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Paco Palleras remains the calmest man on the pitch as he prods home the winning goal.

Paco Palleras remains the calmest man on the pitch as he prods home the winning goal.

“We’ve got to learn to win ugly”, was Brook Street coach, Leoš Loos’ mantra going into this afternoon’s crucial match against Smyllum Rovers FC, and that’s exactly what they did.

The New Home Park side had actually come from behind to secure the win; Dillon Lennon had given the home side the lead with a quarter of an hour played, but second half strikes from Andrew Cleary and a winner from an unlikely source in the form of Pacos Palleras saw Brook Street secure all three points.

“It was pretty awful viewing”, admitted Leoš, “but we got the three points on the road, and as long as we keep picking up points, I’m not going to complain”.

He continued, “Every point we win edges us closer to safety, and survival is our sole objective this season. Our fans know we’re going to have to grind out results this season, and the fact they gave the players a standing ovation at full-time proves it”.

From second place to sixth is really tight in this division, so every point won is crucial. We’re up to fifth and only three points behind second place, but we’re also only four points ahead of seventh. There’s no margin for error”.

There was however no news regarding the injury to Eliseo Albeiros with ten minutes to go.
go.

“He’s off to the hospital, so we’ll just have to wait and see. It could be a lengthy lay-off”, Leoš confirmed.

After some fine build-up play, Lope Cabrio rifles the ball into the net to open the scoring against Ants Army.

After some fine build-up play, Lope Cabrio rifles the ball into the net to open the scoring against Ants Army.

Brook Street put Saturday’s bad result in the Highlands behind them this morning with an excellent 4-2 win over Ants Army F.C. to reach the Third Round of the Saltire Cup.

Two quick goals around the quarter hour mark from Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne set Brook Street on their way, and although Davide Marzuillo reduced the lead, Attila Gyöngyösi quickly re-established the two-goal advantage going into the break.

Ants struck again with an hour played, Ingo Trittibach being marked down as the scorer, but Brook Street were not to be denied and Emanuel Bohucký secured the win with a fine solo effort midway through the half.

“It wasn’t a classic performance”, admitted Leoš Loos afterwards, “but after the result at the weekend, getting the confidence-boosting win was far more important. We got it, and can now go forward with renewed confidence”.

In the Third Round, Brook Street have been drawn against fellow Division III side, Quinta Brigada T.C. With the match scheduled to be played in Aberdeen at the 140,000 capacity Bloated Dome, home of Push It Wide, Boys!!

Coach Leoš Loos, seems to have been impressed with what he’s seen of next week’s opponents, but limited his comment to, “They look like a very good side, so we’ll have to be on our game next Wednesday”.

Before that though comes Saturday’s six-pointer away to Smyllum Rovers FC .

Abel Soffia curls a beauty to level the scores at 1-1. That was as good as it got for Brook Street.

Abel Soffia curls a beauty to level the scores at 1-1. That was as good as it got for Brook Street.

After Wednesday’s Saltire Cup exploits, it was back to the bread and butter of League action for Brook Street today, and a visit to the Highlands to face Nessie FC. However, it wasn’t to prove a happy hunting ground for the Monifieth side as the Highlanders ran out 5-2 winners.

“We played well enough in the first half, and perhaps rode our luck a bit at times”, said Leoš Loos at the post match press conference, “but we totally fell away in the second half and paid the price”.

“We didn’t create nearly enough opportunities”, he continued, “and our two goals came from our only two chances. That’s nowhere near good enough”.

He added, “We just didn’t get our passing game going today and players were caught in possession time and time again. We’ve got to look for the ball if we’re to do anything with it”.

Declan Smith opened for the home team in the sixteenth minute as they took control and threatened to run riot, however Brook Street came more into the game and Abel Soffia silenced the home fans with a fantastic curling shot which beat the home keeper all ends up eight minutes before the break.

A side is at its most vulnerable right after it has scored, and so it proved yet again for Brook Street as straight from the re-start, the home side went straight up the park and restored their advantage through Freddie Rudd.

Dave Buckler put Nessie further ahead in fifty-eight minutes and Declan Smith made it 4-1 with his second goal of the afternoon midway through the half.

Then it was Nessie’s turn to be vulnerable and Eike Alanne finished off a fine move to make it 4-2 with thirteen minutes to go.

However, there was to be no fightback as Dave Buckler wrapped up the scoring with seven minutes remaining to ensure the points would remain in the Highlands.

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to send Brook Street on their way to the Second Round.

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to send Brook Street on their way to the Second Round.

A professional first half display which saw Brook Street hit five goals without reply comfortably into the Saltire Cup Second Round.

Chieftans had no reply to the onslaught which saw Matt Cocker, Phil Mullally, Eliseo Albeiros find the net along with captain Fraser Carragher who netted a brace, all within the first thirty-seven minutes.

This allowed youngsters Liam Christie and Lachlan MacKinnon to enter the fray in the second half, to gain important match time.

“That was always our intention”, said coach Leoš Loos afterwards, “regardless of the score”. He continued, “The fact that we were up by five goals at the time was an added bonus as it meant that the heat was off us, so we could let the lads gain experience without being under any form of pressure”.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Brook Street as both Matt Cocker and Krsto Grubić picked up injuries late in the second half.

But the coach allayed any fears of long-term injuries by saying, “I’ve spoken with the medical team and they reckon the knocks are minor and both players will be available for the next round of the Cup, and probably even Saturday’s fixture against Nessie FC”.

In that ‘next round’, Brook Street have been against Division IV side Ants Army F.C. With the match scheduled to take place at New Home Park nest Wednesday.

“They look like they’re a very strong side, but we’ll be resisting the temptation to field our strongest team”, said Leoš. “This competition is all about gaining experience for our fringe players and reserves, and we won’t approach this game any differently”.

Leoš Loos volleys home the rebound of his original shot to level the scores.

Leoš Loos volleys home the rebound of his original shot to level the scores.

After two very heavy defeats in the past week, Brook Street tightened things up and emerged from today’s match against The Harriers with a hard-earned and deserved point.

In fact, given the shots on goal, the New Home Park side might feel aggrieved to not have taken maximum points, however Brook Street coach Leoš Loos, who netted the equaliser, expressed how pleased he was with the result at full-time.

“After two horrendous results, it was important that we took something from today’s game, and I am very happy to have got the point which edges us further away from the bottom two while keeping us within touching distance of the sides above us”.

He continued, “My players performed very well today and showed great resilience and endeavour. They didn’t throw in the towel when we went a goal down, and they showed the tenacity to grind out the equaliser and with it the point”.

Asked if he was disappointed at not taking maximum points, he said, “Not necessarily. It was more important that we took something from today’s game from a morale point of view, and we did exactly that”.

He added, “We’ve taken a real pummelling in the last two games, but the players rose to the occasion and we secured another point in our quest to avoid the drop. I see it as a point gained rather than two dropped, and the dressing-room is a much happier place tonight because of it”.

The point left Brook Street in sixth place, four points ahead of both Smyllum Rovers FC and next weekend’s opponents Nessie FC and only two points behind second placed Hibernian MFC.

Hachem Baddou wheels away after heading his first goal for the club.

Hachem Baddou wheels away after heading his first goal for the club.

Just days after their 6-1 mauling at the hands of Hibernian MFC at the weekend, Leoš Loos rang the changes for this morning’s Scottish Cup tie at The Fighting Irish Celts.

Much to everyone’s surprise, the first team were fielded, with the coach dropped himself to the bench and bringing in recent signing Hachem Baddou at full-back as he swapped the formation to 3-5-2. However, it was a plan which was to fail quite spectacularly as the New Home Park side crashed to a 7-1 defeat.

“We were second to everything and they showed a real ruthless streak that we have been missing. We couldn’t live with them, and they showed just how far behind the top sides in the third tier we are”.

He continued, “I’m obviously bitterly disappointed, not only by the result but also the manner of it. We just gave up, and that’s not what I expect from my sides. Added to that was Muhammad Noorani’s moment of madness, which will see him miss the match against The Harriers on Saturday, just when we need all hands to the pump. He will be disciplined by the club”.

Indeed, the only crumb of comfort for the side was Hachem Baddou’s first goal for the club, albeit a late consolation one.

“He took the goal well”, said the coach, “and I would have been proud of that one too; it was a great header. But by then it was too little too late; the game was already lost”.

“We’ll analyse the performance tomorrow morning at training and see where we go from here”, he concluded.

Abel Soffia, scorer of Brook Street's consolation goal, tries to break forward.

Abel Soffia, scorer of Brook Street’s consolation goal, tries to break forward.

If anyone had thought that Brook Street would have no difficulty in holding their own in Division III, then this afternoon’s 6-1 mauling by Hibernian MFC at The Scala would have been a real wake-up call.

The New Home Park side were totally outclassed by a side who no doubt will be challenging for the title come the end of the season, but in all honesty the game was over with only a quarter of an hour gone. By then, the home side were three goals to the good and Brook Street were dead in the water.

“We just never got going and Hibernian showed just how clinical you need to be in this league”, said Leoš Loos at the post-match news conference.

“They came roaring out of the traps and we just didn’t get to grips with them. They scored early and the two goals in quick succession killed us”, he added.

“We kept trying to go forward, but as our midfield was frequently over-run we were constantly on the back foot”. He continued, “It’s clear to me now that can’t play such an open game as served us well in Division IV. We’re losing far too many goals, and today we saw just how big the gap between ourselves and a top side in the league is. We’ll have to tighten up at the back and play more defensively if we’re to achieve anything in this league”, he added.

“It won’t be pretty to watch, but if it’s what ultimately keeps us in this league, then it’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make”, he conceded.

Asked why wing-back Hachem Baddou who signed for the club last night did not feature, the Brook Street coach said, “That would have been extremely harsh to throw him in at the deep end. He only met the other players for the first time this morning, and hasn’t even trained with us yet. Pitching him in today would have been as good as throwing him to the wolves”.

He continued, “Needless to say, he’ll come into contention for next weekend’s tie against The Harriers after he’s trained with us”.

Today was a day for big wins and heavy defeats elsewhere. Printers Juniors picked up their first points of the campaign with a 5-1 win over Smyllum Rovers who are now the only side without any points on the board; Padawan United saw off Nessie FC by 6-2; however The Hariers versus Caerlaverock tie was much tighter and was settled by Phridoni Iakobadze’s fifty-fourth minute goal for the visitors.

Sam Ferretto rifles the ball into the net following a free kick routine straight from the training ground.

Sam Ferretto rifles the ball into the net following a free kick routine straight from the training ground.

The reserves’ managed to lurch into the Hattrick Scottish Cup Third Round this morning with a 4-3 win over the G team, but their performance has been likened to watching a drunk trying to exit a bar at closing time.

They made very heavy weather of it and although they were never behind, the New Home Park side were never fully in control before staggering over the finishing line.

“That was easily our worst performance for several seasons”, complained Brook Street coach Leoš Loos afterwards. “We were totally disjointed and we could barely string two passes together. I don’t know what was wrong with the players today, but they’ll have to play a whole lot better in the next round or our participation in this season’s Scottish Cup will end next week”.

He continued, “Our front line got us out of jail today, but time and again our defending shot us in the foot. It simply isn’t good enough and I may have to look at bringing players in”.

The coach’s exasperation at his defenders was clear to see, for this isn’t the first time sloppy defending has put games on the line. Clearly his patience is running out however.

Sam Ferretto fired Brook Street into the lead in the thirty-fourth minute, but the lead only lasted four minutes before Erlantz Ormaetxea levelled for the home side.

Muhammad Noorani struck in the forty-first minute to restore the advantage, but Ivano Ladu waltzed through the Brook Street central defence to slam in the equaliser right on half-time.

Goals from Sam Ferretto and Alex Clapperton looked to have sealed the deal, but back came the home side and Martín Murillo fired in a spot kick to make for a very uncomfortable last thirteen minutes.

Later, the Third Round Draw paired Brook Street with The Fighting Irish Celts, the tie taking place at Celts’ 80,000 capacity ‘Wish You Were Here’ ground.

“This is a huge game”, enthused Leoš afterwards. “This is the first time we’ve faced a side that has won the Scottish Cup, and although they are rebuilding their side at the moment, we’re going to face our toughest game for many seasons”.

Muhammad Noorani rises unchallenged to net our decisive third goal in this afternoon's match

Muhammad Noorani rises unchallenged to net our decisive third goal in this afternoon’s match

Brook Street survived a second half fightback to secure a fine 3-2 opening day victory over Padawan United at New Home Park this afternoon.

The home side had raced to a two-goal lead through Leoš Loos and Lope Cabrio, before United squandered the chance to pull a goal back when Finley Pond blasted the ball over the bar from the penalty spot, much to the delight of the North Bank.

Muhammad Noorani made it 3-0 with a decisive third goal eight minutes into the second half, but the New Home Park side were made to sweat for the last twenty-two minutes after Steve Jeans pulled back two goals.

They held firm though to secure an important three points, as Leoš Loos noted at the post-match press conference.

“We’ve probably played better in other games and lost”, he said, “but we rode our luck today and got a good win”.

He continued, “We switched off after we scored the third goal, and we almost paid the price for it. We’ll have to sharpen up otherwise other sides will pick us off”.

“However”, he added, “the result was more important than the performance, and at the end of the day, we secured the three points which is all that matters”.

“On another day, we could have thrown away a three-goal lead which would have been unforgivable, so perhaps we’ll have to be a little less cavalier in our approach from now on”.

Elsewhere, there were opening day wins for The Harriers, Caerlaverock Knights and Hibernian MFC.

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