Newtongrange Star 1 Blackburn United 5

Newtongrange Star 1 (Paterson 15mins)

Blackburn United 5 (Hutton 43mins, Watson 65mins, Campbell 71 & 74mins, L.Devine 90mins)

United travelled to New Victoria Park for this First Round League Cup game never having previously won away from home against their hosts and inside the first ten minutes it looked as if it might be another torrid afternoon when first Young and then Thomson came close with efforts from around the edge of the eighteen yard box. However, just as it appeared the early flurry from the hosts would bear no fruit a misunderstanding between Kyle McClung and Craig Saunders in the United goal gifted PATERSON a glorious opportunity to open the scoring and he wasn’t about to pass it up and simply walked the ball into an open goal. At the other end Danny Campbell took advantage of some slackness to hit a shot that was deflected into Mack’s hands and then the strong running Paddy Queen slalomed past two challenges only to be blocked by Young as he prepared to shoot. Campbell then stepped up again but his shot flew over the junction of post and bar after he’d turned past Christie and into a yard of space. Three minutes from the interval though and Blackburn had Justin Watson to thank for not falling further behind, the midfielder clearing Paterson’s shot off the line and little more than two minutes later they were instead celebrating, Kieran Welsh linking with Richie HUTTON who controlled the ball on his chest before hitting a looping, twenty five yarder high over the head of Mack and into the top left hand corner.

Nine minutes into the second half an angled Thomson shot was touched onto the post by the fingertips of Darren Mitchell but the hosts presence as an attacking force ended soon thereafter when Young checked the darting run of David Howe and found himself looking at a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal. Blackburn then duly took complete command of the midfield and some clever interplay between Queen and Howe resulted in Marc Smith curling a shot just off target. However, some six minutes later United deservedly moved in front when Justin WATSON picked the ball up in midfield to dance through a packed Newtongrange rearguard and coolly pick his spot behind Mack. Next to find his way onto the scoresheet was CAMPBELL who manoeuvred himself onto the back post where he drilled home an inch perfect delivery from Hutton after the wide man had scampered free on the right and onto a pass from Welsh. Three minutes later CAMPBELL then grabbed his own second and Blackburn’s fourth after Watson almost delivered a repeat of his earlier goal only to be denied by a blocking tackle that fell kindly for the striker to sweep the ball past Mack. A minute into added time the scoring was complete when Welsh rolled a pass into the path of substitute Stuart McLeod and when Mack couldn’t hold onto his strike from the edge of the area fellow substitute Laurie DEVINE was on hand to nod home.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Welsh, McClung, Mildren, Browne, Smith (McLeod 77), Hutton (L.Devine 81), Watson, Campbell, Howe (McDowall 65), Queen  Subs (not used): McIntosh, Gunn, Kinross, Mitchell

Newtongrange Star line-up: Mack, Young, Christie, Cherrie, Nelson, Scott, Paterson, Porteous, Conlon, Thomson, Reid  Subs: Swaney, McIntosh, Hastie, Bracks, Murray, Gillon, Dyet

Referee: Mr. K.Lindsay

Blackburn United 0 Bo’ness United 4

Blackburn United 0

Bo’ness United 4 (Comrie 29mins, OG 41mins, Stevenson 57mins, Ritchie 65mins)

As the only team to have beaten the league leaders so far this season, Blackburn were looking to do the double over the men from Newtown Park but the early pressure was all the visitors with Ritchie going closest when his header forced Darren Mitchell into a routine save. However, before the half hour mark was reached the title favourites were in front when young Kyle McClung lost possession at a throw in and COMRIE took full advantage to clip a shot into the bottom right hand corner from the edge of the box. A sweeping left to right pass then set up Morgan for a half volley that rattled Mitchell’s left hand upright and the same player then directed another pop at goal just past the right hand post as the visitors continued to press. When the second Bo’ness goal did arrive it had a mighty touch of good fortune about it though, Jacobs delivering from the left and when Comrie’s mishit shot arrived in the six yard box it ricocheted against the unsuspecting Michael Browne and flew into his own net. Just before the break David Taylor found Calum McDowall who, in turn, fed the ball to Danny Campbell but his eventual shot was saved by Murphy in the BU’s goal.

Early in the second half Ross Campbell picked out Ritchie who lifted a shot goalwards that Mitchell did brilliantly to tip over the top but a little more than sixty seconds later the visitors moved three ahead, Comrie slipping in STEVENSON on the right to draw Mitchell and roll a shot behind him despite the ‘keeper getting the faintest of touches to it.  Midway through the half a bullet header from RITCHIE at a Nimmo corner made it four for Bo’ness and with the game convincingly won and the tempo markedly disappearing the Newtown Park men ran the clock down in comfortable fashion to claim all three points.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Watson, McClung (Gunn 46), Mildren, Browne, Taylor, Queen (Welsh 77), Smith (Hutton 65), Campbell, Howe, McDowall  Subs (not used): L.Devine, Anderson, McIntosh, Saunders

Bo’ness United line-up: Murphy, Jacobs, Macgregor, Hunter, Comrie, Morgan, Nimmo, Ritchie, Grant, Campbell, Stevenson  Subs: Snowdon, Keast, Donnelly, Faulds, McKenzie, Anderson, Adamson

Referee: Mr. C.Newman

Assistants: Mr. A.Brown & Mr. C.Doyle

U20’s return to action

After a two week break, the U20’s return to action on Friday night in the second round of the Knockout Cup. They signed off before Christmas with a 10-0 demolition of Broxburn Athletic in the Challenge Cup, but Friday night is a different proposition, with a trip down to Kilmarnock to face Bonnyton Thistle, who sit second in Conference B behind BSC Glasgow.

For anyone wiching to travel, the match kicks-off at 20.00 and is being played at the Synergy Arnena, directions can be found here http://nonleaguescotland.org.uk/bonnyton.htm

Broxburn Athletic 3 Blackburn United 1

Broxburn Athletic 3 (Kelly 30mins, Donaldson 39mins, Scott 61mins)

Blackburn United 1 (Howe 74mins)

Left-back Kyle McClung was the latest Livingston FC loanee to make his United debut and a couple of early tackles allowed him to settle comfortably enough as Blackburn made a bright start, although the hosts were the side to create the first real chance when Gibson’s near post header from a Ross cross was just too high. On nineteen minutes United had a loud and sustained penalty appeal turned down when Calum McDowall took advantage of some real hesitancy by Gibson on the edge of his own area to nick the ball away from him only for the big centre half to take a rash and clumsy kick at him as he attempted to remedy the situation. Somehow referee Mr. Snedden saw little wrong with the big No.4’s swinging boot and when the action switched to the other end Nimmo’s spin and hit from all of twenty two yards flew past the right hand post. However, just two minutes later Broxburn were ahead, a corner from the right only being half cleared for KELLY to seize on the opportunity and blast high past Mitchell from around fifteen yards. Things then went from bad to worse for Blackburn less than ten minutes later when Scott’s corner found DONALDSON inside the six yard box and he had the freedom to stoop and direct an unchallenged header past Mitchell.

United changed the injured Marc Smith for David Howe at the outset of the second half and managed to grab the momentum early, McDowall swinging in a delivery from the right that captain Michael Browne rose to get his head to only for it to slam against the face of the crossbar. Soon thereafter Broxburn too came close, Ross bursting through two challenges only to be checked by Marty Lawrie which was enough to help Mitchell block the resultant shot. However, two minutes later the home lead was doubled, Broxburn breaking quickly from a poorly executed Blackburn corner which allowed Nimmo to switch play quickly from right to left where SCOTT was on hand to thump a twenty yarder past Mitchell. Only the fingertips of Wallace then prevented United getting back into it quickly, the home ‘keeper diving to touch HOWE’S shot away after he had linked well with Richie Hutton and McClung. The young midfielder, though, did drag his side back into the match moments later when he took fellow substitute Stuart McLeod’s pass and curled a beauty past Wallace from the edge of the area. Indeed, just three minutes later Howe came close again but a similar effort from the right of the eighteen yard box was deflected past for a fruitless corner. David Taylor then headed a Justin Watson cross into the hands of Wallace as United continued to press but another goal wasn’t forthcoming, although Danny Campbell will feel he might have done better than volley over from good position in added time.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren (McLeod 59), McClung, Lawrie, Browne, Smith (Howe 46), Hutton (Queen 69), Taylor, Campbell, Watson, McDowall  Subs (not-used): Donnelly-Kay, Welsh, Gunn, Saunders

Broxburn Athletic line-up: Wallace, Grant, Donaldson, Gibson, Townsley, Grant, Nimmo, Scott, Kelly, Locke, Ross  Subs: Beesley, Richards, Gillen, Linton, Hamilton, Donoghue

Referee: Mr. I.Snedden

Assistants: Mr. K.Spalony & Mr.R.Gordon

Linlithgow Rose 4 Blackburn United 1

Report to fo

Linlithgow Rose 4 (Hare 25mins, Allum 63mins, Ronald 73mins, Ro.Maclennan 77mins)

Blackburn United 1 (Hutton 88mins)

United gave a debut to young Livingston FC loanee John Queen but it was the hosts who had the better of the opening exchanges, Strickland seeing a shot from distance tipped past by Darren Mitchell before ex-Blackburn man Allison, also a debutant, headed Ronald’s corner just over the top. On the seventeen minute mark United too came close when home ‘keeper Wilson fumbled an overhit Danny Campbell cross and was lucky to see it only land on the roof of his net. Ruari Maclennan was the next Rose man to try his luck but when his effort emerged through a sea of legs Mitchell did well to react quickly and block. However, only a moment or so later Linlithgow took advantage of some poor defending to force their way in front, HARE pouncing on a weak Michael Browne clearance to break into the right of the area and drill a shot across the face of goal and in at the bottom left hand corner.

The second half sprung to life six minutes in when Campbell was desperately unlucky to see his twenty yarder clatter off the face of the crossbar after neat work between him and Calum McDowall had created the chance and the hosts almost took advantage of their good fortune moments later when David Taylor was caught out in the middle of the park to allow Maclennan a run and shot that Mitchell saved and when the ball broke back for Strickland Marty Lawrie was on hand to clear his follow-up effort off the line. However, just ten minutes more had passed before the Rose found the net again, a long ball forward finding ALLUM sprinting clear and he made no mistake in picking his spot behind Mitchell. Mitchell then held a Strickland pop from a Ronald pass before Blackburn coughed up cheap possession again and were punished once more, RONALD getting in on the left to beat Mitchell with a low effort. Three minutes later the difference was four when substitute Roddy MACLENNAN completed the scoring for the hosts after finding time and space to guide a shot home, although Blackburn did manage to finish the game strongly and were rewarded when Richie HUTTON made ground on the left in the final minute to draw Wilson from his line and slide the ball behind him from a tightening angle.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Mildren, Lawrie (Gunn 85), Taylor, Browne, Smith, McDowall, Watson, Campbell, Howe (Donnelly-Kay 74), Queen (Hutton 68)  Subs (not-used): Young, McIntosh, Welsh, Saunders

Linlithgow Rose line-up: Wilson, Gray, Meikle, Allison, McGowan, Hare, Ronald, Ru.Maclennan, Strickland, Allum, Scullion  Subs: Dar.Smith, McKinven, Ro.Maclennan, Thom, Hutchison, Slaven, Dan.Smith

Referee: Mr.S.Luke

Assistants: Mr. W.McAleese & Mr.J.Kelly

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Blackburn United 0 Crossgates Primrose 2

Blackburn United 0

Crossgates Primrose 2 (Lawrie 31mins, Galloway 60mins)

Chances fell at both ends inside the first fifteen minutes when first Justin Watson’s half volley was safely gathered by the Crossgates keeper and then at the other end where Lawrie fizzed a twenty-five yard free-kick over Darren Mitchell’s bar. Just before the half hour mark Watson tried another pop at goal but his speculative effort from around twenty-five yards out was gathered by Mooney in the Primrose goal. However, within a minute the visitors were ahead, LAWRIE finding more accuracy with another free-kick, curling one around the defensive wall and in off the far post. Before the interval a Danny Campbell first time shot from a Marc Smith corner flew narrowly past.

Aitken opened the second period for Crossgates by collecting a pass on the right side of area and firing an angled shot just over before the same player created the opportunity to double the visitors lead, again collecting the ball wide on the right and clipping in a cross that fell kindly enough for GALLOWAY to pick his spot behind Mitchell easily enough. Seven minutes from time Aitken was once more the Primrose creative force but his cross from the right was fired over by the unmarked Lawrie.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh (Young 72), Mildren, Taylor, Lawrie, Browne, Watson, McLeod (Donnelly-Kay 65), Campbell, Howe (L.Devine 75), Smith  Subs (not-used): Gunn, McIntosh, Kane

Crossgates Primrose line-up: Mooney, Nutt, Wilkie, Deas, O’Neill, Moffat, Aitken, Forbes, Lawrie, Galloway, Cowie  Subs: L.Sawers, R.Sawers, Brand, Gilmour

Referee: Mr. A.Grieve

Assistants: Mr. K.Gallacher & Mr. C.Doyle

Sauchie Juniors 3 Blackburn United 0

Sauchie 3 (Dolan 6mins, Turnbull 13mins, McCaughie 41mins)

Blackburn United 0

United travelled to a venue where they haven’t been particularly successful over the years and, due to injury and suspension, fielded two debutants in the shape of midfielder Justin Watson and full-back Alan Higgins, with attacking midfielder Nathan Donnelly-Kay making his first start of the season. Unsurprisingly, the unfamiliar line-up coughed up an opportunity to their hosts within sixty seconds when goalkeeper Jonny Clements had to be quick from his line to spread himself well and deny McCaughie. At the other end Dominic Kane was unfortunate to see his glancing header from a Calum McDowall corner cleared off the line by Turnbull. However, three minutes later Sauchie were in front, a long ball forward eventually finding DOLAN racing clear and he made no mistake in picking his spot behind Clements. Back came United though and clever footwork by David Taylor allowed him to pull a ball back into McDowall’s path but his curler was easily enough held by Young in the home goal. However, the Beechwood Park men were further in front only ninety seconds later when an innocuous looking free-kick was awarded some thirty yards from goal and when TURNBULL’S effort from the dead ball somehow found its way through the United wall Clements wasn’t able to prevent it finding the net. Three chances in quick succession then came and went for Blackburn when first Donnelly-Kay and David Howe linked for Danny Campbell to drag his shot past the post and then when Campbell and Donnelly-Kay swapped passes to set-up Howe for a pop at goal that Young saved before, from a McDowall corner, Watson was desperately unlucky to see his effort clip the left hand post. Clements then kept Sauchie from stretching their lead by blocking Dawson’s shot with his feet before, in an end to end first half, McDowall’s free-kick hit the top of the crossbar on its way over. Four minutes from the break though and the hosts did move three ahead, Dawson hitting the bye-line on the right and cutting the ball back for the unmarked McCAUGHIE to thump past Clements despite the ‘keeper getting fingertips to it.

The second period was devoid of clear cut chances by comparison to the first half, although quick feet from Howe helped set up Watson for a shot that was saved before Finlayson’s effort at the other end was blocked by Clements and McCaughie’s follow-up was cleared off the line by Higgins. With quarter on an hour remaining and the game limping towards a conclusion there was one last opportunity and it came the way of the hosts, substitute Mooney outstripping Martin Lawrie on the run but sending his shot past the left hand upright.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Higgins, Lawrie, Browne, Taylor, Kane, Donnelly-Kay (Smith 63), Watson, Campbell, Howe (L.Devine 73), McDowall (Welsh 89)  Subs (not used): Young, McLeod, Mbewe

Sauchie line-up: Young, Houston, Turnbull, Wright, Tully, White, Dawson, Davidson, Dolan, Finlayson, McCaughie  Subs: Magregor, Sharp, McKeown, McTaggart, Langton, Mooney, Cummings

Referee: Mr. Andrew Craven

U20’s go second

Last night’s 4-2 win over Dalkeith Thistle has seen the U20’s overtake Dundonald Bluebell into second sport. Goals from Alistaie Murray, Laurie Devine, Jackson Cowan and Derek White secured the come from behind win. Next week we host league leaders Edinburgh City, who have won all 11 of their league matches to date.

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.