League: William Hill Scottish Cup

Blackburn United vs Rothes

Blackburn United 1 (McQuillan 16mins)
Rothes 2 (Robertson 62mins, Hyde 90mins)

United got off to a fast start against their opponents, who had opened the Highland League season with an eight game unbeaten run and almost took the lead seven minutes in when a Laurie Devine cross was deflected onto the bar by Rothes defender Finnis with Andy McQuillan heading over the bar from the resulting corner-kick. McQUILLAN would make no mistake less than ten minutes later though when he made the most of some poor defending to fire across McCarthy and into the bottom corner for the opening goal. Rothes settled into the game following the slow start but a resolute United defensive display limited them to half-chances in the first-half with a McRitchie header from a corner that went wide being the closest they came to levelling things up. At the other end, McQuillan broke clear but lacked the pace to outrun the defence while both David Howe and Calum Heath fired straight at the keeper from distance.
The second-half was near total one-way traffic in favour of the away side. Craig Saunders produced a tremendous save on fifty four minutes to deny Stark when he raced through on the right while the dangerous Cormack and Milne both went close. It appeared to be just a matter of time before the equaliser would come and it duly arrived on sixty two minutes when Cormack’s great play on the left flank led to ROBERTSON rolling the ball into the net from close range. Cormack almost headed the Highlanders in front three minutes later from a corner-kick while Gunn also went close when firing just wide moments later. Having been under the cosh for some time, Blackburn began to get a foothold back into the game with the pattern of play being two resolute defences with chances now at a premium. A goalmouth scramble nine minutes from time could easily have seen United turn the ball home for the lead but it wasn’t to be and with a replay seeming certain, Rothes struck with HYDE, on the park a mere five minutes, proving to be the match-winner as he tapped home at the back post.
Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Sayers, Lawrie, Drummond, Millar, Meikle, Heath (Kane 78), Browne, McQuillan, Howe (Gribben 85), Devine (Smith 72) Subs (not used): McClung, Sweeney, Ferris, King
Rothes line-up: McCarthy, Stark, Finnis, McRitchie, Milne, Robertson, Gunn, Pollock, Harkness, Cormack, A.MacKenzie Subs: Johnstone, Browne, Davies, Wilson, Hyde, I.MacKenzie
Referee: Mr. Steven Reid
Assistants: Mr. Steven McLelland & Mr. James Taylor

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Blackburn United v Easthouses Lily MW

Blackburn United 2 (Heath 19mins, Campbell 44mins)
Easthouses Lily 1 (Russell 21mins)

A third appearance in the Scottish Cup for United began in positive fashion when Danny Campbell did well with a piece of hold up play that allowed him to lay the ball off to the supporting James Mildren but his shot was held easily enough by Hay in the visiting goal. Shortly thereafter Campbell was again the creator, slipping in Richie Hutton on the right but his pop was saved by Hay down low to his left. At the other end Russell got his head on a cross to set up Beattie but he couldn’t get his own header on target. The opening goal then duly arrived on nineteen minutes and it was Campbell who once more was at the heart of it, taking a long clearance down brilliantly and playing in Callum HEATH on the right who chopped his stride to create the space to curl an absolute beauty past Hay and into the left corner of the net. However, the lead was short lived and RUSSELL was strong to hold off a challenge as he barrelled into the box to pick his spot in the bottom right hand corner. A looped Campbell header from a Hutton cross was touched over as Blackburn looked to re-establish the lead but it was a terrific one on one black by Craig Saunders that prevented McBeth squeezing the visitors in front. However, just before the interval the United lead was indeed restored, Keiran Sweeney setting off on a run down the left from inside his own half and sliding a pass across the face of the box to CAMPBELL who took a touch and thumped a shot across Hay and into the bottom left.

The second half was more of a tame affair with Blackburn happy to allow the men from East Lothian possession without too much in the way of clear cut chances arriving, other than Russell curling an effort wide of the left hand post. Substitute Darren Gribben then presented the Lily rearguard with some problems without testing Hay too much. With some six minutes remaining both sides were reduced to ten men when Beattie lunged in on James Mildren with his boot up and studs showing, catching the full back high on the shin and causing a bit of heated pushing and shoving in the aftermath. Once referee Mr. Soutar was able to calm matters, his red card was deservedly brandished at original culprit Beattie as well as Campbell who had been first to take exception to his tackle. Once play resumed the final minutes were negotiated easily enough by Blackburn to progress into the first round proper of the national cup competition for the first time.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Mildren, Lawrie, Cameron, Millar, Browne, Heath (Gribben 82), Howe, Sweeney (McClung 86), Campbell, Hutton Subs (not used): Young, Ferris, Baillie, King, Clements

Easthouses Lily line-up: Hay, Smith, Whyte, McQueenie, Meikle, Russell, McBeth, Hunter, Elliot, Janczyk, Beattie Subs: Sives, Kearney, Lennie, Connell, Brown, Currie, McDermott, Amos

Referee: Mr. Greg Soutar
Assistants: Mr. Ralph Gordon & Mr. Sean Duff

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Blackburn United vs Civil Service Strollers

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.

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Hill of Beath Hawthorn vs Blackburn United

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 (D.Watt 5mins, Elder 83mins (pen))
Blackburn United 0

In bright sunshine on a playing surface in seemingly pristine condition and with both teams making their Scottish Cup debuts a nervy start might have been expected but the hosts were out of the traps quickly and were ahead in only five minutes, Kellichan getting in behind Keiran Welsh to pull the ball back for Daniel WATT and although it was perhaps a little behind him and not as straight forward as he might have liked the striker managed to twist and get a hitch-kick in that flew past young Jamie Morajda who was making his debut in the United goal thanks to the unavailability of the holidaying Darren Mitchell. With the Haws still on top, a long ball set Adamson clear but his angled shot was saved by Morajda as was Patrick’s follow-up from all but point blank range. Next, Morajda’s right hand post was struck when Elder clipped in an opportunist fifteen yarder. On the half hour mark Blackburn cam close to equalising when Welsh forced a ball out to Danny Campbell but, after tricking his way past Wright, his parting shot crept past the left hand upright. Before the interval the Keirs Park men had another effort at Morajda’s goal, Adamson making a break on the right that allowed Reid a pop that flew past the young ‘keepers right hand post.

Four minutes into the second half and with the rain now coming in torrents and the pitch beginning to get that little bit heavier United’s tough task became tougher still when Elder surged past Michael Browne only for the Blackburn centre-back to tug him back by his shirt. What looked like a routine booking became a straight red card from referee Mr. Williams who decided a clear goalscoring opportunity had been denied, despite several back-tracking United defenders appearing to be in position to cover their captain. Four minutes later though and numbers were evened up when Patrick lunged in on Craig Young with a high boot and flailing studs to earn his own early bath. Young was to depart the scene injured not long thereafter. With the game still in the balance Blackburn then enjoyed their best spell of the afternoon and a Calum McDowall slide rule pass was collected by Campbell and curled just over the junction of post and bar before the same player flighted in a corner that was headed goalwards from James Mildren only for it to be booted clear from the line. The Haws, however, were ever dangerous and when Watt spun past Mildren his shot was only just off target. At the other end Andy McQuillan had an effort at the culmination of some intricate play between David Howe, Campbell and McDowall but Donaldson was able to gather comfortably enough. With thirteen minutes remaining a Lumsden corner was headed over by Elder before, seven minutes later, the tie was ended when Kirby was tripped by Marty Lawrie as the substitute raced to the byeline and from the resultant penalty ELDER picked his spot behind Morajda to ease his side through.

Blackburn United line-up: Morajda, Welsh (Robertson 73), Lawrie, Browne, Drummond, Kane, Cowan (Mildren 51), Young (Howe 62), McQuillan, Campbell, McDowall Subs (not used): L.Devine, S.Devine, Bonnar, Mackay

Hill of Beath Hawthorn line-up: Donaldson, Leishman, Kellichan, Wright, Dair, Patrick, Adamson, Reid, Elder, D.Watt, Lumsden Subs: M.Watt, Harrower, Mitchell, Kirby, Payne

Referee: Mr. Duncan Williams
Assistants: Mr. David Dunne & Mr. Gary Callachan

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