Saturday 14th January 2017
Blackburn United 4
Swan 18mins, McQuillan 19mins, Easton 77mins, Drummond 85mins (pen)
Dunipace 1
McGrandles 88mins

With Gardiners Park failing an early morning pitch inspection and our league game against Lochgelly Albert consequently being postponed and with the Dunipace v Lanark United West of Scotland Cup tie also coming a cropper thanks to the weather, a hastily arranged friendly brought Central District Division Two side Dunipace to the Dem-master Community Stadium for the second time this season after the men from Denny were beaten by three goals to nil in a pre-season game. That July afternoon United opened the scoring in the eighteenth minute and history repeated itself when a clumsy challenge some twenty or so yards from goal just as the seventeenth minute ticked into the eighteenth resulted in David SWAN curling a cracking free-kick around the defensive wall and into the bottom right hand corner. Sixty seconds later the Blackburn lead was two when Andy McQUILLAN swapped passes with Swan on the edge of the area to curl a beauty into almost exactly the same spot in the 'Pace net. Swan then set Martin Lawrie clear on the left for the full-back to lift in a cross that McQuillan might have done better with than head straight into the hands of Stewart. Next, Ross Donnelly set Darren Fleming in on the right as United kept up the pressure but the midfielders shot was blocked by Hughes before Donnelly himself had a pop from around fourteen yards that was deflected past for a fruitless corner.

With five changes in the opening minutes of the second period, Blackburn wore a more disjointed look than in the first half, although Swan might have done better when through on the left angle than fire a shot high over the angle of post and bar when McQuillan was much better positioned to his right for a square ball. However, a clever back heel moments later almost made up for it but Fraser Cormack's resultant shot also flew high and wide. The men from Westfield Park then came close when what looked like an overhit cross from McGrandles clattered against the face of Gavin King's crossbar with no one alert enough to take advantage of the ensuing loose ball. With just thirteen minutes remaining Blackburn made sure of victory in what had slowly become a rather low key game when Donnelly cleverly put Aaron Gowans in on the right and when his square ball arrived on the edge of the six yard box Craig EASTON despatched it with the minimum of fuss. King then clutched a McGrandles twenty yarder to his chest before the game and United's fourth goal arrived, Gowans sending Danny Campbell into the right of the box at pace where he was upended by a clumsy looking McGlinchie challenge. From the resultant penalty John DRUMMOND confidently rolled the ball past Stewart and into the bottom left hand corner. Two minutes from time the visitors earned themselves a consolation when McGRANDLES directed Taylor's delivery back across King and into the far right corner. At the death King tipped Williamson's effort from distance over the top to deny Dunipace a very late second.

Blackburn United Line-Up: King, Herriot (Williamson 45), Lawrie (Meekison 65), Mildren (Wilson 53), Drummond, Fleming (Marshall 45), Cormack, Young (Gowans 45), McQuillan (Campbell 53), Donnelly, Swan (Easton 61) Sub (not used): Spence

Dunipace Line-Up: Stewart, Munro, Hughes, Dryden, McMillan, Steven, McPherson, Nash, Waddell, Thomson, McGlinchie Subs: Murphy, McGrandles, Balmer, Sullivan, L.Williamson, Taylor, Cowan

Referee: Mr. Andy Strang

Match photographs click here
© Fiona McGinty )
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