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Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the net to complete his hat-trick.

Brook Street strolled into the Hattrick Scottish Cup Second Round and an away tie against Division IV side, the G Team, following the rout of Rads Sheephunters in this mornings First Round tie in Stonehaven.

Matt Cocker was the tormentor-in-chief with a hattrick, and there were also braces for Muhammad Noorani and Fraser Carragher. Brook Street’s other scorers were Nicky Breaden, and Sam Ferretto in the 9-0 demolition.

“We set out to kill the game as soon as possible so that we could use the match as more of a training exercise before we kick off the league campaign”, admitted Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference.

“A number of players have played themselves into reckoning for Saturday’s squad thanks to todays performance, so our set-up achieved its aims as far as that is concerned”, he added.

When asked if Matt Cocker was one, the coach said, “Yes, he is. Matt has had an excellent close season and he is starting to fulfill the potential I always knew he had”.

He continued, “Muhammad [Noorani], Fraser [Carragher] and Sam [Ferretto] are also in contention, but I’d guess we all knew that already”.

Brook Street’s reward for this mornings win is another away game, this time a trip west to face Division IV side, the G Team.

Andrew Cleary opened the scoring this afternoon with a stunning volley.

Andrew Cleary opened the scoring this afternoon with a stunning volley.

Brook Street completed their preparations for the new season with an emphatic 7-2 win over Yemeni League III side BeerDevils at New Home Park this afternoon.

The Monifieth side’s goals were spread throughout the team with Eike Alanne hitting a brace and our other counters coming from Andrew Cleary, Paco Palleras, Lope Cabrio, Garabed Palasyan and Sam Ferretto.

However, it was the injury to winger Eliseo Albeiros that was weighing on Leoš Loos’ mind after the match.

“The doc’s confirmed that Eliseo will be out for a fortnight, so will obviously miss the start of the season”, he said. “I’m not going to mess about; this is a real blow for us, but fortunately Garabed [Palasyan] can step straight into the team, so it could have been much worse”.

Turning back to today’s game, the coach said, “The players showed a real hunger and desire to win. They were outstanding and thoroughly deserved the win”.

“The players are in high spirits, and now itching to get started with competitive games”, he added.

He continued, “I thought our midfield was a real power house today. They sprayed balls around that were perfectly weighted and done so with pin-point accuracy. With service like that, our front line couldn’t help but score”.

“Furthermore, they got in on the scoring which in itself takes the pressure off the forwards too. All in all it was an excellent display that we will look to replicate in our Scottish Cup First Round tie on Wednesday when we take on Rads Sheephunters in Stonehaven”.

Muhammad Noorani fires home from the tightest of angles to win this morning's friendly match.

Muhammad Noorani fires home from the tightest of angles to win this morning’s friendly match.

Cardiff Hitchhikers gave the reserves a real test in this morning’s friendly match at New Home Park and it wasn’t until the last fifteen minutes that the game turned around.

The visitors were quick into their stride and raced to a 2-0 lead with only sixteen minutes played. Matt Cocker pulled a goal back in the twenty-sixth minute and although Alex Clapperton hit the post eight minutes from the break, it was the Welshmen who scored next to restore their two-goal advantage ten minutes into the second half.

Only a poor finish by Joaquin Landacaranda after sixty-five minutes prevented Hitchhikers from increasing their lead, and this was to prove to be pivotal in the match.

With fourteen minutes to go, Matt Cocker broke through again to fire Brook Street right back into the game, but worse was to follow for the visitors for with six minutes remaining Sam Ferretto broke free to slam home the equaliser after fine build up play on the right.

Then, with less than two minutes to go the game was turned on its head when Muhammad Noorani fired Brook Street’s fourth goal.

“The players showed real character to dig out the result”, said Leoš Loos. “There’s always the danger that we could panic at going two goals down, but they maintained their composure, stuck to the game plan, and it’s paid off”, he added.

“Conditions weren’t the greatest, but both sides still managed to play some good football out there. We rode our luck at times, but we took our chances when they arose, so I’d have to say that I’m very happy with the outcome”, said the coach.

Andrew Cleary wraps up the scoring by completing his hat-trick.

Andrew Cleary completes his hat-trick to wrap up the scoring in this afternoon’s friendly match.

It was a case of Andrew Cleary three; Ducks of Death nil at NHP this afternoon with the former Scottish U-20 striker hitting a hat-trick as Brook Street ran out 3-0 winners over their German visitors.

“We showed fantastic levels of commitment and fitness despite the game only being a friendly and it being the tail-end of the season”, said Leoš Loos at full-time.

“We dominated the game and that’s always a good starting point”, he added.

“Andrew’s hit another hat-trick and the team as a whole played very well. This bodes well for next season’s preparations”.

Eike Alanne could have opened the scoring in the ninth minute but screwed his volley wide, however a minute later Cleary was on hand to fire home.

Ten minutes later Sam Ferretto blazed the ball high, wide and not so handsome, but with twenty-seven minutes on the clock, it was 2-0.

Eliseo Albeiros was giving the Ducks defence a torrid time, and slipped his marker before firing over a viciously driven cross. Andrew Cleary met it at the edge of the six-yard box and merely had to re-direct it to leave the visiting keeper grasping thin air.

Brook Street were dominating the game and Sam Ferretto really should have done better just after the half-hour mark when he blasted the ball off the post from close range.

Brook Street kept pressing after the break and Eliseo Albeiros rattled the crossbar and Lope Cabrio fired just over as the home side looked to increase their lead.

Then, with an hour played, Andrew Cleary made it 3-0 after a fine solo run to wrap up the scoring.

Meanwhile, it has been announced that Brook Street have been promoted to Division III.15 for next season.

“Survival is our only aim for next season”, admitted Leoš, adding, “anything more will be a bonus for us”.

Sam Ferretto prods the ball home to complete his hat-trick.

Sam Ferretto prods the ball home to complete his hat-trick.

Brook Street’s reserves completed a terrific week for the club with a demolition job on Croatian side NK Mrežnica at New Home Park this morning.

Sam Ferretto hit a hat-trick in the 8-0 win with our other goals being scored by Nicky Breaden, Matt Cocker, Fraser Carragher, Muhammad Noorani and Krsto Grubić.

The game also saw debuts for recent Academy graduates in the shape of Liam Christie and Lachlan MacKinnon, both of whom put in solid performances.

“It’s always difficult for the youngsters coming in as the pace is so much faster”, said captain Fraser Carragher, “but I think the lads acquitted themselves very well. They’ll get up to speed soon enough though, and then we’ll get a true indication of what they’re capable of”.

Turning to the game as a whole he said, “It was a good overall performance from us, and I don’t think the scoreline flattered us at all. We dominated the game across the pitch, and played some decent football”.

He continued, “Stick the ball in front of Sam or Muhammad and we know what to expect, and today they hit the net four times between them”.

On his own counter Fraser said, “Yeah, I’ve had a couple of those this season where I’ve run at the defence and knocked it home. The gaffer’s always telling me to get forward and put pressure on their back line, but on occasion their defence parts like today and I get lucky”.

Meanwhile, a friendly match is being lined-up for Saturday at New Home Park to bring the season to a close. Details are unknown at present.

Andrew Cleary blasts home his second goal to secure the 5-1 win and ensure promotion back to Division III.

Andrew Cleary blasts home his second goal to secure the 5-1 win and ensure promotion back to Division III.

Seldom has an outpouring of jubilation been experienced at New Home Park as that witnessed this evening. Three seasons of frustration and disappointment were brushed aside as Brook Street stormed back into Division III with an emphatic 5-1 win over title rivals The Tiny Spacemen.

“We’ve known the heartbreak of missing out on promotion”, said Leoš Loos on the pitch at full-time, “so my first thoughts go out to everyone connected with The Tiny Spacemen”.

He continues, “They’ve been formidable opponents and I’m sure they will be there or thereabouts next season”.

Then, while saluting the vast Brook Street support he said, “Look at the joy on their faces. This is what it’s all about. They follow us week in week out and we’ve let them down in the past. Today however, we got our act together and they will be watching Division III football next season. The feeling of sheer jubilation makes it all worthwhile”.

Andrew Cleary stopped in front of the North Bank during the lap of honour to speak with the club’s most vociferous fans, and at one point was in danger of being carried shoulder-high to a house party before being rescued by stewards.

Back on terra firma he laughed then echoing his gaffer’s statement saying, “See! This is what it means to us. The guys and girls on the North Bank are what make the club, and personally I am honoured to be able to play in front of them each week”. Then, he added with a wink, “We are all one big family, and I’ll be going to that party tonight despite the stewards… I’m a Brook Street fan too!”.

Back in the relative tranquility of the dressing room, Eike Alanne, who opened the scoring, said, “It’s going to take a while to sink in. I’ve only recently arrived, but for the guys who are the heart and soul of the club, I can imagine the sheer joy that today’s result brings”.

He continued, “They’ve really suffered, but now all those seasons of disappointment will now be forgotten. I’m delighted for them, and for the fans, especially the ones we see at club functions. Fans like that are the same the world over; they’d run through walls for their club, and we as players know exactly what it means to them. I’m only glad we’ve managed to win the title”.

After having hastily changed from his champagne-soaked kit, Leoš Loos reflected on the game.

“We started the game really well and were fortunate enough to take a two-goal lead in the opening quarter of an hour thanks to Eike and Andrew”.

He continued, “Although they pulled a goal back, Abel restored our two-goal advantage five minutes before the break and from then on we were never really in any danger”.

“Manny’s spot-kick was pivotal, although for me, it was never a penalty, then Andrew wrapped up the scoring with a trademark strike”.

“We played some of our best football of the season today”, he concluded, “and we can now enjoy the next few days’ celebrations before we start preparing for next season”.

Muhammad Noorani signed off for the season with two goals this morning.

Muhammad Noorani signed off for the season with two goals this morning.

Whilst it is always interesting to face teams from overseas in friendly match, the scoreline in this morning’s friendly against Serbian visitors, Idijoti Belosvecki 9/11 was without doubt the least important consideration for the management team.

With Saturday’s title showdown with The Tiny Spacemen looming, ensuring the squad will be at maximum possible strength far outweighed the 6-2 scoreline today.

“We never meant to play the first team in this match”, admitted Leoš Loos, “that was an error on our part, but fortunately not a costly one as far as injuries goes”.

Andrew Cleary and Muhammad Noorani both helped themselves to braces, with Brook Street’s other goals coming from Leoš and an Emanuel Bohucký spot-kick as the home side turned on the style in front of over 3,200 fans.

“We were slack at the back again and that’s not good enough”, complained Leoš. “We’ll have to be far sharper on Saturday, as we’ll be facing a far better side”.

He continued, “We switched off and it cost us goals again, just as it did on Saturday. A repeat this Saturday could mean another season in this Division which is not good enough for this Club”.

Meanwhile, following the game, winger Liam Christie was paraded as the latest graduate of the Academy to be called up to the senior side.

“We’ve been keeping tabs on both Liam and midfielder Lachlan MacKinnon who will be joining the senior side next week, and I’ve been impressed with both of them”.

He continued, “Liam is lightning fast and Lachlan has a maturity beyond his years. Both have bags of talent and will be excellent additions to the senior squad”.

The two youngsters will make their public bow at half-time on Saturday.

Eliseo Albeiros fires in his first competitive goal for the club on his league debut.

Eliseo Albeiros fires in his first competitive goal for the club on his league debut.

So, as anticipated, the title race will go right to the wire and a last day, winner-takes-all, clash between Brook Street and The Tiny Spacemen at New Home Park.

And the margins could not be tighter with Athletic leading by a single point and their goal difference whittled back to just one goal.

“We were poor today, just when we needed to be strong”, admitted Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference.”We’ve been strong at the back all season, but with the goals we lost this afternoon were simply not good enough”.

He added, “We created more chances, but failed to take them and that has proved to be very costly. Spacemen will come to New Home Park full of confidence as they have destroyed our goal difference superiority today, and they know that a win for them will give them the title and almost certainly automatic promotion”.

“A draw would be good enough for us, but we would run the risk of having to face a play-off. We’ve lead all season, so we must not throw it all away on the last day. To some extent, the pressure is all on us now as the title is ours to lose”.

All of the goals in today’s match came in an action packed first thirty-six minutes.

Romuald Boucherat got the hosts off to a perfect start with only five minutes played, but Andrew Cleary levelled just four minutes later.

Eliseo Albeiros capped an eventful week with his first league goal for the club on his competitive debut before Rory Steadman drew the hosts level two minutes later. Attila Gyöngyösi had Brook Street back in front with thirty-three minutes on the clock, but again the lead was short-lived, and Zak Fletcher fired in what proved to be the final goal of the game nine minutes before the break.

Both sides had chances in the second half, but poor finishing resulted in the score remaining tied. Muhammad Noorani however picked up a booking which will rule him out of the final showdown.

“He’s only just been told”, said Leoš, “and he’s absolutely devastated. Those are the breaks though and although it’s tough, it was a definite booking, so we’ve no complaints”.

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