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