Sauchie Juniors 3 Blackburn United 0

Sauchie 3 (Dolan 6mins, Turnbull 13mins, McCaughie 41mins)

Blackburn United 0

United travelled to a venue where they haven’t been particularly successful over the years and, due to injury and suspension, fielded two debutants in the shape of midfielder Justin Watson and full-back Alan Higgins, with attacking midfielder Nathan Donnelly-Kay making his first start of the season. Unsurprisingly, the unfamiliar line-up coughed up an opportunity to their hosts within sixty seconds when goalkeeper Jonny Clements had to be quick from his line to spread himself well and deny McCaughie. At the other end Dominic Kane was unfortunate to see his glancing header from a Calum McDowall corner cleared off the line by Turnbull. However, three minutes later Sauchie were in front, a long ball forward eventually finding DOLAN racing clear and he made no mistake in picking his spot behind Clements. Back came United though and clever footwork by David Taylor allowed him to pull a ball back into McDowall’s path but his curler was easily enough held by Young in the home goal. However, the Beechwood Park men were further in front only ninety seconds later when an innocuous looking free-kick was awarded some thirty yards from goal and when TURNBULL’S effort from the dead ball somehow found its way through the United wall Clements wasn’t able to prevent it finding the net. Three chances in quick succession then came and went for Blackburn when first Donnelly-Kay and David Howe linked for Danny Campbell to drag his shot past the post and then when Campbell and Donnelly-Kay swapped passes to set-up Howe for a pop at goal that Young saved before, from a McDowall corner, Watson was desperately unlucky to see his effort clip the left hand post. Clements then kept Sauchie from stretching their lead by blocking Dawson’s shot with his feet before, in an end to end first half, McDowall’s free-kick hit the top of the crossbar on its way over. Four minutes from the break though and the hosts did move three ahead, Dawson hitting the bye-line on the right and cutting the ball back for the unmarked McCAUGHIE to thump past Clements despite the ‘keeper getting fingertips to it.

The second period was devoid of clear cut chances by comparison to the first half, although quick feet from Howe helped set up Watson for a shot that was saved before Finlayson’s effort at the other end was blocked by Clements and McCaughie’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Higgins. With quarter on an hour remaining and the game limping towards a conclusion there was one last opportunity and it came the way of the hosts, substitute Mooney outstripping Martin Lawrie on the run but sending his shot past the left hand upright.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Higgins, Lawrie, Browne, Taylor, Kane, Donnelly-Kay (Smith 63), Watson, Campbell, Howe (L.Devine 73), McDowall (Welsh 89)  Subs (not used): Young, McLeod, Mbewe

Sauchie line-up: Young, Houston, Turnbull, Wright, Tully, White, Dawson, Davidson, Dolan, Finlayson, McCaughie  Subs: Magregor, Sharp, McKeown, McTaggart, Langton, Mooney, Cummings

Referee: Mr. Andrew Craven