Tuesday 13th October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League
Blackburn United 1 Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale 4
McLeod 27 Cummings 48, Cunningham 66, Browne OG 74, Wringe 83
Our first ever competitive match with out visitors from the west side of Edinburgh, and with four changes to the starting XI, it started off at a frantic pace with the ball moving quickly from end to end. The first real chance arrived after eight minutes when Stuart McLeod slung in a corner which Michael Browne met but his header was deflected wide for another corner which came to nothing. It was McLeod again shortly afterwards who combined well with Kriss Goss before the latter let off a shot which was comfortably gathered by Dean Beveridge in the Thistle goal.
Thistle showed for the first time on the 11 minute mark when an effort by Liam Kelly was gathered by Craig Saunders. Sean Cumming then tested Saunders from inside the box but his effort was turned away well by the keeper before an offside flag was raised.
Play was still raging from end to end and the opening goal eventually arrived on 27 minutes when a poor clearance by Beveridge was pounced on by Goss who took the ball wide around the keeper and it looked as though the change was lost, but he kept his composure under increasing pressure from defenders and played the ball across goal for McLeod to stab home at the far post.
On the 34 minute mark, Blackburn almost went two ahead when Goss fired in a free kick around the wall which rattled off the crossbar and behind for a goal kick. A minute later Swanson and Goss combined only for Swanson to drag his shot wide. McLeod then have another opportunity on the left to increase the lead but shot into the side netting. The final real chance of the half saw a ball over the top of the defence fall to Dylan Moore but he pulled his shot wide from a tight angle.
The second half begun and it was the visitors who grabbed hold of the game right from the start. A cross into the Blackburn area fell to Michael Deland and his shot was brilliantly clawed away by Saunders and cleared. However moments later Sean Wringe found space on the right, crossed into Sean Cumming who couldn’t miss from close range.
Thistle were dominating possession and it came as no surprise they took the lead on 66 minutes when Alex Cunningham evaded several tackles through the middle of defence and slotted the ball past Saunders. Blackburn’s first real chance of the half came on 70 minutes when a McLeod cross was met by Goss but his header was held by Beveridge.
The killer third came on 74 minutes when an angled shot across Saunders deflected off Browne and into the net. A fourth was added on 83 minutes when a long clearance from Beveridge found Wringe who held off Watson and headed the bouncing ball over the advancing Saunders and into the net. There was time for Laurie Devine to have a final effort by Beveridge held his shot.
Another game that started well and could have seen a greater lead at half time, but which completely fell apart in the second period.
Blackburn Utd: Craig Saunders, Justin Watson, Reece Boyle (Laurie Devine 70), Michael Browne, James Mildren, Dominic Kane, Kieran Swanson, Stuart McLeod, Kriss Goss, David Howe, Richard Hutton (Alexander 80) Unused subs: McLung, J.Devine, Gavin King.
LTHV: Dean Beveridge, Dylan Moore (Scott Donald 76), Michael Deland, Sean Lally, Alex Cunningham, Sean Cumming (Louis Signorini 76), Darren Smith, Sean Wringe, Liam Kelly (David Ross 65), Niall Doherty, Thomas Penker (Iain Laver 45). Unused subs: Paul Craford, Neil Smeaton, Jamie Henderson.
Saturday 10th October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League
Blackburn United 0 Jeanfield Swifts 6
McLeish 32, 52, 53p Dodd 23, 31
A sunny day greeted the delayed start to the new season, which sadly (or perhaps luckily) was played behind closed doors due to continuing Government restrictions.
Blackburn started on the front foot and pinned the visitors back and Darren Dalrymple sliced a good opportunity past in only the second minute, a minute later Marley Redfern cut in from the right before shooting over from the edge of the area. On 17 minutes the opener should have came for the home side, a run down the right wing by Kieran Swanson saw him swing in a cross that found Jason Watson, returning on loan from Livingston, unmarked at the back post but he volleyed over with the net gaping.
The first real threat from Jeanfield came five minutes later when Saunders dealt comfortably with a shot from Connor McLaren, but as so often happens the visitors took the lead a minute later against the run of play when a long ball out of defence found Chris Dodd in the clear and he finished well past Saunders. Blackburn forced a number of corners which came to nothing before the game turned on its head.
On the half hour mark a quickly taken free-kick saw No.11 shoot over from the edge of the area but the second came soon after. Dodd took a corner short to Chris McLeish, who then played it back to Dodd who had outwitted McLeod and he curled a shot into the far corner of Saunders net from a tight angle. No more than a minute later McLeish got on the end of a cross into the box and glanced a header past Saunders to make it three and the momentum has swung.
At half time Ritchie Hutton replaced to struggling Dalrymple but it made little difference as seven minutes after the restart and audacious lob from sub Paul Simpson from distance rattled off the bar and bounced out to McLeish who had the easiest task of rolling the ball into the empty net and any thought of a comeback had gone. A minute later saw a rash challenge inside the box and McLeish completed his hattrick from the spot.
The scoring was completed on 77 minutes when Mark Smith was unmarked from a corner to head home. There was even time for Blackburn to miss a penalty awarded for handball with seven minutes later, but Mark Mitchell got down well to turn away David Taylors spot kick.
A game that started so promisingly had turned alarmingly into a heavy home defeat against a slick Swifts outfit who will be a force this season. Tuesday’s game against Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale can’t come quick enough.
Blackburn Utd: Craig Saunders, Kieran Swanson (Lewis Alexander 63), Reece Boyle, John Drummond, Michael Browne, Stuart McLeod (David Taylor 69), Marley Redfern (Jordan Devine 63), Dominic Kane, Laurie Devine (David Howe 63), Justin Watson, Darren Dalrymple (Richard Hutton 46). Unused subs: James Mildren, Gavin King.
Jeanfield Swifts: Mark Mitchell, Jamie Reid, Aaron Whitehead, Jake Dolzanski, Connor McLaren (Paul Simpson 46), Fraser Smith, Chris McLeish (Mark Smith 58), Gary Fergus (Jamie MacKenzie 57), Chris Dodd (Regan McLaren 58), Chris Scott, Scott Smith (Kieran Stewart 74). Unused subs: Fraser Cumming.
Blackburn United 1 (Mildren 19mins)
Camelon 1 (Boubekri 49mins)
United hosted top half of the table Camelon having already beaten them in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and came agonisingly close in the opening minutes when Danny Campbell made ground on the left and fired a delivery across the face of goal which found Stuart McLeod in glorious position only six yards out but he somehow managed to lift his effort over the crossbar. McLeod then worked his way in off the left hand side and onto a Richie Hutton pass but his angled shot was held at the second attempt by Shaw in the visiting goal. However, only two minutes later and Blackburn’s early pressure was eventually rewarded, Calum McDowall flighting in a corner from the left that arrived amongst a sea of bodies milling in and around the six yard area from where James MILDREN was able to turn it beyond a wrong footed Shaw to open the scoring. McKenzie then had a pop from distance for the Mariners that Craig Saunders held comfortably before Morrison hit a half volley from the right angle of the box that flew over. Right on half time United were forced into a change when Campbell hobbled off to be replaced by Laurie Devine, the youngster having scored twice the previous evening for the U20s in a Lowland League game at home to Bonnyrigg Rose that had had to be abandoned due to fog in the 70th minute.
Four minutes after the resumption Camelon were level when McKenzie strode in from the left to hit a shot goalwards that BOUBEKRI may just have got the merest of touches to as it sneaked past Saunders on the way into the bottom corner of his net. Three minutes later Donald Morrison hit the byeline and picked out his namesake David but his side footed effort was too high. United too then came close when a David Howe free-kick from around twenty yards out was pushed away from his goal by Shaw who was then quick from his line not once but twice in the space of ten minutes to thwart a darting Devine whose pace had beaten the visitors offside trap. Offside was to thwart John Drummond though when he thought he had given United the lead again after a piece of fine chest control and a neat finish had beaten Shaw only for the referee’s whistle to silence the celebrations. Ten minutes from time McKenzie tried one from all of twenty five yards but Saunders tipped the shot over for a fruitless corner to ensure that the spoils were shared on a bitterly cold day.
Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Welsh, Lawrie, Mildren, Drummond, McLeod (McClung 85), McDowall, Kane, Campbell (L.Devine 44), Howe, Hutton. Subs: Gunn, Young, Mitchell, Clements
Camelon line-up: Shaw, Gillespie, B.Sneddon, Do.Morrison, Skinner, Kay, McMullan, Da.Morrison, A.Sneddon, Boubekri, McKenzie Subs: Daramola, Langton, Kane, McCroary, McKay
Referee: Mr. Iain Snedden
Assistants: Mr. Konrad Spalony & Mr. Callum Wallace
Blackburn United 0
Sauchie 2 (Donaldson 28mins, Finlayson 53mins)
Match Abandoned – 61mins
A bitterly cold wind welcomed the players on an afternoon when all other Premier Division games had been postponed thanks to Storm Ellen and it was the visitors who settled earliest, Jordan Watson clearing a looping cross only as far as Sharp on the edge of the box but he sent his half volley narrowly over the top. Sixty seconds later Donaldson latched onto a loose ball eighteen yards out but his shot flew past the left hand upright. Just beyond the twenty minute mark United themselves then came agonisingly close to opening the scoring when Calum McDowall sent Danny Campbell clear on the right and when his cross arrived in the middle, Wright stooped to rattle his defensive header against his own post. Fortunately for the centre-half the ball cannoned straight back to his ‘keeper who flopped on it gratefully. Richie Hutton then tested Dolan with a pop from more than twenty yards that the Sauchie ‘keeper pushed past the post. From the resultant corner the ball was cleared to the edge of the area where Marc Smith was waiting but his shot sailed over. The opening goal, though, arrived at the other end four minutes later when Finlayson got free on the right to lift a ball into the box and although Michael Browne got his boot to it the ball came off his heel to spin awkwardly into the air and onto the back post where DONALSON was lurking to give Craig Saunders no chance with a half volley from no more than six yards. By now the snow was beginning to fall and as it increased in intensity players from both sides, as well as the match officials, seemed to be struggling to deal with what was becoming blizzard like conditions and Hutton required treatment after slipping and picking up an injury. Before the break Saunders went down to gather a routine effort that slipped from his grasp thanks to the snow but he was able to recover before Donaldson could take advantage and the last chance of the half came for Blackburn when Watson danced past several tackles before sliding a pass into McDowall but his shot cum cross took a deflection and went wide of goal.
In the swirling snow United officials cleared the lines at the interval to ensure the game could resume, although both the referee and his assistants had taken a long hard look at the deteriorating surface conditions during those fifteen minutes. The game, however, did restart and David Howe barrelled in off the right hand side to hit and effort at goal that Dolan was equal to, the ball spinning from his slippery grasp before he could claim it at the second attempt. For Sauchie, Comrie hit a terrific effort from distance that struck Saunders right hand post in forty nine minutes. By now, referee Mr. Lee had stopped play on a couple of occasions to speak with both captains and both managers and was clearly concerned with the danger being posed by the underfoot conditions, but play continued and from a corner-kick in fifty three minutes the visitors lead was doubled, FINLAYSON getting the freedom of the six yard area to head past Saunders. However, that was to be the last real action as the referee brought the captains together one last time just after Blackburn centre-half John Drummond had slipped and fell when losing his footing in pursuit of an overhit through ball and abandoned the game, a decision not entirely welcomed by the men from Sauchie but probably the correct one nonetheless.
Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Watson, McClung (Lawrie 57), Browne, Drummond, Smith, McDowall, Kane, Campbell, Howe, Hutton Subs (not used): Queen, L.Devine, Mildren, Welsh, McLeod, Clements
Sauchie line-up: Dolan, Houston, Syme, Wright, Cross, Sharp, McCaughie, Comrie, Crawford, Donaldson, Finlayson Subs: Young, S.Dolan, Dawson, McTaggart, Bryson, Cummins, Cameron
Referee: Mr. Ryan Lee
Assistants: Mr. Andrew McGachan & Mr. Owen Roberts
Blackburn United 1 (Campbell 41mins)
Penicuik Athletic 0
United were almost in trouble inside the opening minute when only a perfectly timed, last gasp tackle from John Drummond prevented Somerville from pulling the trigger in front of goal with only Craig Saunders to beat. At the other end, Kieran Welsh sent Danny Campbell in on the right but after he’d tricked his way past O’Donnell his drilled ball across the face of goal went begging. The visitors, too, saw a tempting ball into the six yard box find no takers when McCrory-Irving wriggled into space on the right before whipping in a delivery that came to naught. Just beyond the half-hour mark David Howe made some room to clip in a twenty yarder that Watt in the Cuikie goal held before, two minutes later, Penicuik also came close, O’Donnell pulling a ball back for Tansey whose shot flew across the face of goal and narrowly past. With just four minutes until the interval Blackburn then made the breakthrough, Saunders sending a long, penetrating ball forward from the edge of his box to release Danny CAMPBELL in behind Connolly and, as Watt advanced from his goal line, the striker coolly lifted the ball over the big ‘keepers head and into the waiting net.
Seven minutes after the resumption a deep free-kick found Young to head back across goal to Tansey but his header was brilliantly saved by Saunders before, moments later, Somerville’s cross from the right was again met by the head of Tansey but his effort this time was too high, as was Connolly’s header from Somerville’s knock-down just beyond the hour. Midway through the half and with the visitors piling forward O’Donnell hit a twenty-five yarder that Saunders saved before pouncing gratefully on the ball as it rolled loose. With Penicuik’s attempts at an equaliser becoming ever more desperate United were able to break quickly with ten minutes remaining but when Campbell intelligently held up play on the right of the area waiting for support his eventual lay-off was rattled against the base of the left hand upright by substitute Laurie Devine. Devine himself then showed wonderful skill on the break to set up Marc Smith with a cut-back that the youngster drilled goalwards only for it to be cleared off the line and bundled away, but only as far as Richie Hutton who had a pop at goal from the left angle of the area that was deflected past for a fruitless corner.
Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Welsh, McClung, Browne, Drummond, Smith, Queen (L.Devine 62), Kane (McLeod 78), Campbell, Howe, Hutton Subs (not-used): Mildren, McIntosh, Gunn, Lawrie, Mitchell
Penicuik Athletic line-up: Watt, O’Donnell, Young, Page, Connolly, Jones, Somerville, Tansey, McCrory-Irving, Ponton, Forbes Subs: Baptie, Kateleza, Wilson, Devlin, Stevenson
Referee: Mr. Alastair Grieve
Assistants: Mr. Chris Ashley & Mr. Michael Harte
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
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
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
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