross, and the spoils were shared in the final game with Arenelle Sporting Club and Airth Castle Rovers drawing 1-1.

william%20hill%20scottish%20cupBrook Street eased into the Scottish Cup Fourth Round with a 3-0 win over Glenfiddich Marbles this morning. Muhammad Noorani and Andrew Cleary added to Phil Mullally’s first half strike in the second to complete the win.

“We did just enough to get through, nothing more” admitted Marcus afterwards. “We’ve played better in other games but have lost, so to get past this potential banana skin was a bonus”.

In the Fourth Round draw, Brook Street’s reward is a trip to face League IV side AthleticScotland.

“They’ve got a home game on Saturday, so we’ll send someone to watch them”, said the coach.

Jake MacConnechy unleashes a thunderbolt to double our lead.

Jake MacConnechy unleashes a thunderbolt to double our lead.

Brook Street’s league campaign fired into life this afternoon with a 2-0 win over Sparta Bragg at New Home Park. Following last weekend’s disappointing defeat to EK Tuggers it was important to take something from the game against the side that played in League II last season.

Before the match, even the most optimistic of the side’s followers would have thought that it was a ‘big ask’, but in true Brook Street Athletic style, Marcus Lövman’s side conjured up a performance which produced the goods.

Marcus had changed the formation with Germán Olmos Ribas coming in to play a sitting midfielder role, and Andy Harte dropping to the bench.

Brook Street got off to a flying start, and in what proved to be the only highlight of a dour first half, Leandro Di Gaudio fired home his first competitive goal for the club with only four minutes played.

Fortunately, the match improved in the second half, and Sparta keeper Yılmaz Ergenç had to look lively to tip Attila Gyöngyösi’s curling shot round the post with sixty-four minutes on the clock.

He was however powerless to stop Jake MacConnechy’s thunderbolt of a shot from all of thirty-five yards crashing into the net four minutes later to double Brook Street’s lead.

Sparta were dangerous on the break, and it took two attempts for Ezequiel Alexandrino to gather Dorian Bezhani’s shot following a mazy run by the Italian. However, this was to prove the visitors’ only chance of the half, and Brook Street held on to record their first points of the season.

“We shook things up a bit and it seemed to work well”, said Marcus afterwards. “Our best form of defence was attack, and we tried to flood the midfield at every opportunity”.

He added, “Up until now, a lot of our results owed more to good luck, but today’s was down to sheer endeavour. The lads put in an excellent shift, and we’ve got the result our play deserved”.

Continuing, he said, “Now we’ve got to keep this momentum going. Every game in this division is a ‘big’ game, and we’ve got Kessler’s visiting next weekend”.

Asked whether 2-5-3 would become his preferred formation Marcus said, “No, not necessarily. We set up the team to play each opponent individually, and I think today was the first time we’d played 2-5-3 in a league match”.

“Yes it worked, and we got a tremendous win, but on another day we could have been on the wrong end of a hiding”, he admitted.

“Tactics certainly have their part to play, and some matches are almost as tactical as a game of chess. It comes down to who gets their tactics right on the day. We got ours right today”.

Andrew Cleary pounces to smash the loose ball home and wrap up the scoring.

Andrew Cleary pounces to smash the loose ball home and wrap up the scoring.

Two goals in each half saw Brook Street comfortably win 4-0 against AIM FC this morning to go through to the Scottish Cup Third Round. There, we’ll have an away trip to face League IV side Glenfiddich Marbles.

Brook Street took the lead in controversial circumstances just after half an hour, having been awarded a penalty when Andrew Cleary was apparently tripped in the box. It appears he’d slipped and the award was harsh, but the referee was unmoved by the home side’s protests and the decision stood. Fraser Carragher stepped up to calmly slot the ball home.

AIM were rattled by this, and with six minutes of the half remaining found themselves another goal down, Leoš Loos firing home after a fine through ball.

The home side were clearly feeling hard done by, which for the first goal they were certainly justified, but there were no complaints ten minutes after the restart when Germán Olmos Ribas fired home after a terrific move down the left wing.

Even by this point, it was clear that the result was decided, but Brook Street weren’t quite finished and rounded off the scoring in the seventy-first minute when Andrew Cleary knocked the ball home after a mix-up in the home defence.

It wasn’t all good news for Brook Street however as Muhammad Noorani had to be helped from the field following a nasty collision and now faces a period on the sidelines.

“Muhammad looks like he’ll be out for a week or two”, admitted Marcus afterwards. “It’s a real blow for him, there’s no two doubts about it, but hopefully he’ll make a speedy recovery. We’ll just have to wait and see how it goes”, he added.

On the penalty decision he said, “I’ve asked Andrew about it and he admitted he slipped. He told the referee this, but the referee being the referee knew best and awarded the penalty”.

He continued, “The decision was very harsh, and wrong. We’ve been on the other end of decisions like this, so I completely sympathise with AIM FC regarding this. The only saving grace was that this wasn’t the only goal of the game. It did however have a profound effect upon it though”.

Turning back to his own side’s performance he said, “We were probably efficient without being spectacular”. He added, “We took our chances when they arose, but we got a big break with the opener”.

Goal scorers Jake MacConnechy and Nemanja Janković celebrate our second goal of the game.

Goal scorers Jake MacConnechy and Nemanja Janković celebrate our second goal of the game.

Brook Street stuttered to defeat in their opening match of the new league campaign, going down by the odd goal in seven to EK Tuggers at MacArthur Park yesterday.

All the first half goalmouth action came in the last five minutes. The home side had opened through Slovakian striker Béla Páger, but two quick replies from Nemanja Janković and Jake MacConnechy saw Brook Street go into the break in front.

That lead remained intact until midway through the half when Moritz Bräu scored via a wicked deflection to make it 2-2, however things went from bad to worse for Brook Street when first Páger then Alfred Tornero scored to give Tuggers a 4-2 lead.

Brook Street fought back though and set up a grandstand finish when Jake hit his second of the game with five minutes remaining, but it was not to be and Tuggers held on to get the win.

“We fell apart a bit after the equaliser”, admitted Marcus afterwards, “and we just couldn’t get back into the game”.

He added, “There was absolutely nothing between the teams, but they took their chances when they arose, and that made all the difference”.

“Now we’ve got to dust ourselves down and go again in the Cup on Wednesday. After that, we’ve got a really tough game against Sparta Bragg next weekend, so there’s no point in dwelling on today’s result”.

Elsewhere, next week’s visitors, Sparta Bragg had a thumping 5-0 win over Kessler’s Eleven, while the other two matches were drawn, Vines Cross and Airth Castle sharing two goals, while Arnelle SC and Vodkavkas finished goal-less.

Abel Soffia celebrates his strike as Andrew Cleary watches on.

Abel Soffia celebrates his strike as Andrew Cleary watches on.

Brook Street stormed into the Hattrick Scottish Cup Second Round, and an away tie against AIM FC next week, with a comprehensive dismantling of Dean United in Stirling this morning.

Within the first quarter of an hour Brook Street were 3-0 up through goals by Leoš Loos, Oleg Zhigalov and Jake MacConnechy, and further goals from Jake in twenty-five minutes and Leoš in thirty-six had Brook Street safely into the Second Round draw before half-time.

Abel Soffia added number six four minutes after the break and Emanuel Bohucký added a seventh from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Emanuel got his second of the game in the seventy-fourth minute to make the score 7-0, but it took another ten minutes before Nemanja Janković thundered home an unstoppable volley to make it eight.

Brook Street were showboating by now and a series of flicks had the United defenders chasing shadows which allowed Andy Harte to break through the middle to hit home our tenth goal in the final minute.

We weren’t done yet though, and in stoppage time Andrew Cleary broke through but as the home defence set up to block the anticipated shot he laid it off to Muhammad Noorani who checked before slotting home his second goal for the club to round off the scoring.

“We were thoroughly professional this morning”, said Marcus afterwards, “and got the result. At this point in the season it’s all about game time, and I think we performed very well”.

He continued, “We’ve had a good build-up to the new season, and now we’re looking to hit the ground running. It’s important to make a good start especially as it looks to be an even tougher league this season. There are a lot of really good sides in there”.

HattrickLeagueBrook Street will kick of the new league campaign with a trip to MacArthur Park to face EK Tuggers, before two home games on the bounce against new boys Sparta Bragg and Kessler’s Eleven respectively.

Following those is a trip to face Vodikavkaz before Vines Cross visit on Week 5. The first half of the season is wrapped up by a visit to face Airth Castle Rovers, before new side Arnelle Sporting Club visit New Home Park in the first leg of the double-header in Week 7.

“It’s not too bad a start at all”, admitted Marcus on hearing the list, adding, “Having the two home games on the bounce early on is something we’ve got to take full advantage of. We’ve got to turn New Home Park into a fortress this season, something we’re conscious has not been the case in recent seasons”.

He said, “We’ve had a good build up to the new season, and we’re going in with a clean bill of health. We’ve got to hit the ground running as this is going to be a cutthroat league once again, so keeping the squad fit will be very important.

Prior to the start of the league season, the Scottish Cup gets underway on Wednesday with a trip to Stirling to face League V side Dean United. Kick-off is at 10:30 BST as usual.

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