League: League Cup

Luncarty vs Blackburn United

East of Scotland League Cup Group J – Saturday 2nd April 2022

Luncarty 0
Blackburn United 0

A match of few chances ended in stalemate at Brownlands Park on Burnie’s first ever visit.

With striking options limited, Jack Garrad lead the line and he broke free on 22 minutes but a poor touch saw his shot blocked. Craig Saunders at the other end pulled off a couple of good saves but that was the sum of the first half action.

Unfortunately Fraser Cormack had to be replaced shortly after the restart and the injury turned out to be a season ending broken collarbone.

On the hour mark it was Garrad who hit the post from a free kick, then shortly afterwards saw another shot blocked by Michael Patton in the Luncarty goal, then Daryl Meikle saw an effort drift wide and the game fizzled out into a goalless draw.

Luncarty: Michael Paton, Danny Dobie, Stuart Nicol, Kevin Sinclair, Lewis Mackie, Callum Kirkcaldy, Daniel Walker, Aaron Carlon, Keith Dewar, Oliver Hamilton, Kyle Green (Sean Fergus 74). Unused subs: Jack Bain,,Robbie Holden, Alex Whytock.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, David Wilson (Jack Sayers 74), Kyle McClung, Fergus Owens (James Mildren 45), John Drummond, Fraser Cormack (Daryl Meikle 53), Calum Heath, Dominic Kane, Jack Garrad (Kieran Sweeney 74), David Howe, Richard Hutton. Unused subs: Marcus Millar, Gavin King.


West Calder United vs Blackburn United

East of Scotland League Cup Group J – Saturday 19th March 2022

West Calder United 1 (Chiwara 44)
Blackburn United 0

West Lothian Courier report

West Calder United recorded a 1-0 win over East of Scotland top flight side Blackburn United in a League Cup shock at Hermand Park, writes Callum McCormack. Leon Chiwara’s 44th minute goal proved the difference between the two sides in a game that saw almost all of its intrigue in the final moments of both halves.

Blackburn had the better of the early chances. On five minutes, Richard Hutton saw his powerful effort from distance well saved by Darren Mitchell in the West Calder goal while Danny Campbell couldn’t do more with his header when left unmarked at the back post.

West Calder would continue to try to impose themselves on the game but struggled to see the ball stick in the Burnie half. Lennon Smith was impressive and he would play a part in the only goal just before the break. He was brought down forcefully as he looked to cut inside with Gary Fallon’s free-kick looking to be a chance missed only for Smith’s good feet seeing him get the shot away.

Craig Saunders could only palm it back into his six yard box with Chiwara being the quickest to react as he poked home from close range.

Looking for an equaliser, Blackburn pressed forward and were awarded a penalty when Campbell was brought down despite protestations from the home side that the whistle should have been blown long before for a head knock. Laurie Devine took the penalty but Mitchell saved well with the striker then hitting the post from the resulting corner – but not before West Calder’s claims of a punch from the Blackburn man were waved away.

The hosts dominated much of the second half before a frantic finish saw Blackburn create numerous chances. Fergus Owen went close when he rose well to meet Hutton’s free-kick, while Baley Ferris saw his effort hit the side-netting.

The game had one final moment of controversy on 88 minutes when Lyall Cameron’s high floated ball sailed over Mitchell’s head for an apparent equaliser.

However, the celebrations turned into anger as the referee blew for a foul on the keeper with Burnie gaffer Mark Campbell being sent-off for his reaction as his side’s hopes of progressing from the competition were ended with the loss.

West Calder United: Darren Mitchell, Gordon Wilson (James Miller 50), Gary Shanks (Stephen Easton 46), Craig Johnston (Michael Adams 50), Scott Hay, Lennon Smith (Brennen Foy 90), Graham Baird, Ryan Stevenson, Leon Chiwara, Gary Fallon, Kevin Ross. Unused subs: Kieran McDougall, Kallum Macauley

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren (David Wilson 74), Lyall Cameron, Fergus Owens, Dominic Kane, Fraser Cormack (Liam Allison 60), Callum Heath (Jack Garrard 72), David Howe, Laurie Devine (Baley Ferris 72), Danny Campbell, Richie Hutton. Unused subs: Kyle McClung, Gavin King, Chris Ashley

Referee: Evan Cairns


Blackburn United vs Linlithgow Rose

East of Scotland League Cup Group J – Tuesday 15th March 2022

Blackburn United 1 (Devine 75)
Linlithgow Rose 5 (Thom 24, Stowe 26, Ogilvie 44, Sneddon 77 & 88)

Report by John Gilmour

It was with some trepidation that the Rose support travelled over the Bathgate hills to face a Blackburn side still on a high after their recent win at Penicuik. With most of the squad back fit, boss Herd was looking for a response against a side playing much better than their league position would suggest – and he certainly got one.

Blackburn came out of the traps quickly and for the opening 20 minutes looked lively. Eventually though, the Rose settled and after Mark Stowe rattled the Blackburn crossbar with a terrific 30 yard effort, the good football started to flow. In the 24th minute Gary Thom headed home from a Stowe corner then, only a couple of minutes later, Stowe himself ran onto a super long ball from Dan Baur to lob the keeper and double the Rose lead. The lads grabbed a decisive third before the break when a good decision by the referee to allow play to go on after a foul gave Jack Ogilvie a well deserved return to the scoresheet.

Now with a 3 goal half-time lead the Rose’s confidence returned big time. They picked up the pace of the game and Blackburn were finding it tough to keep the score down. However with 15 minutes remaining the home side were awarded a penalty which could have given them a lifeline back into the game, Laurie Devine converting. The Rose response was almost immediate though as sub Alan Sneddon slammed home a flick on by fellow sub Nicky Riley following a corner. Then with the full time whistle fast approaching Nicky Riley’s quick thinking saw his superb lob crash off the Blackburn crossbar only for Sneddon to pounce and head home to complete the scoring.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Kyle McClung, Fergus Owens, Marcus Millar (Dominic Kane 46), Daryl Meikle (Lyall Cameron 55), Laurie Devine, Michael Browne (Fraser Cormack 55), Danny Campbell (Callum Heath 55), Jack Garrad (David Howe 67), Richie Hutton. Unused subs: Baley Ferris, Chris Ashley.

Linlithgow Rose: Lewis McMinn, Willis Hare, Cameron Thomson, Gary Thom, Daniel Baur, Jack Ogilvie (Thomas Halleran 61), Callum Bremner (Sean Heaver 61), Jamie Allan (Connor McMullan 61), Conor McKenzie (Alan Sneddon 61), Mark Stowe (Nick Riley 61), Lewis Payne. Unused subs: Martin Lawrie, Dean Shaw.


Blackburn United vs Dalkeith Thistle

East of Scotland League Cup Group J – Saturday 12th March 2022

Blackburn United 1 (Allison 14)
Dalkeith Thistle 1 (Leslie 71)

It was Burnie who dominated this match for long spells but were unable to add to their early opener and were caught with a Dalkeith sucker punch.

Liam Allison opened the scoring on the quarter hour mark after Jack Garrad set Laurie Devine clear of the defence, and he drew Dowie in the Dalkeith goal before squaring to Allison to slot home.

It was a half of few clear-cut chances but just before the break, a ball over the defence by Daryl Meikle saw Laurie Devine run clear again but his angled shot just crept past Dowie’s far post.

Just after the restart, Jack Garrad saw a shot blocked by Dowie for a corner, from which Devine then tried a cheeky back-heel which crept past. As Burnie applied the pressure a number of corners saw the ball headed goalwards but miss the target.

Burnie were dominating and a Callum Heath effort was blocked by Dowie before Liam Allison fastened onto the ball from a corner but skied it over from the penalty spot.

In their first real foray forward of the second period, Dalkeith were handed a equaliser when Garrard, under pressure from Cameron Leslie, played the ball back to Craig Saunders from quite close range and his rushed clearance kick cannoned off Leslie into the net.

With ten minutes remaining, Allison headed over from a Hutton cross, and then in the dying minutes a Mildren clearance was flicked on by Campbell and Michel Browne bore down on Dowie but again the Dalkeith custodian blocked the effort and secured a point for the visitors.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren, Kyle McClung, Fergus Owens, Marcus Millar, Daryl Meikle (Michael Browne 65), Calum Heath, Jack Garrad (David Howe 75), Laurie Devine (Danny Campbell 65), Richie Hutton, Liam Allison. Unused subs: Dominic Kane, Lyall Cameron, Baley Ferris, Ryan Kidd.

Dalkeith Thistle: Shea Dowie, Ross Aitchison, Ronan Clelland, Michael Lennie, Steven Woods, Michael Fairnie (Jordan Mackie 66), Darren Leslie, Connor Dyet (Cameron Miller 45), Cameron Leslie (Josh Davidson 90+1), Darren McTernan, Jack Morgan. Unused subs: Matthew Johnston, Greig Callaghan, Szymon Merwa, Steven Ferguson.

Referee: Andy Gamble Assistants: Josh Heggie, Stuart Robertson


Sauchie Juniors vs Blackburn United

Sauchie 2 (Cross (pen) 20mins, Bryson 47mins)
Blackburn United 1 (Queen 44mins)

After winning away to Premier Division opposition in the first round of the League Cup United’s reward was another away tie against another Premier Division side and with striker Danny Campbell out injured and young back-up Laurie Devine having had to play the full ninety minutes the previous evening in the Lowland Development League game against Spartans, captain Michael Browne was forced to become an auxiliary striker for the afternoon, although an injury to midfielder Marc Smith midway through the half forced a reshuffle that eventually saw Devine enter the fray to take up the striking duties and allow Browne to slot back into the middle of the park. However, moments before this change Blackburn had slipped behind to a penalty, Crawford skipping past one challenge after another before being brought to ground just inside the eighteen yard box and from the resultant penalty CROSS slammed the ball past Craig Saunders and into the bottom left hand corner. Sauchie then came close to adding a second but when Finlayson came in off the left his twenty five yarder was too high. Five minutes later James Mildren headed a Cross delivery clear but only as far as Finlayson whose curled effort flew over the top. Young was then brought into action in the home goal when Kyle McClung made ground on the right and cut inside before firing his shot from around twenty yards into the midriff of the ‘keeper. The equaliser, though, arrived just before the break when a sharp and incisive first time pass from Martin Lawrie sent Paddy QUEEN racing clear on the left and when he cut inside Houston he unleashed an unstoppable effort into the roof of Young’s net from twenty yards or more.

Parity only lasted a mere one hundred and twenty seconds of the second half however and when a long ball forward caught the United rearguard square BRYSON raced in behind amongst a howl of offside calls and retained his composure sufficiently to slot the ball past the advancing Saunders. Saunders was then called into action to save a McCaughie shot after Syme and Finlayson had combined to set him up but the action was being confined to the midfield areas of a heavy playing surface that was slowly beginning to cut-up and was offering up no real opportunities at either end, although the hosts long ball delivery was constantly a test for the Blackburn back four. Midway through the half John Drummond was first to reach a Darren McIntosh cross into the Sauchie box but although his effort ended up in the net he was adjudged to have bundled the keeper over in putting it there and the goal was disallowed. With no more chances forthcoming thereafter it was the Beechwood Park men who advanced to the third round draw.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, McIntosh (Welsh 82), Lawrie, Mildren, Drummond, Smith (L.Devine 23), McClung, Kane, Browne, McLeod, Queen (McDowall 66) Subs (not used): Howe, Clements

Sauchie line-up: Young, Houston, Syme, Wright, Cross, Sharp, McCaughie, Donaldson, Crawford, Bryson, Finlayson Subs: McTaggart, Dawson, Cummings, McKeown, Cameron, Maitland

Referee: Mr. Ryan Lee
Assistants: Mr. James Taylor & Mr. Cameron Doyle


Newtongrange Star vs Blackburn United

Newtongrange Star 1 (Paterson 15mins)
Blackburn United 5 (Hutton 43mins, Watson 65mins, Campbell 71 & 74mins, L.Devine 90mins)

United travelled to New Victoria Park for this First Round League Cup game never having previously won away from home against their hosts and inside the first ten minutes it looked as if it might be another torrid afternoon when first Young and then Thomson came close with efforts from around the edge of the eighteen yard box. However, just as it appeared the early flurry from the hosts would bear no fruit a misunderstanding between Kyle McClung and Craig Saunders in the United goal gifted PATERSON a glorious opportunity to open the scoring and he wasn’t about to pass it up and simply walked the ball into an open goal. At the other end Danny Campbell took advantage of some slackness to hit a shot that was deflected into Mack’s hands and then the strong running Paddy Queen slalomed past two challenges only to be blocked by Young as he prepared to shoot. Campbell then stepped up again but his shot flew over the junction of post and bar after he’d turned past Christie and into a yard of space. Three minutes from the interval though and Blackburn had Justin Watson to thank for not falling further behind, the midfielder clearing Paterson’s shot off the line and little more than two minutes later they were instead celebrating, Kieran Welsh linking with Richie HUTTON who controlled the ball on his chest before hitting a looping, twenty five yarder high over the head of Mack and into the top left hand corner.

Nine minutes into the second half an angled Thomson shot was touched onto the post by the fingertips of Darren Mitchell but the hosts presence as an attacking force ended soon thereafter when Young checked the darting run of David Howe and found himself looking at a second yellow card and subsequent dismissal. Blackburn then duly took complete command of the midfield and some clever interplay between Queen and Howe resulted in Marc Smith curling a shot just off target. However, some six minutes later United deservedly moved in front when Justin WATSON picked the ball up in midfield to dance through a packed Newtongrange rearguard and coolly pick his spot behind Mack. Next to find his way onto the scoresheet was CAMPBELL who manoeuvred himself onto the back post where he drilled home an inch perfect delivery from Hutton after the wide man had scampered free on the right and onto a pass from Welsh. Three minutes later CAMPBELL then grabbed his own second and Blackburn’s fourth after Watson almost delivered a repeat of his earlier goal only to be denied by a blocking tackle that fell kindly for the striker to sweep the ball past Mack. A minute into added time the scoring was complete when Welsh rolled a pass into the path of substitute Stuart McLeod and when Mack couldn’t hold onto his strike from the edge of the area fellow substitute Laurie DEVINE was on hand to nod home.

Blackburn United line-up: Saunders, Welsh, McClung, Mildren, Browne, Smith (McLeod 77), Hutton (L.Devine 81), Watson, Campbell, Howe (McDowall 65), Queen Subs (not used): McIntosh, Gunn, Kinross, Mitchell

Newtongrange Star line-up: Mack, Young, Christie, Cherrie, Nelson, Scott, Paterson, Porteous, Conlon, Thomson, Reid Subs: Swaney, McIntosh, Hastie, Bracks, Murray, Gillon, Dyet

Referee: Mr. K.Lindsay