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Adam Humphrey capitalises on a mix-up in the Saints’ defence to send us on our way.

Brook Street stormed to an emphatic 6-0 win away to MacAuleys Saints which secured the Division IV.13 league title at the first time of asking, and with it, brings a Division III Play-Off next weekend against Kobis.

Brook Street got off to a flying start as young Adam Humphrey pounced on a defensive mistake to fire the New Home Park side into the lead with only five minutes on the clock.

The visitors continued to pile on the pressure and only an outstanding save from Saints’ keeper Florian Pułka prevented Andrew Cleary from increasing the lead, but it was only a matter of time before Brook Street did find away through.

And when it came, it was a real beauty. Alex Clapperton had been tormenting Saints’ left-back Arthur Moore throughout the opening period, and with twenty minutes gone, he left the defender for dead before swinging over a teasing, tempting cross which Adam Humphrey met full on the volley to almost lifted the rigging off the goal frame.

Brook Street had their tails up by now and went straight for the kill. Andrew Cleary hit his twenty-second goal of the season in the twenty-sixth minute, and Phil Mullally all but made the game safe eight minutes before the break.

With the Championship in the bag by half-time, all that remained for Brook Street was to improve their goal difference to try to secure a more favourable play-off draw, and the visitors wasted no time in setting about their task.

With just two minutes played after the re-start Andrew Cleary rifled home his second goal of the game to make it 5-0 and secure his place as the league’s top scorer. Then, with sixty-eight minutes on the clock, it fell to Fraser Caragher to complete the scoring with a drilled shot following another defensive error.

So, next Saturday Brook Street will face Kobis in the Division III play-off, but when interviewed after the celebrations had moved on to local hostelries or the fans had headed back down the road, the coach reckons that this match has come too early for his side.

“We’ve been playing to a gameplan which is focussed around building a side capable of challenging in Division II at least. That, I feel, will take around two to three seasons, so while it’s fantastic that we have won the title, if I’m being brutally honest, I think we’ll struggle against Kobis. They are a very strong side in what looks like a really tough league. We’ve played a few of the sides there before, usually in the Scottish Cup, so we are well aware of how good they are”.

He continued, “We’ll give it our best shot, but I think it’s a step too far for us, especially as we’re playing at their ground. It’s been a great season for us in the end, and given time, this can become a great team.

Sam Ferretto rises high to head home to open the scoring against D & G Rovers; the first of his four goals.

Brook Street romped to an emphatic 10-0 win over Dumfries and Galloway Rovers in front of just over 53,000 spectators at New Home Park this afternoon, and with the exception of the handful of hardy souls who made the trip from the south-west, all left the ground at full-time jubilant mood.

Following MacAulays Saints’ surprise defeat, the win saw the Monifieth extend their lead in the title race to two points with FC Scourie now our nearest challengers.

“We’re not going to get ahead of ourselves despite the results today”, said Eike Alanne afterwards. “We played exceptionally well and got the win we deserved”, he said, “but we’ve still got a lot of work to do”.

“That said”, he continued, “the team are playing well, so it’s only natural that the fans will start to think about titles and suchlike. With backing like we had this afternoon, that’s almost worth a goal of a start, and we are all hugely appreciative of it”.

Rovers had proved to be stubborn opposition, and had come with the sole intention of ‘parking the bus’, but once Sam Ferretto netted the opener with thirty-five minutes played, the roof caved-in and goals from Attila Gyöngyösi, Sam’s second, and Matt Cocker in as many minutes killed off any resistance.

Brook Street eased up slightly, but Rovers were in such a mess that goals from Andrew Cleary either side of half-time had the New Home Park side six-up with just over an hour played.

Matt Cocker bagged his second of the game midway through the second half before Sam wrapped up his hat-trick with ten minutes to go.

Brook Street weren’t about to shut up shop at this point, and two minutes later Alex Clapperton finished off a fantastic move, with a finish worthy of the brilliant play which preceded it.

However it was Man of the Match, Sam Ferretto who completed the scoring, rising high to power home a trademark header which left the Rovers keeper grasping thin air.

It won’t be very often that Brook Street will go with three up front, but as Eike pointed out, “When they’re all playing so well, how can I leave one of them out?”

Eike Alanne fires us into the lead with less that 120 seconds played.

Brook Street recorded a comfortable 6-0 win over Swedish visitors, zeni, at New Home Park this morning, but Coach Eike Alanne surprised everyone in the ground by fielding the full strength first team.

Defending the decision he said, “We face the now ownerless and managerless Swiss Ranger here on Saturday, and in light of this we perhaps have more leeway than normal in our team selection for the weekend match”.

“As a result, we’ll be fielding some of our younger players which will give them more experience. This will be more beneficial to them and to the club than fielding them in a friendly, so we too the decision to field the first team”.

He continued, “We haven’t picked up any injuries, so it’s been a win/win for us today”.

Brook Street were quick off the mark again this morning, hitting three goals in the opening five minutes through Eike Alanne, Alex Clapperton and Sam Ferretto.

Andrew Cleary made it 4-0 before half an hour had elapsed, with the other goals from Phil Mullally and Attila Gyöngyösi coming in the second half.

Sam Ferretto celebrates the second of his two goals against fox-blue this afternoon.

French side fox-blue were caught in the Brook Street juggernaut headlights this afternoon as the Scots romped to a 7-0 win in the Mediterranean sunshine.

Conor Meldrum fired the visitors into a seventh minute lead, which Sam Ferretto doubled with twenty-five minutes played. Just on for the injured Lewis Espley, Alex Clapperton fired in our third goal just after the half-hour mark before two goals in three minutes from Sam Ferretto and Nicky Breaden had Brook Street five-up at the break.

With the game well and truly won, Eike Alanne’s charges took the foot off the gas in the second half, but still managed to find the net twice through Krsto Grubić and Nicky Breaden to wrap up a very convincing win.

“We’re really starting to click”, said Eike afterwards. “We’re playing some outstanding football and the youngsters are all progressing very well. I’m very pleased how things are turning out”.

Turning to the injury sustained by Lewis Espley he said, “He’s got a thigh injury and it looks initially as if he could be missing for up to a fortnight. Obviously, we’re hopeful he’ll be back before that, but it’ll take as long as it takes; we’ll not be rushing him back”.

He continued, “Lewis’s injury aside, it’s been a very good trip for us, and sets us up nicely for our trip to the Highlands to face FC Scourie on Saturday”.

Matt Cocker slams in his second goal of the afternoon to make the score 3-0.

Matt Cocker slams in his second goal of the afternoon to make the score 3-0.

In easily one of their best league performances in recent times, Brook Street routed league leaders FC Scourie 7-1 at New Home Park. The Highlanders had been unbeaten up until this afternoon, but they were no match for a rampant Brook Street side who are now right back in the mix.

Andrew Cleary opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute, and a quick double from Matt Cocker had Brook Street three-up inside forty minutes. Kembele Madimba reduced the lead just before the break, but Fraser Carragher restored the three-goal advantage four minutes after the re-start, before three goals in quick succession around the hour mark from Attila Gyöngyösi, Krsto Grubić and Alex Clapperton wrapped up the win and killed the game stone dead.

“My players were absolutely fantastic”, beamed a clearly delighted Eike Alanne at the post-match press briefing. “We dominated the match from start to finish, and our passing and finishing were simply outstanding. We showed everyone just how good a side we are”.

He added, “We switched the line-up and formation slightly and it paid dividends. We’ve been caught out in the last couple of games by teams packing the midfield, so we learned from our mistakes and the players rose to the occasion today”.

“We’re now right back in contention in the title race, and while promotion is not our aim, we naturally want to finish as high as we can. Whoever wins this league will not gain automatic promotion, so we’ve got to give ourselves the best possible chance to secure a lucrative play-off match”. He added, “We’ve blown the title race wide open, and it’s up to us to now capitalise on what we have achieved today”.

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.

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.

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”.

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.

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”.

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