Snow winner

Blackburn United 0

Sauchie 2 (Donaldson 28mins, Finlayson 53mins)

Match Abandoned – 61mins

A bitterly cold wind welcomed the players on an afternoon when all other Premier Division games had been postponed thanks to Storm Ellen and it was the visitors who settled earliest, Jordan Watson clearing a looping cross only as far as Sharp on the edge of the box but he sent his half volley narrowly over the top. Sixty seconds later Donaldson latched onto a loose ball eighteen yards out but his shot flew past the left hand upright. Just beyond the twenty minute mark United themselves then came agonisingly close to opening the scoring when Calum McDowall sent Danny Campbell clear on the right and when his cross arrived in the middle, Wright stooped to rattle his defensive header against his own post. Fortunately for the centre-half the ball cannoned straight back to his ‘keeper who flopped on it gratefully. Richie Hutton then tested Dolan with a pop from more than twenty yards that the Sauchie ‘keeper pushed past the post. From the resultant corner the ball was cleared to the edge of the area where Marc Smith was waiting but his shot sailed over. The opening goal, though, arrived at the other end four minutes later when Finlayson got free on the right to lift a ball into the box and although Michael Browne got his boot to it the ball came off his heel to spin awkwardly into the air and onto the back post where DONALSON was lurking to give Craig Saunders no chance with a half volley from no more than six yards. By now the snow was beginning to fall and as it increased in intensity players from both sides, as well as the match officials, seemed to be struggling to deal with what was becoming blizzard like conditions and Hutton required treatment after slipping and picking up an injury. Before the break Saunders went down to gather a routine effort that slipped from his grasp thanks to the snow but he was able to recover before Donaldson could take advantage and the last chance of the half came for Blackburn when Watson danced past several tackles before sliding a pass into McDowall but his shot cum cross took a deflection and went wide of goal.

In the swirling snow United officials cleared the lines at the interval to ensure the game could resume, although both the referee and his assistants had taken a long hard look at the deteriorating surface conditions during those fifteen minutes. The game, however, did restart and David Howe barrelled in off the right hand side to hit and effort at goal that Dolan was equal to, the ball spinning from his slippery grasp before he could claim it at the second attempt. For Sauchie, Comrie hit a terrific effort from distance that struck Saunders right hand post in forty nine minutes. By now, referee Mr. Lee had stopped play on a couple of occasions to speak with both captains and both managers and was clearly concerned with the danger being posed by the underfoot conditions, but play continued and from a corner-kick in fifty three minutes the visitors lead was doubled, FINLAYSON getting the freedom of the six yard area to head past Saunders. However, that was to be the last real action as the referee brought the captains together one last time just after Blackburn centre-half John Drummond had slipped and fell when losing his footing in pursuit of an overhit through ball and abandoned the game, a decision not entirely welcomed by the men from Sauchie but probably the correct one nonetheless.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Watson, McClung (Lawrie 57), Browne, Drummond, Smith, McDowall, Kane, Campbell, Howe, Hutton  Subs (not used): Queen, L.Devine, Mildren, Welsh, McLeod, Clements

Sauchie line-up: Dolan, Houston, Syme, Wright, Cross, Sharp, McCaughie, Comrie, Crawford, Donaldson, Finlayson  Subs: Young, S.Dolan, Dawson, McTaggart, Bryson, Cummins, Cameron

Referee: Mr. Ryan Lee

Assistants: Mr. Andrew McGachan & Mr. Owen Roberts