University of Stirling 2 Blackburn United 1

Controversial finish to the game sees dug out confrontation and red cards flashed. Report to follow.

University of Stirling 2 (Burrows 30mins, Heath 81mins)

Blackburn United 1 (McQuillan 57mins)

Forthbank Stadium in Stirling offered an immaculate playing surface for the teams in this First Round Football Nation Cup tie and it was United who took advantage of the fine conditions first when a period of controlled possession lead to a Craig Young corner that was just out of the reach of James Mildren. A second corner shortly thereafter from the same player was then half cleared and from around the edge of the area Mildren lofted a clever effort just a little too high and just a little too wide. A long ball forward then found play at the other end and when John Drummond didn’t get his headed clearance quite right Baird’s opportunist hitch-kick crept past the left hand upright. However, it was a similar ball not so long after that saw the students edge in front, goalkeeper Allan launching a high one that Baird did well to head on and when BURROWS got onto the knock down he was clever enough to instantly lift the ball over the outrushing Jonny Clements to give the debutant Blackburn No.1 no chance of preventing the opener.

With the limping Callum Robertson off to be replaced by Andy McQuillan at the start of the second half United posed an early threat when Danny Campbell wriggled free on the right, but when McQuillan tried to control his resultant cross on his chest Allan was quickly from his line to deny him a shooting chance. However, moments later that shooting chance was to come and when it arrived at the end of neat work between David Howe and Campbell it resulted in McQUILLAN angling a drive past the ‘keeper and in at the left hand post for the equaliser. George Bonnar, making his first appearance of the season, then set out on a driving run from his full-back position to give McQuillan another shooting opportunity but this time Allan was the equal to his powerfully hit half-volley. With Blackburn continuing to look the more likely, Campbell then found Callum McDowall who tricked his way past Doan but when his cross was headed goalward by Take Hirooka the looping effort was plucked from the air by Allan. The winning goal, though, was to arrive at the other end just nine minutes from time when a sweeping Jarvis pass from right to left caught Bonnar out and, at the second attempt, ex-Blackburn man HEATH drilled a low one past Clements. Some unsavoury celebrations from the Stirling bench then resulted in a coming together of several parties in front of the Stirling dug-out which ended when unused United substitute Marty Lawrie was sent packing. Rather surprisingly, none of the antagonists from the home bench were similarly punished. Four minutes from time Heath headed over a McGale cross when it looked like he might very well have put a gloss on the scoreline for his side and, some sixty seconds later, McDowall became the second Blackburn player to see red when his forearm appeared to catch a Uni player as he tried to shield the ball from his attentions, the home players somewhat dramatic reaction sealing the wide players fate.

Blackburn United line-up: Clements, Bonnar (L.Devine 82), S.Devine, Mildren, Drummond, Kane (Hirooka 57), Howe, Young, Robertson (McQuillan 46), Campbell, McDowall  Subs (not used): Lawrie, Welsh, Mackay, Mitchell

University of Stirling line-up: Allan, Mailer, Quigley, Downie, Doan, Bremner, Kennedy, Heath, Baird, Burrows, McGale  Subs: Berry, Brown, Jarvis, Peden, Webb, Penker, Adamson

Referee: Mr. S.Luke

Assistants: Mr. T.Martin & Mr. R.Macartney

Hill of Beath 2 Blackburn United 0

William Hill Scottish Cup

Hill of Beath Hawthorn 2 (D.Watt 5mins, Elder 83mins (pen))

Blackburn United 0

In bright sunshine on a playing surface in seemingly pristine condition and with both teams making their Scottish Cup debuts a nervy start might have been expected but the hosts were out of the traps quickly and were ahead in only five minutes, Kellichan getting in behind Keiran Welsh to pull the ball back for Daniel WATT and although it was perhaps a little behind him and not as straight forward as he might have liked the striker managed to twist and get a hitch-kick in that flew past young Jamie Morajda who was making his debut in the United goal thanks to the unavailability of the holidaying Darren Mitchell. With the Haws still on top, a long ball set Adamson clear but his angled shot was saved by Morajda as was Patrick’s follow-up from all but point blank range. Next, Morajda’s right hand post was struck when Elder clipped in an opportunist fifteen yarder. On the half hour mark Blackburn cam close to equalising when Welsh forced a ball out to Danny Campbell but, after tricking his way past Wright, his parting shot crept past the left hand upright. Before the interval the Keirs Park men had another effort at Morajda’s goal, Adamson making a break on the right that allowed Reid a pop that flew past the young ‘keepers right hand post.

Four minutes into the second half and with the rain now coming in torrents and the pitch beginning to get that little bit heavier United’s tough task became tougher still when Elder surged past Michael Browne only for the Blackburn centre-back to tug him back by his shirt. What looked like a routine booking became a straight red card from referee Mr. Williams who decided a clear goalscoring opportunity had been denied, despite several back-tracking United defenders appearing to be in position to cover their captain. Four minutes later though and numbers were evened up when Patrick lunged in on Craig Young with a high boot and flailing studs to earn his own early bath. Young was to depart the scene injured not long thereafter. With the game still in the balance Blackburn then enjoyed their best spell of the afternoon and a Calum McDowall slide rule pass was collected by Campbell and curled just over the junction of post and bar before the same player flighted in a corner that was headed goalwards from James Mildren only for it to be booted clear from the line. The Haws, however, were ever dangerous and when Watt spun past Mildren his shot was only just off target. At the other end Andy McQuillan had an effort at the culmination of some intricate play between David Howe, Campbell and McDowall but Donaldson was able to gather comfortably enough. With thirteen minutes remaining a Lumsden corner was headed over by Elder before, seven minutes later, the tie was ended when Kirby was tripped by Marty Lawrie as the substitute raced to the byeline and from the resultant penalty ELDER picked his spot behind Morajda to ease his side through.

Blackburn United line-up: Morajda, Welsh (Robertson 73), Lawrie, Browne, Drummond, Kane, Cowan (Mildren 51), Young (Howe 62), McQuillan, Campbell, McDowall  Subs (not used): L.Devine, S.Devine, Bonnar, Mackay

Hill of Beath Hawthorn line-up: Donaldson, Leishman, Kellichan, Wright, Dair, Patrick, Adamson, Reid, Elder, D.Watt, Lumsden  Subs: M.Watt, Harrower, Mitchell, Kirby, Payne

Referee: Mr. Duncan Williams

Assistants: Mr. David Dunne & Mr. Gary Callachan

Scottish Cup bus

Seats are available on our team bus to our historic forest ever match in the William Hill Scottish Cup, book now to avoid disappointment!

Penicuik Athletic 4 Blackburn United 2

Penicuik Athletic 4 (Somerville 1min & 43mins, Jones 72mins & 86mins)

Blackburn United 2 (Campbell 8mins & 10mins)

Last season’s Conference A winners got off to the perfect start at a sunny Penicuik Park when, in the games first attacking moment, Stewart found space on the left to pull a ball back into the stride of SOMERVILLE who lifted a first time effort from the edge of the area high past Darren Mitchell and into the top left hand corner. For United, Danny Campbell then had a snap shot into the side netting and Andy McQuillan sent a header just over before the scores were quickly brought back to parity when CAMPBELL cut in off the right and curled a terrific effort from the corner of the eighteen yard box over the head of the beaten Swain in the home goal. Barely a further two minutes had elapsed when CAMPBELL all but matched his earlier stunning effort with another cracker, this time controlling a loose ball some twenty or more yards out and rifling an unstoppable shot beyond Swain to put Blackburn ahead. On the quarter hour mark the hosts were very nearly level after a Mitchell clearance from a Martin Lawrie pass back fell kindly for Stewart but the ‘keeper made up for his error by tipping the resultant shot over the crossbar before Ponton beat the offside trap but was off target with his effort. Before thirty minutes had passed United were forced into a reshuffle when Richie Hutton limped off to be replaced by Laurie Devine and the youngster was quickly into the action when setting up Dominic Kane for a pop at goal that flew narrowly past the left hand upright. From a quickly taken throw-in McCrory Irving was next to try his luck for the Cuikie but Mitchell was alert enough to touch his shot past. Two minutes from the interval though and the hosts did pull themselves back level when, from the second of two successive Baptie corners, SOMERVILLE got across his man on the near post to flash a header inside the post that Mitchell just couldn’t quite get to.

Blackburn began the second half with the second of two enforced changes, Craig Young replacing the injured Devine and he helped set up the first chance of the half with a ball that put McQuillan in behind the Penicuik back line for a shot on the run that Swain seemed to push past the post, although the referee didn’t agree and awarded a disputed gaol kick. At the other end McCrory-Irving fired over the top from twenty yards and Somerville, in search of his hat trick, saw a half blocked effort held by Mitchell. However, it was the home ‘keeper who was to be severely tested and come up with the answers when, after substitute Take Hirooka had been fouled in the act of shooting, Young hammered a free-kick from twenty five yards that the big stopper somehow managed to claw away. From the resultant corner the ball wasn’t properly cleared but the almighty scramble that ensued couldn’t see a United player take advantage. With the game still very much in the balance Penicuik then came close themselves, Stewart executing a spectacular overhead kick that flew over the junction of right hand post and bar. However, the hosts next attack brought much greater reward when JONES broke through a challenge twenty yards from goal to half hit a shot that broke back to him off Michael Browne and when he took aim with his second attempt it fairly flew past the diving Mitchell and into the waiting net. Two minutes later Tansey almost added a fourth for his side but dragged his shot past. With six or so minutes remaining Blackburn almost dragged themselves back on terms when Young’s free-kick arrived in the box for James Mildren to connect with a diving header that Swain saved but couldn’t hold, although he was relieved that no one in United colours was on hand to tap the rebound in. Four minutes from time Penicuik put the outcome of the game beyond doubt when JONES controlled a throw-in on the edge of the penalty box before clipping a perfect right footer high past Mitchell who might just have got a fingertip to it but couldn’t quite keep out.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh, Lawrie, Browne, Mildren, Kane, Hutton (L.Devine 27) (Young 46), MacLeod, McQuillan, Campbell (Hirooka 61), McDowall  Subs (not used): S.Devine, Mackay, Trialist – Robertson, Clements

Penicuik Athletic line-up: Swain, O’Donnell, Baptie, Page, Connolly, Somerville, Williams, McCrory-Irving, Ponton, Stewart, Stevenson Subs: Watt, Young, Caddow, Jones, Watson, Tansey, Sampson

Referee: Mr. Alex Shepherd

Assistants: Mr. Blair White & Mr. Stuart Robertson

Camelon Juniors 1 Blackburn United 2

Camelon 1 (Cameron 47mins)

Blackburn United 2 (McQuillan 60mins, Young 90mins pen)

United looked the brighter side in the opening exchanges as both sides strived to put their opening day loses behind them but it was Camelon who had the first clear opportunity when Swanson whipped a delivery in from the left which Kay could only head past. At the other end clever work by Danny Campbell put Andy McQuillan in and when he tricked his way past Lochie to hit a sixteen yarder goalwards Kinnear made a fine save down low to his left. Campbell then fizzed in a cross from the right that reached the back post where McQuillan got in a powerful header which was blocked and when he reacted quickest to fire the ball back across the face of goal it was only just out of the reach of the inrushing Calum McDowall. Another header, this time from a Lochie free-kick, was just off target for Camelon, Morrison nodding rather weakly past before Darren Mitchell was called into action to save a Cameron effort from the edge of the area after he’d managed to get past a John Drummond challenge. With the last chance of the half Campbell went close with a long range lob after being set-up by Michael Brown and a clever turn and pass into space by McQuillan.

A minute after the resumption Blackburn came close again when Richie Hutton pulled a ball back from the left byeline and Campbell’s initial mishit rolled kindly for Dominic Kane but the midfielder could only lash his shot over. A minute later though and the hosts found themselves ahead when CAMERON chased down a long ball to nip past a couple of challenges on the edge of the eighteen yard box and brilliantly pick his spot in the bottom right hand corner of Mitchell’s net and he went close again seven minutes later when Docherty found him with a pass but this time Mitchell was equal to his effort. Ryan Kane also came close for the Carmuirs Park men just before the hour but his effort from distance flew over the top. Sixty seconds later it was United who had come up with a goal though, Dominic Kane picking out McDowall on the right and he cut the ball back into the box where McQUILLAN was on hand to roll a shot past Kinnear and home. With quarter of an hour remaining and the game finely balanced Blackburn were reduced to ten men when Drummond turned his back on a speculative shot from distance only for the ball to rattle against the back of an outstretched arm. With a free-kick correctly awarded a second yellow of the evening seemed a somewhat harsh additional punishment but referee Mr. Macrae was adamant the centre-half had to go. However, despite being shorthanded Blackburn seemed comfortable and, indeed, secured all three points in the final minute of the game when a McQuillan shot was handled by Skinner inside the area and from the resultant spot-kick substitute Craig YOUNG fired past the despairing dive of Kinnear.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh, Lawrie, Browne, Drummond, Kane (Young 63), Hutton (Mildren 75), MacLeod, McQuillan, Campbell (L.Devine 66), McDowall  Subs (not used): Bonnar, S.Devine, MacKay, Clements

Camelon line-up: Kinnear, McGroary, Swanson, Skinner, Lochie, Kay, Kane, Da.Morrison, Cameron, A.Sneddon, Docherty  Subs: Herron, Do.Morrison, Daramola, B.Sneddon, Love, Fullerton

Referee: Mr. Craig Macrae

Assistants: Mr. Andrew Strang & Mr. Rhys Struthers

Blackburn United 2 Linlithgow Rose 4

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Blackburn United 2 (Campbell 6mins, McQuillan 29mins)

Linlithgow Rose 4 (Allum 11mins, OG 47mins, Coyne 54mins & 90+1mins)

United’s opening Premier Division fixture was as tough as it gets with the visitors being amongst the early season favourites for the title and the local derby pulled in a near 250 crowd that witnessed the Rose on the attack first, a diagonal ball finding Allum who took a touch past John Drummond before striking a left foot effort that Darren Mitchell clawed away. However, it was Blackburn who hit the front little more than sixty seconds later when a measured ball from the back split the defensive core of Linlithgow and when Danny CAMPBELL darted onto it he sidestepped the outrushing goalkeeper with no little aplomb before calmly side-footing it into the waiting net from just inside the eighteen yard box. Indeed, it was so very nearly two just two minutes later but when Campbell turned provider Andy McQuillan’s angled shot drew a smart save from McKinven. The early United lead, though, was cancelled out not long thereafter when a deep corner from the Rose left found Thom loitering on the back post and when he directed it down into ALLUM’S path the striker made no mistake. Mitchell then had to be alert to save Danny Smith’s drive from the edge of the area as the Prestonfield men looked to assert themselves and the little livewire again came close when dancing in off the right, but his angled effort was touched over by Mitchell who then did brilliantly to pull off a double save some eight or so minutes later to deny first Allum and then Smith on the follow-up. However, when the next goal arrived it was to be Blackburn who were celebrating again, a clever Stuart MacLeod turn in midfield earning him the space to find Campbell on the left who quickly spotted the run of McQUILLAN and provided his fellow front man with the perfect weight of pass to allow him to confidently pick his spot behind McKinven. With the visiting defence struggling to cope with the penetration of the United front two, Calum McDowall, Kieran Welsh and Dominic Kane then linked for the latter to pick out Campbell but his acrobatic half volley scraped over the junction of post and bar. Campbell was the creator again moments later, sliding in McQuillan to beat the offside trap but this time he lacked a little in composure and sent his parting shot high and wide and another chance to double the lead was gone.

Two minutes after the resumption Blackburn contrived to give their opponents a mighty helping hand when the second of two corners arrived at the back post and captain Michael Browne somehow contrived to steer a header behind his own goalkeeper for a Rose equaliser. A further two minutes had elapsed when Gray hit a stunning twenty five yarder that rattled against the right hand post with Mitchell beaten but relieved that the woodwork had come to his rescue. However, Linlithgow did find the third goal they were looking for within five minutes, Barbour delivering a ball that was only half cleared and the prolific Tommy COYNE was on hand to lash home. MacLeod and Welsh then seemed to confuse each other in going for a ball which allowed Meikle to take advantage, playing in Coyne whose half-volley whizzed past. Twenty minutes from time United were almost back level but when Mitchell’s long clearance was misjudged allowing Campbell in on goal his stabbed effort was blocked by the legs of McKinven and although McQuillan was first to the loose ball his shot was deflected over the top by a back tracking defender. At the other end Slaven flicked on a high one that fell to Ronald but his pop at goal was too high. With three minutes remaining and with Blackburn having thrown centre-half Drummond up front and going to three at the back to try and force a way back into the game Drummond helped a Craig Young ball out to McDowall on the right and when his return pass was thumped goalwards by the marauding Drummond, McKinven was on hand to save only for the ball to spin loose but when Drummond looked to get onto it again a grounded Linlithgow defender threw himself in front of him to baulk his run. Mr. McCart, however, was non-plussed and the loud penalty appeals were waived away. To add insult to injury, in time added on the visitors broke away for Smith to draw Mitchell and square to COYNE who had made a lung bursting supporting run and the striker had the easiest of tasks to double his own tally and secure the points for his team.

Blackburn United line-up: Mitchell, Welsh (Hirooka 73), Lawrie, Browne, Drummond, Kane (Young 68), Hutton (L.Devine 63), MacLeod, McQuillan, Campbell, McDowall Subs (not used): MacKay, Bonnar, Jackson, Morajda

Linlithgow Rose line-up: McKinven, Gray, Scullion, Thom, Dar.Smith, Barbour, Ronald, Allum, Meikle, Coyne, Dan.Smith Subs: Strickland, White, Slaven

Referee: Mr. Michael McCart

Assistants: Mr. James Taylor & Mr. Lewis Graham

William Hill Scottish Cup

In Thursdays William Hill Scottish Cup draw at Hampden, we were paired with Hill of Beath Hawthorn in the second preliminary round at Kiers Park. The match will take place on 10th August.

Should we win, we will travel to face the winners of the Hawick Royal Albert United v Threave Rovers tie.

U20 Fixtures are confirmed

The Lowland U20 Development League fixtures have been confirmed, please check the U20 page for futher details.

Meanwhile, the following pre-season friendlies have been aranged (All home at 20.00);

24/07: Stenhousemuir Ams

26/07: Currie Star U19

02/08: Penicuik Ath U20

09/08: Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts U20

16/08: Musselburgh Ath U20

Dunipace 1 Blackburn United 1

A second half equaliser from Andy McQuillan earns a draw at Dunipace. Next up is Lowland League side University of Stirling at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium on Wednesday, ko 7.30pm.