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Andrew Cleary fires us back into the lead late in the first half. It was all to prove for nothing...

Andrew Cleary fires us back into the lead late in the first half. It was all to prove for nothing…

Brook Street succumbed to their fate this afternoon, but they went down fighting much to the credit of the players and coaching staff.

Although their task proved too great in the end, their efforts were rewarded by a standing ovation from the Brook Street fans at full-time amid highly emotional scenes.

In the end the result against Padawan had been rendered academic as Hibernian MFC had disposed of Smyllum Rovers, but it didn’t make the defeat in their final game any easier to take according to Leoš Loos.

“Relegation is gut-wrenching regardless of how it occurs, and this one is no different. As a coach I know the implications, not only for myself but also for the players”.

He continued, “Relegation means cost-cutting, and although this side would have probably started to be broken up regardless, the drop down means that this cutting of players is likely to be more extensive”.

He was however uncertain of his own position at this time.

“I can’t say if I will be in charge next season; that’s obviously a decision for the board to make, but regardless of who the coach is, the side is going to be vastly different”.

He continued, “I feel I must take the opportunity to apologise to the fans for our performances this season and also thank them for their unwavering and superb support. I cannot thank them enough”.

“I don’t know if this will be my final press conference, but if it is, I would also like to thank you all for your understanding and say, ‘Brook Street will be back’! Thank you ladies and gentlemen and a Happy New Year to you all”.

And with that he left the press conference.

An early indication of the upheavals facing Brook Street following Saturday’s defeat came this morning with the news that Eliseo Albeiros and Hachem Baddou along with Academy graduate Bailey Buchanan have all left the club.

Confirming the departures, Leoš Loos said, “This is merely the beginning. We have to cut costs, and as a result we have to look to reduce the wage bill”.

He continued, “We also need to reduce the age of the squad and open up spaces to continue the development of players from the Academy”.

Despite scoring four goals in ten competitive games for Brook Street, at 35-years Eliseo Albeiros was the prime candidate for ‘moving on’, and the Spanish winger this morning signed for Bulgarian Fifth League side Zeleniq starshel.

Also leaving are Hachem Baddou who hit two goals in eleven appearances and Bailey Buchanan who leaves straight from the Academy. Hachem has joined French Ligue VII side, The Stormborn, while Bailey remains closer to home, joining Scottish League Division IV side Feast of the Unicorn.

“We’re all sorry to see them leave, but we wish them all the very best of luck with their new sides”, concluded Leoš.

With a stunning volley, Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the St Kilda net to open the scoring.

With a stunning volley, Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the St Kilda net to open the scoring.

Although the gloom descending over New Home Park may take some time to lift following Saturday’s defeat, the reserves did their bit to lift the mood this morning with a 5-1 win over Division IV side FC St Kilda in Monifieth.

Matt Cocker opened the scoring with twelve minutes gone with a breathtaking volley before Liam Christie doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark with his first senior goal.

Sam Ferretto increased the lead to three with a fine solo effort in thirty-six minutes, and Alex Clapperton made it 4-0 three minutes later.

Antonio De Pretto reduced the lead with a well-taken goal for the visitors ten minutes into the second half, however this reprieve was short-lived and Matt Cocker powered in an unstoppable header a minute later to restore the four-goal advantage and make his personal tally two.

Matt could have got his hat-trick later in the half, but his shot hit the post and rebounded to safety.

“It was a very accomplished performance, and I don’t think anyone could deny that we deserved the win”, said Leoš Loos at full-time.

“We scored some breathtaking goals and our passing was first-rate”, he continued. “It’s been a difficult week, and we needed a lift. The players gave us exactly that this morning”.

An added bonus for the coach was that no players picked up any knocks, so he will have a full squad to pick from for Saturday’s make or break match at Padawan United.

Abel Soffia can't believe how the game has panned out at full-time.

Abel Soffia can’t believe how the game has panned out at full-time.

Two goals in sixty seconds have left Brook Street “staring into the abyss”, according to coach Leoš Loos. “Going into the game, we knew exactly what defeat would potentially mean, and that is what we now face”, he added.

When asked at the post-match press conference, what exactly the 3-1 defeat meant, Leoš replied, “I don’t need to tell you that it potentially means relegation. It means we need to win a very tricky tie at Padawan, while we have to rely on Smyllum Rovers FC doing what they haven’t managed to do this season, and win. I think we all know exactly what we are facing”.

If results go to form, it looks set to be a very miserable Christmas for Brook Street, with the likelihood of players leaving in the run-up to the new season, and the coach is under no illusion that his position is almost certainly under threat.

He said, “The bottom line is that the buck stops at my door. I pick the team, and if we do end up being relegated, my position is obviously on the line. Whether I stay or go is entirely up to the board. I want to stay, but that is their decision to make”.

Asked if Brook Street had ‘thrown in the towel’, Leoš countered saying, “Certainly not! We’re not down yet and we know we must win our final game. It’s as simple as that, and that has to be our sole objective. I don’t care if we ‘win ugly’ as long as we win. If we lose this one, regardless of the Hibs result, our stay in this division will be a brief one”.

Phil Mullally completes his first half hat-trick in our 7-2 win over HIFK this morning. He would hit his fourth goal after the break.

Phil Mullally completes his first half hat-trick in our 7-2 win over HIFK this morning. He would hit his fourth goal after the break.

The reserves romped to an impressive 7-2 win over Finnish side HIFK’ 13 at New Home Park this morning with Phil Mullally hitting four of the goals. Sam Ferretto got two goals and Matt Cocker the other as Brook Street threatened to run riot.

The visitors had opened the scoring on the half-hour mark through Roope Moronen, but Sam Ferretto levelled in the thirty-sixth minute. Within sixty seconds, the game was turned on its head when Phil Mullally hit the first of his four goals.

However, in an amazing final minute of the half and stoppage time the teams managed to score a further four goals between them to make it 5-2 at the break. Phil Mullally netted his second goal then Matt Cocker got his counter. Roope Moronen hit his second goal for the visitors to reduce the lead, however Phil struck right back to complete his hattrick.

The second half was understandably something of a let-down following the excitement of the first forty-five minutes, but still yielded two goals in the space of two minutes.

With seventy-six minutes on the clock Phil Mullally fired in his fourth goal of the game before Sam Ferretto wound things up with his second goal of the game.

“It was a very professional performance”, claimed Brook Street coach Leoš Loos afterwards. “It was a strange game too; I’ve never taken part in a game before where so many goals have been scored in such a short time”.

While happy at the performance, Leoš admitted, “The biggest winners were the fans who watched the match!”

Muhammad Noorani fires Brook Street back into the game, but a third Harriers goal two minutes later killed the tie.

Muhammad Noorani fires Brook Street back into the game, but a third Harriers goal two minutes later killed the tie.

Leoš Loos sees this afternoon’s 3-1 defeat by The Harriers as “a missed opportunity” to put some daylight between ourselves and fellow strugglers Hibernian MFC ahead of our clash at New Home Park next weekend.

“We had the chance to potentially increase the gap between us to five points this afternoon, but we blew it”, admitted the coach. “Now we must go into the game with Hibs knowing that anything less than a win will put us in a very dangerous position”.

Although Harriers opened the scoring from a twenty-seventh minute Rogério Pereira strike, they failed to take advantage of the numerous chances they created and with less than ten minutes to go, Brook Street were still in the game.

Then, six minutes from time, when there seemed to be no danger, Leopoldo Correia somehow managed to keep his feet when all around him were slipping and sliding, to roll the ball into the Brook Street net.

This was a huge blow, but the Brook Street players were not giving up, and straight from the restart, Andrew Cleary raced up the park before laying the ball off to Muhammad Noorani who shuffled the ball into the net.

Brook Street were right back in the game and pushing for the equaliser, but disaster was to follow less than two minutes later when that man Correia broke Brook Street’s hearts with his second of the game, tying up the points for the home side.

The defeat leaves Brook Street two points ahead of Hibernian MFC, and with them facing already relegated Smyllum Rovers FC at home on the final day of the season while we face a very tricky visit to Padawan United, anything short of a win next weekend will put our future in this Division, and quite probably the coach’s employment, in serious jeopardy.

“Every one of us knows exactly how important next Saturday’s game is”, said Leoš. “A draw puts us in a difficult position; the consequences of defeat are unthinkable”.

Lachlan MacKinnon blasts home his first senior goal following a mix-up in the visitors' defence.

Lachlan MacKinnon blasts home his first senior goal following a mix-up in the visitors’ defence.

Brook Street’s reserves fought back from being behind twice to defeat Brazilian visitors Bambala F.C 3-2 this morning to record their first win of the season.

Bohumil Winnen stunned the home side with the opener after only two minutes, but with his first ever senior goal, Lachlan MacKinnon levelled in the twenty-third minute.

Bambala hit the front again five minutes from the break through Joãozinho Kühl, but Brook Street struck right back, Matt Cocker being the man on target.

Fraser Carragher rattled the frame of the goal with a peach of a free-kick after sixty-eight minutes, but Brook Street were right on target five minutes later when from a cross from the right wing, Sam Ferretto thundered what was to prove the decisive volley home.

“It was good to record a win”, admitted Leoš Loos who added, “as we’ve been on the wrong end of some heavy defeats in this season’s friendly programme”.

“We rode our luck at times and had Jim Barnstaple not been on his game today, we could have easily lost”. He continued, “That said, we’ve hit the woodwork twice, so I guess it all levels itself out”.

Leoš Loos calmly slots the ball into the visitors net to tie the game at 3-3.

Leoš Loos calmly slots the ball into the visitors net to tie the game at 3-3.

Despite a fightback from 1-3 down which showed great character, two goals for the home side in quick succession midway through the second half saw Nessie FC return home with the points.

“That was a real kick in the teeth for us”, said the scorer of the game-tying goal, coach Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference.

“We had them on the back foot, and I believe had it been us who got the fourth goal, we would have gone on to win the match. Instead, we’re left wondering ‘what could have been’, which is of course hugely disappointing”. He continued, “I’m at a loss as to what we have to do to win games in this league. We’ve had absolutely no rub of the green this season!”

“We’d lost two quick goals in the first half and had done very well to get back on level terms”, he added, “but by the time they hit the two in the second half, we had put everything into getting back on level terms that we didn’t have anything left in the tank”.

Fortunately, the defeat did not affect Brook Street’s league position with Hibernian MFC losing to league leaders Caerlaverock Knights.

Sam Ferretto fires in the second of his two goals. However, by then the game was already lost.

Sam Ferretto fires in the second of his two goals. However, by then the game was already lost.

The reserves suffered their second heavy defeat in a row this morning, crashing to a 7-2 drubbing from German Liga V side Datteln Lions.

Ironically, it was the home side who had opened the scoring through Sam Ferretto with just under half an hour played, however by half time they were already 3-1 down.

Lions increased their lead from the penalty spot in the fifty-sixth minute and although Sam fired his and Brook Street’s second straight from the kick-off, Lions countered with a further three goals in the subsequent quarter of an hour to wrap up a comprehensive win.

“We just weren’t able to compete against a very well organised side”, admitted Leoš Loos at full-time. “We have no complaints”, he added. “It’s a miserable day, and our performance matched it”.

He continued, “We had some inexperienced players in today so it would be totally unfair to criticise them, however both they, and I, need the senior players alongside them to step up a gear and that simply didn’t happen in some cases. That has to change”.

Mohammud Noorani's powerful header flies into the net to complete our 4-0 win.

Muhammud Noorani’s powerful header flies into the net to complete our 4-0 win.

Brook Street fired themselves out of the relegation zone and right back into contention for a play-off place with an excellent 4-0 win over Smyllum Rovers at New Home Park this afternoon.

“It was a priceless win for us as we’ve put a two-point gap between ourselves and Hibernian MFC”, admitted Leoš Loos in the post-match press conference. “These are the kind of games we have to win, and we’ve done exactly that to give ourselves a fighting chance of survival”, he continued.

“We dominated possession and were clinical in our finishing”, added the coach. “We played really well and got the win our play merited”.

“Muhammud took both his goals very well and the build-up play to Eliseo and Manny’s goals was exceptional. We deserved our victory and I don’t think anyone would dispute that”.

Muhammad Noorani opened the scoring after twenty minutes and goals from Eliseo Albeiros and Emanuel Bohucký within the following ten minutes killed any thoughts of a fightback from the visitors before half-time.

It took until two minutes from time for Brook Street to add a fourth goal courtesy of Muhammad Noorani, but in all honesty the game was won by half-time.

“We showed a determined side to our play that paid dividends, in not only a convincing win but also our first clean sheet of the season”, the coach commented.

“We’ve played ourselves out of the automatic relegation zone; it’s up to us to build on that now”, he concluded.

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