Season: 2020-21

Blackburn United vs Linlithgow Rose

Saturday 14th November 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Blackburn United 2 Linlithgow Rose 3
Swanson 21, Devine 82 Boubekri 31, Cairns 52, Brownlie 58

The game burst into life on the 11 minute mark when Marley Redfern ran at the Linlithgow defence and slid the ball through to Kieran Swanson who was hauled down on the edge of the area with referee Chris McNab only flashing a yellow towards the visiting defender. At the other end Ruari Maclennan had a shot tipped round the post by Gavin King and from the resulting corner a Ewan Moyes header was cleared off the line by Martin Lawrie.

On the 20 minute mark Blackburn nearly took the lead when from a short throw-in, James Mildren helped the ball into the box and it fell to Redfern who’s shot hit the post and bounced to safety. However the opener was only delayed by a minute when it was Redfern again who carried the ball forward and shuttled it out wide to Swanson who fed Laurie Devine hugging the right touchline, he crossed the ball back into Swanson who fired home from close range.

On 27 minutes Richie Hutton almost doubled the lead when he cut inside on the left and angled a shot which Brian Shwake got down well to gather.

Just past half hour mark Finlay Anderson was penalised out on the right touchline for what looked like a hard but fair tackle, and remarkably was booked for his troubles. The subsequent free-kick was taken short and lofted into to the far post where Lawrie looked to be impeded but the ball was headed back across goal for Kieran Boubekri to stab home from close range.

Willis Hare tried from distance but King got down well to gather, then on the stroke of halt time it was Maclennan again causing problems on the right and his drive from the edge of the area was brilliantly tipped round the post by King to keep the scores level.

Six minutes into the second half and Swanson has a pop at goal from distance but Shwake gathered, however a minute later at the other end Linlithgow took the league when Lewis Crawford and Sean Slaven combined well on the right and when Crawford fired in a cross, Michael Browne was adjudged to have handled, perhaps harshly. Dean Cairns converted the kick.

Six minutes after the second, Linlithgow added a third when MacLennan crossed to the far post where David Brownlie met it to score from close range. Blackburn were hanging on a bit at this stage and with 20 minutes left Scott Stevenson hit the bar.

Into the last ten minutes and Blackburn got a goal back when Laurie Devine raced into the box but was bundled over by Ewan Moyes who was also shown the red card. Devine took the penalty which was blocked by Shwake but the ball came back to Devine to fire home.

Blackburn pushed for the equaliser against the 10 men but Linlithgow managed to see the game out.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Martin Lawrie, Finlay Anderson, Michael Browne (Alan Higgins 54), Marc Smith (Paddy Queen 80), Kieran Swanson (Craig Young 80), Stuart MacLeod, Laurie Devine, Marley Redfern. Richie Hutton (Kai Wilson 65). Unused sub; Ryan Kidd

Linlithgow Rose: Brian Shwake, Scott Stevenson, David Brownlie, Ruari MacLennan, Willis Hare, Dean Cairns, Kieran Boubekri (Brodie Strang 76) (Khedive McIntosh 84), Ewan Moyes, Lewis Crawford, Daryl Meikle, Sean Slaven. Unused subs; Myles Hogarth, Jay Sandison, Kenneth Barr.

Referee: Chris McNab Assistants: Lee Pirie, Andrew Brown.


Blackburn United vs Crossgates Primrose

Wednesday 11th November 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Blackburn United 0 Crossgates Primrose 1
Campbell 18 (p)

The first real chance of the game didn’t come until the 13 minute mark when a looping attempt from Marley Redfern crept over the bar. However the opening goal came five minutes later when a cross into the box was cleared and fell to Archie Campbell just on the edge of the area who fired the ball through a ruck of players and the referee pointed to the spot for a questionable hand ball. Campbell himself took the kick and sent Gavin King the wrong way.

It was a half of few clear-cut chances. On the half hour mark Danny Campbell collected from a throw-in and tried his luck from 25 yards out but the ball flew over. The minutes later Ciaren Chalmers tried at the other end with the same result.

It was more of the same as the second half got underway and it took until the 68th minute for Redfern to drift past two Crossgates defenders on the right and he slipped the ball to Marc Smith but he shot weakly at Craig Burt. Then a minute later Archie Campbell tried from the edge of the area but shot over.

Things got harder for Blackburn with 72 minutes on the clock when John Drummond saw a straight red after a rash challenge.

The game began to peter out, Danny Campbell’s angled effort with 7 minutes remaining was saved by Burt, and then a shot from Reece Sawyers was punched away by King at the other end, who then pulled off a good stop from Archie Campbell. One final chance for an equaliser came with two minutes remaining when Jordan Devine appeared to go down under a challenge inside the area as he attempted to get onto the end of a cross but the referee waved away his protests. Devine then saw red after the final whistle for taking his protests a little too far for the referee Daniel Grave’s liking.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Martin Lawrie, Michael Browne, John Drummond, Marc Smith, Justin Watson (Richie Hutton 61), David Howe (Stuart MacLeod 78), Laurie Devine (Jordan Devine 67), Danny Campbell, Marley Redfern. Unused subs: Kieran Swanson, Alan Higgins, Ryan Kidd.

Crossgates Primrose: Craig Burt, Douglas Swan, Reece Sawyers, Stewart McDonald, Scott Lawrie (Lewis Payne 73), Archie Campbell, Darren Aitken (Mark Forbes 81), Ciaren Chalmers, Cameron Lumsden, Garry Leighton, Regan Lumsden (Lewis Sawyers 63). Unused subs: Robbie Gilmour, Graeme Nutt.

Referee: Daniel Graves Assistants: William McAleese, Tayler Martin.


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.


Sauchie Juniors vs Blackburn United

Saturday 31st October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Sauchie Juniors 1 Blackburn United 2
Smith 81 Campbell 90, J.Devine 90+3

The last time Blackburn won a game at Beechwood Park, manager Mark Campbell was still playing up front and scored in a 2-1 win, 24 years ago and with a heavy pitch with a strong wind blowing, the task of ending that long winless streak wouldn’t be easy.

It took ten minutes for either team to create chance and it was Danny Smith of Sauchie who created it, evading several challenges on the left wing before swing in a cross which a diving Gary Carroll headed wide from 6 yards. It was Smith again, although this time the visiting Marc Smith, who combined with Laurie Devine for the latter to fire in a low cross towards Danny Campbell at the near post but a defender got in just ahead to stab behind for a corner. Brian Morgan then tried from distance but the ball sailed over in the strong wind.

By the mid-point of the match Sauchie were handling the conditions better and creating a period of pressure and forced a succession of corners which came to nothing, Brian Morgan again tried from distance and this time his attempt just cleared Gavin King’s bar. Just before the half ended, Carroll found himself in acres of space inside the box but managed to shoot wide, only for the linesmans flag to spare his blushes.

From the restart it was Blackburn who created a number of chances, first Dominic Kane pounced on a loose ball and swung in a cross from the left, the centre half misjudged the flight and it fell to Campbell but he skied the ball over, a minute later Marc Smith tried form 20 yards which Brett Young in the Sauchie goal gathered.

At the other end, Craig Donaldson carried the ball forward and slid in Danny Smith, but King narrowed the angled and blocked the shot on the six yard line, the ball rebounded back off Smith and crept past for a goal kick. Just past the hour mark, McClung gathered from a throw-in and swung the ball into the box, Laurie Devine met it no more than eight yards out but headed straight at Young. Marley Redfern then tried his luck from 20 yards but his shot deflected wide.

With 14 minutes left Brian Morgan let loose a piledriver from distance but King did well to tip it over the bar. Up the other end, sub Jordan Devine controlled a throw-in and crossed into Kieran Swanson but he knocked it over.

The opening goal finally came with only 9 minutes remaining on the clock when from a throw-in on the left, the ball fell to Danny Smith on the edge of the area and he lashed the ball across King and into the far corner.

With three minutes left Blackburn made a couple of changes in search of the equaliser and it came in the last minute. Gavin King took a free kick from inside his own half, the ball sailed into the Sauchie area where Danny Campbell had eluded the defence to connect with it on the penalty spot and loop an excellent header over Young and into the net. More drama was to follow deep into injury time when a long ball from the right by James Mildren found Jason Devine running away from the Sauchie defence where he met it first time and lobbed Young, caught in no mans land, and the ball bounced off his far post and into the net for the winner.

Sauchie Juniors: Brett Young, Iain Syme, Anthony McTaggart, Danny Smith (Darren Cummings 84), Mark Finlayson, Mark Sharp, Craig Donaldson (Ross Crawford 68), Ross Wilson (Sam Collumbine 68), Darren Carroll, Brian Morgan, Gary Carroll. Unused subs: David Cross, Jon Tully.

Blackburn United: Gavin King, James Mildren, Kyle McClung (Finlay Anderson 87), Martin Lawrie, Michel Browne, Stuart MacLeod (David Howe 87), Marc Smith (Kieran Swanson 77), Dominic Kane, Laurie Devine (Jordan Devine 68), Danny Campbell, Marley Redfern (Lewis Alexander 77). Unused subs: Craig Young, Craig Saunders.

Referee: Chriss Hobbs Assistants: Lewis Sinclair, Jordan Kelly.


Tynecastle vs Blackburn United

Tuesday 27th October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Tynecastle 5 Blackburn United 1
Cameron 24, 28, 46, Fisher 56 Campbell 60
Kidd 65

Blackburn opened quickly and Danny Campbell and David Howe combined for the latter to run into the box but was tackled just as he was about to shoot. A minute later Justin Watson let fly from 20 yards which Murray Jackson in the Tynecastle goal gathered.

Taylor Hendry shot tamely at Craig Saunders on the 9 minute mark in their first real effort of the game, but they began to exert more pressure. A header by Jamie Butler from a corner was cleared off the line, then from a further corner Matthew Combe found space inside the area but dragged his shot wide. On 18 minutes a quick break saw Taylor Hendry feed Fletcher Hendry who shot straight a Saunders, moments later from another corner another Butler header forced Saunders to tip over.

The pressure paid off on 24 minutes when Taylor Hendry flicked a pass to Ryan Cameron inside the area, Martin Lawrie went in for a tackle and brought him down and referee Colin Whyte pointed to the spot. Cameron converted the spot kick. No more than four minutes later and it was almost an exact repeat with Lawrie going in for a tackle, Cameron falling to the ground and converting the subsequent spot kick.

Blackburn tried to pull themselves back into the game and just past the half hour mark Watson and Stuart MacLeod combined to set Campbell free on the right, however he dragged the shot wide across Jackson. Just before the break it was MacLeod who had a go from the edge of the area but the ball sailed over.

Things didn’t improve after the break when almost right from the kick-off, Fletcher Hendry pinged a shot goalwards, Saunders saved but spilled the ball into the path of Cameron who gleefully claimed his hattrick and the game was all but over.

Richie Hutton tried to pull one back a few minutes later but his effort was straight at Jackson. On 56 minutes Kenny Fisher cut inside on the left and angled a drive across Saunders into the far corner to make it four.

On the hour mark Blackburn pulled one back when a David Howe shot was parried into the path of Danny Campbell who drove the ball home to reduce the deficit, but only four minutes later the Tynecastle lead was extended again when a lofted free kick into the box saw Andrew Kidd head home unmarked. In the final minute there was time for Marc Smith to try and grab a second for Blackburn but his 20 yard shot struck the post and bounced to safety.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren (Kieran Swanson 59), John Drummond, Martin Lawrie, Michael Browne, Dominic Kane, Justin Watson (Finlay Anderson 59), David Hose, Danny Campbell, Stuart MacLeod (Marc Smith 61), Richard Hutton (Kyle McClung 71). Unused subs: Jordan Devine, Laurie Devine, Gavin King.

Tynecastle: Murray Jackson, Ryan Stevenson (Lee Dawson 84), Andrew Kidd, Jamie Butler (Jonathan Steel 84), Matthew Combe, Oban Anderson, Kenny Fisher (Luke Kennedy 78), Ryan Cameron, Taylor Hendry (Stephen Watson 78), Blake Wales, Fletcher Hendry (Kieran Jack 70). Unused subs: Leno de Gaetano, Asher Tufail.

Referee: Colin Whyte Assistants: Will Pare, Paul Hanlon.


Blackburn United vs Musselburgh Athletic

Saturday 24th October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Blackburn United 2 Musselburgh Athletic 4
Campbell 1, McLeod 54 Whyte 13, Ballantyne 23, 71, Miles 82

Straight from kick-off Blackburn pushed forward and Danny Campbell, making his first competitive appearance of the season, got on the end of a David Howe flick on inside the box and half-volleyed the ball past Paul Grant to open the scoring with barely 60 seconds on the clock.

It took the visitors a little while to get settled, but once they did their tricky forward line began causing problems. Dean Ballantyne wriggled free on the left but dragged his shot wide when well placed to score. However the equaliser came on 13 minutes when Mathu King slid in Bradley Whyte whose weak first time effort seemed to deceive Saunders and the ball hit the back of the net. Ballantyne then headed over as Musselburgh applied pressure and it was the same player who nabbed the second when he got on the end of a cross into the box to sidefoot the ball past Saunders to make it two.

On the half hour mark Blackburn carved out only their second real chance of the game when Campbell again got into a good position before shooting over. Just before half-time, Ballantyne again was causing problems on the right. he got on the end of a long back and squared to Mathu King, but his close range shot cannoned off the junction of bar and post, rebounded back to hit him and bounce behind for a goal kick.

Richie Hutton came on at half time for the injured Marley Redfern and it was the home side who took early control of the half. Five minutes after the restart good work by McLeod saw Campbell curl a shot across Grant only to see it rebound off the far post and cleared to safety. A minute later McLeod got on the end of a long clearance by his shot was straight at Grant who gratefully gathered.

However the equaliser wasn’t long in coming when Howe won possession in the middle of the park, the ball found its way out wide to Mildren on the right, his first time cross into the box saw McLeod rushing into the box to stab the ball home. Still Blackburn pushed forward and minutes later Justin Watson and Campbell combined and it was Watson who let loose an angled drive which Grant blocked away with his feet.

Musselburgh began to get themselves back into the game and their third came via an avoidable error. Drummond headed a through ball back towards Saunders who stretched to stop the bouncing ball going out for a corner, however he only succeeded in palming the ball to an unmarked Whyte who rolled to ball to Ballantyne who had the simple task of ramming the ball into the net.

With less than ten minutes remaining Blackburn carved out a chance to equalise when David Howe and Dominic Kane combined on the left, Kane swung in a cross but Mildrens glancing header slid agonisingly wide of Grant’s far post. However a minute later Musselburgh sealed the game when Ballantyne broke clear on the right of the box and rolled it to Jackie Miles to shoot across Saunders.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren, John Drummond (Kieran Swanson 86), Martin Lawrie, Michael Browne, Domini Kane, Justin Watson (Kyle McClung 86), David Howe, Danny Campbell (Jordan Devine 86), Stuart McLeod (Laurie Devine 74), Marley Redfern (Richard Hutton 45). Unused subs: Finlay Anderson, Gavin King.

Musselburgh Athletic: Paul Grant, Jordan Orru (Lewis White 66), John McManus, Declan O’Kane, Josh Jeffries (Ethan Wynne 87), Conor Thomson (Callum Donaldson 87), Mathu King, Bradley Whyte, Bradley Donaldson, Dean Ballantyne (Kyle Somers 87), Liam Gregory (Jackie Myles 75). Unused subs: Liam Reid, Ryan McGurk.

Referee: George Calder Assistants: Cameron Doyle, Ken Boyd.


Hill of Beath Hawthorn vs Blackburn United

Saturday 17th October 2020 – East of Scotland Premier League

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 Blackburn United 1
Kirby 15, Kellichan 35p OG 54

With Marty Lawrie re-signing and the return of Kyle McLung to the club, the backline was once again re-shuffled to stem the leak of goals.

Blackburn carved out the first chance of the game after 8 minutes when Stuart McLeod robbed Russell Grierson on the left and bore down on goal by Stuart Hall blocked the resulting shot. Moments later and a lonf ball out from the back deceived Browne and Lawrie and fell to Joe Kinninmonth but Craig Saunders pulled off an excellent block to deny the midfielder.

On the quarter hour mark a loose ball from Laurie Devine saw Ryan Connelly played in on the left wing near the bye line, he squared to Daniel Watt who in turn flicked the ball along the six yard box to the waiting Joseph Kirby who slammed the ball home from close range. Jake Mitchell then had a chance to double the lead from a Lyle Kellichan corner but he headed over. Approaching the half hour mark there was a little relief for the visitors when Laurie Devine found himself clear on the right, and he fired in a low cross to the back post to the unmarked McLeod who was inches away from connecting for a certain equaliser.

Play moved up the other end and Scott Gibson let go with a 25 yard piledriver which Saunders got down brilliantly to turn round the post. However the second came on 35 minuyes after a rash challenge by Kyle McLung saw a penalty awarded which Kellichan converted. There was still time for chances for Blackburn before the half ended when, after a Kane shot was blocked from a corner, Mildren turned and let fly from the edge of the area which drifter just wide. This was quickly followed by Devine doing well on the right and crossing onto the box for Watson to tamely shoot at Hall who gathered.

Again it was Blackburn to show on the resumption when a McLeod turn and shot was tipped over the bar by Hall, from the resulting corner Browne headed over from close range. Up the other end, Kinninmonth dragged a shot wide. On 54 minutes Blackburn got one back rather fortuitously when Goss flicked on from a long clearance only for, I think, Russell Grierson to take a wild sliced swipe at it from all off 15 yards and deceive Hall.

Just after the hour mark Lewis Alexander replaced Richie Hutton and almost immediately he had a go from 25 yards which Hall gathered, up the other end another sub Calum Adamson got on the end of a pass from Kirby but Saunders turned his shot behind. Play was moving back and forth and Goss then almost countered with a turn and shot which flew over.

With 13 minutes left it was Adamson again with a chance to seal the game but Saunders gathered the attempt, Gibson then had a header which the visiting keeper comfortable held. Blackburn went looking for an equaliser with 5 minutes remaining, first a Goss free-kick was tipped over by Hall, then Jordan Devine got on the end of a Swanson pass only to shoot over. In the last minute David Howe got on the end of a clearance from a corner and his pile driver was brilliantly tipped over by Hall. Hill of Beath saw out time up the other end to claim all three points.

Hill of Beath: Stuart Hall, Russell Grierson, Lyle Kellichan, Jake Mitchell, Michael Watt, Shaun Leishman, Joe Kinninmonth (Brandon Luke 62), Scott Gibson, Daniel Watt, Joseph Kirby, Ryan Connelly (Calum Adamson 62). Unused subs: Rory Marshall, Rory Harrower, Kearyn Hicks, Jason Finlay, Declan Morgan.

Blackburn United: Craig Saunders, James Mildren, Kyle McLung (Reece Boyle 81), Martin Lawrie, Michael Browne, Domini Kane, Laurie Devine (Kieran Swanson 81), Justin Watson (David Howe 74), Kriss Goss, Stuart McLeod (Jordan Devine 81), Richard Hutton (Lewis Alexander 62). Unused subs: Finlay Anderson, Gavin King.


Blackburn United vs Lothian Thistle HV

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.


Blackburn United vs Jeanfield Swifts

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.