Blackburn United 2 Broxburn Athletic 3

Blackburn United 2 (McLeod 71mins, Hutton 83mins)

Broxburn Athletic (Scott 1min (p), Nimmo 55mins, Binnie 57mins)

United had lost both derbies against the visitors last season as Broxburn marched to the Conference C title and within a minute of the referee’s whistle they had given themselves an even sterner task than already anticipated, giving away a penalty when Martin Lawrie was adjudged to have impeded Kelly on the edge of the six-yard box. SCOTT duly netted from the spot-kick. Before the quarter hour had been reached Blackburn were then forced into a change when goalkeeper Darren Mitchell hobbled off to be replaced between the sticks by Jonny Clements. With scoring chances at a premium it wasn’t until beyond the half hour mark that either ‘keeper was seriously tested but when Richie Hutton got clear for United and onto the end of a James Mildren through ball Wallace in the visiting goal did enough to block. Sixty seconds later Broxburn had the opportunity to double their lead but from good position Binnie sent a half volley from a long clearance sailing over. Right on half time Blackburn too had a chance from distance but John Drummond’s twenty yarder flew wide.

A minute after the resumption United really should have been level but when Calum McDowall’s delivery picked out David Howe plumb in the centre of goal the young midfielder somehow got it all wrong and his header just didn’t sufficiently test Wallace. At the other end a short corner allowed Scott to clip in a cross that Kelly got his head to but Clements was equal to the effort. However, moments later the young ‘keeper had no chance when Drummond was short with a square pass twenty yards from his own goal and NIMMO nipped in to take possession and skip past a couple of tackles to drill past an exposed Clements. Two further minutes had elapsed when the visitors were presented with another glorious chance, this time a long, hopeful ball upfiled catching Lawrie underneath it and when it bounced in behind him BINNIE was onto it in a flash to lift it over the head of the stranded Clements and into the net. Blackburn, though, grabbed a lifeline with nineteen minutes remaining when substitute Craig Young’s free-kick made it all the way to the back post where Stuart McLEOD was on hand to knock it home. Seven minutes from time United duly narrowed the gap to a solitary goal when McDowall showed some neat footwork on the right to fire in a cross that also reached the back post where, this time, the stooping HUTTON was on hand to head it into the net. However, despite a flurry in added time that ended when Mildren’s toe poke was gratefully gathered by Wallace, it was too little too late.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell (Clements 15), Mildren, Drummond, Lawrie (L.Devine 82), Browne, McLeod, McDowall, Howe (Young 65), Campbell, Kane, Hutton  Subs (not used): S.Devine, Donnelly-Kay

Broxburn Athletic line-up: Wallace, Beesley, Ross, G.Grant, Townsley, Linton, Nimmo, Scott, Kelly, Locke, Binnie  Subs: Miller, Goss, Gibson, Richards, J.Grant, McGill, Donoghue

Referee: Mr. Andrew Craven

Assistants: Mr. Andrew Brown & Mr. Ken Boyd