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Despair for Alex Clapperton as he pulls his shot wide late in the second half.

Despair for Alex Clapperton as he pulls his shot wide late in the second half.

“If I live to be a hundred years old, I will never know how we lost that game”, was Eike Alanne’s assessment of Brook Street’s 1-0 defeat away to Swiss Ranger, where Louis Crook’s sixty-second strike brought to an end Brook Street’s long unbeaten run.

“We had chances to win it and didn’t take them; they had one shot on target and that’s all it took. Man for man, we’re better than them yet it’s us going home empty-handed. Football can be a cruel sport”.

“What is again disappointing is the fact we lost another very soft goal from a set piece”, he continued. “We totally gifted them it by switching off again.”

The defeat saw Brook Street slip to fourth place, being leapfrogged by MacAuleys Saints and Swiss Ranger.

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Richard Gabriel's wonder strike turns the game on its head as Brook Street take the lead.

Richard Gabriel’s wonder strike turns the game on its head as Brook Street take the lead.

Having given Bandits Utd a two-goal start, Brook Street stormed back to win this morning’s Diddy Cup tie at The Bloated Dome to progress to the Fifth Round where they will face Celtic Garfin.

While he was less than impressed by manner in which the two goals were conceded, Eike Alanne praised the attitude and desire to win shown by his players to come back and win the match so comfortably.

“We were very slack for the opening goal, and to concede it from a set-piece isn’t good at all. Then, having seen that Maragnano was clearly going to be the target man, we switched off as the ball came across and he got his second. We’ve got to concentrate far better and either mark the target man closer, or even better, stop the cross coming in at all”.

“That said”, he continued “we showed real character to come back but as soon as Liam [Christie] got our first goal we finally got to grips with the game and there was no looking back. I think that once Bandits scored their second goal, they ceased to be an attacking force. That says everything about the attitude of my players and the way they controlled the game”.

Sam Ferretto tied the game with a typical poachers strike after the ball rebounded from the crossbar in the thirty-fifth minute and Richard Gabriel fired Brook Street into the lead just two minutes later.

Further goals from Lewis Espley, Adam Humphrey and Phil Mullally in the second half rounded of a memorable fightback and ensured that it would be Brook Street Athletic who entered the lunchtime draw for the Fifth Round.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his second minute shot hits the net to open the scoring.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his second minute shot hits the net to open the scoring.

Brook Street stormed to a fourth successive league victory with a blistering display that saw BK Flowers wilt under the onslaught. To be fair, the 4-0 victory could have and possibly should have been more comprehensive, but for some excellent goalkeeping by Joe Tweeddell.

Brook Street dominated from first whistle to last, but barely got out of second gear as Eike acknowledged afterwards.

“We dominated the game all over the park and in some respects it was similar to a training match. Peppering their goal with shots probably didn’t help either as we eased off after a while, and by the end we were down to walking pace”.

He continued, “I must however pay tribute to their goalkeeper who pulled off two top class saves in the first half. Had either of those gone in, I think the scoreline could have ended up more representative of the way the game panned out”.

“However”, he added, “we’re playing good football and our plan seems to be coming together well, so I’m not going to be overly critical of the lads for easing up.

Andrew Cleary opened the scoring within the first 120 seconds of the game, and added a second before half an hour had elapsed. Alex Clapperton added the third thirteen minutes into the second half and Nicky Breaden knocked in his fourth league goal of the season to wrap up the scoring after sixty-nine minutes.

The win keeps Brook Street in second place, a point behind fc scourie.

Much to the disgust of coach Eike Alanne, Brook Street returned home from the Highlands this afternoon without having kicked a ball after FC Bardos couldn’t raise a team.

“We’ve wasted a lot of time getting here only for the home side to not show up”, fumed the Brook Street boss. “Not only that but we’ve lost a day’s training and the fans that have made the trip have wasted their money. This shouldn’t be allowed to happen nowadays”.

The club were quick to announce that they would be refunding the fans who made the trip, and that they would be subsidising travel to the match against Bandits Utd next Wednesday; moves that were hailed by the supporters clubs.

“The club didn’t need to do that, but the fact they did is greatly appreciated”, said a spokesman from the Supporters Federation.

Nicky Breaden curls an absolute peach of a shot into the postage stamp to begin the rout this afternoon.

Nicky Breaden curls an absolute peach of a shot into the postage stamp to begin the rout this afternoon.

It would appear that Dumfries and Galloway Rovers are destined for a swift return to Division V, and Brook Street certainly helped them on their way with an 9-0 humiliation on their own patch this afternoon.

Brook Street were quickest out of the traps, and with only three minutes on the clock Nicky Breaden blasted home the opening goal. Andrew Cleary added a second seven minutes later, and by the time half an hour was played Brook Street were already out of sight; further goals from Lewis Espley, Eike Alanne, and Sam Ferretto put Brook Street in complete control.

Second half goals from Andrew Cleary, Matt Cocker, Liam Christie and Eike Alanne merely served to illustrate Brook Street’s complete dominance and improve the New Home Park side’s goals for tally, to such an extent that at full-time they were in second place, just a point off fc scourie in top spot but with a greater goal difference.

However, Eike was quick to play this down at the post-match press conference.

“Promotion is not our aim this season; we’re nowhere near ready to go up, and if we did, we’d just come straight back down, so it would be pointless for us to do so”.

“We’re on a long-term building strategy, and that’s exactly where our aims and goals lie. Any talk of challenging for titles is very premature”, he added.

Turning to his side’s demolition of Rovers, the Brook Street gaffer said, “It’s always good to get high-scoring wins under our belt, but it’s of little use in anything other than boosting our morale. No disrespect meant, but bots are the whipping-boys and nothing more”.

Asked about his players’ performance he replied, “We scored goals and the younger players have gained more experience. Stamina levels are on the rise and everything is looking good. What more can I say other than today’s game is not the game to judge my team’s performance on; judge them against BK Flowers next week”.

Lewis Espley watches as his eighth minute shot hits the net to register his first senior goal and open the scoring.

Lewis Espley watches as his eighth minute shot hits the net to register his first senior goal and open the scoring.

Brook Street swept into the Third Round of the Diddy Cup this afternoon with an emphatic 9-0 rout of Sean Kingston XI in Fife. Lewis Espley opened the scoring in eight minutes with his first senior goal in only his second match, and further goals from Eike Alanne, Adam Humphrey, Fraser Carragher and Phil Mullally had the game won by the time half an hour had passed.

Sam Ferretto hit number six with fifty-two minutes gone and Phil Mullally fired in his second of the game in the sixty-ninth minute, and Fraser Carragher got his second from the penalty spot midway through the half. Alex Clapperton wrapped up the scoring in the seventy-seventh minute as Brook Street looked to save themselves for Saturday’s league game.

“We were in complete control from start to finish”, said a very pleased Eike Alanne afterwards, “and I don’t think we were ever under any pressure”.

“We played some good football, and took almost all our chances. I can’t ask for better than that.”

He continued, “I’m really pleased for Lewis [Espley] who got his first senior goal today. He took it exceptionally well under pressure, and to curl it into the postage stamp with the outside of his boot showed fantastic technique”.

“Young Adam Humphrey also hit his third goal of the season, and you can see the confidence in the younger players growing. All our hard work is paying dividends”.

Brook street’s reward was another away tie, this time away in the Highlands to Division V side, FC Bardos.

Richard Gabriel scores his first goal for the club he has supported since he was a boy.

Richard Gabriel scores his first goal for the club he has supported since he was a boy.

Eike Alanne picked a blend of youth and experience to face AFC Gooners 1886 at New Home Park this afternoon, and the move paid dividends as Brook Street romped to an excellent 9-0 win in front of a crowd of just under 35,000.

The win takes Brook Street up to fourth in the table, just three points off top spot, but the performance is more important than league position as far as Eike is concerned.

“We worked exceptionally hard, and playing the mix of older heads alongside the younger players certainly paid off”, he said.

“All our scorers took their goals very well, and it is particularly pleasing that they came from all areas of the pitch”, Eike added. “That takes the pressure off our strikers, although they hit four of the goals today between them. It’s always good to see different scorers, and I’m particularly pleased for Conor Meldrum and Richard Gabriel who both netted their first senior goals today”.

He continued, “This was a big, big team performance, and every single player out there this afternoon deserves the ovation that the fans gave them at full-time. It was a performance worthy of a big win, and 9-0 didn’t flatter us, I don’t think”.

“This was the kind of league game that we’ll be bringing the young players into”, he added.

“They’ll never be of use to us if they only gain experience from friendlies and cup games. These boys are good enough, and they’ll be given their chance”.

Sam Ferretto can't believe that Scott Backley has blocked his shot net-bound.

Sam Ferretto can’t believe that Scott Backley has blocked his shot.

Brook Street will have to settle for a place in the Diddy Cup after Urban Gorillas saw them off in Kirkcaldy this morning. Two first half strikes were enough to win the tie for the Fife side to see them progress to the next round of the Tartan Cup.

“We created enough chances out there today, but our failure to take them cost us our place in the Cup”, admitted Eike at the post-match press conference. “I also hold my hands up as being one of the culprits”, he added. “Our younger players have however gained invaluable experience, so we’ll take that from the game and move forward to a very winnable league match on Saturday”.

Brook Street will now face Sean Kingston XI next Wednesday in their first ever Diddy Cup tie.