New arrivals

The Club are delighted to announce the arrival on loan of midfielder Justin Watson from SPFL Premiership side Livingston FC. Also arriving on loan from the Tony Macaroni Arena are youngsters Michael Mbewe and Alan Higgins who will initially be part of our U20s squad with a view to challenging for places in the first team set-up.

Nitten Nightmare

Blackburn United 1 (Campbell 69mins, pen)

Newtongrange Star 4 (Paterson 20mins & 63mins, Thomson 54mins, Hume 81mins)

Despite the impressive 1-0 victory at league leaders Bo’ness United the previous week United went looking for their fourth win in five league games in front of their smallest competitive crowd of the season and in dull, dreich conditions that necessitated the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium floodlights being on from the start James Mildren had to be alert to clear a dangerous delivery from Porteous in the opening few minutes. At the other end Blackburn then came mighty close to finding the net but when David Taylor brought Calum McDowall’s corner kick under control and clipped an outside of the right boot shot towards the top corner Cherrie was there to clear off his own line. However, three minutes later it was the visitors who were in front when a Nelson corner from the right was missed by United ‘keeper Darren Mitchell to leave PATERSON with a free header into an empty net. Dominic Kane almost responded quickly but his dipping half volley from distance was wide of the target before McDowall and Richie Hutton carved out a great chance for Danny Campbell but, after taking a touch to steady himself, the striker couldn’t squeeze the ball past Mack from plumb in front of goal. Seven minutes from the interval a raking move down the Blackburn right involving Campbell and Kane ended when McDowall darted into the box to get onto the latter’s cross but he couldn’t quite find the accuracy necessary to beat Mack.

Nine minutes into the second half calamity befell United when Marty Lawrie missed a tackle in midfield to expose the Blackburn right flank and then, when the backtracking Taylor took a tumble, Paterson took full advantage to cleverly advance on goal, draw Mitchell and roll a square ball into the path of the supporting THOMSON who stroked his shot into the waiting net. Thomson then had a pop from long range that Mitchell did brilliantly to tip onto his crossbar as the Star sensed frailty in the United rearguard and their sense was proven correct just minutes later when a terrific reverse pass released PATERSON on the right of the area and he clipped an effort across Mitchell and into the bottom left hand corner. With just over twenty minutes remaining Blackburn momentarily got back into the game when Hutton was fouled in the box for CAMPBELL to slam home the resultant penalty but despite McDowall coming close to reducing the arrears further with a free-kick that crept just over it was the New Victoria Park men who finished on the front foot, a Paterson half-volley landing on the roof of the net before, with just nine minutes left, HUME found himself free inside the six yard box to head a cross from the left behind a badly exposed Mitchell.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh (Mbewe 71), Lawrie, Mildren, Taylor, Browne, McDowall, Young (Donnelly-Kay 59), Campbell, Kane, Hutton (Cowan 79)  Subs (not used): Anderson, McIntosh, S.Devine, Morajda

Newtongrange Star line-up: Mack, Swaney, Christie, Cherrie, Nelson, Paterson, Porteous, Hume, Thomson, Reid, Jamieson  Subs: Smith, McIntosh, Hastie, Tait, Bracks, Dyet, Gillon

Referee: Mr. George Calder

Assistants: Mr. Cameron Doyle & Mr. Jordan Kelly

Fantastic win at Bo’ness

Bo’ness United 0

Blackburn United 1 (Campbell 8mins)

Blackburn made the relatively short trip to league leaders Bo’ness United for the first league clash between the sides for more than thirty years and were presented with a glorious early chance to open the scoring which Danny CAMPBELL duly took, capitalising on a misjudged pass back and a goalkeeper trying to play a bit of football outside his box to nick possession and advance into the right of the area before calmly slotting the ball into the bottom corner of the waiting net, despite the desperate attempts of Hunter to block his effort on the line. Spurred on by this unexpected set back, the Newtown Park men threatened an equaliser little more than ten minutes later when David Taylor didn’t get his header back to Jonny Clements quite right and the ‘keeper had to be swift of foot to reach the ball and scramble it clear into midfield and some thirty yards from his goal where Comrie was waiting to attempt a lob which drifted past the right hand post. On the half hour Keast was the next player to have a noteworthy attempt for the hosts but his pop from a tightening angle on the right of the box was well saved by the feet of Clements and a resolute Blackburn rear guard held out comfortably enough until the half time whistle.

Straight after the resumption Bo’ness were awarded a free-kick some twenty yards out that Comrie curled round the defensive wall but Clements was well positioned to hold it and when the same player clipped a cross in from the left moments later Marty Lawrie got enough on it with his head to prevent Ritchie having a simple tap in, the striker only able to sky his shot well over. Blackburn, too, were an attacking threat as the hour mark approached and when Calum McDowall took Lawrie’s throw-in on the left and whipped it onto the back post Richie Hutton was desperately unlucky to see his bullet header clawed away brilliantly by Murphy in the home goal. Bo’ness were becoming ever more frantic in their search for an equaliser though and Hunter headed a corner from the right over the top before John Drummond half cleared a teasing delivery into the box meaning Clements had to be smart to save Henderson’s follow-up shot. At the other end Hutton’s pace took him momentarily clear but his run was brought to an abrupt end by a foul that resulted in a free-kick that Craig Young got past the wall but straight into the hands of Murphy. The hosts then had a free-kick of their own, an indirect award inside the penalty area that they couldn’t get through a defiant Blackburn wall. In another quick break to the other end Campbell and McDowall linked for the latter to pull the ball back to young substitute David Howe but he fired his effort over the bar from just inside the area when a little more composure might just have increased the Blackburn lead. With nine minutes remaining Bo’ness were presented with the perfect opportunity to pull the scores level when Ritchie was bundled over inside the box amidst a blur of legs but the resultant penalty award was cracked against the right hand post by Stevenson before being launched clear. In time added on and in another lightening break Blackburn substitute Laurie Devine was put through on goal but couldn’t squeeze his shot past Murphy and moments later referee Mr. Jordan Curran blew the whistle on what was the hosts first league defeat of the season.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Mildren, Lawrie, Drummond, Taylor, Kane (Young 57), McDowall, Browne, Campbell (L.Devine 89), McLeod (Howe 51), Hutton  Subs (not-used): Thomas, Mbewe, S.Devine, Mitchell

Bo’ness United: Murphy, Jacobs, Hunter, Comrie, Keast, Gemmell, Ritchie, Grant, R.Campbell, Stevenson, McKenzie  Subs: Syme, Snowdon, Morgan, Henderson, Adamson

Referee: Mr. Jordan Curran

Assistants: Mr. William McAleese & Mr. Ken Boyd

Whitehill Welfare 2 Blackburn United 0

Disappointing defeat at Ferguson Park. Full report to follow.

Whitehill Welfare 2 (Wright 66mins, Sproule 86mins)

Blackburn United 0

United travelled east to Rosewell for their first ever visit to Ferguson Park searching for their third successive league victory and on a heavy pitch, water sodden pitch looked by far the more likely in the opening stages, coming closest when Laurie Devine slipped in Danny Campbell on the right of the box, although when he guided his shot past the advancing Bejaoui it clattered against the inside of the right hand post and flew clear. Four minutes later Calum McDowall was the creator, sending Devine in on goal but his shot from the edge of the area was too high. Before the half hour was reached two chances in quick succession were created and scorned, McDowall spraying a pass from right to left for Richie Hutton whose shot was blocked and then Campbell hitting an effort on target that Bejaoui touched past for a fruitless corner. At the other end a Devlin corner was punched clear by Darren Mitchell but only as far as Wright whose hitch-kick flew over. Six minutes from the interval Devine found himself through one on one with Bejaoui but his shot was straight at the Welfare No.1 and when the ball broke to Campbell Bejaoui was equal to his effort too and, although he couldn’t hold onto it, the final follow-up effort from Hutton was deflected wide.

When the second half got underway the tide was perhaps turned with the Ferguson Park men holding sway with both territory and possession without really testing a resolute United rearguard. However, midway through the half a simple, route one play was enough to undo that defensive hard work, Bejaoui launching a long ball forward that left ex-Blackburn man WRIGHT racing through on goal and he made no mistake picking his spot behind an exposed Mitchell. McCallum then headed down a cross into the path of Wright but his half volley was saved by Mitchell. Seven minutes from the end substitute Craig Young picked out Campbell in the box and when his neat turn earned space to set-up Michael Browne for a pop at goal that shot was dragged past. Three minutes later the game was put to bed in almost exactly the same fashion as the opening goal was crafted, Bejaoui again firing a long one forward that this time SPROULE was onto to roll under Mitchell and into the waiting net.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren (Kane 68), Drummond, Lawrie, Taylor, McLeod (Young 75), McDowall, Browne, L.Devine (Donnelly-Kay 72), Campbell, Hutton  Subs (not used): Robertson, Welsh, Howe, Clements

Whitehill Welfare line-up: Bejaoui, Murray, Hamilton, Meikle, Connell, Muir, Dowie, Devlin, McCallum, Wright, Sommerville  Subs: Connor, Wales, Janczyk, Hunter, Sproule

Referee: Mr. John Stewart

Assistants: Mr. Andy Brown & Mr. Kyle Charles

Blackburn United 4 Dunbar United 0

A brace from Danny Campbell, and further goals from John Drummond and an OG gave a well deserved win.

Blackburn United 4 (Campbell 6mins & 71mins, Drummond 82mins, OG 87mins)

Dunbar United 0

League title rivals in the ERSJFA South Division only three seasons ago the two United’s met for the first time in the EoSFL Premier Division looking to secure the points that would push them up towards mid table safety and on a bright but chilly afternoon it was Blackburn who made the early breakthrough, captain Michael Browne forcing the ball into the box from out on the left and finding Danny CAMPBELL whose hitch-kick from around ten yards out squeezed past Laing in the visiting goal and into the waiting net. On the thirteen minute mark Campbell almost made it two when Richie Hutton’s delivery from way out on the left set him up for a shot that Laing saved brilliantly. Two minutes later and the big Dunbar ‘keeper was at it again, matching if not bettering his earlier save to deny Campbell once again after the striker had clipped Calum McDowall’s cut-back onto the target. At the other end Ballantyne had a glorious opportunity to equalise when finding himself unmarked at the back post but he couldn’t direct his effort past Darren Mitchell who managed to save comfortably enough. Another Seasiders chance came and went midway through the half when McLaren miscontrolled a delivery from the right that subsequently popped up invitingly for Tait but he could only head straight at Mitchell. Tait was then wildly inaccurate with a shot after Mitchell had punched a Peden cross clear and it was at the other end that a second goal almost arrived when Laurie Devine, on his first start of the season after regularly impressing in the U20s, controlled a long ball forward and hit a half-volley on the run that Laing acrobatically tipped over the top.

Devine was also involved early in the second period, linking with McDowall for the latter to fire a crossfield pass in front of Richie Hutton but, after a good touch to take the ball out from under his feet, his twenty yarder was saved by Laing. A quick and clever free-kick by the Seasiders then set up Tait for an angled shot that was gathered by Mitchell before play swung back towards Laing’s goal, Hutton making ground on the left and pulling a ball back into the path of Devine who side-footed narrowly over. However, Blackburn did double their lead just seven or so minutes later when Stuart McLeod picked out McDowall on the right and when he spotted CAMPBELL’S supporting run and slotted the ball in front of him the striker hit a first time shot across Laing and home despite the big ‘keeper getting a touch to it. Mitchell then saved a Fiddler pop from twenty two yards as Dunbar tried to force a way back into the game but with eight minutes remaining it was put well beyond them when, after Hutton was upended out on the left, McDowall floated in the resultant free-kick and John DRUMMOND rose highest to bullet his header into the net. Three minutes from time further polish was added to the scoreline when Hutton rolled a pass inside left-back Peden for McDowall to run onto and when his square ball fizzed across the six yard line the unfortunate Tait could only divert it into his own net in his desperation to clear.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren, Drummond, Lawrie, Taylor, Browne, McDowall, McLeod (Young 81), L.Devine (Howe 76), Campbell (Thomas 84), Hutton  Subs (not-used): Welsh, S.Devine, Clements

Dunbar United line-up: Laing, McFarlane, Peden, Harley, Szemis, Gray, S.Tait, Fiddler, McLaren, Neave, Ballantyne  Subs: Kean, Chapman, McTernan, Cropley, K.Tait, McCathie

Referee: Mr. Iain Snedden

Assistants: Mr. Danny MacKinnon & Mr. Raymond Gordon

Blackburn United 1 East Stirlingshire 2

South Regional Challenge Cup Third Round (Also better late than never…..)

Blackburn United 1 (L.Devine 88mins)

East Stirlingshire 2 (Flynn 23mins & 63mins)

Not so long ago the visitors were operating in the SPFL2 while United were on the bottom rung of the Junior football ladder in the East Region South Division, so this first ever competitive meeting of the sides was indicative of just how quickly things can change in football and it was the ‘Shire who showed their greater pedigree in the early stages with both Flynn and Millar providing a constant menace to the Blackburn rearguard. Indeed, just when it seemed as though their threat was being harnessed it was FLYNN who opened the scoring midway through the half when his terrific glancing header from an Orr cross was behind Darren Mitchell before the ‘keeper had any real time to react. Moments later though Mitchell was able to keep out another headed effort, saving from Tapping who had got onto the end of a McCafferty delivery. Before the interval the visitors came close a couple of times more but Dishington saw one effort hit the side netting while another was blocked by Mitchell.

Thanks to a couple of early changes at the outset of the second period United were becoming more evident as an attacking force with young Laurie Devine, who had played a full ninety minutes in the previous evenings victory for the U20s over their Spartans counterparts, linking well with both Danny Campbell and Stuart McLeod but when the games next goal did arrive it was again the men from Falkirk who provided it, Peggie whipping in an inviting cross from the left that FLYNN got his head on to direct past Mitchell for his second of the game. Six minutes later Campbell clipped in a similar delivery at the other end but Devine’s header flew past before Devine then returned the compliment for Campbell, setting him up for a shot from the edge of the area that was blocked by Malone. Going into the closing stages Blackburn continued to push for a way back into the game and full-back James Mildren saw an angled shot saved before a late lifeline did arrive when debutant Nathan Donnelly-Kay slid a well weighted pass in front of DEVINE for the youngster to direct his shot across Barclay in the visitors goal and in at the bottom corner. However, with time running out it was the Shire who held on to advance to the fourth round of the South Region Challenge Cup.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren, S.Devine (Drummond 46), Lawrie, Browne, Howe (Donnelly-Kay 69), Young, Kane, Robertson (L.Devine 49), Campbell, McLeod  Subs (not used): Welsh, McIntosh, Clements

East Stirlingshire line-up: Barclay, Orr, Dyer, Tapping, Malone, Horne, Dishington, Peggie, Flynn, Millar, McCafferty  Subs: Murray, D.Ure, Shirra, Greene, I.Ure

Referee: Mr. Ryan Lee

Assistants: Mr. Graeme Leslie & Mr. Raymond Hume

Blackburn United 2 Musselburgh Athletic 1

Match report, better late than never!

Blackburn United 2 (Campbell 48mins, McLeod 51mins)

Musselburgh Athletic 1 (Thomson 66mins)

After a midweek chastening from Tranent, United hosted a Musselburgh team buoyant on the back of their 6-2 win over Linlithgow Rose seven days previously and were lively from the start, Callum Robertson taking advantage of a defensive lapse to set-up Danny Campbell for a shot that was blocked out as far as Stuart McLeod who could only drag his own shot past the left hand post. Next, Calum McDowall sprayed the ball from left to right where McLeod took a touch before whipping in a deep delivery to where McDowall had arrived on the back post but from a tight angle his header rattled against the outside of the left hand post. At the other end Evans headed a Thomson corner over the top from good position as the first half ended goal less.

Within six minutes of the restart though, Blackburn had taken full advantage of two defensive lapses from the visitors to ease two goals ahead, the first coming when Williams and his ‘keeper Robinson got in a fankle at a long ball forward from Stewart Devine and allowed Robertson to nab possession and thread a ball to CAMPBELL on the edge of the area and he thumped it into the roof of the net. The second then duly arrived just three minutes later when McDowall did brilliantly to take advantage of a Martin Lawrie ball into the box to get in a shot from a tightening angle on the left that was blocked but when Williams clearance ricocheted off him it flew across goal and was diverted into the net by McLEOD. Musselburgh then had a chance to reduce their leeway on the hour mark but Thomson’s free-kick from around twenty yards out flew past the left hand upright. However, just six minutes later THOMSON was much more accurate when a delivery into the United area could only be half cleared and the striker curled a beauty into the right hand corner of Darren Mitchell’s net from the edge of the box. Ex-Blackburn striker Downie then directed a ball back across the face of goal to Gregory but his effort sneaked past as the Olivebank men pressed for an equaliser. However, it was United who came closest twice in the dying moments, first when Campbell and Dominic Kane combined to create a shooting chance for McLeod that Robinson touched past and then when Campbell played in Andy McQuillan who galloped into space on the right and arrowed a terrific effort against the inside of the left hand post before it was hastily booted clear.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren, S.Devine (Young 75), Lawrie, Browne, Howe, McDowall, Kane, Robertson (McQuillan 71), Campbell, McLeod  Subs (not-used): Hutton, L.Devine, Clements

Musselburgh Athletic line-up: Robinson, Martin, Orru, Myles, Williams, O’Kane, Moffat, Evans, Thomson, Downie, Whyte  Subs: Grant, Clare, King, McBay, Gillan, Gregory

Referee: Mr.Daniel Silva

Assistants: Mr. James Taylor & Mr. Michael Harte

Blackburn United 0 Tranent Juniors 4

Blackburn United 0

Tranent 4 (McDonald 29mins & 30mins, Landers 42mins, McGovern 85mins)

Tranent arrived at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium smarting after a weekend defeat at Bo’ness United that knocked them from the summit of the league despite the Belters controlling large swathes of the game and they were the busier of the two teams from the off, McDonald firing an angled shot from the right just past Jonny Clements right hand post and then Berry firing a stunning effort from a similar angle but from further out against the underside of Clements bar. United then had a short period of possession that came to an end when a piercing, right to left ball from Michael Browne was just too far in front of Andy McQuillan. Just before the half hour mark the visitors were rewarded for their dominant start when Rutherford found McDONALD and the striker took a touch before spinning into space and firing through a clutch of players and past Clements from the edge of the area. Within a minute the Belters were two ahead when Barrett tricked his way to the left byeline and pinged a delivery onto the near post that McDONALD was onto in a flash to drill into the bottom corner for his own second of the evening. Minutes from the break the visitors lead became three when Barrett was again the creator, jinking into space on the left to pull an inviting ball back into the stride of LANDERS whose effort took a deflection to wrong foot Clements and nestle in the waiting net.

With the points secure, the Belters controlled much of the possession and territory in the second period without bringing too much further pressure to bear on the Blackburn back line, although Landers came close with an acrobatic hitch-kick that scraped over the crossbar. At the other end United mustered their first real attempt at goal but substitute David Howe’s shot was charged down and despite some lukewarm appeals for handball the danger was cleared. Five minutes from the end Tranent wrapped up the evening with their fourth and final goal, a long ball forward bisecting the Blackburn defence to allow McGOVERN to gallop through on goal and thump past the exposed Clements despite the young ‘keeper getting fingertips to it.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Mildren, S.Devine, Lawrie, Browne, Kane, Young (Howe 68), McLeod, McQuillan (Robertson 76), Campbell, Hutton (McDowall 63)  Subs (not used): L.Devine, McIntosh, Mitchell

Tranent line-up: Inglis, Hawkins, Rutherford, Donaldson, Whitson, Hill, Berry, Landers, McDonald, Murphy, Barrett  Subs: Jones, McKenzie, Moffat, McGovern, Stirling

Referee: Mr. George Calder

Assistants: Mr. Kian Gallacher & Ms. Emmanuelle Hingant