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Just as Abel Soffia arrived to begin his career with Brook Street, the player he was brought in to replace, Vítor Leocádio, exited New Home Park this evening to join Polish VI Liga side fc natanael in a deal worth £680,000.

“Vítor needs first team football at this stage of his career, and as we couldn’t guarantee this, it made sense that he moved on”, admitted Arjen this evening.

“He leaves with our all our very best wishes, and we hope he does well with his new club”.

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Brook Street’s reserves recorded a 6-0 win in a bad tempered match against smetena in Slovenia this evening in which both teams had a man ordered off.

Germán Olmos Ribas opened the scoring in the sixth minute with a real howitzer, and following a fine build-up, he doubled his tally and Brook Street’s lead with only twelve minutes played.

Brook Street had to wait another twenty-five minutes for our next goal, and then two came along at once.

Vítor Leocádio nutmegged the keeper to put us three up with thirty-seven minutes played, then Andy Harte pounced a minute later to take advantage of a mix-up between the home keeper and his defenders. From close in, he was never going to make any mistake.

As if things were not bad enough for smetena at this point, the red mist descended on their German winger Werner Mattusch and he was ordered off following a scuffle in the centre circle.

Kenny Corney knocked in our fifth goal two minutes after the break and Vítor Leocádio rattled the rigging with an excellent free kick to complete the scoring after sixty-four minutes.

The game was over as a contest and normally would have just petered out to full time, but the game finished with unsavoury scenes, which saw Brook Street’s Fraser Carragher ordered off and Andy Harte booked, and smetana’s Markos Gerasimou and Javier Peñafiel pick up injuries. Gerasimou in particular looks likely to face a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

“It is unfortunate that the boys have picked up injuries, however our players’ conduct was unacceptable”, said an angry Arjen Bogaert at full-time. “The club will be disciplining them”.

On the match itself, he said, “We played some decent football, scored some good goals, and Zee recorded another clean sheet. You can’t get better than that, but as far as I’m concerned, the shine was taken off the win by what happened just before the final whistle”.

Brook Street’s participation in this season’s Scottish Cup ended this morning as the reserves crashed 4-0 to Gowky Giants’ first team.

While it was disappointing to bow out at only the Third Round, it was perhaps not too surprising as Arjen noted at full-time.

“With the exception of Eldvinas Šumlinskas and Vítor Leocádio, we had a very young and inexperienced side out there today. In fact five of them were only teenagers, so it cannot really be seen as a surprise that we lost to a side playing their first team”.

He continued, “Yes, of course we could have fielded our first team but if we had, eleven of our squad would not receive training this week. That’s simply not beneficial to the squad, which is more important to us than progressing a round further in a competition that we have zero chance of winning”.

He concluded, “Our young players will have benefited from the experience far more than those of our opponents, and this will serve us much better in the future”.

New signing Ezequiel Alexandrino made his debut for the club an put in a very accomplished performance.

Of it, Arjen said, “Zee pulled off a couple of outstanding saves and he could not be faulted for any of the goals we conceded, so he can be justifiably pleased with his display. I think we’ve got ourselves a bargain!”

So now it’s back to international friendly matches for the reserves starting next week.

Jose Eransus fires us into the lead against Glenury this afternoon.

Athletic edged closer to the Division IV.42 title with a 3-0 win over Glenury Untied in front of yet another capacity crowd at New Home Park this afternoon.

The win saw us maintain our six-point lead over speccy’s saints, and ensured that a victory at bottom-dogs Virtual Bhoys next week would see Brook Street all but secure back-to-back league titles.

A goal either side of the half-hour mark from José Eransus and Vítor Leocádio were added to by Andy Hautala, eleven minutes from time gave us a win that we fully deserved, according to coach Arjen Bogaert.

“We have a phenomenal record against Glenury”, he said, “and today we showed exactly why that is the case. We dominated the match from start to finish, and I feel we were worth a much bigger win than we got”.

He continued, “We’ve now played ourselves into a position whereby a victory next week will see us requiring just a point from our last two games to secure the title”.

“We will however, not be looking to stagger over the finish line. Instead, we are looking to go through the whole league season without dropping a point; something which the club have never achieved”.

“Goals like these, keep the players on their toes”, he concluded.

Brook Street will however be without the services of Paul O’Healihy for the match against Virtual Bhoys, as the Irishman’s booking against Glenury took him over the points threshold, and he will be suspended for the game next week.

Dario Zintu, despite being out-numbered by home defenders, slams home our opening goal in Nicaragua.

Brook Street’s reserves executed the classic “smash and grab” in Managua last night, defeating their counterparts from Nicaraguan Primera División side AC Oriental 3-1 in a match that the home side held the bulk of possession.

“The lads were outstanding this afternoon”, said Arjen at full-time. “They soaked up all the pressure and were utterly clinical with the chances they created. I can’t ask for more than this”.

“AC had two Nicaraguan Under-20’s in their line-up, so the fact we’ve done so well is down completely to the lads. Their work ethic today was second to none and they fully deserved their win”.

Dario Zintu opened the scoring with twenty minutes on the clock, and four minutes later, after the home keeper had spilt Daniel Hasnaş’s header, Bruno Le Ber slammed the ball home to double our lead.

AC reduced the lead just before the break through Nicaraguan Under-20 midfielder Rafa Derbez, but Vítor Leocádio restored our two-goal advantage with only eleven minutes left to give us the 3-1 win.

At New Home Park this morning, Athletic finally laid to rest their Brook Street Cup jinx by defeating Knights Alliance 2-0 to win the trophy.

It may have taken eight attempts, and there is always a degree of embarrassment at winning your own competition, however this was all briefly forgotten at full-time as the players and coaching staff celebrated the win.

Arjen spoke briefly before returning to the celebrations. He paid tribute to the players saying, “I think we were excellent today. We took control of the match early on and made the important breakthrough. It gave us something to build upon, and although Knights came back into the game later, we got a couple of breaks and never looked back. I think the sending-off was pivotal, but we’ll just never know”.

He then praised partner club Knights, commenting “They’ve done themselves proud this season having, like us, won their league. We shouldn’t forget that Knights won their group despite a 0-3 loss in their opening game – it takes a special side to do that”.

He continued, “They’ll be smarting from the defeat today, but the links between our two clubs are strong, and we’ll have a get-together before they leave for home tonight”.

Athletic had got off to a flying start in front of a somewhat disappointing crowd of only 3364, Dario Zintu bursting through the centre of the Knights defence to net the opening goal with six minutes on the clock.

It could have been 2-0 six minutes later, but Dario’s volley from Vítor Leocádio’s cross flashed past the post.

Knights were coming back into the match however, and Rafael Stevens should really have done better just before the half hour mark, having dispossessed Jake MacConnechy at the edge of the Brook Street eighteen-yard box.

Vítor Leocádio then had a chance to increase Athletic’s lead, but saw his header turned round the post for a corner by Dário Sarrano.

Play was racing from end to end, and Olivier Roux rattled the Brook Street crossbar with a fine strike in the thirty-third minute.

However a minute later, this miss was to prove costly as Knights found themselves two behind, Oleg Zhigalov shaking off his marker to fire home from point-blank range.

Athletic came out for the second half determined to press home their advantage, and almost did so through Daniel Hasnaş, but for a superb reflex save by Dário Sarrano nine minutes after the break.

Knights were still far from out of the game, and got their reward in the seventieth minute. An Olivier Roux header from a corner stung Emilio Juarez’s gloves and in the resulting goalmouth scramble, Thys Hieltjes was the fastest to react and slammed the ball into the net.

With their tails up, Knights were about to go all out for an equaliser when Valter Fogaça did something that you just can’t legislate for. He saw red for his actions, and only he will know what he was thinking about. The Knights coaching staff certainly let him know what they thought as he walked up the tunnel.

With the man advantage, it was always going to be tough for Knights, and they found themselves being pushed further and further back. To their credit though, they didn’t concede and kept trying to get forward for the rest of the game.

The red card, with Knights clearly in the ascendancy and having just scored, was clearly influential in the result, but from a Brook Street perspective it was perhaps the ‘rub of the green’ that has so often previously deserted us.

Brook Street Cup 9 will return the season after next.

Andy Hautala volleys home our second goal.

A devastating five-goal first half display by Athletic swept aside Jimmy’s Wiggles and set up our 6-0 win in this afternoon’s league clash. Two goals each from Onésimo Murube and Andy Hautala along with a strike from Vítor Leocádio were added to in the second half by a superb scissor kick from Eldvinas Šumlinskas eight minutes from time.

The win saw Brook Street maintain their unbeaten record against the side from Fife, while it also kept us five points ahead of our nearest rivals with games now running out.

“Getting the win was more important than the standard of the performance”, said Arjen at full-time, “however, we produced a very good display, particularly in the first half, which was heartening”.

He continued, “We have stuttered somewhat over the past few weeks, so it was important that we picked up maximum points today to keep the pressure on our rivals”.

The match saw Athletic back to full strength, and Paul O’Healihy got fifteen minutes under his belt on his return from injury. The big Irishman said, “It’s good to get playing again. I’m a terrible spectator, so it’s good to get back into the thick of things. I got the go ahead last night, so I was really desperate to get onto the pitch this afternoon”.

“Touch wood, I’ll have no reaction tomorrow, but now I’m really looking forward to the run-in and hopefully I can stay injury free”.

Arjen commented jokingly, “Paul was an absolute nightmare when he was injured, the worst possible patient I’d guess! He was so desperate to get on this afternoon, but there’s no way I’ll be rushing him in his recuperation. As I explained to him, I’d rather he got a short time today rather than him being thrown straight back in and risk him out for a further long spell”.

“So far there seems to be no reaction, so hopefully there will be none tomorrow and he’ll be fully fit for next week”.

The reserves geared up for next Wednesday’s opening Brook Street Cup fixture against Car Dusan, with an emphatic 9-0 win over AC Milan18 at New Home Park this morning.

If the Serbian side had representatives watching from the stand, they couldn’t help but be impressed by the way in which the home side comprehensively dismantled their Armenian opposition.

Athletic got off to a flier as Liran Tzur broke through following some fine build-up play to fire home from a tight angle with only four minutes played.

The game settled down after this and it wasn’t until the twenty-fourth minute that Athletic created a second chance. Having turned his marker inside out, Vítor Leocádio raced down the line before firing over an inviting cross that Liran Tzur rose high to power a header home.

Two minutes later and Oleg Zhigalov blasted home Brook Street’s third goal as the New Home Park side threatened to run riot.

The screw was being well and truly turned and only a fine save prevented Jake MacConnechy’s header from nestling in the net. This however was merely a reprieve as two minutes later the ball broke to Germán Olmos Ribas at the edge of the AC eighteen yard box and the Spaniard drilled the ball home.

The visitors were clearly glad to make it to half-time, and for a spell after the break, as the game was broken up by substitutions, they managed to keep things tight at the back.

However playing two central defenders is a risky strategy, and when Igor Bulatov beat his marker to the ball, there was only ever going to be one outcome.

At this point, the roof really caved-in for the visitors as within the next three minutes, second half substitutes Marcus Lövman and Archie Peacock added to the score.

Athletic were toying with their by now disheartened opponents, so it came as no surprise when with seven minutes left, Vítor Leocádio added his name to the scoresheet following a terrific one-two with Dario Zintu.

Then just two minutes later Vítor capped a fine performance with an excellent solo goal to make the final score 9-0.

“We played exceptionally well and scored some very good goals today”, said Arjen at the post-match press conference. “We played well as a team and there were a number of excellent performances”.

He continued, “This was the perfect build-up to the start of the Brook Street Cup next week, but I don’t think many teams will come here and play with two central defenders”.

“Our strikers may not have got on the scoresheet today, but they did an exceptional amount of hard work dragging the AC central defenders out of position and allowing our midfielders to run in on goal. They deserve a lot of credit for that”.

He concluded, “The whole squad are playing well and there is a real buzz about the dressing room. We’ve got real competition for places, and this is having the desired effect of getting everyone to raise their game”.

“I might look at changing my proposed line-up for Saturday’s game following today’s performance”.

Daniel Hasnaş slams home the opening goal of the game against Ideal Dreamland this morning.

Three goals from on-form Daniel Hasnaş helped Brook Street to a comfortable 6-0 friendly win over Ideal Dreamland at New Home Park this morning. With the home team only leading 1-0 at the break, whatever Arjen said at half-time certainly had the desired effect.

When asked what he had said at the break he laughed and said, “I didn’t give them the hairdryer treatment if that’s what you’re implying!”

“No, all I said was keep doing what you are doing and the goals will come. We were well on top and only some poor finishing and a great save from their keeper denied us a bigger lead”.

“Things came right in the second half though and we got the winning margin that our dominance merited”.

Daniel Hasnaş opened the scoring nine minutes into the game with a superb half-volley and Vítor Leocádio could have added a second after twenty-eight minutes. However his shot was wayward and rattled the upright.

On the half hour mark he was denied again, this time by a superb save by Huaidi in the Dreamland goal. It wasn’t all one way traffic though and in the resulting counter-attack, Lipeng had a great chance but blazed wildly past the post when he should have done much better.

Daniel Hasnaş doubled the lead two minutes into the second half, firing home from an acute angle, and Vítor Leocádio finally got his name on the scoresheet just on the hour mark.

The Portuguese winger was having a good match and got his second of the game four minutes later following a fine solo run.

Brook Street were in top gear now and Yann Schories made it 5-0 in the seventieth minute, at which point the tempo of the match dropped considerably.

However the home side weren’t finished yet, and Daniel Hasnaş completed his hat-trick heading home a cross from Vítor Leocádio on the right.

It was a good workout for the players, and with only one friendly left before the start of Brook Street Cup 8, the benefits to the reserves are clear to see.

“The team is firing on all cylinders now”, said Arjen, “and we’re hopeful of getting another good friendly match next week before we face Car Dusan in our opening Brook Street Cup match the following week”.

Brook Street’s five first half goal blitz all but saw off Stanford Football Club in this morning’s friendly match at New Home Park, and although Athletic only managed to add a further one goal in the second half, Arjen was more than happy with the outcome.

“We dominated the match and everything we did in the first half lead to a goal. We eased up a bit in the second half, but with the game won we could afford to”.

It wasn’t all good news for Athletic though, as Dario Zintu picked up an injury that will rule him out for at least a fortnight.

“It’s a nasty one”, admitted Arjen, “but it’s just one of those things. Hopefully, he’ll be back sooner, but I’m not holding my breath”.

Brook Street got off to the perfect start this morning as, only six minutes into the game, Daniel Hasnaş executed the most delicate of lobs from just outside the box that evaded the Stanford keeper’s outstretched hand and nestled in the net.

The home fans however had to wait until the twenty-first minute for the second goal, but it was worth the wait as Dario Zintu cut in from the left before curling the ball into the far corner of the Stanford net.

With twenty-six minutes on the clock, the home team went three up as Liran Tzur rose high to power home Igor Bulatov’s well placed corner; clearly a move straight off the training ground.

Then, just two minutes later Bruno Le Ber got in on the act breaking through on the right before driving the ball home. Not to be left out, Laurent Étcheverry made it a hat-trick for the defenders in the thirty-second minute to complete the first half scoring.

Two minutes after the break, Dario Zintu flashed a volley wide of the post, however this was only delaying the inevitable and the unmarked Vítor Leocádio duly dispatched the ball past the helpless Stanford keeper with fifty-three minutes played.

A minute later, Vítor almost made it 7-0 but for a reflex save by the keeper, before the game became fragmented due to the number of substitutions.

Overall, it was a good workout for the reserves, but Dario will certainly be missed in the next couple of weeks.

NEXT MATCH

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