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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.

Andrew Cleary nets his fourth goal of the game to wrap up the scoring at a 9-1 win to Brook Street.

Brook Street romped to an emphatic 9-1 demolition of BK Flowers in the Highlands this afternoon, with Andrew Cleary, the league’s top marksman, netting four of the goals.

“We did what we had to do”, said Brook Street’s coach Eike Alanne at full-time. “It wasn’t a classic”, he admitted, “but it’s another important three points. At this point in the season, that’s all that matters”.

Andrew Cleary fired the league leaders into the lead in the fifth minute, but it wasn’t until after half an hour that he added his, and Brook Street’s second.

Brook Street then added a third through Attila Gyöngyösi, but the home side quickly fired back, Ben-Zion Eshhar reducing the lead to two.

Conceding a goal clearly annoyed the Brook Street players however, and within sixty seconds the three-goal advantage was restored, Sam Ferretto breaking through to blast home.

Brook Street weren’t finished there however, and Andrew Cleary made sure he was taking the match ball home two minutes before the break.

The Monifieth side were out of site by this point, and it became a question of ‘how many’? However, it took until seventy-three minutes before Brook Street found the net again, this time through Phil Mullally.

Sam Ferretto made it 7-1 five minutes later, before Phil Mullally made it eight, five minutes from time. Brook Street weren’t finished yet, and it was tormentor-in-chief Andrew Cleary who wrapped up the scoring with a real predator’s strike a minute later.

The win keeps Brook Street a point ahead of MacAulays Saints and two ahead of fc scourie. With these two facing each other next weekend, someone is going to lose out and with only three games remaining, it could prove pivotal at a crucial time in the season.

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.

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.

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.

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”.

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to open the scoring in this morning's friendly at NHP.

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to open the scoring in this morning’s friendly at NHP.

Two goals in each half saw Brook Street ease to a comfortable 4-1 win over German Liga VII side Sportfreunde Veischedetal at New Home Park as preparations for the new season step up a gear.

Matt Cocker fired Brook Street into the lead in the fourth minute, and Phil Mullally doubled the lead nine minutes later.

Eike rang the changes at half-time and took himself, Matt Cocker and Zeke Alexandrino off to be replaced by Nicky Breaden, Lachlan MacKinnon and Jim Barnstaple respectively.

The substitutions didn’t seem to affect the fluidity of the game however, and within four minutes of the restart, Andrew Cleary slotted home number three.

Were it not for Jim Barnstaple being in outstanding form, Brook street could have been punished for taking their foot off the gas. With sixty-five minutes played he somehow got a fingertip to Shunta Furukawa’s netbound shot to turn it over, before denying Jérémy Sainte-Luce moments later.

Phil Mullally put the result beyond doubt in the seventy-fourth minute, but Carlo Maria Tiso fired in a consolation goal for the visitors seven minutes from time to wrap up the scoring.

While Eike was pleased with the result, he accepted that perhaps his team had been a little ‘lucky’.

“I think we owe Jim [Barnstaple] a huge vote of thanks for this win as without his two top-class saves, the result could have been very different. That said, I will be very happy if this is a lucky team”.

Asked if the starting line-up was his preferred one, he candidly said, “I don’t honestly think I’ve thought about my preferred starting line-up yet. Everyone has to, and will, get their chance to impress. Whoever starts will be in the side on merit”.

Emanuel Bohucký in action

Emanuel Bohucký in action.

Meanwhile, Emanuel Bohucký who sat out the game on the bench, has bid farewell to the club after a stay of some fifteen seasons to fly home to complete his signing for Slovakian V Liga side Futbalový klub Mladosť Petrovec.

“I would have liked to keep Manny here”, admitted Eike, “but I couldn’t guarantee him first team football, and at 34 he knows he’s perhaps only got a few seasons left. It would have been unfair to keep him here and not play him, and he would’ve been a very expensive luxury to be warming the bench. So there was really only one likely outcome, and I’m glad he’s found a club back home”.

“He hit seventy goals in a hundred and seventy-nine competitive appearances from midfield which is a fantastic strike rate and he will be undoubtedly be missed. He is more than capable of being a big player at a good level until he retires, and I wish him the very best of luck”, he added.

Phil Mullally completes his first half hat-trick in our 7-2 win over HIFK this morning. He would hit his fourth goal after the break.

Phil Mullally completes his first half hat-trick in our 7-2 win over HIFK this morning. He would hit his fourth goal after the break.

The reserves romped to an impressive 7-2 win over Finnish side HIFK’ 13 at New Home Park this morning with Phil Mullally hitting four of the goals. Sam Ferretto got two goals and Matt Cocker the other as Brook Street threatened to run riot.

The visitors had opened the scoring on the half-hour mark through Roope Moronen, but Sam Ferretto levelled in the thirty-sixth minute. Within sixty seconds, the game was turned on its head when Phil Mullally hit the first of his four goals.

However, in an amazing final minute of the half and stoppage time the teams managed to score a further four goals between them to make it 5-2 at the break. Phil Mullally netted his second goal then Matt Cocker got his counter. Roope Moronen hit his second goal for the visitors to reduce the lead, however Phil struck right back to complete his hattrick.

The second half was understandably something of a let-down following the excitement of the first forty-five minutes, but still yielded two goals in the space of two minutes.

With seventy-six minutes on the clock Phil Mullally fired in his fourth goal of the game before Sam Ferretto wound things up with his second goal of the game.

“It was a very professional performance”, claimed Brook Street coach Leoš Loos afterwards. “It was a strange game too; I’ve never taken part in a game before where so many goals have been scored in such a short time”.

While happy at the performance, Leoš admitted, “The biggest winners were the fans who watched the match!”

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to send Brook Street on their way to the Second Round.

Matt Cocker slams the ball into the net to send Brook Street on their way to the Second Round.

A professional first half display which saw Brook Street hit five goals without reply comfortably into the Saltire Cup Second Round.

Chieftans had no reply to the onslaught which saw Matt Cocker, Phil Mullally, Eliseo Albeiros find the net along with captain Fraser Carragher who netted a brace, all within the first thirty-seven minutes.

This allowed youngsters Liam Christie and Lachlan MacKinnon to enter the fray in the second half, to gain important match time.

“That was always our intention”, said coach Leoš Loos afterwards, “regardless of the score”. He continued, “The fact that we were up by five goals at the time was an added bonus as it meant that the heat was off us, so we could let the lads gain experience without being under any form of pressure”.

However, it wasn’t all good news for Brook Street as both Matt Cocker and Krsto Grubić picked up injuries late in the second half.

But the coach allayed any fears of long-term injuries by saying, “I’ve spoken with the medical team and they reckon the knocks are minor and both players will be available for the next round of the Cup, and probably even Saturday’s fixture against Nessie FC”.

In that ‘next round’, Brook Street have been against Division IV side Ants Army F.C. With the match scheduled to take place at New Home Park nest Wednesday.

“They look like they’re a very strong side, but we’ll be resisting the temptation to field our strongest team”, said Leoš. “This competition is all about gaining experience for our fringe players and reserves, and we won’t approach this game any differently”.

Phil Mullally fires  Brook Street into an early lead against SUS Beckhausen 05 in this morning's friendly.

Phil Mullally fires Brook Street into an early lead against SUS Beckhausen 05 in this morning’s friendly.

Brook Street and their German visitors SUS Beckhausen 05 served up a real cracker at New Home Park this morning with the game going to spot kicks after the sides sharing eight goals. This was despite the home side playing from the sixty-fourth minute with ten men after Fraser Caragher received two yellow cards in quick succession. However, despite the disadvantage, it was Athletic who prevailed, winning the shoot-out 3-2.

Phil Mullally had got Brook Street off to the perfect start with a goal in the fourth minute, and Garabed Palasyan doubled the lead just before the half-hour mark.

That two-goal lead lasted only two minutes before Emil Fornalczyk pulled one back for the visitors, and Brook Street were forced into a substitution in the fortieth minute when Attila Gyöngyösi was forced off after a bad challenge.

In an unusual move, coach Leoš Loos came on to replace him in defence, and within a minute the visitors had levelled through Cuno Bartnicki.

Muhammad Noorani nosed Brook Street ahead in the sixty-fifth minute, but Beckhausen fired straight back through Konstantin Streisand and two minutes later Jonas Tetzlaff finished off a terrific move to edge the visitors in front for the first time.

Beckhausen’s lead lasted until nine minutes from time when Sam Ferretto powered Alex Clapperton’s cross into the net with a spectacular diving header.

With no scoring in extra-time, Alex Clapperton, Sam Ferretto and Muhammad Noorani were the players who kept their cool in the shoot-out to fire Brook Street to the win.

“We were pushed all the way”, admitted Leoš who added, “but that’s exactly what we want”.

He continued, “Beckhausen were excellent opponents for us and although the fans like to see us win emphatically, I would much rather we had more friendly games like this”.

Asked about the injury to Attila Gyöngyösi, Leoš said, “It’s nothing bad, so I’d expect him to be in place on Saturday. Taking him off was more of a precaution”.

He concluded saying, “We played some great football and knocked the ball about well”.

Then, with tough firmly in cheek he said, “The work-rate of the midfield and the front line was excellent, but oh dear… the defence after Attilla went off was terrible. That guy that came on was the worst full-back I’ve ever seen!”

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