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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”.

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.

Thanks for the memories Onésimo.

Thanks for the memories Onésimo.

This evening marked a real end of an era as Onésimo Murube’s eleven season stay at the club came to an end with the popular Spaniard signing for Italian side Taranto F.C. in a £481,000 deal.

“We’ll miss him hugely”, admitted Kyle Fair, “but letting him move on is the right thing to do”. He added, “His chances of playing from the start were likely to become less, and to have a player like him sitting on the bench or even worse, turning out for the reserves would be criminal”.

He continued, “Onésimo still has a lot to offer the right side, and I’m sure he will do well in Italy”.

Speaking from Nigeria where he is with the reserves ahead of their friendly tomorrow, Marcus said, “Onésimo has been an outstanding servant of our club and I wish him all the luck with his new side. Of course he will be missed, as he was a huge character in the dressing room, but all good things must come to an end”.

He concluded, “As one chapter closes, another one opens for him and having spoken to him on the phone after the deal went through I know he’s looking forward to the new challenge”.

Before packing his bags for Italy, Onésimo took some time to speak to the Official Website.

He said, “Firstly, I must say thank you to everyone at the club and especially the fans who have been so fantastic. I have enjoyed my time at Brook Street so much that it is really sad to be leaving. However, we can’t stand still, and as long as Brook Street are going forward and upwards I will be very happy”.

“This is a fantastic club. It may not be the most glamorous in the world, nor have mega-bucks, but it consistently punches above it’s weight and is one that everyone associated with it is justifiably proud of”.

“I’m sorry to be leaving and I was really surprised when I was told this was my eleventh season with the club. We’ve had our ups and downs in that time, but I am proud to have pulled on a Brook Street kit and would like to say one last thing to the fans… thank you!”

Onésimo’s scoring record with Brook Street was prolific:

Appearances (Goals)

League

Cup

Play-offs

Friendlies

136 (79)

12 (15)

3 (4)

15 (13)

Everyone at the club wishes him the very best of luck with Taranto F.C. in Italy.

Brook Street made an unexpected move in the transfer maket this evening, securing the services of 25 year old Turkish striker Eyüphan Toga from Finnish League VII side Knockout Hurricanes for a fee of £2M.

Marcus said, “The lad is a prolific goalscorer, and indeed scored four goals for his previous club tonight before completing his transfer. He will give us a real threat up top”.

It is unknown whether the move into the transfer market was pre-empted but at the same time as the transfer of Eyüphan was announced, it also became clear that popular striker Onésimo Murube had requested a transfer. Reluctantly, the club have agreed to the request.

Andrew Cleary volleys home his first senior goal to make the score 4-1.

Andrew Cleary volleys home his first senior goal to make the score 4-1.

Brook Street fought back from losing an early goal to defeat Carbrain FC 4-1 at Ravenswood this afternoon. Our hosts had taken the lead in the ninth minute, but an Emanuel Bohucký strike had the game tied at the break.

However, it was a different story in the second half when we got into our stride and powered in three unanswered goals. Onésimo Murube edged us in front seven minutes after the re-start, and the Spaniard put us further ahead in the sixty-fifth minute.

Attila Gyöngyösi should have put the game to bed a minute later but somehow managed to slam the ball against the post from point-blank range when it seemed easier to score.

Brook Street were clearly in control and took the opportunity to bring on Andrew Cleary for his league debut with ten minutes remaining. And what a decision it proved to be! Within five minutes of coming on, Abel Soffia found the teenager with a pass from the right, and without breaking his stride, Andrew volleyed the ball past the home keeper to record his first senior goal.

“For a seventeen year old, he showed composure well beyond his years taking the goal like that”, admitted a delighted Marcus Lövman afterwards. “Andrew is a huge prospect for us, and if he scores more goals like that, he’ll go far”.

On the rest of the match he said, “It took us a while to get going, but once we clicked into gear there was only going to be one winner”.

He continued, “We got a good recent record here, and it was important for us to keep that going today. We’ve got some very big games coming up in the next couple of weeks, so it was important that we keep the pressure up”.

The first of those big games comes next weekend when high-scoring Airth Castle Rovers visit New Home Park. Following right on from that, Brook Street travel to face league leaders Vines Cross who have yet to concede a goal.

Airth Castle had another big win this afternoon, demolishing Mercy Rovers 7-2 away from home, while Vines hit three without reply at home to Kessler’s Eleven. In the other match, -*FC BARCELONA*- got off the mark with a 7-1 home win over Edinburgh-KSZO.

Oleg Zhigalov rises unchallenged to power in our equaliser this evening.

Oleg Zhigalov rises unchallenged to power in our equaliser this evening.

Brook Street brought the curtain down on the current league campaign with a fine 3-1 win over Carbrain FC in front of New Home Park’s first full house since the stadium capacity was increased two seasons ago.

“It was fantastic to see the stadium full”, admitted Marcus, “and it really gave the players a lift. It also shows we’re moving in the right direction and hopefully the additional fans will come back regularly next season and beyond”.

He continued, “We’ve finished in third place when many were tipping us for relegation, and were the second highest goal scorers in the league. That’s no mean feat in what is a very tight division”.

The game itself, Brook Street’s four hundred and twentieth competitive match since the club was formed, saw the visitors seize the early initiative by netting the opener in the nineteenth minute through Tadeu Leiras.

The lead didn’t last long though, and the home support were on their feet just two minutes later when Oleg Zhigalov powered home a header to tie the game.

With the game tied at half-time, Brook Street really upped their game in the second half, and within two minutes of the restart, Jake MacConnechy thundered the ball off the visitors’ crossbar.

Although Carbrain were still a significant threat coming forward they remained vulnerable at the back, and with Brook Street piling on the pressure, it was only inevitable that the visitors’ defence would buckle sooner or later. So it came as no real surprise when Onésimo Murube stormed through and fired home in the seventy-first minute to put Brook Street ahead.

Brook Street were pressing the game now, and with nine minutes left Oscar MacVarish forced an error from the Carbrain defenders which left their keeper stuck in no-man’s land. He never stood a chance as Oscar coolly rounded him and passed the ball into the empty net to kill off any lingering hopes of a comeback.

The win saw Brook Street finish the season with twenty-seven points, our highest ever haul in this division.

Onésimo Murube's trickery in the visitors’ box won him enough space to slam home our third goal.

Onésimo Murube’s trickery in the visitors’ box won him enough space to slam home our third goal.

Brook Street made very heavy weather of it, but eventually won 4-3 against Wha’s In Cherge Here in this afternoon’s Tayside derby at New Home Park.

The home side had to endure a double-whammy around the half hour mark when first, top scorer Leoš Loos was stretchered off following a horrendous challenge, then Malte Feuchtersleben fired home the opener for the visitors.

However, the home side quickly regained their composure, and captain Nemanja Janković levelled with a peach of a curling shot.

The home side were flying at this point, and another cross by the captain created havoc in the visitors’ six-yard box, but Rab Henderson was just unable to make contact with the ball and it was scrambled clear.

Brook Street restarted the second half on the front foot and only two minutes in, Oscar MacVarish thundered in our second goal to edge us in front for the first time.

Any thoughts that this would open the floodgates and see the managerless visitors swept aside were quickly dispelled in the fifty-fifth minute when Miguel Urzáiz Pardo levelled.

Worse was to follow five minutes later when the visitors stunned the home crowd by taking the lead, Nathaniel Warner being the scorer.

This spurred Brook Street into action and following some trickery in the visitors’ box, Onésimo Murube slammed the ball home.

“TheSaints” were on the back foot now, and when Maranaj Batusha scampered down the left flank and fired the ball home, it was clear the home side would not let the lead slip again.

The win combined with results elsewhere all but assured Brook Street third place in the division, but it was a far from happy Marcus Lövman who attended the post-match press conference.

When asked about the injury to Leoš Loos he said, “His season is over, that’s for sure, and the challenge that did this didn’t even earn a caution. The player’s leg was straight, his studs were up and it was from behind: three red cards rolled into one, yet what did he get? Nothing, that’s what!” fumed the coach.

He continued, “I’ve lost my top scorer for the run-in thanks to an act of thuggery, yet the ref thinks it’s an ok challenge. The scans suggest otherwise, that’s all I’ll say”.

When asked about the performance in general, he admitted, “That was easily our worst performance of the season, but we’ve come away with full points. Don’t ask me how”.

“We’re becoming far too sloppy in defence and that simply won’t do”, he said. “Needless to say, the defence will be doing extra training this week”.

Nemanja Janković opens the scoring this afternoon with a brilliant half-volley.

Nemanja Janković opens the scoring this afternoon with a brilliant half-volley.

Nemanja Janković hit four goals and Leoš Loos two as Brook Street romped to a 9-0 win over manager-less sooside athletico at New Home Park this afternoon.

Our other goals came from Oscar MacVarish, Onésimo Murube and substitute Germán Olmos Ribas as the Glaswegian side were comprehensively dismantled and utterly destroyed.

For once, the scoreline as an accurate reflection of how one-sided this match was; “contest” would be a gross exaggeration of sooside’s involvement. With the match won, Brook Street were even afforded the luxury of withdrawing Onésimo Murube and bringing on new fans favourite Lloyd Stephen for the last quarter of an hour, much to the delight of the home supporters.

The teenager had a quiet league debut, as Marcus was quick to acknowledge, but Marcus was quick to point out, “Everyone’s got to start somewhere”.

It wasn’t all good news for the home side however as Jake MacConnechy picked up what looked to be a nasty knee injury, but Marcus was able to reveal that it wasn’t as bad as was feared, and he should be back for next week.

Meanwhile, as the game was in progress, it was announced that the reserves will travel to Abha, Saudi Arabia tomorrow as Saudi Division IV side Golden Sand have confirmed our friendly match on Wednesday. The game itself kicks off at 18:20 local time.

Oleg Zhigalov slots the ball home after bullying the home defenders into making a mistake.

Oleg Zhigalov slots the ball home after bullying the home defenders into making a mistake.

Leoš Loos netted twice as Brook Street chalked up an impressive 5-1 win over Airth Castle Rovers at Turret Park this afternoon. While both last week’s and today’s meetings between the sides were very close, a late goal-rush gave this game the impression of a much more one-sided encounter.

There was nothing between the sides as far as percentage of possession was concerned, however Brook Street proved to be far more incisive when it came to attacking and this was to prove pivotal in the last ten minutes.

Marcus Lövman had surprised many onlookers by changing the set-up which has served us fairly well this season, by playing both Leoš Loos and Onésimo Murube much deeper while concentrating on attacking down the wings.

This proved to be a masterstroke as wingers Abel Soffia and Nemanja Janković both tormenting the home defence all match. Abel even got on the scoresheet with a superb volley, and the strike pair netted three between them. Igor Zhigalov scored our fifth goal after bullying the home defence into making a mistake.

“It was a conscious decision to play that way”, admitted Marcus afterwards. “We were convinced Rovers would play 2-5-3, so we knew that if we bossed midfield and concentrated on wing attacks, it would bear fruit. Fortunately that’s how things panned out and we’ve got ourselves a good win”.

With the top three all winning there was no change at the top, however we’ve now opened up a six point advantage over -*FC BARCELONA*- in fourth.

A 4-2 defeat away to manager-less sooside athletico on Saturday lost Brook Street their unbeaten record and saw the New Home Park side knocked off top spot by Blue Order. The match had started well for the visitors, who went into the break 2-1 up through goals by Leoš Loos and Onésimo Murube.

However it was a different story in the second half as the home side hit three unanswered goals to snatch the points.

“We totally switched off in the second half and paid the price”, fumed Marcus Lövman at full time. “Had Germán Olmos Ribas’s lob been a fraction lower, then I think the outcome would have been very different”.

He continued, “We were bossing the game at that point, and I wouldn’t have thought they could pull the game back for a third time. As it was, it bounced off the crossbar, they took the lead, then we totally switched off at the back for their fourth. Leaving their player totally unmarked in front of goal was unforgivable. We won’t get anywhere if we gift teams goals like that”.

The defeat saw Brook Street drop to second place a point behind Blue Order with ten points, the same as next Saturday’s visitors Vine’s Cross.

NEXT MATCH

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