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Sam Ferretto hits the ball low and hard into the chain of beer net to open the scoring.

Sam Ferretto hits the ball low and hard into the chain of beer net to open the scoring.

Brook Street’s record breaking run in this season’s Saltire Cup came to an end at The Bloated Dome this afternoon when they were defeated 2-5 by chain of beer.
The New Home Park side had twice taken the lead; Sam Ferretto had finished off a fine through ball from Andrew Cleary to open the scoring in the eighteenth minute, and although chain had equalised six minutes later, Andrew restored the advantage in thirty-six minutes.
The ‘visitors’ struck back instantly though, and hit the net a further two times in the remaining nine minutes to take a decisive lead into the break.
Brook Street were a spent force though and with the writing on the wall, chain scored a fifth goal with less than a quarter of an hour to go.
“We simply ran out of steam”, said Leoš afterwards. “We’d started well, but the three goals in quick succession did for us”.

“It’s been a great run in the competition, and one we can be proud of”, said the coach. “Now however it’s back to the bread and butter of the league and our quest for survival. That after all is our prime objective”.

He also confirmed that the reserves would be fielded in the remaining friendly matches of the season.

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Muhammad Noorani fires home to open the scoring and send Brook Street on their way to the Quarter-Finals.

Muhammad Noorani fires home to open the scoring and send Brook Street on their way to the Quarter-Finals.

While Brook Street’s league form continues to give cause for concern, the same most definitely can’t be said for their for in this season’s Saltire Cup where today’s 2-0 win over FC Vålax took the Monifieth side into the Quarter-Finals of a national Cup competition for the first time.

Naturally, and in stark contrast to Saturday, it was a jubilant Leoš Loos who attended the post-match press conference.

When asked about the history-making performance, he said, “From their previous performances, we suspected they would try to ‘park the bus’, so it was up to us to break them down”.

“It was a blow to lose Abel [Soffia], but Alex Clapperton came on and with almost his first touch swung in the beauty of a cross that Muhammad [Noorani] powered into the net to open the scoring. We pressed the game and got the all important second goal before half-time, and from then on the game was over”.

Asked about the extent of the injury to Abel Soffia he replied, “It looks like he might be out for about a week, so that probably rules him out of the league game at the weekend. However, we’re hopeful that’s just the worst-case scenario, but I’m confident Alex [Clapperton] will do a good job”.

And of his side’s chances in the Quarter-Finals?

“At this stage in the competition, there are no ‘easy’ games; it’s all about tactics and who gets them right on the day”, Leoš replied.

“It’s a knockout competition though, so anything is possible”, he concluded.

Abel Soffia fires us into the lead for the first time and on our way to creating history.

Abel Soffia fires us into the lead for the first time and on our way to creating history.

Last season, Team Europe at Gleneagles comfortably saw off Brook Street in the Third Round of the Saltire Cup, running out 4-0 winners. However it was a different story this morning as it was the New Home Park side who had the last laugh in the Fourth Round, winning 3-2.

Ironically, it was the away team who netted first through Mauro Bogo in the twenty-sixth minute; a lead they held until three minutes into the second half when Andrew Cleary dispatched Garabed Palasyan’s cross.

Play raged from end to end, but no one could make the breakthrough, that is until a two minute spell with twenty minutes to go when first Abel Soffia blasted in a half-volley to take the lead, and two minutes later Muhammad Noorani bundled the ball over the line to make it 3-1.

Mauro Bogo netted his second of the game with thirteen minutes to go which made for a nervous closing period, but Brook Street held on to gain some revenge for last season, and create a small piece of history by becoming the first Brook Street side to reach the last sixteen of a national competition.

“We only played well in spells”, admitted Brook Street coach Leoš Loos, “but the result was more important that the performance”.

“Gleneagles are a good side and they’re doing well in their league, so our victory shouldn’t be underestimated”, he added.

Brook Street’s reward or the win is a Fifth Round tie against Division IV side FC Vålax.

“We’ve got a rough idea how they’ll line up, so without giving anything away we’ll look to counter that”, said Leoš.

Andrew Cleary tries in vain to find a way through the Knights defence.

Andrew Cleary tries in vain to find a way through the Knights defence.

After Wednesday’s heroics in the Saltire Cup, it was back to earth with a bump this afternoon as league leaders Caerlaverock Knights ran out comfortable 4-0 winners at New Home Park.

There was to be no fireworks from the home side as the Brook Street challenge fizzled out like a damp squib.

“We never put them under any sort of pressure which is particularly disappointing”, fumed Brook Street coach Leoš Loos. “That said, they are easily the best side we have faced so far, but that doesn’t lessen the disappointment I am feeling about our performance”.

“We never put them under any pressure whatsoever; they were first to everything and they showed an urgency and desire to win that we simply didn’t have”.

He added, “That doesn’t help us in our quest for survival in this league though, and a wrong result could put us in a difficult position. It’s far too tight at the bottom of the league for my liking and I want us to put more points between us and the relegation zone”.

“We’re only a point off of second bottom. That’s far too close for comfort”, he concluded.

Brook Street were two goals down within the first twenty minutes or so, but a late collapse saw the Knights net twice in the last quarter of an hour to give the scoreline a more accurate impression of the dominance of the visitors.

Floating on air... Hachem Baddou defies gravity to power home our second goal.

Floating on air… Hachem Baddou defies gravity to power home our second goal.

Prior to today’s victory over Quinta Brigada T.C., Brook Street’s best ever run in the Saltire Cup came last season when they went out in the third round to Team Europe at Gleneagles. In a bizarre twist of fate, that’s exactly who the New Home Park side will face in the Fourth Round of this season’s competition next Wednesday.

“It’s a great draw for us”, said Brook Street coach Leoš Loos on hearing the news. “We made some tactical errors last season which cost us dearly. It’s good to get another crack at them so soon”.

He continued, “They look like they’re on a good run, so we’ll have to be on our game. We’ve played reasonably well in the competition so far, but now we’re getting ever closer to the sharp end and it’s further than we’ve ever got before. We’re obviously got to up our game now if we’re to progress further”.

While acknowledging that it was a great run, he added, “It will all count for nothing if we don’t show up next Wednesday”.

Turning back to today’s win he said, “To be honest, we’re lucky to have gone through and have Zeke to thank for it. His point-blank save was world class”.

“We surrendered far too much possession, and put ourselves under pressure needlessly”, he added. We must eliminate that from our game”.

However, he was more than happy to praise his players’ performances at the other end of the park.

“As soon as the ball broke to Andrew [Cleary] there was only every going to be one outcome, and for our second, Hachem [Baddou] has that strange ability to hang in the air which is hopefully going to produce a lot of goals for him.

It wasn’t all good news though and the coach admitted that Emanuel Bohucký is facing an extended spell on the sidelines.

“He took a bad one, and on top of Eliseo Alberios’s, it’s the last thing we needed to be honest. We’ll dust ourselves ourselves down and see where we’re at for the next game.

After some fine build-up play, Lope Cabrio rifles the ball into the net to open the scoring against Ants Army.

After some fine build-up play, Lope Cabrio rifles the ball into the net to open the scoring against Ants Army.

Brook Street put Saturday’s bad result in the Highlands behind them this morning with an excellent 4-2 win over Ants Army F.C. to reach the Third Round of the Saltire Cup.

Two quick goals around the quarter hour mark from Lope Cabrio and Eike Alanne set Brook Street on their way, and although Davide Marzuillo reduced the lead, Attila Gyöngyösi quickly re-established the two-goal advantage going into the break.

Ants struck again with an hour played, Ingo Trittibach being marked down as the scorer, but Brook Street were not to be denied and Emanuel Bohucký secured the win with a fine solo effort midway through the half.

“It wasn’t a classic performance”, admitted Leoš Loos afterwards, “but after the result at the weekend, getting the confidence-boosting win was far more important. We got it, and can now go forward with renewed confidence”.

In the Third Round, Brook Street have been drawn against fellow Division III side, Quinta Brigada T.C. With the match scheduled to be played in Aberdeen at the 140,000 capacity Bloated Dome, home of Push It Wide, Boys!!

Coach Leoš Loos, seems to have been impressed with what he’s seen of next week’s opponents, but limited his comment to, “They look like a very good side, so we’ll have to be on our game next Wednesday”.

Before that though comes Saturday’s six-pointer away to Smyllum Rovers FC .

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”.

Alex Clapperton - set to start on Saturday following Garabed Palasyan's booking today.

Alex Clapperton – set to start on Saturday following Garabed Palasyan’s booking today.

Two goals either side of half-time put paid to Brook Street’s Saltire Cup campaign this afternoon as Team Europe At Gleneagles ran out comfortable 4-0 winners.

“I’ve no complaints at all”, admitted Leoš Loos afterwards, “we were beaten by a very good side who are going well in the league above us”. He added, “I’m only disappointed that Garabed has picked up a booking which rules him out of Saturday’s game against Highlands”.

“That said”, he continued, “I would much rather he missed out this game rather than on against one of our title rivals”.

The coach also defended his decision to field the reserves in the match. “Realistically there’s no chance of us defeating a side of the calibre of Gleneagles and even less of us winning the Cup, so why should we risk our first team where they could pick up injuries or such like?”

“The reserves were fielded so that they could gain experience and nothing more. As it happens, Alex Clapperton will get his first league start on Saturday due to Garabed’s suspension, so there is one player who is gaining experience playing these games. I for one have no reservations in throwing him into the cut and thrust of the league”.

So next week, it will be back to friendly matches for the reserves, but again Leoš was not too downbeat.

“These are the kind of games we can try out new ideas. There’s no guarantee as to the quality of the opposition, but all we can do is go with the cards we’re dealt. What we are certain of though is that the matches will all be played at home again this season”.

Matt Cocker curls a beauty to make the score 2-2 and mark the start of the fightback.

Matt Cocker curls a beauty to make the score 2-2 and mark the start of the fightback.

Trailing 1-2 at the break, Brook Street fought back to defeat Toon of the South 4-2 and set up a Saltire Cup Third Round tie at Turret Park next Wednesday against Division III side Team Europe at Gleneagles.

Sam Ferretto had put Brook Street in front in the tenth minute, outjumping his marker at a corner to power his header past South keeper Leonel Moreira Carvalho.

However the game was turned on its head around the half-hour mark with two South goals in a minute. Coen Solleveld broke through and fired home to level in twenty-nine minutes and within sixty seconds the visitors were in front, Paweł Dziob finishing off a fine move down the middle.

Zsolt Baboss had the chance to level the match in the fifty-fourth minute, but put the ball over the bar and will no doubt feel he should have done better.

However, with Brook Street dominating in the middle of the park, the breakthrough came with sixty-five minutes played. The ball broke to Matt Cocker at the edge of the box and with the deftest of touches, curled the ball just inside the post and into the net.

Midway through the half, Muhammad Noorani had the chance to put Brook Street back in front but lacked composure and blazed the ball past the post. This was only a reprieve for the visitors though.

Twelve minutes from time, with no apparent danger posed, Sam Ferretto picked up the ball on the right wing. Moving inside he made towards the South goal, dodged one tackle and blasted the ball into the rigging.

Then, a minute later, with the South defence still some disarray and recriminations ongoing, Fraser Carragher broke through on the right again and fired home to complete a memorable fightback and send Brook Street into the Third Round.

Speaking at full-time, Leoš Loos said, “We showed real character and composure when it mattered. Yes, I’m annoyed at losing two soft goals, but we put that right at half-time and our second half display was excellent”.

He continued, “We have done well against Division III clubs so far this season and it shows we’re moving in the right direction. We’ve just got to keep this good form going”.

Looking forward to next week’s tie he said, “I don’t know anything about them to be honest, but the game is being played at Turret Park a ground we know well. We’ll watch them on Saturday, but by all accounts they’re doing well in their league and will pose a significant challenge for our players”.

Third time lucky: Matt Cocker finally finds the net against Crushers.

Third time lucky: Matt Cocker finally finds the net against Crushers.

Brook Street are safely through to the next round of the Saltire Cup having defeated Swiss-Castel-Crushers 4-0 at New Home Park this afternoon. But it was not all good news for the Monifieth side as they now look like being without Sam Ferretto for at least a week following an ankle injury.

“We’ll reassess it in the morning, but he’s almost certainly out for the next week, possibly two”, admitted Leoš Loos after the match. “It’s really disappointing for him as he’d scored our opening goal today, and also in our match against Sparta”. He continued, “Sam’s been in very good form since the start of the season so it’s disappointing for him that he’s picked up the injury”.

Although Sam had opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute, Brook Street could have been one-up after only eleven minutes, but Matt Cocker’s drive was an inch and a half too high and the shot rattled off the crossbar.

The visitors weren’t seen as an attacking force despite having as much possession as Brook Street, and they almost paid the price after thirty-four minutes when Matt broke through again. This time however, they had keeper Jacobo Miquilena to thank for keeping the score 1-0 with an excellent block.

Into the second half, and Brook Street carried on as they had left off. Finally, with fifty-five minutes on the clock, the breakthrough was made and it came from the boot of Matt Cocker. Breaking through the middle, he was able to run onto a through-ball from Phil Mullally and calmly slid it under Miquilena in the Crusher goal.

Krsto Grubić almost added to the scoreline with fourteen minutes left, but for a spectacular stop by Jacobo Miquilena yet again.

However, the decisive point of the game came five minutes later when the referee awarded Brook Street a penalty. No-one could work out why, but Fraser Carragher wasted no time in planting the ball into the visitors’ net.

All was going to plan for Brook Street, but a minute later Sam Ferretto was limping out of the game to be replaced by the player-coach.

And it was Leoš Loos himself who supplied the coup de grace three minutes after coming on, latching onto a Matt Cocker head-flick at a corner and blasting home from about three yards out.

“It was a good workout and we’re happy to be through”, was Leoš’s final assessment on the game.

The next round draw has given Brook Street another home tie, this time against Division III side Toon of the South. On hearing the draw, Leoš said, “It will be interesting to try ourselves out against another Division III side, but as I say every week, the League is our number one priority”.

NEXT MATCH

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