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Andrew Cleary fires home the only goal of the game in this afternoon's match.

Andrew Cleary fires home the only goal of the game in this afternoon’s match.

An Andrew Cleary strike eleven minutes from time was all that separated the sides, but it proved to be enough to give Brook Street their first three points of the season. The visitors had the bulk of possession, but they found it difficult to break down a stuffy home side playing 4-5-1 and hitting on the break.

Indeed, it was to the home side that the two best chances fell; Imran Ammad’s twenty-third minute shot glanced off the top of the bar, and Ezequiel Alexandrino pulled off a superb stop to deny Ally Brown in the second half with the scores still tied.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Brook Street as Alex Clapperton picked up a foot injury which will see him out of action for around a week.

Eike Alanne was understandably delighted at the result, but admitted to being a little concerned as the clock ticked down.

“It’s a great way to bounce back after Wednesday’s disappointment. We were struggling to create any clear-cut chances and they were very fast to counter-attack when a move broke down. There was no question of changing our game plan though as we couldn’t go all-out attack. That would have left us open at the back, and although it looked like we were going to drop two points at the time, that would be better than all three. We persevered, and got our reward when Andrew created the chance out of nothing. He doesn’t miss those!”

Asked what the extent of Alex Clapperton’s injury is he replied, “Yes, he’s taken a knock to his right foot and it’s badly swollen. Nothing is broken as far as we can tell and we’ve got ice packs on it, so we’ll reassess it tomorrow once the swelling has gone down a bit. It’s safe to say he won’t be pulling his boots on this week”.

The coach was then asked how he rated Conor Meldrum’s performance to which he replied, “Conor did very well coming on. He’d played all of Wednesday’s Cup game, so he was understandably a bit fatigued towards the end. He put in a very good shift though when he wasn’t expecting to come on”.

He concluded by saying, “It was a great team performance though, and we’re off the mark. Now we can start building our points total”.

Nicky Breaden slides the ball home to tie the game at 3-3 and take it into extra-time.

Nicky Breaden slides the ball home to tie the game at 3-3 and take it into extra-time.

Brook Street this morning bowed out of the Scottish Cup after a 4-3 extra-time defeat at fellow Division IV side, NDW FC. However, far from being disappointed, Eike claimed that there were far more positives to take from the game than negatives.

“OK, we lost and we’re out of the Scottish Cup, but the players showed a terrific workrate, and but for the width of the crossbar we could have actually gone through in regulation time”.

He continued, “We showed real character and fight to get the score back to 3-3 after being 2-0 down early on, when it was looking like we could be facing a real hammering. Let’s also not forget that our side included four 17 year-olds and two were 18. That’s probably the youngest side ever fielded by the club, and I think they did very well”.

“We also had Conor Meldrum making his debut after signing late last night, so all in all I am very satisfied with our performance despite the final outcome”, he said.

NDW were fast out of the traps and within seventeen minutes found themselves two-up through an Asad Salman. Sam Ferretto slammed the ball home to get Brook Street back in the tie with twenty minutes played. Richard Gabriel had the chance to level the scores midway through the half but rushed his shot and rattled the woodwork instead of the rigging.

Despite all Brook Street’s good work, it was the home side who scored the next goal, Graeme Toney firing home after a fine solo run eleven minutes into the second half.

Sam Ferretto was left kicking himself after fluffing his lines with a quarter of an hour to go, but Brook Street finally got the goal their hard work deserved eleven minutes from time when Krsto Grubić lobbed the home keeper from the edge of the box.

Brook Street were in the ascendancy now, and after a chance for Lachlan MacKinnon had been cleared, the home side finally succumbed to the incessant pressure four minutes from time when Nicky Breaden hammered home the equaliser.

After such a spirited fightback, it was a huge blow to the Brook Street players that after only two minutes of extra-time, Graeme Toney hit his second goal of the game to make it 4-3 to the home team.

Sam Ferretto thought he had levelled the scoring a minute into the second period of extra-time, but a defender popped-up on the line to clear to safety. That was to be the last of the goalmouth action as fatigue played it’s part in the match petering out into a dour midfield slog.

So despite a very good effort, it’s the Tartan Cup for Brook Street next week, and a trip over to Fife to face Urban Gorillas.

It’s been a busy morning in the transfer market for Brook Street and has seen wingers Conor Meldrum and Lewis Espley signed.

First to arrive was 17 year-old Conor who moved to New Home Park from Portuguese side Deimão FC just after midnight in a deal worth around £122,000. Then, while his new side were facing NDW FC, 18 year-old Lewis headed east from Strathclyde side, ZelectronicA and signed on for £50,000.

“I’m delighted to get both lads onboard”, said Eike. “We were short of cover on the wings, so to plug that gap so quickly was excellent”.

He continued, “I think we’ve got two excellent players, and now it’s up to us to move them to the next level and beyond”.

Sam Ferretto rises high to power in the opening goal, but lapses would cost Brook Street dear.

Sam Ferretto rises high to power in the opening goal, but lapses would cost Brook Street dear.

Momentary lapses in concentration cost Brook Street dear in the league opener against MacAulays Saints at New Home Park this afternoon. Despite taking an early lead through Sam Ferretto, Brook Street spent most of the remaining eighty-five minutes chasing the game.

“We were out-thought and out-fought which is hugely disappointing”, admitted Eike at full-time. “We switched-off in the second half and were punished for it”, he added. “We simply can’t do that and expect to get anything from games”.

He continued, “Although we got a goal back late on, we didn’t have enough in the tank to push for the equaliser; we’d simply given ourselves too much to do”.

“I guess we’re still getting used to the new system, and that will take time. We aren’t going to be world-beaters overnight, but as long as we learn from our mistakes and don’t repeat them, then I will be satisfied”.

17 year-old wing-back Finlay Morton became the latest addition to the ranks at New Home Park this evening, signing from Division II side Wild Goose in an £82,000 deal.

“Finlay will give us a number of options, so we wanted to make sure we got him on board”, said Eike making the announcement. “He can play on the wing, wing-back or in central defence, so he covers a few bases for us which is a huge bonus”.

He continued, “The squad is taking shape now, so I think we’re maybe looking for one or two more signings in the short term. From then on, I think we have the foundations in place to build a really strong side”.

Finlay will join up with his new team mates tomorrow, ahead of Saturday’s league opener against MacAuley Saints at New Home Park.

Adam Humphrey creates a piece of history, scoring his first senior goal to make the score 3-0

Adam Humphrey creates a piece of history, scoring his first senior goal to make the score 3-0

Brook Street stormed into the Scottish Cup second round this afternoon with an emphatic 8-0 demolition of Mauchline United. Eike Alanne’s side lined up 3-5-2 with recent signings Richard Gabriel and Adam Humphrey both in the starting line-up.

Brook Street quickly set about their business and within eight minutes were 1-0 up, Nicky Breaden thundering the ball into the United net. When Sam Ferretto was up-ended just inside the box with twenty minutes on the clock, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot. Fraser Carragher stepped up and calmly rolled the ball home, sending the home keeper the wrong way.

Five minutes later and it was 3-0. Some fine movement down the left wing saw the ball cut back to debutante Adam Humphrey and the teenager drilled the ball home like a veteran to net his senior goal.

Then, just three minutes later, Brook Street were awarded their second penalty of the game. Fraser Carragher stepped up and slammed an unstoppable penalty into the top left corner, once again sending the keeper the wrong way.

Brook Street had the match won by then, but added a fifth goal eleven minutes before the break. Alex Clapperton was announced as the scorer as the home fans headed en masse for the exits.

Despite the match being won, Brook Street pressed forward in the second half and made it 6-0 on the hour mark when Nicky Breaden capitalised on a slip-up in the home defence to slide the ball home.

Within the next six minutes, Brook Street ran riot and netted a further two goals. With sixty-four minutes played, Sam Ferretto latched onto a magnificent through ball and lashed it into the net, then two minutes later Krsto Grubić made it 8-0, after a well-rehearsed set piece move left him with the easiest of tap-ins.

The players were obviously told to ‘take it easy’ from then on in as the tempo visibly dropped, to save their energy for Saturday’s league opener.

“The game was won, so there was no point in doing anything stupid”, said Eike at the post-match press conference. “Picking up an injury which could have put a player out of Saturday’s match would have been totally pointless and potentially costly, so with the game won we told them to slow down”.

Asked how he felt about the performance, he replied, “I think we were very professional in the way we approached the match. We got the win, and we did so playing attractive football. I can’t ask for more”.

“We had a young side out there today, and two players making their debuts. We still won convincingly and as far as I’m concerned, I’m delighted with the performance of all the players. Ok, there will be days when we don’t play this well, but that’s only to be expected”.

Asked specifically about the debuts for Richard and Adam he replied, “Both had very good games. Richard didn’t have a lot to do, but when called into action he dealt easily with everything that came his way. Adam took his goal really well and although he tired later on, he acquitted himself very well too. Once he grows a bit and fills out, you can see he’s going to be a handful for defenders”.

Brook Street’s reward for the win is another away game, this time to face NDW FC in the Highlands.

Brook Street made another raid on the transfer market last night, picking up 17 year-old wing-back Richard Gabriel from Division III side Bayer Owndrink for a fee of £68,000.

Making the announcement and introducing Richard to the assembled press, Eike said, “For Richard, it’s really a case of ‘coming home’ as his family are from Monifieth. He may have come here by a round about route, but we’re delighted to have him here”.

Speaking of his move ‘home’, Richard said, “I found out about Brook Street’s interest on Sunday night, so it’s been a whirlwind couple of days. Coming here was a no-brainer for me. My dad used to take me and my brother to games when we were younger, and my brother is still a season ticket holder. This move is a dream come true”.

He continued, “I can’t think of anywhere better to hopefully progress my career. The gaffer has told me what the club are trying to achieve, and it’s going to be an exciting time for everyone involved with the club. There was no way I was going to miss out on that”.

Asked if he was sorry to leave Bayer Owndrink, he replied, “Sure. Bayer were a fantastic club to be involved with, and I’ve made a lot of friends there, but they’ve got a lot of players and you have to be really special to get a chance. It was clear, even in the academy that for me this wasn’t going to be the case, so to be given that chance with the club I’ve supported since I was a boy was too good to pass over”.

On the signing, Eike said, “It’s always so much better when you sign players who have an affinity for the club; the club sells itself. Richard is a really good prospect and it’s up to us to see he fulfils his potential. Bayer’s loss is our gain as far as I’m concerned”.

Eike confirmed that Richard would go straight into the squad to face Mauchline United tomorrow, and also said that he was hopeful that another player would be joining up at New Home Park within the next day or two, but declined to elaborate.

“Well just have to wait and see what transpires”.

Brook Street today made the first signing of the Eike Alanne era, picking up highly rated seventeen year-old forward Adam Humphrey from Division II side Lindrum in a deal worth around £200,000.

“Adam is exactly the kind of player we’re looking for. He’s good in the air, got a great touch and knows the way to goal”, said Eike.

He continued, “He’s still really raw with lots of rough edges, but he’s a real prospect and one we can mould into a great striker”.

“Adam is the first of a number of players that I hope to bring in, and we’re hopeful of bringing in at least one more player before the Cup tie on Wednesday”.

Keeper Jim Barnstaple makes a scoring outfield debut in this morning's friendly match.

Keeper Jim Barnstaple makes a scoring outfield debut in this morning’s friendly match.

A short-handed Brook Street side, with a number of players playing out of position, this morning defeated Italian Serie V side MARECHIARHO 3-2 at New Home Park in the final warm-up before the new season starts.

Brook Street kicked-off with only ten players on the field and with Fraser Carragher in midfield, Alex Clapperton partnering Andrew Cleary up front, plus Matt Cocker and keeper Jim Barnstaple on the wings. And it was Jim Barnstaple who grabbed the headlines by opening the scoring.

“The look on Jim’s face when the ball hit the net will live with me until the day I die”, laughed Eike afterwards. “I think he was as gob-smacked as everyone else in the stadium when the ball hit the net! I don’t know if he wanted to apologise to the MARECHIARHO keeper or what!”

Phil Mullally doubled the lead in the twenty-second minute and with that, Brook Street seemed content to knock the ball about. This almost proved to be costly in the last few minutes of the half when Ezequiel Alexandrino had to make a fantastic fingertip save and a block in quick succession in order to preserve Brook Street’s two-goal advantage.

The visitors pressed in the second half looking to capitalise on any enforced errors as they looked to get back into the game, and their efforts paid dividends in the sixty-ninth minute when Salvatore Facheris pounced to make the score 2-1.

However, any hope of pushing for an equaliser were quickly dashed as Andrew Cleary restored Brook Street’s two-goal advantage straight from the re-start.

Back came the visitors, and only a breathtaking stop from Ezequiel Alexandrino prevented them from reducing the lead again with seventy-three minutes gone. But he was powerless to prevent Ettore Nasuti scoring the Italian side’s second goal with ten minutes to go.

Brook Street had their backs to the wall for those final ten minutes, however they held firm to record the win and completed their pre-season build up unbeaten.

“I was pleased with the workout my players received today. They had to scrap for everything”, said Eike when he spoke afterwards.

“We did manage to score three good goals, but we were slack with our defending and paid the price for that twice”, he continued. “If we do that in a competitive match we’ll be punished, so we’ve got to work on that to eliminate the silly mistakes”.

“That said”, he added, “we’ve had three good wins in our close-season programme, so I think we’re probably in good enough shape for the forthcoming league campaign”.

However, he concluded by saying, “We’re not aiming to win the league this season. That is not part of the plan, as I think we need at least two or three seasons, maybe even four, to get everything in place”.

“I’m not saying it will necessarily take that long, but everyone is going to have to be patient”.

Muhammad Noorani in goalscoring action for Brook Street last season

Muhammad Noorani in goalscoring action for Brook Street last season.

Hot on the heels of Emanuel Bohucký, Brook Street tonight parted company with striker Muhammad Noorani, who leaves to join Panthers F.Ccc in the Peruvian Segunda División, a move that is likely to split opinion amongst the New Home Park support.

“Muhammad was popular amongst the fans”, said Eike, “but as a high wage and our most saleable ‘foreign’ asset it made sense to move him on”.

He continued, “Muhammad is a really ambitious lad and this is a truly fantastic move for him. Although, it may not be a fashionable league, he’s going to be playing at a level he might realistically never have reached here, and I think I can speak for everyone at the club when I wish him the very best of luck with his new club”.

Turning to the funds raised by Muhammad’s sale, Eike confirmed that he would be given the money raised, saying, “His sale has earned the club over £2 million, and I’ve already been assured that all of the money raised from this and all the other transfers will be made available for building the team. We’ll do our research thoroughly and spend the money wisely though to bring in good young Scottish talent”, he added.

He did however confirm that Muhammad would be the last player that would be leaving the club, certainly in the short term.

“We’re down to the bare bones now, and I feel it is now time to start bringing players in, rather than selling anyone”, he said. “We’ve started scouring the transfer markets to see who we would like to bring to the club, but as I’ve indicated previously, we’re looking to youth rather than ‘marquee’ signings. We’ll take our time and get the right players”, he concluded.

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