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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”.

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.

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”.

With a stunning volley, Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the St Kilda net to open the scoring.

With a stunning volley, Matt Cocker blasts the ball into the St Kilda net to open the scoring.

Although the gloom descending over New Home Park may take some time to lift following Saturday’s defeat, the reserves did their bit to lift the mood this morning with a 5-1 win over Division IV side FC St Kilda in Monifieth.

Matt Cocker opened the scoring with twelve minutes gone with a breathtaking volley before Liam Christie doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark with his first senior goal.

Sam Ferretto increased the lead to three with a fine solo effort in thirty-six minutes, and Alex Clapperton made it 4-0 three minutes later.

Antonio De Pretto reduced the lead with a well-taken goal for the visitors ten minutes into the second half, however this reprieve was short-lived and Matt Cocker powered in an unstoppable header a minute later to restore the four-goal advantage and make his personal tally two.

Matt could have got his hat-trick later in the half, but his shot hit the post and rebounded to safety.

“It was a very accomplished performance, and I don’t think anyone could deny that we deserved the win”, said Leoš Loos at full-time.

“We scored some breathtaking goals and our passing was first-rate”, he continued. “It’s been a difficult week, and we needed a lift. The players gave us exactly that this morning”.

An added bonus for the coach was that no players picked up any knocks, so he will have a full squad to pick from for Saturday’s make or break match at Padawan United.

Sam Ferretto prods the ball home to complete his hat-trick.

Sam Ferretto prods the ball home to complete his hat-trick.

Brook Street’s reserves completed a terrific week for the club with a demolition job on Croatian side NK Mrežnica at New Home Park this morning.

Sam Ferretto hit a hat-trick in the 8-0 win with our other goals being scored by Nicky Breaden, Matt Cocker, Fraser Carragher, Muhammad Noorani and Krsto Grubić.

The game also saw debuts for recent Academy graduates in the shape of Liam Christie and Lachlan MacKinnon, both of whom put in solid performances.

“It’s always difficult for the youngsters coming in as the pace is so much faster”, said captain Fraser Carragher, “but I think the lads acquitted themselves very well. They’ll get up to speed soon enough though, and then we’ll get a true indication of what they’re capable of”.

Turning to the game as a whole he said, “It was a good overall performance from us, and I don’t think the scoreline flattered us at all. We dominated the game across the pitch, and played some decent football”.

He continued, “Stick the ball in front of Sam or Muhammad and we know what to expect, and today they hit the net four times between them”.

On his own counter Fraser said, “Yeah, I’ve had a couple of those this season where I’ve run at the defence and knocked it home. The gaffer’s always telling me to get forward and put pressure on their back line, but on occasion their defence parts like today and I get lucky”.

Meanwhile, a friendly match is being lined-up for Saturday at New Home Park to bring the season to a close. Details are unknown at present.

Muhammad Noorani signed off for the season with two goals this morning.

Muhammad Noorani signed off for the season with two goals this morning.

Whilst it is always interesting to face teams from overseas in friendly match, the scoreline in this morning’s friendly against Serbian visitors, Idijoti Belosvecki 9/11 was without doubt the least important consideration for the management team.

With Saturday’s title showdown with The Tiny Spacemen looming, ensuring the squad will be at maximum possible strength far outweighed the 6-2 scoreline today.

“We never meant to play the first team in this match”, admitted Leoš Loos, “that was an error on our part, but fortunately not a costly one as far as injuries goes”.

Andrew Cleary and Muhammad Noorani both helped themselves to braces, with Brook Street’s other goals coming from Leoš and an Emanuel Bohucký spot-kick as the home side turned on the style in front of over 3,200 fans.

“We were slack at the back again and that’s not good enough”, complained Leoš. “We’ll have to be far sharper on Saturday, as we’ll be facing a far better side”.

He continued, “We switched off and it cost us goals again, just as it did on Saturday. A repeat this Saturday could mean another season in this Division which is not good enough for this Club”.

Meanwhile, following the game, winger Liam Christie was paraded as the latest graduate of the Academy to be called up to the senior side.

“We’ve been keeping tabs on both Liam and midfielder Lachlan MacKinnon who will be joining the senior side next week, and I’ve been impressed with both of them”.

He continued, “Liam is lightning fast and Lachlan has a maturity beyond his years. Both have bags of talent and will be excellent additions to the senior squad”.

The two youngsters will make their public bow at half-time on Saturday.

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