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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”.

Fraser Carragher's expression says it all.

Fraser Carragher’s expression says it all.

Brook Street suffered their biggest defeat in years as ten-man Dronach Lions ran riot in this afternoon’s Division III play-off to consign the New Home Park outfit to a second season in the fourth tier.

The Monifieth side’s legion of fans who had made the trip north had travelled in anticipation of seeing their favourites return to Division III, but before even half an hour had been played, many were already on the road back south.

By then the home side were four goals up and even the sending off of their midfielder Andrew Patchell for two bookable offences seemed to have little effect as the Division III side romped to a 7-1 win.

“We simply didn’t compete”, admitted a visibly shocked Leoš Loos when he faced the assembled press afterwards. “I don’t know what went wrong out there. We’re all in a state of disbelief”.

He continued, “We’ve come so far this season, and to see everything we’ve worked so hard for ground into the dirt is hard to take. I can tell you that my players are absolutely devastated at today’s turn of events. We’re all devastated”.

“Complacency in our final league match lead to this today. We won’t be making that mistake again”.

He then apologised to the Brook Street fans who had made the trip saying, “To those fans who made journey today and those who couldn’t come today but who have backed us so tremendously this season, I have got to say I’m profoundly sorry; they deserved better than that today”.

When asked where the defeat left his position he rounded on the questioner saying, “Exactly where I am right now! I was tasked with getting Brook Street out of Division IV and that’s exactly what I’m going to do”.

He finished the conference with, “The team is in a transition phase and some players will leave while others will come in. We estimated that we’d need two or maybe three seasons to make the change. Nothing has altered this. Now that we know where we’re playing next season, we will plan accordingly”.

So, Brook Street’s stay in Division IV.7 has been extended, but they will now know exactly how much they are required to step up to compete in Division III.

Abel Soffia fires in our second goal against Marcascotties this afternoon.

Abel Soffia fires in our second goal against Marcascotties this afternoon.

The old adage of counting ones chickens may not have had much meaning to the playing staff prior to kick-off this afternoon, but its effects and those of Brook Street’s 3-2 defeat to Marcascotties will certainly be reverberating around New Home Park tonight.

Whilst it had originally been thought that Brook Street simply had to turn up today as the match was meaningless, this was not the case. From a position where automatic promotion seemed a formality, Brook Street now find themselves in the position where they now face a difficult trip to face Division III.8 side Dronach Lions in the Highlands in a play-off next weekend.

Speaking afterwards Leoš Loos admitted, “We’ve only got ourselves to blame for this defeat. We took our eye off the ball and we’ve paid a very heavy price. We were second to everything and they certainly wanted the win more. That showed.”

On next week’s opponents Dronach Lions the coach said, “We honestly don’t know a thing about them at the moment. We’ll study the videos over the next few days and form our gameplan from that”.

He continued, “It’ll be a really tough game, but we’ll prepare thoroughly and give it 100%”.

On a bad afternoon for Brook Street, veteran winger Nemanja Jankovic was helped off after sustaining what looks like a serious injury.

“We’ll have to assess him over the next few days, but he could be out for a lengthy period”, said Leoš. “I wouldn’t go as far as saying it’s career threatening, but it’s certainly serious”.

It’s a case of “as you were” in Hattrick Scottish League III.9 this evening following today’s play-off matches.

Vines Cross saw off Easthouses FC 2-0 while -*FC BARCELONA*- defeated Printers Juniors by three goals to one at Camp Nou to retain their places in the league. However, in the Division II play-off there was disappointment for Carbrain FC who lost out by the odd goal in nine after extra time against Zebra Utd.

Meanwhile, as anticipated Mercy Rovers and Edinburgh-KSZO have been replaced by Real Forfar and EK Tuggers respectively from Division IV.

On the new additions, a spokesman for Brook Street said, “We don’t know much about EK Tuggers, but with the addition of Real Forfar we can look forward to a Tayside derby again, something we certainly missed it last season”.

While the fixtures are still to be officially released, we can confirm that Brook Street will open the season with a trip to face Airth Castle Rovers before first Carbrain FC then Kessler’s Eleven visit New Home Park

Onésimo Murube powers home a header to make the score 4-0 in this afternoon's League 3 Play-Off against FC Team.

Onésimo Murube powers home a header to make the score 4-0 in this afternoon’s League 3 Play-Off against FC Team.

Brook Street will play in League 3 again next season after seeing off the pretenders of FC Team with an excellent display of attacking football that simply swept the League 4 outfit aside and secured a 5-0 win at New Home Park this afternoon.

The home side took a quarter of an hour to get up to speed, but from then on it was simply a rearguard action for the visitors.

With seventeen minutes played, Brook Street were awarded a penalty when Onésimo Murube was up-ended in the box, giving referee Dave Schmidbauer one of the easiest decisions of the afternoon. Jake MacConnechy made no mistake and we were on the road to safety.

Ten minutes later and it was almost 2-0, but for a breathtaking save by Team keeper Giocondo Fallea denied Onésimo Murube. The duel between these two players was to become a feature of the game, but ultimately it was the Spaniard who would prevail.

Fallea however was left helpless nine minutes before the break as Onésimo burst through the visitors’ defence and planted the ball into the net to put us 2-0 up.

This gave us breathing space, and we could now pick off Team at will.

Maranaj Batusha fired in our third goal seven minutes after the break and everything was going our way, but we were to receive a setback three minutes later when Jake MacConnechy was ordered off for a second bookable offence.

Going down to ten men however didn’t seem to hinder the New Home Park side at all, and indeed they increased their lead further in the sixty-eighth minute when Onésimo Murube powered a header home.

Brook Street still weren’t finished however, and with fourteen minutes still to play, Andy Harte rounded the keeper to score our final goal, and wipe out any threat of a grandstand finish by the visitors.

At full time Marcus joined the players on the pitch to take the accolade of the fans.

“The lads were outstanding today. We took the game by the scruff of the neck early on and as soon as we got the first goal, the writing was on the wall”, shouted a clearly delighted Marcus above the din of the cheering fans.

“Now we can look to start building for the new campaign, but tonight we celebrate!” he concluded before joining the players.

Elsewhere, Carbrain won their qualifier but FC BARCELONA lost the League 2 play-off to leave the league unchanged other than the teams promoting from League 4.

Des de Landells fires the ball home to end Brook Street's play-off hopes.

Brook Street were consigned to at least another season in Division IV on Saturday, Des de Landells‘s thirteenth minute strike being enough to separate the teams and maintain Lead Balloons’ Division III status.

But for the width of the post, Athletic could have been two down at half time which would probably have killed the game, however with only a goal in it they still had a chance.

Onésimo Murube had Brook Street’s best chance of the game in the seventy-fifth minute and was just about to pull the trigger when he was tackled and the chance was lost.

The players were disappointed that the had not managed to put the home side under more pressure, but while naturally disappointed with the outcome, Arjen praised the players’ efforts saying, “I’m proud of the lads today. They’ve come here and played a very, very good team, and although we have lost narrowly, they can hold their heads up high”.

He continued, “The Play-off draw couldn’t have been more unkind to us, but we’ve all but matched the sixth placed team in the best league in the Division. That speaks volumes for the quality of the players we have at Brokk Street”.

“Although we’re all disappointed we’ll be playing in Division IV.42 again next season, we have the experience in this squad of players to give us the best possible chance to win back-to-back titles next season. If we can cut out costly errors, hopefully we can win the league and gain promotion without the need to go down the play-off route”.

Captain, Kyle Fair said, “The boys are pretty low in the dressing room at the moment. We put a lot of effort into the game but just couldn’t make the breakthrough. It seems a bit of an anti-climax to have our season end this way, and it’s not a nice feeling”.

Looking forward to next season, Kyle said, “A few of us know that it could be our last season next term, so it would be good to go out on a high and see the club back in Division III. We’ve come close this time, but carelessness during the season has cost us dearly when it came to the play-off fixture. We know we’ve got to cut these out”.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and be ready to go again with renewed determination for the new season”.

Fate dealt Brook Street a particularly cruel blow yesterday evening when it was announced that in the Division III Play-off, Athletic will travel to face Lead Balloons for a place in our old league, Division III.6.

Captain, Kyle Fair said, “Division III.6 was murderous and it seems to be just as tough, if not actually tougher, now”.

He continued, “We’ve got a pretty poor record against Lead Balloons, let’s face it we’ve never beaten them, having drawn one and lost one, so what better time to improve it?”

“We’ll prepare thoroughly for the match and in some respects we’ve got a bit of an advantage as we know what we’re up against”.

“Lead Balloons have had a poor season by their standards, so we’re perhaps meeting them at the right time”.

The match takes place next Saturday at Canary Bowl with a 16:30 kick-off.

NEXT MATCH

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