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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”.

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Oleg Zhigalov looks on as his sixty-third minute strike heads into the net to give us the lead.

Oleg Zhigalov watches on as the ball hits the net to record one of his 63 goals for the club.

Brook Street parted company with long-serving midfielder Oleg Zhigalov yesterday when he signed for Austrian Liga V side SC Celtic Vienna in a deal worth just under £290,000 to the New Home Park side.

In his thirteen seasons at the club following his transfer from English side Aldhous Athletic, he made a total of 204 appearances for the club, netting on 63 occasions. In competitive games only, he made 121 appearances and found the net 20 times.

Paying tribute to him, as both coach and former team-mate, Marcus Lövman said, “I’m sure Oleg will do a tremendous job for his new side. He’s been a great servant to Brook Street Athletic and his presence in both the dressing room and out on the pitch will no doubt be missed”.

He continued, “He gave the impression that he was quiet, but in reality he was anything but. He was the practical joker in the side and we’ve all fallen for his wind-ups at some point. However, the time was right for him to move on though, and he leaves with all of our very best wishes”.

Leoš Loos drives the ball home to open the scoring against Arenelle SC this afternoon.

Leoš Loos drives the ball home to open the scoring against Arenelle SC this afternoon.

Brook Street bounced back to winning ways in this afternoon’s league game at New Home Park, running out 7-2 winners over Arenelle Sporting Club. It was exactly the response the coach had been looking for following last week’s shambolic performance at The Turret.

“We told the players what we expected of them, and to a man they delivered”, said a clearly satisfied Marcus Lövman at the post-match press conference. He continued, “Last week was one of ‘those’ results, but we put it behind us this week and rolled our sleeves up today to get a good win”.

Leoš Loos opened the scoring in the twenty-fourth minute and Oleg Zhigalov doubled the lead in the thirty-second minute, firing in from a tight angle.

It may have looked that the teams would go into the break with Athletic two goals in front, but the game exploded into life in the final three minutes of the half. First, Emanuel Bohucký blasted home the penalty that had been awarded after Leoš Loos had been pulled back in the box.

Arenelle hit right away through German striker Eryk Pirrung, but the old adage that you’re at your weakest right after you’ve scored proved true for the second time in the game a minute later when with Brook Street breaking through, the referee halted play and pointed to the penalty spot.

No-one seemed to know why the penalty had been awarded, but the Arnelle players were clearly incensed. With vociferous protests still ongoing, Emanuel Bohucký restored Brook Street’s three-goal advantage, calmly dispatching the ball into the corner of the net to send the teams into the break with the score 4-1 in favour of the home side.

Javor Krivić pulled a goal back for Arenelle seven minutes into the second half, but any thoughts of a comeback were extinguished in a four minute spell late in the game when Abel Soffia in seventy-five minutes, Eyüphan Toga in seventy-eight, and Leoš Loos a minute later ensured the points would be staying in Monifieth.

Elsewhere, a Yiannis Gaitanakos goal was enough to secure maximum points for Vines Cross away to Kessler’s, but there were big shocks for the top two sides as Airth Castle romped to a 3-0 home win over Vodikavkaz, and in the coupon-buster result of the day, Sparta Bragg lost 0-2 at home against EK Tuggers.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his extra-time shot enters the net to secure the win.

Andrew Cleary watches on as his extra-time shot enters the net to secure the win.

Brook Street were given a real scare in this morning’s Hattirck Scottish Cup Fourth Round tie with AthleticScotland, and it took an extra-time Andrew Cleary strike to send the New Home Park side into this afternoon’s Fifth Round draw.

The match had ended regulation time tied at 3-3, thanks to a last minute Germán Olmos Ribas equaliser which broke the hearts of the home support who were already celebrating victory.

Indeed, the home side had made all the running and were 2-0 up after just over half an hour thanks to goals from Barry Robshaw and Kerewin de Wilde. Fraser Carragher and Andrew Cleary then fired Brook Street level, before the grandly titled Hauke-Klaus Niemeyer-Wasserer netted to send the League IV side into the break in front.

And so the scoreline remained until the final minute when Germán Olmos Ribas struck to send the tie into extra-time.

It was hard for the home side to lift themselves following such a crushing blow, and things got even worse for them midway through the first period of extra-time as, a fine play on the left gave Andrew Cleary the kind of chance the just doesn’t miss, and the Scotland U-20 Internationalist made no mistake to fire Brook Street into the Fifth Round for the first time in four seasons.

“We got very, very lucky today”, admitted Marcus afterwards, “but then again we’ve been on the receiving end of results like this in the past, so I think we were due a break”.

The coach praised his side for their ‘never say die’ attitude saying, “Even at 2-0 down we kept playing away and to pull it back to 2-2 was an excellent effort”.

However with full-time approaching and trailing 3-2 he feared the worst.

“I’ve got to admit I thought we would be bowing out as usual in the Fourth Round when Germán popped up to produce an outstandingly composed finish to tie the game”. He continued, “We knew that losing the goal so late would have really affected them, so we went into extra-time, not only buoyed by the late, late goal, but by also knowing that they were on the back foot and reeling”.

“Sure enough, when Andrew netted what proved to be the winner, you could visibly see them deflate”.

Brook Street’s reward for reaching the Fifth Round is our first home tie in the Scottish Cup for four seasons, and sees us face fellow League III side Kobis.

The sides have met once before in the Scottish Cup, in the Fourth Round four seasons ago. Brook Street ran out 2-0 winners at Kobi Park that day with Oleg Zhigalov and Onésimo Murube scoring the goals.

Next weeks match takes place on Wednesday with a 10:30 kick-off.

Abel Soffia celebrates his strike as Andrew Cleary watches on.

Abel Soffia celebrates his strike as Andrew Cleary watches on.

Brook Street stormed into the Hattrick Scottish Cup Second Round, and an away tie against AIM FC next week, with a comprehensive dismantling of Dean United in Stirling this morning.

Within the first quarter of an hour Brook Street were 3-0 up through goals by Leoš Loos, Oleg Zhigalov and Jake MacConnechy, and further goals from Jake in twenty-five minutes and Leoš in thirty-six had Brook Street safely into the Second Round draw before half-time.

Abel Soffia added number six four minutes after the break and Emanuel Bohucký added a seventh from the penalty spot just after the hour mark. Emanuel got his second of the game in the seventy-fourth minute to make the score 7-0, but it took another ten minutes before Nemanja Janković thundered home an unstoppable volley to make it eight.

Brook Street were showboating by now and a series of flicks had the United defenders chasing shadows which allowed Andy Harte to break through the middle to hit home our tenth goal in the final minute.

We weren’t done yet though, and in stoppage time Andrew Cleary broke through but as the home defence set up to block the anticipated shot he laid it off to Muhammad Noorani who checked before slotting home his second goal for the club to round off the scoring.

“We were thoroughly professional this morning”, said Marcus afterwards, “and got the result. At this point in the season it’s all about game time, and I think we performed very well”.

He continued, “We’ve had a good build-up to the new season, and now we’re looking to hit the ground running. It’s important to make a good start especially as it looks to be an even tougher league this season. There are a lot of really good sides in there”.

Leoš Loos calmly side-foots the ball home to open the scoring this afternoon.

Leoš Loos calmly side-foots the ball home to open the scoring this afternoon.

In what was undoubtedly our finest performance on the road in many seasons, Brook Street comprehensively defeated EK Tuggers 7-2 at MacArthur Park this afternoon to move up to fourth place in the Division.

In a blistering first half display, goals from Leoš Loos, Oleg Zhigalov, Emanuel Bohucký and Eyüphan Toga had us 4-0 up at the break, and although Marco Contarello pulled a goal back for the home side just after the re-start, further goals from Eyüphan, Jake MacConnechy and Abel Soffia had us 7-1 up before Moritz Bräu hit a consolation goal for Tuggers in the final minute.

“It’s a result that will make a lot of people sit up and take notice”, beamed Marcus Lövman at the post-match press conference. “We posted a real marker out there this afternoon. We didn’t have the best of starts to the season, but we were back to our very best this afternoon, and we showed all the doubters exactly what we’re capable of”.

He continued, “No-one will write us off now. We’re on fire at the moment and we’ve got ourselves right back into the mix. After a slow start, we’ve got something to build upon now. Now we’ve got to keep the momentum going”.

Elsewhere, Carbrain remain the only unbeaten side in the division following their 2-1 away win against -*FC BARCELONA*-. A 1-0 win over bottom side Real Forfar was enough to see Vines Cross move up to second, while Kessler’s Eleven are up to third on goal difference after getting back to winning ways with a 4-0 home win over Airth Castle Rovers.

Eyüphan Toga fires in our fourth goal of the game and final goal of the season.

Eyüphan Toga fires in our fourth goal of the game and final goal of the season.

Two goals either side of half time saw Brook Street ease to a comfortable 4-0 win away to -*FC BARCELONA*- this afternoon, and finish the league campaign on a high.

Emanuel Bohucký hit a first half brace, one from the penalty spot, and second half strikes from Oleg Zhigalov and Eyüphan Toga saw the New Home Park side finish the season in fourth place, some six points clear of fifth place Vines Cross.

“Mission accomplished”, was Marcus Lövman’s assessment at full-time. “We gave the players the target of a top four finish, and that is exactly what they’ve achieved”.

However, he continued, “While we have secured our objective, I have a sense of disappointment and think ‘what could have been’.

“We dropped some rediculous points this season and should have attained much more than the twenty-six points we did. That said, we can’t do anything about it now, and we’ll start our preparations for next season”.

That preparation seems to be starting in earnest tonight with news that teenage wing-back Jamil Feghali has left the club to join Spanish Liga IX outfit zco for what has been described as a nominal fee.

“Jamil wasn’t progressing as we’d hoped”, admitted Marcus, “and with good home-grown players in the pipeline at the Academy, it didn’t make sense to keep him on the books. However, he leaves with our best wishes, and we wish him luck with his new club”.

In his short time with the club, he made three competitive appearances in this season’s Scottish Cup, scoring one goal in the process.

Andy Harte gets between the Rovers keeper and his defence to fire us 3-1 in front.

Andy Harte gets between the Rovers keeper and his defence to fire us 3-1 in front.

Brook Street took maximum points in a bruising encounter at Mercy Rovers this afternoon with Andy Harte netting twice in our 3-2 win. Oleg Zhigalov scored our other goal as we came from behind to secure the points.

Władysław Lenczewski had opened the scoring for the home side in the thirty-fifth minute, but Andy Harte levelled three minutes before the break. Oleg Zhigalov fired us into the lead midway through the half, and Andy Harte bagged his second of the game following a mix-up between the home keeper and his defence to make the points safe.

Rovers pulled back a consolation goal through Paolo Provenzale with three minutes remaining, but there was no way they were getting any more from the game and Brook Street simply ran the clock down.

However it wasn’t all good news as injuries picked-up by Germán Olmos Ribas and his replacement Phil Mullally took the gloss off the victory.

“Neither are serious”, admitted Marcus after the match but they should never have happened in the first place. The officials let them away with murder and now I’ve got two players sidelined”.

He continued, “They were lucky to end up with eleven players on the park as far as I’m concerned”.

The win keeps the pressure on Airth Castle who again had a big win today, but at the other end of the league, Edinburgh-KSZO were officially relegated following their 8-0 defeat by Kessler’s Eleven.

Recent signing Eyüphan Toga fires home his first goal for the club. His second would follow six minutes later.

Recent signing Eyüphan Toga fires home his first goal for the club. His second would follow six minutes later.

With Airth Castle’s surprise goal-less draw at home to Vines Cross, Brook Street blasted themselves two points clear at the top of the league with a 6-0 demolition of Edinburgh-KSZO at New Home Park this afternoon.

Coach Marcus Lövman rang the changes following last Saturday’s lacklustre performance in Edinburgh, with Andy Harte dropping to the bench and being replaced by Zsolt Baboss. However both Germán Olmos Ribas and Abel Soffia dropped out altogether, being replaced by Oscar MacVarish and Garabed Palasyan respectively.

Brook Street made the perfect start, going ahead with only three minutes on the clock through Oleg Zhigalov. Continuing to press, the home side got their reward twenty minutes later when Oscar MacVarish rose unchallenged to power home a header to double our lead.

Despite dominating play, Brook Street failed to create any more chances in the first half, however in a devastating seven-minute spell after the break, they netted a further four goals to kill the match stone dead.

Recent signing Eyüphan Toga set the ball rolling three minutes after the restart, netting his first goal for the club, and Attila Gyöngyösi made it 4-0 a minute later.

Eyüphan fired in his second of the match in the fifty-fourth minute and Garabed Palasyan wrapped-up the scoring a minute later.

“I wanted a positive reaction to the criticism of last week’s performance, and that’s exactly what I got”, smiled Marcus at the post-match press conference.

“Last Saturday’s display was no-where near good enough and we let the players know that at training this week. I made three changes from last week, and the fact that two of the players scored proves I was right”.

He also paid credit to Eyüphan Toga who has taken time to settle, but who netted his first two goals for the club. “Eyüphan came here with a very impressive scoring rate, so he was disappointed to have failed to score in his first two games. That has totally changed now, and I know he will go on to score a lot of goals here”.

Oleg Zhigalov fires in our first goal against Rovers.

Oleg Zhigalov fires in our first goal against Rovers.

The chorus of boos that greeted the final whistle left the players in no doubt exactly what the fans thought of this afternoon’s result, and it was a furious Marcus Lövman who eventually faced the gathered press following Brook Street’s shock home defeat by Mercy Rovers.

The Swede was pulling no punches in his analysis of the match when he said, “If I’d been in the stands, I would have been booing too.

He continued, “I’ve seriously got to question the bottle of my players. We went into the match red-hot favourites, yet we couldn’t dispose of a side who have just come up and are second bottom of the league. That is simply not good enough for this club”.

“I don’t know if the players went into the game over-confident or simply thinking they were too good for the opposition, but the fact is, and I mean no disrespect to Rovers when I say this, we have lost today against a side we should have taken apart”.

He continued, “I’ve told them exactly what I thought of that performance. To have that much possession but fail to turn it into goals is simply not good enough”.

The match had started well for Brook Street with Emanuel Bohucký rattling the crossbar before Oleg Zhigalov fired us in front.

The home crowd were silenced when Benjamin Dufrêne levelled, but they were back on their feet a minute later when Germán Olmos Ribas put us 2-1 up.

However this was short-lived as Fabien Darty levelled again five minutes later, and Daniel Nowicki scored what was to prove the winning goal four minutes before the break.

NEXT MATCH

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