Dundonald Bluebell 1 Blackburn United 5

East of Scotland Premier League – Saturday 12th February 2022

Dundonald Bluebell                 1          (Sibanda 41)

Blackburn United                    5          (Garrad 21 & 78, Hutton 62, Meikle 76, Owens 90+3)

Dundonald kicked-off with the wind at their backs on a pitch that had stood up well to the wet weather.

Both teams took a while to adjust to the conditions but it was Blackburn who opened the scoring on 21 minutes when when Danny Campbell closed down Jordan Millar in the Bluebell goal and is able to collect the ball, he fired in a shot which Millar pushed clear but it hits the inrushing Jack Garrad who chests it over the line.          

Dundonald applied the bulk of the pressure in the half with high clearances holding up a bit in the wind, and eventually equalised when a long throw-in ended up with Barry Sibanda heading in from close range. Garrad had an attempt from just outside the box before the half ended but it flew over.

Derek Drummond had suffered early on from being on the receiving end of a poor challenge and was replaced by Callum Heath at half-time with Liam Allison moving to left back. The sub had the first opportunity two minutes in when he pinged a shot just over. Then Danny Campbell got on the end of a Richie Hutton free-kick and glanced a header into the net only to see the linesman raise the flag for a tight offside. Ross Drummond had the homesters first attempt of the half when his long range effort slid past Saunders post.

Blackburn were starting to gain the upper hand and took the lead just past the hour when a Dominic Kane looping cross to the back post was met by Richie Hutton who looped a header back across Millar and into the net.  Moments later Billy Rogerson was shown a straight red for appearing to lash out after a challenge and the home team were reduced to ten.

Dominic Kane sent an effort just wide of 70 minutes and at the other end, a Scott Durie shot was parried away by Saunders and cleared by Jack Sayers to safety. Danny Campbell then saw his in-swinging corner clip the bar and out for a goal kick.

With just under 15 minutes left, Blackburn looked to secure the points when from a throw-in, the ball fell to Daryl Meikle who volleyed the ball past Millar to make it three.Two minutes later Marcus Millar wins a clearing header and the ball reaches Heath, he slides in Jack Garrad who bears down on Jordan Millar before slamming the ball past him into the net.

Deep into injury time, a Meikle free-kick is met by Fergus Owens at the back post to fire the ball home to make it five with the last kick of the game.

Dundonald Bluebell: Jordan Millar, Scott Durie, Aiden Hendry, Colin Wilson, Craig Wedderburn, Billy Rogerson, Barry Sibanda (Darren Ormiston 70), Lewis McKenzie, Jack Smith (James Mackie 46), Scott Reekie, James Drummond.  Unused subs: Kieran Gall, Chris Gay.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, Jack Sayers, Derek Drummond (Calum Heath 46), Fergus Owens, Marcus Millar, Domini Kane, Richie Hutton (Laurie Devine 81), Daryl Meikle, Danny Campbell (Andy McQuillan 81), Jack Garrad (Kyle McClung 84), Liam Allison (David Howe 84). Unused subs: James Mildren, Gavin King.

Referee:  Jordan Curran          Assistants: Chris Ashley, Andrew Strang.