Blackburn United 0 Jeanfield Swifts 6
A sunny day greeted the delayed start to the new season, which sadly (or perhaps luckily) was played behind closed doors due to continuing Government restrictions.
Blackburn started on the front foot and pinned the visitors back and Darren Dalrymple sliced a good opportunity past in only the second minute, a minute later Marley Redfern cut in from the right before shooting over from the edge of the area. On 17 minutes the opener should have came for the home side, a run down the right wing by Kieran Swanson saw him swing in a cross that found Jason Watson, returning on loan from Livingston, unmarked at the back post but he volleyed over with the net gaping.
The first real threat from Jeanfield came five minutes later when Saunders dealt comfortably with a shot from Connor McLaren, but as so often happens the visitors took the lead a minute later against the run of play when a long ball out of defence found Chris Dodd in the clear and he finished well past Saunders. Blackburn forced a number of corners which came to nothing before the game turned on its head.
On the half hour mark a quickly taken free-kick saw No.11 shoot over from the edge of the area but the second came soon after. Dodd took a corner short to Chris McLeish, who then played it back to Dodd who had outwitted McLeod and he curled a shot into the far corner of Saunders net from a tight angle. No more than a minute later McLeish got on the end of a cross into the box and glanced a header past Saunders to make it three and the momentum has swung.
At half time Ritchie Hutton replaced to struggling Dalrymple but it made little difference as seven minutes after the restart and audacious lob from sub Paul Simpson from distance rattled off the bar and bounced out to McLeish who had the easiest task of rolling the ball into the empty net and any thought of a comeback had gone. A minute later saw a rash challenge inside the box and McLeish completed his hattrick from the spot.
The scoring was completed on 77 minutes when Mark Smith was unmarked from a corner to head home. There was even time for Blackburn to miss a penalty awarded for handball with seven minutes later, but Mark Mitchell got down well to turn away David Taylors spot kick.
A game that started so promisingly had turned alarmingly into a heavy home defeat against a slick Swifts outfit who will be a force this season. Tuesday’s game against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale can’t come quick enough.
Blackburn Utd: Craig Saunders, Kieran Swanson (Lewis Alexander 63), Reece Boyle, John Drummond, Michael Browne, Stuart McLeod (David Taylor 69), Marley Redfern (Jordan Devine 63), Dominic Kane, Laurie Devine (David Howe 63), Justin Watson, Darren Dalrymple (Richard Hutton 46). Unused subs: James Mildren, Gavin King.
Jeanfield Swifts: Mark Mitchell, Jamie Reid, Aaron Whitehead, Jake Dolzanski, Connor McLaren (Paul Simpson 46), Fraser Smith, Chris McLeish (Mark Smith 58), Gary Fergus (Jamie MacKenzie 57), Chris Dodd (Regan McLaren 58), Chris Scott, Scott Smith (Kieran Stewart 74). Unused subs: Fraser Cumming.