League: Football Nation Cup

Blackburn United vs Penicuik Athletic

Blackburn United 1 Heath 68
Penicuik Athletic 2 Somerville 30, Watson 119
AET

Burnie went into the game missing six regulars but also opened the scoring after three minutes when latching onto a Callum Heath through ball Kieran Sweeney hit the post with his shot from 20 yards, with Laurie Devine’s follow up effort from the rebound sliding past.

On the quarter hour mark, Craig Saunders got down well to push a shot away for a Penicuik corner, then at the other end almost the opener when from a Kyle McClung throw in, David Howe had a shot tipped onto the underside of the bar by Liam Robertson and bounced down close to the line, Sweeney followed up with a header which also hit the bar before Heaths resulting shot was blocked.

Daryll Meikle was next to try his luck but Robertson saved comfortably, then Sweeney shot just over. Penicuik moved up the park from the goal kick and won themselves a free kick, the kick was floated to the far post where Forbes headed back across goal and Aaron Somerville was lurking to shoot past Saunders to open the scoring.

Right on half time Penicuik nearly doubled the leade when Andrew Forbes met a long free kick again at the back post but headed wide.

Marcus Millar, who had went over on his ankle ten minutes from the break, didn’t re-appear and the back line was shuffled again with Jack Sayers coming on.

After 15 minutes of the second half a crossfield pass from Heath found Kieran Sweeney but his angled drive was saved by Robertson. However the equaliser wasn’t long in coming when Callum Heath met a Laurie Devine cross and flashed a shot beyond Robertson for 6 yards.

Penicuik upped the pressure in search of an equaliser and both Baptie and Reid passed up good chances before at the other end Forbes almost headed the ball into his own net. Meanwhile Sweeney got on the end of a Meikle cross at the near post and was inches wide.

The visitors looked to have won it with minutes remaining but the goal was flagged offside by the enclosure side linesman. Sweeney then had another half chance but shot wide.

Into extra time and another injury for Burnie when Kieran Sweeney went down heavily after a poor tackle and went off with a dislocated shoulder. With Blackburn tiring after their second bout of extra-time in a week, Penicuik looked to capitalise and Saunders done well to block a shot, and was again on hand just after the restart of the second period of extra time when He got do superbly to push away a Reid shot only for it to deflect off the inrushing Kateleza intio the net, however he was in an offside position and the goal was ruled out.

With time running out and penalties looming, a long throw-in wasn’t cleared and the ball fell to Kieran Watson to shoot through a crowded box into the corner of the net to win the game.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, Lyall Cameron, Kyle McClung, Michael Browne, Marcus Millar (Jack Sayers 46), Daryll Meikle, Laurie Devine (Lennon Smith 109), Dominic Kane (Kieran Sweeney (Baley Ferris 98), David Howe, Kieran Sweeney. Unused Subs: Tom Baillie, Gavin King (GK)

Penicuik Athletic: Liam Robertson, Liam Baptie, Darrell Young, Kieran Watson, Cameron Dawson (Gregor Lamb 63), Aaron Somerville (Lumbert Kateleza 85), Jack Furness (Rhys McMurdo 80), Payl Thomson, Reece Hope (Lewis Collins 91), Andrew Forbes, Nicholas Reid. Unused subs: Robbie Neave, Aiden Walsh.

Referee: Simon MacLean Assistants: Michael Dixon, Steve Ross

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Pumpherston vs Blackburn United

Pumpherston 1(Forrest 90mins)
Blackburn United 2 (McQuillan 72mins, Ferris 109mins)

Magee had the first opportunity for the hosts but his effort from good position was wide of Gavin King’s post while United too had an early effort when Laurie Devine’s free-kick made it through the wall only to be held by Hamilton. Midway through the opening period Andy McQuillan was in on goal, drawing Hamilton from his line only to hit his shot against the big ‘keeper. Before the break Devine found himself in space on the right, surging past Redmond before his cross cum shot was deflected into the hands of Hamilton.

In the second half, James Mildren received a red card for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, pulling back the Pumpherston striker breaking through. Then into injury time, Adam Forrest shot through a congested penalty area with the ball nestling into the back on the net to send the game to extra-time. The game was then levelled up three minutes into the extra period when Greg Redmond was sent packing before Baley Ferris fastened onto a through ball before shooting beyond Hamilton to win the tie.

Blackburn United line-up: King, Sayers, McClung, Mildren, Millar, Kane, Devine (Baillie 47), Howe (Fleming 98), McQuillan (Lawrie 86), Sweeney (Ferris 70), Smith Subs (not used): Hutton, McKeon, Saunders

Pumpherston line-up: Hamilton, Murray, Redmond, Higgins, Forrest, Robertson, Smith, Adams, Magee, Nicholson, McInnes Subs: Hunter, Anthony, McKeown, Doherty, Henderson, Bowman, Rae

Referee: Mr. Kyle Hall

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University of Stirling vs Blackburn United

University of Stirling 2 (Burrows 30mins, Heath 81mins)
Blackburn United 1 (McQuillan 57mins)

Forthbank Stadium in Stirling offered an immaculate playing surface for the teams in this First Round Football Nation Cup tie and it was United who took advantage of the fine conditions first when a period of controlled possession lead to a Craig Young corner that was just out of the reach of James Mildren. A second corner shortly thereafter from the same player was then half cleared and from around the edge of the area Mildren lofted a clever effort just a little too high and just a little too wide. A long ball forward then found play at the other end and when John Drummond didn’t get his headed clearance quite right Baird’s opportunist hitch-kick crept past the left hand upright. However, it was a similar ball not so long after that saw the students edge in front, goalkeeper Allan launching a high one that Baird did well to head on and when BURROWS got onto the knock down he was clever enough to instantly lift the ball over the outrushing Jonny Clements to give the debutant Blackburn No.1 no chance of preventing the opener.

With the limping Callum Robertson off to be replaced by Andy McQuillan at the start of the second half United posed an early threat when Danny Campbell wriggled free on the right, but when McQuillan tried to control his resultant cross on his chest Allan was quickly from his line to deny him a shooting chance. However, moments later that shooting chance was to come and when it arrived at the end of neat work between David Howe and Campbell it resulted in McQUILLAN angling a drive past the ‘keeper and in at the left hand post for the equaliser. George Bonnar, making his first appearance of the season, then set out on a driving run from his full-back position to give McQuillan another shooting opportunity but this time Allan was the equal to his powerfully hit half-volley. With Blackburn continuing to look the more likely, Campbell then found Callum McDowall who tricked his way past Doan but when his cross was headed goalward by Take Hirooka the looping effort was plucked from the air by Allan. The winning goal, though, was to arrive at the other end just nine minutes from time when a sweeping Jarvis pass from right to left caught Bonnar out and, at the second attempt, ex-Blackburn man HEATH drilled a low one past Clements. Some unsavoury celebrations from the Stirling bench then resulted in a coming together of several parties in front of the Stirling dug-out which ended when unused United substitute Marty Lawrie was sent packing. Rather surprisingly, none of the antagonists from the home bench were similarly punished. Four minutes from time Heath headed over a McGale cross when it looked like he might very well have put a gloss on the scoreline for his side and, some sixty seconds later, McDowall became the second Blackburn player to see red when his forearm appeared to catch a Uni player as he tried to shield the ball from his attentions, the home players somewhat dramatic reaction sealing the wide players fate.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Bonnar (L.Devine 82), S.Devine, Mildren, Drummond, Kane (Hirooka 57), Howe, Young, Robertson (McQuillan 46), Campbell, McDowall Subs (not used): Lawrie, Welsh, Mackay, Mitchell

University of Stirling line-up: Allan, Mailer, Quigley, Downie, Doan, Bremner, Kennedy, Heath, Baird, Burrows, McGale Subs: Berry, Brown, Jarvis, Peden, Webb, Penker, Adamson

Referee: Mr. S.Luke
Assistants: Mr. T.Martin & Mr. R.Macartney

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