Blackburn United 3 (Lawrie 87mins, Garrad 90mins, Campbell 90+2mins)
Whitehill Welfare 2 (McIntosh 13mins & 15mins)
The visitors almost benefitted from a goalkeeping slip early on when Craig Saunders partly fumbled an Anderson shot but recovered quickly enough to prevent McIntosh taking advantage. McIntosh then had the ball in the net shortly thereafter but celebrations were cut short by the assistant’s flag. However, on the next attack Welfare were ahead, Ward lifting a ball over a square United rear-guard for McINTOSH to race onto and clip over the head of a stranded Saunders and into the net. Ninety seconds later the pair linked again for Whitehill’s second goal, a carbon copy move that saw McINTOSH beat Saunders again. On the half hour mark McIntosh might have claimed his hat-trick but could only head Ward’s cross narrowly past the right hand post. Before the break Marcus Millar came up with a threat for Blackburn but he could only direct Danny Campbell’s corner-kick wide of the upright.
Five minutes after the resumption Saunders came up with a big save to deny the visitors a third, narrowing McIntosh’s angles and stretching to block his resultant shot. After the let-off Blackburn gradually took control of the game without being able to translate both possession and territory into clear chances and even after Welfare’s Anderson was dismissed for a second bookable offence opportunities were at a premium, with only David Howe managing a shot from a Jack Garrad corner that was saved by Coats. However, with just three minutes remaining it was at another Garrad corner that the afternoon began to change, Cairney manhandling substitute James Mildren to the ground for referee Mr. Curran to point to the spot from where Martin LAWRIE netted with aplomb. With their tails now up, United piled forward and when Lawrie’s rampaging run picked out GARRAD on the edge of the box in the final minute he curled an absolute peach past the despairing dive of Coats for the equaliser. Matters, though, were not over and two minutes into added time Blackburn found the winner, Lawrie again doing the damage on the left with a run and although his mishit shot from a return pass was wild it was recycled back into the path of CAMPBELL whose half-volley on the run fairly flew past Coats to bulge the net and earn what had looked for most of the afternoon a quite unlikely three points.
Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Sayers, Lawrie, Browne, Millar, Garrad, Hutton, Howe (Mildren 85), McQuillan (Sweeney 72), Campbell, Heath (Devine 23) Subs (not used): McClung, Landels, Clements