Andrew Cleary fires home his third goal of the afternoon.

Andrew Cleary fires home his third goal of the afternoon.

Andrew Cleary hit a hat-trick as Brook Street ran out 4-1 winners in this afternoon’s league opener against Marcascotties at New Home Park. Krsto Grubic fired in our other goal, but not before the visitors had taken a shock fifth minute lead.

In his pre-match press conference, Leoš had highlighted the visitors’ Italian winger Angelo Renna as being a particular threat, and this proved to be prophetic in the fifth minute when he rose high nod the ball into the Brook Street net.

This silenced the vast majority of the 40,000 New Home Park crowd, but they were back on their feet less than a minute later when the onrushing Andrew Cleary met Muhammad Noorani’s cross square on the forehead to power the header home.

Brook Street have looked good from set pieces in recent seasons, and this seems to be continuing as an indirect free-kick in the seventeenth minute caused havoc in the visiting defence allowing defender Krsto Grubic, who was making his league debut, acres of space to pick his spot and fire home.

The home side were now turning the screw and Andrew Cleary in particular was tormenting the visiting defenders. It was only a matter of time before the scoreline was added to, and that goal came eight minutes before the break when Andrew evaded tackle after tackle before firing home a magnificent solo effort.

Brook Street were content to sit in more in the second half, but Andrew Cleary certainly wasn’t content to, and it was he who latched onto a defence-splitting pass to blast home his hat-trick goal with sixty-seven minutes on the clock. This wrapped up the win and ensured there would be no halloween horror show from Brook Street.

Speaking afterwards Leoš was clearly delighted with the win, and he paid credit to his strike partners.

“Andrew put in a display today that we all know he is capable of”. He added, “This will do his confidence no harm at all and bodes well for the season ahead”.

He also singled out Muhammad Noorani for praise who he said, “does a lot of the grafting that generally goes un-noticed”. He continued, “His cross for our first goal for example was sublime; he was already looking for Andrew before the ball even reached him, and his first-time cross took two or three defenders out of the play straight away”.

“It was a huge team effort altogether, so everyone deserves credit”, he added. “We’re notorious for our slow starts, so it bodes well for the rest of the season.