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Andrew Cleary opens the scoring with a terrific strike.

Andrew Cleary opens the scoring with a terrific strike.

Going into this afternoon’s match, Brook Street knew that they had to win and hope that Stirling Bridge would slip up in their final game away to Sparta Macmerry. However, it was not to be but both sides served up an entertaining season’s finale in the Highlands this afternoon in front of a capacity 16,100 crowd

Only an outstanding save by Marcascotties keeper Vanhanen prevented Zsolt Baboss opening the scoring early on, but he was powerless to prevent Andrew Cleary opening the scoring after twelve minutes. Leoš Loos then increased the visitors’ lead thundering a volley home before Andrew Cleary chipped in number three with twenty minutes on the clock.

Brook Street were in complete control at this point and added a fourth through Eike Alanne thirteen minutes before the break.

Marcascotties finally managed to make the breakthrough after seventy-nine minutes, Angelo Renna rifling the ball low into the corner of the net, but within two minutes, the visitors had restored their four goal advantage after Leoš Loos capitalised on a defensive blunder.

The home side weren’t finished yet though, and Larry Aldstone made it 5-2 with four minutes left. However, despite their efforts, Marcascotties couldn’t find another goal and the match ended 5-2 to the visitors.

“It’s been a hugely frustrating and disappointing season for the club”, admitted a clearly disappointed Leoš Loos afterwards. “It’s really a case of ‘what could have been’ as far as I’m concerned. But at the end of the day we simply weren’t good enough and even if we’d achieved the improbable today, I doubt if we would have won the Qualifier. We won well today but it counted for nothing, that’s the bottom line”.

“However”, he continued, “we have the foundations in place for a concerted effort to win promotion next season, and we also saw the benefits of some of those moves towards the end of this season. We have a very good squad which is improving all the time. Our aim has to be to cut out all the mistakes and win the title next season. Nothing less will do”.

“Finally, we would all like to wish Stirling Bridge the best of luck in the play-off next weekend”.

Muhammad Noorani scores our decisive second goal against giggs nantes.

Muhammad Noorani scores our decisive second goal against giggs nantes.

Brook Street fought back after conceding a controversial penalty to win 2-1 in this morning’s friendly against French side giggs nantes at New Home Park.

The home side had started brightly and could have been well ahead inside the first half hour, but for poor finishing and an excellent save by Oscar Lucena in the nantes goal. However it was the visitors who opened the scoring with the controversial penalty just after the half hour mark.

None of the nantes players had claimed for an infringement, and none of the Brook Street players seemed to know why the award had been made, but nantes’ Fathi Berrekhissa kept his cool amid the continuing protests to calmly slot the ball home.

Brook Street were left with a sense of injustice, but responded in the perfect manner, storming up the park straight from the re-start and equalising through a terrific curled shot from the edge of the box by Garabed Palasyan.

The nantes coach had apparently given his players a roasting at half time, but it seemed to have the opposite of the desired effect, as Muhammad Noorani scored what was to prove to be the winner with fifty-two minutes played.

Brook Street went on to dominate the half and only the post prevented Krsto Grubić from adding to the lead before the end.

“We dominated the match for long spells and showed character to roll up our sleeves and get back on level terms following the strange penalty award”, said Leoš Loos at full-time.

“We could have been knocked off our stride by that decision, but the players reacted in the best way possible and deserve credit for that”.

He continued, “We went on to win the match, but I’m disappointed that a refereeing decision will be the main talking point rather than the way we played”.

Eike Alanne nets his first goal for the club to open the scoring this afternoon.

Eike Alanne nets his first goal for the club to open the scoring this afternoon.

As the championship race goes down to the wire, just how many more twists and turns will the last day of the season produce? With one match to play it couldn’t be tighter, with only two points separating first and third. Stirling Bridge go into the final point ahead of Brook Street, who in turn are a point ahead of Basel-Celtic who dropped two points at home to Marcascotties this afternoon.

Stirling Bridge comfortably saw off already relegated FC Poland while Brook Street were disposing of Sparta Macmerry at New Home Park, but it was Basel-Celtic’s turn to slip up today.

“The margins for error are negligible”, admitted Leoš Loos adding, “One moment’s lapse in concentration can have devastating consequences. While they’re hardly out of the race, those two dropped points for Basel-Celtic this afternoon could prove costly”.

Turning to his own side’s performance this afternoon, he said, “We played very well and pressed home our advantage at every opportunity”. He continued, “We controlled the game from start to finish, so we were able to dictate play for long periods”.

However, the home team rode their luck at times as the coach acknowledged.

“The penalty miss at 1-0 was a decisive moment in the game, and we made it 2-0 right afterwards which was a real hammer-blow for them. That really dented their confidence, and we continued to press home our advantage at every opportunity. That’s why we went into the break 4-0 up and stretched our lead in the second half”.

“We know that, as long as we win our own game, if Stirling Bridge slip up against Sparta we’ll win the league. It’s outwith our control, so we’ve just got to ensure we win our game and hope for a favourable result elsewhere”.

Sam Ferretto scores his third goal in this morning's friendly.

Sam Ferretto scores his third goal in this morning’s friendly.

Sam Ferretto was the star of the show in this morning’s friendly win over Fareham Town Creeksiders at New Home Park, bagging three of our six goals. Zsolt Baboss, Muhammad Noorani and Phil Mullally got the others in the 6-0 win.

Although possession was evenly split, the home side were lethal in front of goal while limiting their opponents to just two strikes on target as Leoš Loos highlighted in his post-match press conference.

“There wasn’t much between the teams in terms of possession, but I feel we were more direct when we had the ball. This showed in the number of chances each side created, and is also testimony as to how good our midfield’s distribution was”.

He continued, “We moved the ball about well, and the front two are always running into space and looking for the pass. Sam and Muhammad have formed a very good partnership this season, and I’ll be looking to develop that further into the next campaign”.

“Sam’s ready to step up to the first team permanently. It’s up to him to rise to the challenge”.

An added bonus for the coach was that the reserves came through the match unscathed, so he will have the full squad to select from for Saturday’s penultimate league match of the season.

The pick of the bunch: Abel Soffia drives home our fourth goal following a fine solo run.

The pick of the bunch: Abel Soffia drives home our fourth goal following a fine solo run.

Two goals from Abel Soffia along with strikes from Zsolt Baboss, Attila Gyöngyösi and Leoš Loos gave Brook Street a crucial 5-0 win at St Mongos in the Tayside derby this afternoon.

Title rivals Basel-Celtic were also winning 5-0, but Stirling Bridge could only manage a 1-1 draw at Maxum and saw their lead in the Division reigned in to just a point with two to play.

“We’ve everything still to play for”, said Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference. “We’re only a point behind and have a much better goal difference”. He did however concede, “The other two sides have much easier run-ins, so we’re really needing them to slip up. However, as today proved, that’s always possible, but we have to take maximum points”.

He continued, “My biggest regret this season is the amount of points we have thrown away. Had we taken even some of them, we would have been out in front. That’s the real frustrating thing”.

Brook Street got off to the perfect start against St Mongos with Zsolt Baboss opening the scoring after only three minutes and Attila Gyöngyösi doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark.

Abel Soffia hit his brace in fifty and seventy minutes before Leoš Loos wrapped up the scoring with seventeen minutes to go.

“It was very pleasing to get another clean sheet, and up top we scored very good goals”, said the coach. “We took every one of our chances, so I can’t ask for more than that”, he added.

Nicky Breaden blasts home our opening goal in this morning's 5-0 victory over Vfl Fohlenstall.

Nicky Breaden blasts home our opening goal in this morning’s 5-0 victory over Vfl Fohlenstall.

The reserves comfortably defeated German visitors Vfl Fohlenstall in this morning’s friendly match, running out 5-0 winners.

Nicky Breaden fired Brook Street into the lead with only three minutes on the clock, and Matt Cocker doubled the advantage five minutes later.

Only some inspired goalkeeping from Fohlenstall’s keeper Cay Bebentzowski kept the score down, first denying Muhammad Noorani, then Fraser Carragher, but he was powerless to prevent Zsolt Baboss finishing off a terrific move through the middle in the thirty-third minute.

Brook Street dropped the tempo in the second half, but Sam Ferretto powered home a header twelve minutes from time, and Alex Clapperton added the fifth with nine minutes to go.

“We showed a real hunger out there today, and we showed a desire to win the game”, said Leoš Loos afterwards. “

He continued, “We played some excellent football, and had it not been for their keeper, I think the winning margin would have been bigger”.

The coach was also full of praise for the front pairing of Sam Ferretto and Muhammad Noorani and also highlighted the possibility of him being forced to watch future matches from the bench.

“They’re a potent combination and although Muhammad doesn’t get the amount of goals I think he should, his work-rate is second to none. He creates the space for the other strikers to exploit, as we saw today”.

“Add Andrew Cleary to the pairing and you have, in my opinion, the best strike partnership in the Division. I might be forced to keep my tracksuit on from now on if they continue to play this way”.