Game of two halves

Tuesday 13th October 2020  –   East of Scotland Premier League

Blackburn United            1             Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale      4

McLeod 27                                       Cummings 48, Cunningham 66,

Browne OG 74, Wringe 83

Our first ever competitive match with out visitors from the west side of Edinburgh, and with four changes to the starting XI, it started off at a frantic pace with the ball moving quickly from end to end.  The first real chance arrived after eight minutes when Stuart McLeod slung in a corner which Michael Browne met but his header was deflected wide for another corner which came to nothing.  It was McLeod again shortly afterwards who combined well with Kriss Goss before the latter let off a shot which was comfortably gathered by Dean Beveridge in the Thistle goal.

Thistle showed for the first time on the 11 minute mark when an effort by Liam Kelly was gathered by Craig Saunders. Sean Cumming then tested Saunders from inside the box but his effort was turned away well by the keeper before an offside flag was raised.

Play was still raging from end to end and the opening goal eventually arrived on 27 minutes when a poor clearance by Beveridge was pounced on by Goss who took the ball wide around the keeper and it looked as though the change was lost, but he kept his composure under increasing pressure from defenders and played the ball across goal for McLeod to stab home at the far post.

On the 34 minute mark, Blackburn almost went two ahead when Goss fired in a free kick around the wall which rattled off the crossbar and behind for a goal kick. A minute later Swanson and Goss combined only for Swanson to drag his shot wide. McLeod then have another opportunity on the left to increase the lead but shot into the side netting.  The final real chance of the half saw a ball over the top of the defence fall to Dylan Moore but he pulled his shot wide from a tight angle.

The second half begun and it was the visitors who grabbed hold of the game right from the start. A cross into the Blackburn area fell to Michael Deland and his shot was brilliantly clawed away by Saunders and cleared. However moments later Sean Wringe found space on the right, crossed into Sean Cumming who couldn’t miss from close range.

Thistle were dominating possession and it came as no surprise they took the lead on 66 minutes when Alex Cunningham evaded several tackles through the middle of defence and slotted the ball past Saunders. Blackburn’s first real chance of the half came on 70 minutes when a McLeod cross was met by Goss but his header was held by Beveridge.

The killer third came on 74 minutes when an angled shot across Saunders deflected off Browne and into the net. A fourth was added on 83 minutes when a long clearance from Beveridge found Wringe who held off Watson and headed the bouncing ball over the advancing Saunders and into the net. There was time for Laurie Devine to have a final effort by Beveridge held his shot.

Another game that started well and could have seen a greater lead at half time, but which completely fell apart in the second period.

Blackburn Utd: Craig Saunders, Justin Watson, Reece Boyle (Laurie Devine 70), Michael Browne, James Mildren, Dominic Kane, Kieran Swanson, Stuart McLeod, Kriss Goss, David Howe, Richard Hutton (Alexander 80)  Unused subs: McLung, J.Devine, Gavin King.

LTHV: Dean Beveridge, Dylan Moore (Scott Donald 76), Michael Deland, Sean Lally, Alex Cunningham, Sean Cumming (Louis Signorini 76), Darren Smith, Sean Wringe, Liam Kelly (David Ross 65), Niall Doherty, Thomas Penker (Iain Laver 45). Unused subs: Paul Craford, Neil Smeaton, Jamie Henderson.