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Sam Ferretto hits the ball low and hard into the chain of beer net to open the scoring.

Sam Ferretto hits the ball low and hard into the chain of beer net to open the scoring.

Brook Street’s record breaking run in this season’s Saltire Cup came to an end at The Bloated Dome this afternoon when they were defeated 2-5 by chain of beer.
The New Home Park side had twice taken the lead; Sam Ferretto had finished off a fine through ball from Andrew Cleary to open the scoring in the eighteenth minute, and although chain had equalised six minutes later, Andrew restored the advantage in thirty-six minutes.
The ‘visitors’ struck back instantly though, and hit the net a further two times in the remaining nine minutes to take a decisive lead into the break.
Brook Street were a spent force though and with the writing on the wall, chain scored a fifth goal with less than a quarter of an hour to go.
“We simply ran out of steam”, said Leoš afterwards. “We’d started well, but the three goals in quick succession did for us”.

“It’s been a great run in the competition, and one we can be proud of”, said the coach. “Now however it’s back to the bread and butter of the league and our quest for survival. That after all is our prime objective”.

He also confirmed that the reserves would be fielded in the remaining friendly matches of the season.

Zsolt Baboss in goalscoring action for Brook Street in November last year.

Zsolt Baboss in goalscoring action for Brook Street in November last year.

Zsolt Baboss today completed his move away from New Home Park in a deal with Swedish Division V side Saltsjöbadens AIK worth a reported £490,000.

In his ten seasons at the club, Zsolt played in one hundred and thirty-four competitive matches, netting on seventeen occasions.

While the working relationship between coach and player had clearly broken down, Zsolt remained popular with the fans, and they along with his former colleagues will without doubt wish him well with his new club.

Garabed Palasyan watches on as his shot roars into the net to put us 4-3 up.

Garabed Palasyan watches on as his shot roars into the net to put us 4-3 up.

Brook Street and Printers Juniors fought out a hugely entertaining 4-4 draw at New Home Park this afternoon, but the hard fought point wasn’t enough to prevent the home side from slipping into the relegation zone thanks to Nessie FC’s 3-0 win.

“It’s a real slap in the face for the players”, admitted Leoš Loos afterwards adding, “We gave it 100% this afternoon and won ourselves a valuable point, yet thanks to results elsewhere we find we’re in one of the relegation spots. This just shows how tough the league is and how tight the margins are”.

Brook Street had made a very good start and were pressing their opponents at every opportunity. This paid dividends and in the eighteenth minute it was the coach who opened the scoring with a deft flick at the front post.

Although Ciro Brettanico levelled for the visitors five minutes before the break, Leoš struck a peach two minutes later to restore Brook Street’s lead. This advantage didn’t last long though, and within the space of sixty seconds it was 2-2, Tiziano Schwander being marked down as the scorer.

Things were to get worse a minute later when Guglielmo Banelli put the visitors in front for the first time, but any fears were quickly allayed in first half stoppage time when Abel Soffia, back from injury, fired in the equaliser.

The second half remained a stalemate until twelve minutes from time when Garabed Palasyan gave Brook Street what looked to be a decisive lead, but not to be outdone Printers stormed back to net the equaliser and secure a share of the points through Iain Whitehurst.

A minute later, Brook Street were reduced to ten men as Muhannad Noorani was ordered off for a second yellow card, but the Monifieth side saw out the remaining nine minutes to secure a valuable point.

It was hard to bear for Brook Street, but a draw was probably the correct result as Leoš Loos later admitted.

“It would perhaps have been hard luck for either side to take nothing from the game given how close it was, so a share of the spoils was probably a fair result”.

He continued, “We now need to ensure we take as many points between now and the end of the season to ensure our place in the league”.

Muhammad Noorani fires home to open the scoring and send Brook Street on their way to the Quarter-Finals.

Muhammad Noorani fires home to open the scoring and send Brook Street on their way to the Quarter-Finals.

While Brook Street’s league form continues to give cause for concern, the same most definitely can’t be said for their for in this season’s Saltire Cup where today’s 2-0 win over FC Vålax took the Monifieth side into the Quarter-Finals of a national Cup competition for the first time.

Naturally, and in stark contrast to Saturday, it was a jubilant Leoš Loos who attended the post-match press conference.

When asked about the history-making performance, he said, “From their previous performances, we suspected they would try to ‘park the bus’, so it was up to us to break them down”.

“It was a blow to lose Abel [Soffia], but Alex Clapperton came on and with almost his first touch swung in the beauty of a cross that Muhammad [Noorani] powered into the net to open the scoring. We pressed the game and got the all important second goal before half-time, and from then on the game was over”.

Asked about the extent of the injury to Abel Soffia he replied, “It looks like he might be out for about a week, so that probably rules him out of the league game at the weekend. However, we’re hopeful that’s just the worst-case scenario, but I’m confident Alex [Clapperton] will do a good job”.

And of his side’s chances in the Quarter-Finals?

“At this stage in the competition, there are no ‘easy’ games; it’s all about tactics and who gets them right on the day”, Leoš replied.

“It’s a knockout competition though, so anything is possible”, he concluded.

baboss-redIt was probably the briefest press conference in the history of Brook Street Athletic Football Club, but no-one could be in any doubt as to the fury of coach Leoš Loos following his side’s 6-1 drubbing by Printers Juniors this afternoon.

“We’re never going to get out of the mire if players push the self-destruct button and leave us short-handed when we’ve just gone a goal down”, he raged.

Speaking of Zsolt Baboss, he said, “That player will not be playing for this club again. I need all hands to the pump, and if he’s more interested in a personal vendetta, then he’s absolutely no use to me, or this club, and having spoken to them, the board of directors are fully behind me on this”.

“I’ve told him in no uncertain terms that his conduct was totally unacceptable. I’ve told him to clear his locker and stay away from the training ground. As soon as his red card is spent, he will be transfer-listed. He has no future at our club”.

And with that, he was gone. We asked Zsolt Baboss for his opinion, but this was met with a terse “No comment”.

So, it would appear that the Hungarian full-back will be leaving after one hundred and thirty-four competitive mtches and seventeen goals.

Abel Soffia fires us into the lead for the first time and on our way to creating history.

Abel Soffia fires us into the lead for the first time and on our way to creating history.

Last season, Team Europe at Gleneagles comfortably saw off Brook Street in the Third Round of the Saltire Cup, running out 4-0 winners. However it was a different story this morning as it was the New Home Park side who had the last laugh in the Fourth Round, winning 3-2.

Ironically, it was the away team who netted first through Mauro Bogo in the twenty-sixth minute; a lead they held until three minutes into the second half when Andrew Cleary dispatched Garabed Palasyan’s cross.

Play raged from end to end, but no one could make the breakthrough, that is until a two minute spell with twenty minutes to go when first Abel Soffia blasted in a half-volley to take the lead, and two minutes later Muhammad Noorani bundled the ball over the line to make it 3-1.

Mauro Bogo netted his second of the game with thirteen minutes to go which made for a nervous closing period, but Brook Street held on to gain some revenge for last season, and create a small piece of history by becoming the first Brook Street side to reach the last sixteen of a national competition.

“We only played well in spells”, admitted Brook Street coach Leoš Loos, “but the result was more important that the performance”.

“Gleneagles are a good side and they’re doing well in their league, so our victory shouldn’t be underestimated”, he added.

Brook Street’s reward or the win is a Fifth Round tie against Division IV side FC Vålax.

“We’ve got a rough idea how they’ll line up, so without giving anything away we’ll look to counter that”, said Leoš.

Andrew Cleary tries in vain to find a way through the Knights defence.

Andrew Cleary tries in vain to find a way through the Knights defence.

After Wednesday’s heroics in the Saltire Cup, it was back to earth with a bump this afternoon as league leaders Caerlaverock Knights ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at New Home Park.

There was to be no fireworks from the home side as the Brook Street challenge fizzled out like a damp squib.

“We never put them under any sort of pressure which is particularly disappointing”, fumed Brook Street coach Leoš Loos. “That said, they are easily the best side we have faced so far, but that doesn’t lessen the disappointment I am feeling about our performance”.

“We never put them under any pressure whatsoever; they were first to everything and they showed an urgency and desire to win that we simply didn’t have”.

He added, “That doesn’t help us in our quest for survival in this league though, and a wrong result could put us in a difficult position. It’s far too tight at the bottom of the league for my liking and I want us to put more points between us and the relegation zone”.

“We’re only a point off of second bottom. That’s far too close for comfort”, he concluded.

Brook Street were two goals down within the first twenty minutes or so, but a late collapse saw the Knights net twice in the last quarter of an hour to give the scoreline a more accurate impression of the dominance of the visitors.

Floating on air... Hachem Baddou defies gravity to power home our second goal.

Floating on air… Hachem Baddou defies gravity to power home our second goal.

Prior to today’s victory over Quinta Brigada T.C., Brook Street’s best ever run in the Saltire Cup came last season when they went out in the third round to Team Europe at Gleneagles. In a bizarre twist of fate, that’s exactly who the New Home Park side will face in the Fourth Round of this season’s competition next Wednesday.

“It’s a great draw for us”, said Brook Street coach Leoš Loos on hearing the news. “We made some tactical errors last season which cost us dearly. It’s good to get another crack at them so soon”.

He continued, “They look like they’re on a good run, so we’ll have to be on our game. We’ve played reasonably well in the competition so far, but now we’re getting ever closer to the sharp end and it’s further than we’ve ever got before. We’re obviously got to up our game now if we’re to progress further”.

While acknowledging that it was a great run, he added, “It will all count for nothing if we don’t show up next Wednesday”.

Turning back to today’s win he said, “To be honest, we’re lucky to have gone through and have Zeke to thank for it. His point-blank save was world class”.

“We surrendered far too much possession, and put ourselves under pressure needlessly”, he added. We must eliminate that from our game”.

However, he was more than happy to praise his players’ performances at the other end of the park.

“As soon as the ball broke to Andrew [Cleary] there was only every going to be one outcome, and for our second, Hachem [Baddou] has that strange ability to hang in the air which is hopefully going to produce a lot of goals for him.

It wasn’t all good news though and the coach admitted that Emanuel Bohucký is facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

“He took a bad one, and on top of Eliseo Alberios’s, it’s the last thing we needed to be honest. We’ll dust ourselves ourselves down and see where we’re at for the next game.

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