Category: Uncategorized

Season Suspended

The statement from the SFA reads;


The Scottish FA Board met last night to discuss the escalating COVID-19 situation across the country and its impact on the national game at all levels.

While the updated Scottish Government guidance permits the continuation of professional sport, the board meeting, which followed a Joint Response Group discussion on the matter last Friday, nevertheless considered the implications of doing so at all tiers of the Scottish football professional pyramid, against a backdrop of increased positive cases across the country.

In particular, the board gave extensive consideration to making a decision in the interests of public health, taking cognisance of the government’s wish to reduce travel and possible contact with others whilst safeguarding commercial broadcasting contracts that sustain the professional game.

Following a meeting between the Scottish FA and the Minister for Public Health Sport and Wellbeing, both parties have agreed to impose a temporary suspension of all football beneath the Scottish Professional Football League Championship, encompassing all predominantly part-time tiers of the Scottish professional pyramid, from midnight tonight.

The impacted leagues are: SPFL League One, SPFL League Two, Scottish Women’s Football Premier Leagues 1 & 2, Highland League, Lowland League, East, West & South of Scotland Leagues, Scottish Junior FA Leagues and the North Caledonian League.

Based on the imperatives of acting in the best interests of public health and participant safety, whilst ensuring professional clubs’ survival, the SPFL Premiership will be exempt from the suspension, provided it continues to adhere to the stringent testing protocols.

The SPFL Championship will also be able to continue provided it commences weekly PCR testing.

The suspension of the game below the SPFL Premiership and Championship will be for three weeks, until 31st January, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis by the Scottish FA Board in partnership with Scottish Government.

The Scottish Cup will also be suspended, with any matches scheduled to be played prior to the 1st February to be rescheduled in due course.

Rod Petrie, Scottish FA President: “The Scottish FA is well aware of the efforts all clubs take to comply with the exacting protocols that were conditional on elite football being given an exemption to continue amid the pandemic.

“None the less the continuation of football at all levels has weighed increasingly heavy on me as President, my colleagues on the board and the Joint Response Group as we have watched the new strain of the virus spread rapidly.

“While the national sport has been afforded the privilege of elite sporting exemption, the risk of mass transportation of untested, largely part-time players is something that cannot be sustained as the cases continue to rise and available hospital beds become increasingly scarce.

“After discussions with the SPFL, the Premiership and Championship will continue on the proviso that both adhere to the existing testing regime. The vast majority of teams in those divisions are full-time professional clubs and so the risk of transmission remains manageably low. The cost implications to lower-division clubs was one factor but so too the realisation that many – with some notable exceptions – consist of part-time players who are either prevented from working due to the virus or have to work.

“In either case, the risk is currently too great amid the developing nationwide spread of the virus.

“Much has been said of football’s relationship with the Scottish Government during the pandemic. As President of the Scottish FA and Chair of the Joint Response Group, I am grateful for the clinical expertise provided by government specifically to football and for the timely award of £30m in grant and loan funding for the game. 

“We reiterate our commitment to playing our part in the collective effort to eradicate the virus.”


The club would like to confirm that on Monday, we were informed by Track & Trace that a Musselburgh Athletic player who played in Saturdays match had tested positive for Covid19, all players and coaching staff were therefore advised to self-isolate for a period of 10 days until 4th January.

Subsequently on Wednesday, one of our players also tested positive for Covid19. It is unknown at this stage whether the player concerned contracted the virus on the pitch or elsewhere.

Our primary concern is with the welfare of the players and coaching staff, and all continue to self-isolate.

We have reviewed the events of Saturday and are satisfied that club personnel followed all Covid protocols required by Musselburgh, East of Scotland League and the SFA.

All training has been cancelled and we do not have a match scheduled this coming weekend. This does not effect any other team apart from the Seniors.

Camelon Cancelled

With Camelon’s Scottish Cup match against Brora Rangers re-scheduled for Saturday 2nd January, our match with Camelon on that day has now been cancelled. Our next match will now be 9th January at home to Penicuik Athletic.

Musselburgh Athletic 4 Blackburn United 2

Saturday  26th December 2020  –  East of Scotland Premier League

Musselburgh Athletic                4             Blackburn United                           2

C.Donaldson 44, Thomson 74,  Ballantyne 78, 90+1

Campbell 15, MacLeod 90+3

Storm Bella arrived right on cue before kick-off, and it was Blackburn who won the toss and elected to play with the wind at their backs on a wet by playable Olivebank pitch.

With four minutes on the clock, Laurie Devine won the ball on the left and crossed into Danny Campbell but a defender nipped in before he could strike and knocked it out for a corner. From the corner Marc Smith has his shot blocked and cleared to safety.  The opening goal came on the quarter hour mark when a loose ball from Brad Donaldson saw Danny Campbell nip in a head of John McManus and round keeper Paul Grant and fire the ball into the net.

It was Campbell again who produced the next chance as Blackburn took advantage of the wind, he pounced on another loose ball but this time his shot was gathered by Grant.

The lead should have been doubled on the 27 minute mark when Marty Lawrie slid in Devine on the left, he passed inside to Marley Redfern only eight yards out but he seemed to dither on the ball and Grant blocked his shot with his legs with the goal at Redfern’s mercy.

The first real chance for Burgh came on 35 minutes when Dean Ballantyne headed a Callum Donaldson cross wide, then at the other end, Marc Smith tried a shot from distance which slid past.

As time was running out in the first half, Burgh equalised when a Conor Thomson free-kick was well saved by Gavin King who pushed the low shot away but it was Calum Donaldson who was quickest to react to stab the loose ball into the net.   

The teams swapped round with Blackburn now playing into the wind and rain, but four minutes after a restart there were claims for a penalty when Laurie Devine appeared to be barged over in the box but a corner was awarded, from the corner there were claims for a hand ball which were waved away.

Approaching the half hour mark a Nathan Evans effort flashed wide before Marc Smith again tried form distance, this time Grant easily gathered. Richie Hutton then fired in a cross cum shot from the right which Grant parried back out into the box but there was nobody there to pounce on the loose ball and it was cleared.

A second Burgh goal came out of nothing. A long Grant clearance eventually fell to Conor Thomson on the right edge of the area and he fired a curling shot past King into the far corner. Two quickly became three when after a Blackburn attack broke down the ball was launched upfield, Ballantyne was racing onto it and King appeared unsure whether to gather the ball on the edge of the box or clear it, he done neither and Ballantyne nipped in and rolled the ball into the net.

It was a fatal blow to a Blackburn side who had looked reasonably comfortable at 1-1.  Into injury time and the lead was extended when an Evans angled shot was saved by King but the ball fell to Ballantyne who fired high into the net. Blackburn however hit back and grabbed a consolation when Stuart MacLeod stroked a free kick over the wall and over Grant high into the net, but it was too little too late.

A game which should have produced some much needed points ended in defeat.

Musselburgh Athletic: Paul Grant, Callum Donaldson, Jordan Orru, Jackie Myles (Liam Gregory 68), John McManus, Lloyd Fiddler (Liam Reid 37), Conor Thomson (Ethan Wynne 85), Bradley Whyte, Bradley Donaldson, Dean Ballantyne, Nathan Evans.  Unused subs: Mathu King, Darren Downie, Ryan McGurk.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, Richard Hutton, Marty Lawrie, James Mildren, Michael Browne, Marc Smith (Jordan Devine 80), Danny Campbell (Stuart MacLeod 80), Justin Watson, Laurie Devine (Kyle McClung 85), Brian Ross (David Howe 73), Marley Redfern.  Unused Subs: Craig Saunders.

Tranent Juniors 3 Blackburn United 1

Saturday  19th December 2020  –  East of Scotland Premier League

Tranent Juniors                              3             Blackburn United                           1

Lander 33, Paterson 70, Thomson 72      Watson 49

Blackburn travelled to unbeaten league leaders Tranent looking to cause an upset and put some much needed points on the board.  Tranent however, had other ideas and right from the start pushed Blackburn back. Ricky Miller, once a Burnie player a long time ago, headed over in the opening minutes from a corner and then Dean Whitson let fly from distance which was beaten away by Gavin King.

Blackburn found it difficult to get a foot hold in the game and attacks were few and far between. On 24 minutes Adam Watson crossed to Kyle Lander but his header rebounded off the bar. A few minutes later there was a bit of a stramash in the box when a Whitson effort from a corner was cleared off the line, a second attempt was blocked by King and third attempt was deflected wide as Blackburn defended desperately. King then held a Kayne Paterson effort before inevitable to opener came on 33 minutes, when a cross by Adam Watson was knocked goalwards by Rhys Craigie, but took a deflection into the path of Kyle Lander who rolled the ball into the net.

Blackburn started to edge their way into the game but Dominic Kane limped off just before the half time whistle brought an end to a torrid first half.

The second half got underway with Blackburn looking to create more problems for Tranent and they did that with only four minutes gone. Marley Redfern was sent clear on the left, he cut inside into the box where he was brought down by Ricky Miller and the referee quickly pointed to the spot.  Justin Watson stepped up to level the scores.

On the hour mark Blackburn should have taken the lead, a Hutton long ball was flicked on by Brian Ross which sent Laurie Devine clear, however Alasdair Adams done well to block his attempt and also gathered Ross’s follow up. Five minutes later an almost identical chance was again created, Laurie Devine again finding himself free behind the Tranent rear guard after running onto a Redfern through ball however the ball seemed to get caught under his feet after he rounded Adams, he laid the ball back to Watson but his first time shot was beaten away by Adams.

Those missed chances were punished on 70 minutes when a cross into the box seemed to take a slight deflection which deceived Drummond and fell into the path of Paterson who tapped it home from close range with their first real chance of the second half, then two minutes later Steven Thomson on the right combined with Watson inside the box before firing a shot goalwards which Drummond half blocked which sent the ball towards the far corner of King’s net.

Tranent then had time to miss a penalty with nine minutes remaining when Paterson’s spot kick was well saved by King, after Drummond had bundled over Moffat.

Tranent: Alasdair Adams, Ciaran McKenzie (Lewis Hawkins 72), Aaran Ponton, Richard Miller, Dean Whitson, Steven Thomson, Adam Watson, Sean Murphy, Kayne Paterson, Rhys Craigie, Kyle Lander (Owen Renton 80). Unused subs: Jack Chesser, Gary Hamilton, Ben Reilly, Ian Moffat.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, Richard Hutton, Kyle McClung, James Mildren, John Drummond, Michael Browne, Dominic Kane (Brian Ross 44), Justin Watson (Paddy Queen 80), Laurie Devine, Danny Campbell, Marley Redfern. Unused subs: Marc Smith, David Howe, Jordan Devine, Craig Saunders.

Paying the penalty

Saturday 12th December 2020  –  Scottish Cup Second Preliminary Round

Blackburn United                   1             Civil Service Strollers                     1  (AET, CSS won 4-2 pens)

Redfern 44                                                Moffat 53

A piece of history was made at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium as it hosted the first ever Scottish Cup tie in Blackburn, with the winners moving into the First Round draw to be played on Boxing Day.   Last seasons debut in the competition away to Hill of Beath resulted in captain Michael Browne being sent off, meaning he was unavailable for todays game.

The first chance of the match came on ten minutes when from a throw in, Dominico Gibson ran onto the ball but John Drummond blocked his effort in the act of shooting and the ball went out for a fruitless corner. The same player again tried his luck a few minutes later but dragged his shot wide.   On twenty minutes Blackburn carved out their first chance when Richie Hutton directed a throw-in on the right to Danny Campbell inside the box, his effort from a tight angle was held by Lewis Budinauckas the young on-loan Rangers keeper.

Just past the half hour, Marley Redfern sent in a cross towards the near post looking for Laurie Devine, however the covering defender just got his head to it to send it out for a corner.  Jordan Hopkinson then tried his luck at the other end but flashed his shot wide.

With time running out in the first half, a moment of brilliance lit-up the game.  Marley Redfern collected the ball inside his own half on the left, before going on a run past several defenders before cutting inside and unleashing an unstoppable shot past Budinauckas into the roof of the net. A moment of brilliance from the on-loan Hamilton Accies youngster to send Blackburn in at the break.

Strollers made a change at half time looking to get back into the game and with eight minutes gone they done just that. A free-kick on the left into the near post was met by Jonathan Moffat to bullet a header past King into the bottom corner of the net to draw the sides level.

After that bright start from the visitors the game became cagey, with neither side wanting to lose what could provide to be a decisive second goal.  On 69 minutes Connor Young flashed a shot wide, then a few minutes later Laurie Devine went down in the Strollers box but was shown the yellow card instead of a penalty by referee MacDonald.

With ten minutes remaining it was Young again who had an effort for the visitors, this time well saved by King, then Marley Redfern slid a ball into Laurie Devine whose curling shot crept past the far post.

The game moved into extra-time, with few incidents of note. A Connor Young effort drifted past and then strong penalty claims from Blackburn were waved away after Jordan Devine appeared to be bundled over in the box.  With time running out a Jordan Devine header from a Redfern cross went over the bar.

The game therefore needed to be settled on the lottery of penalty kicks, Martin Lawrie converted the first, but Brian Ross sent his effort over the bar and then David Howe’s effort was saved. Despite Laurie Devine converting his kick it was left to Dominico Gibson to covert Strollers fourth penalty to win the tie and progress to the first round.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, Richard Hutton, Martin Lawrie, John Drummond, James Mildren ©, Stuart MacLeod (Jordan Devine 101), Danny Campbell (David Howe 85), Marc Smith (Dominic Kane 68), Laurie Devine, Brian Ross, Marley Redfern.  Unused subs: Matthew Kinross, Justin Watson, Paddy Queen, Craig Saunders.

Civil Service Strollers:  Lewis Budinauckas, Kyle Fee, Euan Bauld, Jonathan Moffat (Ross Guthrie 104), Matthew Cunningham (David Churchill 104), Mark McConnell, Alieu Faye, Jordan Hopkinson (Connor Young 62), Matthew Shaw (Andrew Johnston 46), Craig Newall, Dominico Gibson.  Unused subs: Ross Young, Lewis Duffy, Fraser Napier.

Scottish Cup

Saturday sees our historic home debut in the Scottish Cup, against Lowland League Civil Service Strollers, with a 3.00pm kick-off at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium. Sadly we are still unable to admit spectators to the stadium, however the SFA will be sending a camera along and highlights should be on the SFA website on Sunday.

Should we win the match, the First Round draw will also take place on Sunday.

A very limited number of programmes will be available for the match, these will be on sale outside the entrance gate. It’s a case of help yourself and deposit your £2 in the “honesty” bucket. This is the safest way to sell these under the current circumstances, please remember socila distancing guidelines.

Comings and goings

A long overdue update on various comings and goings at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium.

Reece Boyle who joined at the start of the season from Whitburn Juniors has gone to Bo’ness United Juniors, whilst Lewis Alexander, Darren McIntosh and Kriss Goss have all been released.  The club would like to thank them and wish them all good luck. Meanwhile David Taylor, Darren Dalrymple and Kieran Welsh are all taking time away from the game.

Brian Ross has re-joined the club from Wishaw HSFP whilst the amateur game remains shut down.  We have several loanees from Livingston.  Justin Watson and Marc Smith are familiar faces having been here last season, with Kai Wilson now also joining them.  17 year old Marley Redfern is also on loan, this time from Hamilton Accies.  Finlay Anderson has returned to Livingston from his brief loan spell.

On the injury front, Callum McDowall is facing a lengthy spell on the side-lines after a knee injury suffered at Bo’ness in pre-season, whilst Dominic Kane and Kyle McClung are also recovering from various knocks and should feature again soon.

As for as the U20’s are concerned, we may not see them playing competitively until the central belt is in Level 0 or 1 restrictions and that doesn’t look like happening soon.  Currently they are not even allowed to train.  We remain hopeful that we’ll see some sort of season commence next year, albeit a brief one.

Blackburn United 1 Dundonald Bluebell 2

Saturday  28th November 2020  –  East of Scotland Premier League

Blackburn United                           1             Dundonald Bluebell                       2

L.Devine 50                                                     Strang 36, Dall 90+4

It was a fairly uneventful opening period to the match with both teams sizing each other up without creating much of note. Just past the quarter hour mark the first real chance was created, a free kick by Aiden Hendry was met by Barry Sibanda who headed back across goal where Stuart Cargill had time to gather and turn but his shot was clawed away by Gavin King, and Marty Lawrie cleared the loose ball before Sibanda could get on the end of it.

It took until the half hour for the next chance when Callum Strang swung in a free-kick from the right and Sibanda slashed high and wide from only 8 yards. However on 36 minutes the opening goal came when from a throw-in deep on the right hand side, it was flicked on and Strang got his head to it and flicked it on again, this time into the far corner of the net.

Blackburn had created little of note but that changed early in the second half when Laurie Devine set Brian Ross clear down the right wing, James Lennox came racing out of his goal but Ross dinked it past him and crossed from the bye line into the middle for Devine to head into the unguarded net for the equaliser.

On 59 minutes, a long throw out by King found Ross who sent a through ball which Danny Campbell tried to race onto. Lennox got to the ball just before Campbell but a collision was inevitable, and a stramash involving most players ensued.  After Campbell had received treatment he was booked for his part in the challenge but Lennox was lucky only to see yellow for retaliation in the aftermath.

Then with twenty minutes remaining Lewis McKenzie went in late on Marley Redfern with his studs showing and referee Colin Whyte flashed the red card, reducing Bluebell to ten men.

Blackburn looked to take advantage and a few minutes later Macleod sent a long ball upto Ross who was racing clear but Scott Durie managed to make up the ground and put in a goal saving tackle.  Devine then flashed a header wide from a Mildren cross as the home side pushed for a second.

With 10 minutes left Ross swung in a cross, Devine got his head to it but Lennox managed to tip the effort over the bar almost from point blank range. Then Ross himself had an effort that flew over.

With time running out Derek Wallace headed wide from a corner in a rare second half chance for the visitors before into injury time Marty Lawrie was sent packing for a second yellow after a challenge on Sibanda. As play continued and into the fourth minute of injury time, a long ball from the back found Kieran Dall in the clear on the right and his angled drive across King crept in at the far post to win it for the visitors.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Marty Lawrie, John Drummond, Michael Browne, Stuart MacLeod, Laurie Devine, Justin Watson, Brian Ross, Danny Campbell (Kieran Swanson 92), Marley Redfern (Richie Hutton 77). Unused subs: David Howe, Jordan Devine, Marc Smith, Paddy Queen, Craig Saunders.

Dundonald Bluebell: James Lennox, Scott Durie, Aiden Hendry, Colin Wilson, Lewis McKenzie, Barry Sibanda, Stuart Cargill, Ross Mutch (Kieran Dall 46), Derek Wallace, Chris Gay, Callum Strang (Craig Wedderburn 75). Unused subs: Darren Gribbin, Jason McLaren.  

 Referee: Colin Whye                    Assistants: George King, James Taylor

Blackburn United 3 Newburgh 1

Saturday  21st November 2020  –  South Regional Challenge Cup 2nd Round

Blackburn United                        3             Newburgh Juniors                          1

Redfern 51, 67  Watson 73                         Edwards 10

Brian Ross, making his first appearance after returning to the club during the week from Wishaw HSFP, almost got things off to a dream start when he played a quick one-two with Danny Campbell inside the Newburgh area but Calum Sutherland in the Newburgh goal palmed his effort away. A few minutes later a Stuart MacLeod corner fell to James Mildren who’s effort was deflected wide. Then it was Danny Campbell who got on the end of a long goal kick and lobbed Sutherland but the ball bounced wide.

However on the 10 minute mark Blackburn were caught with a sucker punch when a long clearance from Sutherland free kick found Aiden Edwards running clear of the back line and he poked the ball through Gavin King’s legs to open the scoring.  Ben Scarborough almost doubled the lead on 20 minutes when he went on a run down the left evading several challenges  but his effort was well saved by King. 

At the other end a minute later, MacLeod had a run and shot which was straight at Sutherland. Kieran Swanson then burst clear down the right and swung in a cross which Marley Redfern met but his shot flew over. On the half hour mark Brian Ross’s 25 yard free kick slid past.

Blackburn started the second period on the front foot and within six minutes were level.  From a searching ball down the right, Laurie Devine cut into the box and lofted a cross to the back post area where Marley Redfern gathered, cut inside his marker and fired past Sutherland at his near post.

The home side began to dominate and on 67 minutes the second came, from a throw-in the Newburgh back line were pressured on the edge of their own area, and again it was Redfern who pounced on a loose pass and curled a terrific shot beyond Sutherland.

Justin Watson, on for Marc Smith, was next to go close when he drove at the Newburgh defence but dragged his shot wide. However two minutes later it was Watson again who got on the end of a Danny Campbell pass and raced in on goal before firing the ball beyond Sutherland to make it 3-1.

On 77 minutes Gordon Clark had the first real chance of the half for the visitors when his free kick drifted over the bar, then Jordan Annandale had an effort which went wide.

With time running out, first Finlay Anderson header over from a corner, and then a Richie Hutton shot from a corner eluded Sutherland but was booted off the line.  With three minutes left, and after consulting his linesman, referee Cavan flashed a red card was flashed at Finlay Anderson for an altercation after a free-kick had been awarded to Newburgh, a disappointing end to a good performance and a first home win of the season, with seven of the squad being 21 or under.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, Kieran Swanson (Jordan Devine 82), Martin Lawrie, James Mildren, Finlay Anderson, Marc Smith (Justin Watson 55), Laurie Devine (Richie Hutton 78), Stuart MacLeod (Take Hirooka 78), Brian Ross, Danny Campbell (Matty Kinross 82), Marley Redfern. Unused subs: Craig Saunders

Newburgh: Calum Sutherland, Ameen Johal, Ben Scarborough, Gordon Clark, Aiden Edwards, Ben Jenkins (Scott Sutherland 60),  Jamie Gay (Tijan Nyass 70), Paul Leadbetter, Jordan Annandale, Jack Hutchison (Kyle Fraser 83), Reece Redpath (Ryan Kinnes 83).

Referee: Andrew Caven               Assistants: Cameron Doyle, Euan Donaldson