Points on the board

Saturday 31st October 2020  –   East of Scotland Premier League

Sauchie Juniors                          1             Blackburn United                           2

Smith 81                                                           Campbell 90, J.Devine 90+3

The last time Blackburn won a game at Beechwood Park, manager Mark Campbell was still playing up front and scored in a 2-1 win, 24 years ago and with a heavy pitch with a strong wind blowing, the task of ending that long winless streak wouldn’t be easy.

It took ten minutes for either team to create chance and it was Danny Smith of Sauchie who created it, evading several challenges on the left wing before swing in a cross which a diving Gary Carroll headed wide from 6 yards. It was Smith again, although this time the visiting Marc Smith, who combined with Laurie Devine for the latter to fire in a low cross towards Danny Campbell at the near post but a defender got in just ahead to stab behind for a corner.  Brian Morgan then tried from distance but the ball sailed over in the strong wind.

By the mid-point of the match Sauchie were handling the conditions better and creating a period of pressure and forced a succession of corners which came to nothing, Brian Morgan again tried from distance and this time his attempt just cleared Gavin King’s bar.  Just before the half ended, Carroll found himself in acres of space inside the box but managed to shoot wide, only for the linesmans flag to spare his blushes.

From the restart it was Blackburn who created a number of chances, first Dominic Kane pounced on a loose ball and swung in a cross from the left, the centre half misjudged the flight and it fell to Campbell but he skied the ball over, a minute later Marc Smith tried form 20 yards which Brett Young in the Sauchie goal gathered.

At the other end, Craig Donaldson carried the ball forward and slid in Danny Smith, but King narrowed the angled and blocked the shot on the six yard line, the ball rebounded back off Smith and crept past for a goal kick. Just past the hour mark, McClung gathered from a throw-in and swung the ball into the box, Laurie Devine met it no more than eight yards out but headed straight at Young. Marley Redfern then tried his luck from 20 yards but his shot deflected wide.

With 14 minutes left Brian Morgan let loose a piledriver from distance but King did well to tip it over the bar. Up the other end, sub Jordan Devine controlled a throw-in and crossed into Kieran Swanson but he knocked it over.

The opening goal finally came with only 9 minutes remaining on the clock when from a throw-in on the left, the ball fell to Danny Smith on the edge of the area and he lashed the ball across King and into the far corner.

With three minutes left Blackburn made a couple of changes in search of the equaliser and it came in the last minute. Gavin King took a free kick from inside his own half, the ball sailed into the Sauchie area where Danny Campbell had eluded the defence to connect with it on the penalty spot and loop an excellent header over Young and into the net. More drama was to follow deep into injury time when a long ball from the right by James Mildren found Jason Devine running away from the Sauchie defence where he met it first time and lobbed Young, caught in no mans land, and the ball bounced off his far post and into the net for the winner.

Sauchie Juniors: Brett Young, Iain Syme, Anthony McTaggart, Danny Smith (Darren Cummings 84), Mark Finlayson, Mark Sharp, Craig Donaldson (Ross Crawford 68), Ross Wilson (Sam Collumbine 68), Darren Carroll, Brian Morgan, Gary Carroll.  Unused subs: David Cross, Jon Tully.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Kyle McClung (Finlay Anderson 87), Martin Lawrie, Michel Browne, Stuart MacLeod (David Howe 87), Marc Smith (Kieran Swanson 77), Dominic Kane, Laurie Devine (Jordan Devine 68), Danny Campbell, Marley Redfern (Lewis Alexander 77). Unused subs: Craig Young, Craig Saunders.

Referee: Chriss Hobbs                   Assistants: Lewis Sinclair, Jordan Kelly.