Broxburn Athletic vs Blackburn United

East of Scotland Premier League – Saturday 16th April 2022

Broxburn Athletic 0
Blackburn United 1 (Heath 87)

The West Lothian derby took a little while to settle down and the first real chance wasn’t created until 15 minutes in when good work by Richie Hutton on the left wing tied his marker in knots and his cross into the box fell to Calum Heath who’s shot was blocked and Dominic Kane’s follow up crept past.

Six minutes later it was Hutton again on the left and his cross was begging to be converted but Jack Garrad just failed to get his head to the ball. Moments later at the other end, the homesters created their first chance when Donaldson got free on the right and crossed for Gary Brass to glance a header wide.

Nearing the half hour mark, Andrew Mair floated a cross in which caught in the wind and Jamie Smith had to be alert to tip it over the bar, then right on the half time whistle, Heath got on the end of yet another Hutton cross but his diving header went wide.

Three minutes after the re-start Blackburn almost took the lead when, from a corner, David Howe cut inside his marker and curled in a shot from the edge of the box which Wallace did well to tip round the post. On 57 minutes Adam Murray flashed a shot over from a corner as Broxburn struggled to create any clear cut chances.

With 12 minutes remaining Richie Hutton was in the thick of the action again, letting fly from 25 yards which Wallace managed to tip over the bar, two minutes later from a corner, Marcus Millar went down amidst claims of shirt pulling but referee Gamble waved away the claims.

However a penalty was awarded with three minute remaining, a corner was cleared to Hutton, he lofted the ball back into the box and Wallace came through the back of Fergus Owens attempting to punch it clear and flattened him. Michael Browne had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes but stepped up to take the kick, however Wallace got down well to block it, but the alert Calum Heath got to the rebound ahead of Nimmo and fired it into the back of the net to claim a crucial and deserved three points.

Broxburn Athletic: Conor Wallace, Craig Newall, Gordon Donaldson, Adam Murray (Chris Townsley 84), Daniel Nimmo, Greg Nicol, Joe Tait, Andrew Gillen, Gary Brass, Jackson Barker, Andrew Mair (Greg Binnie 60). Unused subs: Michael Beagley, David Greenhill, Shaun Donoghue.

Blackburn United: Jamie Smith, James Mildren, John Drummond, Fergus Owens, Marcus Millar, Daryl Meikle, Richard Hutton, Dominic Kane, Jack Garrad, David Howe (Michael Browne 84), Calum Heath. Unused subs: Laurie Devine, Kyle McClung, David Wilson, Jack Sayers, Craig Saunders.

Referee: Andy Gamble Assistants: Andrew Brown, Cameron Sanderson.

vs

Broxburn Athletic vs Blackburn United

Broxburn Athletic 4 Blackburn United 2
Ross 1, 26, Grant 53, Kelly 69 Smith 12, Drummond 34

The third away game on the trot saw a trip to Albyn Park for the first West Lothian derby of the season.

It didn’t take long for the goals to start flying in, 18 seconds to be exact as straight from kick-off, Broxburn pushed forward and a through ball found Cameron Ross running clear to fire the ball past Gavin King.

Despite this early set-back, Blackburn were finding space in the Broxburn rear guard and from a Danny Campbell cross, Laurie Devine’s header slid agonisingly past. Then on ten minutes Broxburn were reduced to 10 mean when Marley Redfern collected the ball and drove at the defence, he slid the ball into Campbell who was pulled down on the edge of the area by Jordan Wright who was shown the red card. The free kick was blocked away for a corner, and from the corner Campbell headed wide.

However the equaliser was only delayed by a minute when Laurie Devine found space on the right, his cross into the box was cleared to Marc Smith who fired high into the net. Moment later Campbell had a half chance to notch a second but dragged his shot wide of the mark.

Broxburn re-grouped and on 26 minutes won a corner, which was taken short to Liam Ireland just inside the box and he seemed to go down easily under a challenge by John Drummond and a spot kick was awarded, which Ross converted.

It took only 8 minutes for Blackburn to level the scores once again. A MacLeod free-kick was flicked-on by Campbell at the near post, the ball rebounded off the far post and John Drummond was on hand to stab the ball home.

The second half stated more quietly than the first, and it was Marc Smith who dragged an effort well wide for the first chance. However, on 53 minutes Broxburn re-took the lead. A free kick from Jack Beesley on the right found Andrew Grant in acres of space inside the area to fire home.

Blackburn rallied on the hour mark and firstly Mildren headed just over from a MacLeod corner, and then an attempt from Kane sailed over. However at this point the 10 men of Broxburn were more than holding their own and extended their lead with 20 minutes remaining when, from a quickly taken free-kick, Conor Kelly with literally his first touch of the ball since coming off the bench, slotted home to catch the visiting defence cold.

The game petered out somewhat with Broxburn happy to soak up any pressure from Blackburn. A David Howe shot was deflected to Redfern and his dinked attempt over the keeper crept over the bar, then Campbell tried with a curling shot which went the wrong side of the far post.

In injury time there was time for Broxburn to almost add to their lead and Ross to grab a hattrick, but his free kick was tipped over by King.

Broxburn Athletic: Connor Wallace, Luke Murray, Greg Redmond, Andrew Grant, Jordan Wright, Greg Nicol, David Greenhill, Thomas Cowley (Andrew Gillen 87), Gary Brass (Conor Kelly 68), Liam Ireland (Jack Beesley 45), Cameron Ross. Unused subs: Greg Binnie, Jordan Hopkinson, Craig Turnbull, Shaun Donoghue.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, John Drummond, Martin Lawrie (Jordan Devine 75), Michael Browne, Dominic Kane, Marc Smith (David Howe 75), Stuart MacLeod, Laurie Devine (Justin Watson 75), Danny Campbell, Marley Redfern. Unused subs: Finlay Anderson, Kieran Swanson, Ryan Kidd.

Referee: Alastair Grieve Assistants: Danny MacKinnon, Kieran Kennedy.

vs

Broxburn Athletic vs Blackburn United

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

vs