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Oleg Zhigalov opens the scoring to send us on our way to the Fifth Round of the Cup the last time the two sides met.

Brook Street comfortably saw off Italian visitors Livorno Calcio 4Mori at New Home Park this morning, with Fraser Carragher netting a hat-trick, but winger Liam Christie faces an anxious wait to see if he will be fit enough for inclusion in the squad to play Kobis in the Division III qualifier at the weekend.

“Liam twisted his ankle quite badly, so in all honesty he’s probably doubtful for Saturday already”, admitted Eike Alanne after the final whistle.

“It’s just one of those things”, he added. “The doc doesn’t think it’s broken, but we’ve sent him off for an x-ray just to be sure. Either way, it looks as if he’ll miss out”.

Saturday’s qualifier will be the second time the sides have faced each other, the first being a Scottish Cup Fifth Round tie twelve seasons ago. A repeat of the scoreline that day, a 2-0 away win thanks to goals from Oleg Zhigalov and Onésimo Murube, would certainly be most welcome.

“That was a long time ago and the teams that walk out on Saturday will be totally different to those that played in the Cup game. That said however, I’ve discovered that Attila Gyöngyösi came on as a second-half substitute and Ezequiel Alexandrino watched the match from the bench! They’ve both come a long way since then”.

The coach however played down his side’s chances saying, “They’re a very good side. We’ll give it a real good shot, but we’re travelling more in hope than expectation”.

He continued, “Our main aim for the game is to gauge just how far we’ve come this season, and to get an idea of how far we’ve got to go to match a Division III side. We know we’re building a potentially very good side, but we’ll be able to see how that pans out in a competitive match”.

Bringing the interview to a close he said, “The players are all very excited, and they’re taking great confidence from the team spirit we have here. We’ll give a good account of ourselves, everyone can be assured of that”.

Muhammad Noorani fires us into the lead two minutes before the break.

Muhammad Noorani fires us into the lead two minutes before the break.

Despite conceding an early goal, Brook Street’s reserves ran out comfortable 6-1 winners over Argentine visitors Los Romanes For Ever this morning, although, as Leoš Loos admitted afterwards, the scoreline flattered his charges.

“We hit two goals within a minute late in the first half and three in the final three minutes of the game, but without those the scoreline could have looked significantly closer”. He continued, “Don’t get me wrong, we played some good football and scored good goals, but there was never five goals between the teams”.

“Garabed [Palasyan] also picked up a knock which we’ll have to keep an eye on ahead of Saturday’s league game against Marcascotties. He should be ok for the game, but if the knee doesn’t respond he will perhaps be a doubt”.

The visitors opened the scoring in the twelfth minute when Ariel Arnaldo Fortunato powered a header into the net. The lead lasted until the thirty-fifth minute when Sam Ferretto broke through to slide the ball into the net.

The game was turned on its head two minutes from the break when first Muhammad Noorani and Zsolt Baboss both netted to make the score 3-1 at half time.

While the visitors might have felt aggrieved at trailing, worse was to come late in the second half when they conceded three goals in two of the final three minutes of the game. Zsolt Baboss made it 4-1 three minutes from time, then with the clock still showing eighty-seven minutes, Garabed knocked the ball home from close in. Just to rub salt in the wounds, the Romanes midfield were dispossessed by Sam Ferreto and he ran through to complete the scoring.

Leoš Loos blasts in his second and Brook Street's sixth goal in this afternoon's match.

Leoš Loos blasts in his second and Brook Street’s sixth goal in this afternoon’s match.

A hat-trick from player/coach Leoš Loos helped Brook Street to their sixth league win of the season and a 7-0 rout of Highlands and Islands United FC in Inverness this afternoon.

Eike Alanne opened the scoring just before the half hour mark from a set-piece free kick. Leoš Loos hit a thunderous volley to open his account for the afternoon ten minutes later.

Emanuel Bohucký made it 3-0 from the penalty spot five minutes before the break, and a minute later Abel Soffia made it four with a real pile-driver.

Andrew Cleary twisted the knife further five minutes after the break, then two goals within a minute, eight minutes from time completed the scoring and Leoš Loos’s hat-trick.

The win maintained Brook Street’s three points clear of The Tiny Spacemen at the top of the league, and as the coach said, “keeps the pressure on our opponents”.

Leoš continued, “Our goal difference makes our advantage effectively four points, and the more goals we score, the more that advantage grows”.

“With Sparta facing Crass next weekend, something’s got to give there, so it could conceivably become a two-horse race at full-time next Saturday. We have to keep winning to ensure that happens, and that’s exactly what we’ll be doing”, he added.

Meanwhile the club are pleased to announce that Argentine side Los Romanes For Ever will visit New Home Park this Wednesday for a friendly match. Kick-off is at 10:30 BST.

Matt Cocker curls a beauty to make the score 2-2 and mark the start of the fightback.

Matt Cocker curls a beauty to make the score 2-2 and mark the start of the fightback.

Trailing 1-2 at the break, Brook Street fought back to defeat Toon of the South 4-2 and set up a Saltire Cup Third Round tie at Turret Park next Wednesday against Division III side Team Europe at Gleneagles.

Sam Ferretto had put Brook Street in front in the tenth minute, outjumping his marker at a corner to power his header past South keeper Leonel Moreira Carvalho.

However the game was turned on its head around the half-hour mark with two South goals in a minute. Coen Solleveld broke through and fired home to level in twenty-nine minutes and within sixty seconds the visitors were in front, Paweł Dziob finishing off a fine move down the middle.

Zsolt Baboss had the chance to level the match in the fifty-fourth minute, but put the ball over the bar and will no doubt feel he should have done better.

However, with Brook Street dominating in the middle of the park, the breakthrough came with sixty-five minutes played. The ball broke to Matt Cocker at the edge of the box and with the deftest of touches, curled the ball just inside the post and into the net.

Midway through the half, Muhammad Noorani had the chance to put Brook Street back in front but lacked composure and blazed the ball past the post. This was only a reprieve for the visitors though.

Twelve minutes from time, with no apparent danger posed, Sam Ferretto picked up the ball on the right wing. Moving inside he made towards the South goal, dodged one tackle and blasted the ball into the rigging.

Then, a minute later, with the South defence still some disarray and recriminations ongoing, Fraser Carragher broke through on the right again and fired home to complete a memorable fightback and send Brook Street into the Third Round.

Speaking at full-time, Leoš Loos said, “We showed real character and composure when it mattered. Yes, I’m annoyed at losing two soft goals, but we put that right at half-time and our second half display was excellent”.

He continued, “We have done well against Division III clubs so far this season and it shows we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep this good form going”.

Looking forward to next week’s tie he said, “I don’t know anything about them to be honest, but the game is being played at Turret Park a ground we know well. We’ll watch them on Saturday, but by all accounts they’re doing well in their league and will pose a significant challenge for our players”.

Third time lucky: Matt Cocker finally finds the net against Crushers.

Third time lucky: Matt Cocker finally finds the net against Crushers.

Brook Street are safely through to the next round of the Saltire Cup having defeated Swiss-Castel-Crushers 4-0 at New Home Park this afternoon. But it was not all good news for the Monifieth side as they now look like being without Sam Ferretto for at least a week following an ankle injury.

“We’ll reassess it in the morning, but he’s almost certainly out for the next week, possibly two”, admitted Leoš Loos after the match. “It’s really disappointing for him as he’d scored our opening goal today, and also in our match against Sparta”. He continued, “Sam’s been in very good form since the start of the season so it’s disappointing for him that he’s picked up the injury”.

Although Sam had opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute, Brook Street could have been one-up after only eleven minutes, but Matt Cocker’s drive was an inch and a half too high and the shot rattled off the crossbar.

The visitors weren’t seen as an attacking force despite having as much possession as Brook Street, and they almost paid the price after thirty-four minutes when Matt broke through again. This time however, they had keeper Jacobo Miquilena to thank for keeping the score 1-0 with an excellent block.

Into the second half, and Brook Street carried on as they had left off. Finally, with fifty-five minutes on the clock, the breakthrough was made and it came from the boot of Matt Cocker. Breaking through the middle, he was able to run onto a through-ball from Phil Mullally and calmly slid it under Miquilena in the Crusher goal.

Krsto Grubić almost added to the scoreline with fourteen minutes left, but for a spectacular stop by Jacobo Miquilena yet again.

However, the decisive point of the game came five minutes later when the referee awarded Brook Street a penalty. No-one could work out why, but Fraser Carragher wasted no time in planting the ball into the visitors’ net.

All was going to plan for Brook Street, but a minute later Sam Ferretto was limping out of the game to be replaced by the player-coach.

And it was Leoš Loos himself who supplied the coup de grace three minutes after coming on, latching onto a Matt Cocker head-flick at a corner and blasting home from about three yards out.

“It was a good workout and we’re happy to be through”, was Leoš’s final assessment on the game.

The next round draw has given Brook Street another home tie, this time against Division III side Toon of the South. On hearing the draw, Leoš said, “It will be interesting to try ourselves out against another Division III side, but as I say every week, the League is our number one priority”.

Lope Cabrio thunders in a beauty of an volley to open the scoring against FingersInCider.

Lope Cabrio thunders in a beauty of an volley to open the scoring against FingersInCider.

There was penalty heartbreak for Brook Street this morning as the Monifieth side bowed out of this season’s Hattrick Scottish Cup. Tied 4-4 after extra-time with FingersInCider, the game was decided on spot-kicks and it was the Division III.X pace-setters who prevailed, winning 3-1.

“I feel heartbroken for the players”, admitted Leoš Loos at the post-match press conference. “They gave me absolutely everything and to lose on penalties is a cruel way to go out”.

“They’re really deflated in the dressing-room, but they should be proud of their efforts. They kept battling away and even when we went behind in extra-time, back they came again to force the equaliser”.

He continued, “They showed they were able to match a very good side from the tier above, and that stands us in good stead for the season ahead. Now we have to dust ourselves down and get ready to go again in a very important match away to Sparta on Saturday”.

Brook Street got off to a flying start, and took the lead through a glorious Lope Cabrio half-volley in the thirteenth minute. Fingers struck right back and levelled instantly through Jordan Hainaut.

Eike Alanne restored Brook Street’s lead in the thirty-eighth minute and only a finger-tip save from Jim Barnstaple prevented Fingers from equalising three minutes later.

He was however powerless to prevent Jordan Hainaut from heading home to make the score 2-2 just two minutes before the break.

Into the second half and any thoughts that the game would slow down were quickly dispelled when, six minutes in, Jim Barnstaple blocked Eric Piquet’s netbound strike.

This proved to be even more important just before the hour mark when Abel Soffia’s cross from the right was met full on the volley by Lope Cabrio and the Spaniard’s shot thundered into the net.

With Brook Street pressing the game in the middle of the park, they were successfully running down the clock, but disaster was to strike for the home team with just ten minutes to go. A speculative ball had been played through and was expertly controlled by Fingers’ Eric Piquet. With a deft touch he was able to create enough space to get off a tremendous strike which nestled in the back of Jim Barnstaple’s net.

So with the match tied 3-3, extra-time beckoned.

The pace of the game slowed somewhat in the first period with neither side going forward to any effect, and the players were understandably taking a breather. However, a minute into the second period and Brook Street found themselves behind for the first time in the game. Fingers’ broke on the right and the ball was squared to Mircea Pistol who calmly slotted the ball home.

This was a hammer-blow to the Brook Street players, but to their credit their heads didn’t drop and they fought back to equalise with just four minutes remaining through Eike Alanne’s second goal of the game.

With the game tied at 4-4, it would have to be settled by penalties.

Sam Ferretto scored, but misses from Alex Clapperton, Muhammad Noorani and Krsto Grubic proved costly as only Fingers’ Eric Piquet missed his spot-kick.
So now Brook Street will enter the Saltire Cup next Wednesday with a match at New Home Park against fellow Division III side Swiss-Castel-Crusher, but as far as the coach is concerned this is nothing more than a sideline.

“The league is our sole focus now”, he said. “The Scottish Cup has been a pleasant distraction, but the league is more important to us. Now that we are out, we will be putting all our efforts into securing the league title. As such, the reserves will return to action for the Saltire Cup campaign”.

Nicky Breaden unleashes the howitzer that doubled our lead.

Nicky Breaden unleashes the howitzer that doubled our lead.

Brook Street eased into the Second Round of the Hattrick Scottish Cup this morning with a comprehensive dismantling of FC McMoney. Sam Ferretto bagged a hat-trick and Fraser Carragher a brace in the 8-0 win, with our other goals coming from Nicky Breaden, Muhammad Noorani and Alex Clapperton.

The New Home Park side had taken the lead in the eighth minute when Sam Ferretto pounced on a loose ball following a driven free-kick. The home side were providing stiff resistance until three quickfire goals before half-time killed them off.

“The three goals came at a good time for us”, claimed Leoš Loos. “Nicky’s was a great strike and to get the penalty straight from the restart had them really wobbling. We capitalised on that and Muhammad’s goal a minute later finished them off”.

“We showed a real killer instinct, the kind that I’ve been looking for, and we reaped the rewards. We were able to take the foot off the pedal a bit in the second half, but our opponents were shot and we were able to add to the tally in what became something of a training match”.

He continued, “The Second Round draw will see us travel to face barnstoneworth utd, who are not a side I recall facing before. In any case, it will certainly be a tougher proposition than today’s game. We don’t know anything about them to be honest, so we’ll have someone watch them at the weekend”.

Looking ahead to the weekend’s league opener away to The Tiny Spacemen, Leoš said, “It’s important we get off to a good start, and the fact that we go into the new campaign with a full strength squad is very important”.

He continued, “We know we can score goals, but we’ve got to keep things tight at the back. That’s the key, and what we’ve been working on in the close season. On Saturday we can put it into practise”.

After eleven seasons in Division III, Brook Street find themselves in unfamiliar territory tomorrow as they kick off the new season in Division IV with a home tie against Marcascotties at New Home Park.

They go into the match with renewed hope following last season’s disasterous campaign, as coach Leoš Loos highlighted at this afternoon’s pre-match press conference.

“To say last season was challenging would be a gross understatement”, he admitted. “We were absolutely gutted to be relegated after we had taken it to the final game, when earlier in the season we looked as if we’d be down with games to spare. However we’ve picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves down, and are ready to go again this season.

“We’re looking to return to Division III as fast as possible, but we’re tempering this with the fact we’re rebuilding at the moment, so we want to be as strong as possible for when we take the step back up. Players may come in and others leave, but we’ve got to ensure we’re ready for Division III while at the same time we perform at our best in this division. It is imperative that we focus on this season and we will be instilling that in the players”.

Last season’s runners-up are our visitors in the league opener so they’ll be no pushovers.

“We really don’t know much about them as a team”, said Leoš. “but, they’ve certainly got some good individual players; the lad Renna on the wing looks particularly dangerous. However, it’s up to us to deal with those threats and put their defence under pressure”.

Brook Street go into the match with defender Attila Gyöngyösi sidelined, but other than that the club have no other injury doubts.

Following the reserves’ convincing friendly win over Iranian side A.C. Milan 2009 on Christmas Eve, Brook Street Athletic are delighted to announce that FC Zaporozhets from Ukraine have accepted our invitation, and will visit New Home Park for a friendly match on Hogmanay.

The Ukrainians visit will also see the completion of our “Home” flag collection, leaving only a trip to Vietnam the following week to complete our “Away” set.

“Achieving our final home flag is a great achievement, but it will be tinged with a hint of sadness”, admitted Kyle Fair at the announcement. “It’s been a long time since we played our first ever international friendly at New Home Park, but Wednesday’s match will mark the end of an era”, he added.

Sam Ferretto hit a brace in our friendly tonight, but it wasn’t enough to prevent home side Águias da Caneira running out 3-2 winners in Luanda.

“We didn’t play too badly, although they put us under a lot of pressure, so there were a lot of positives to come out of this match”, said Marcus afterwards.

He continued, “Sam took his goals very well, and I think we’ve uncovered another gem. We won’t rush him though, but it looks like our front line may well comprise home-grown players in the years to come, which is fantastic for the club”.

987650Meanwhile, back at New Home Park it was announced this evening that Barbados Second Division side Farolillo Bajan will visit NHP on Saturday for the final friendly of the season. Kick-off is at 16:40 GMT.

“We’re thrilled to get this game fixed up”, said Kyle Fair, “and special thanks go to their manager LA-elfarolillo for agreeing to the match.

Having completed a very successful season of ‘flaghunting’, next season will see the completion of both the home and away sets with home games against Iranian and Ukrainian opposition, and a trip to Vietnam.

“We’ve left ourselves with a straightforward task for next season, which we should manage to complete with the minimum of problems”, claimed Kyle.

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