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”.