East Region South Division
Saturday 21st January 2017
Blackburn United 3
Drummond 47mins, McQuillan 58mins & 60mins
Pumpherston 2
Elliot 12mins, Nicholson 25mins

lead was soon two though when Murray cushioned the overlapping Derek Shaw's cross into the path of another ex-United man in the shape of Barry NICHOLSON who sweetly struck his twenty yard, first time effort high past the helpless McQuillan. Five minutes later Nicholson almost made it three direct from an inswinging corner kick but Young was able to head clear from under the crossbar. With the visitors now in the ascendency Elliot came close to adding his own second but Gavin McQuillan was equal to his turn and shot after he'd been set up again by that man Murray. Just before the break Blackburn twice came close to dragging themselves back into it, first when Swan set up Ross Donnelly for a shot that he dragged past the upright and then when Swan himself skipped past several challenges on the edge of the area only to drill his shot past the right hand post.

With some harsh words no doubt ringing in their ears, United were on the front foot right from the restart and, ninety seconds in, John DRUMMOND rose highest to head home Young's corner from the left with the aid of the slightest of deflections off Andy McQuillan's back. Little more than ten minutes later the scores were level, Young knocking Ross Williamson's throw back to him and he lifted a pass down the right which Andy McQUILLAN was onto in a flash, turning Fairley to hare to the corner of the eighteen yard box from where he unleashed an unstoppable effort past Shaw. Remarkably, within another two minutes Blackburn were ahead, Chris Marshall collecting a ball twenty five or so yards out and rolling a pass to Young on his right and he curled in a cross that McQUILLAN headed past the despairing dive of Shaw and into the bottom left hand corner. Shaw then held a Young drive at the second attempt as United piled on the pressure and, moments later, was a relieved goalkeeper when Swan got in behind the Pumpherston defence but could only drag his shot past the left hand upright when a goal looked all but assured. At the other end, Nicholson saw an acrobatic hitch-kick dealt with comfortably enough by Gavin McQuillan before, at full stretch, Wilkin's toe poked a Murray ball across the face of goal narrowly past. Five minutes from time McQuillan really should have had his hat-trick but when Swan burst into the box and onto a Young through ball the normally assured striker could only hit his square ball straight at Shaw, although the big keeper did brilliantly to keep his team in the game none the less. With the game moving into added time and a further two ex-United players on from the Pumpherston bench one of them, Jack MacLaren, had a half chance at the back post which he sliced wildly past to ensure Blackburn moved four points clear in the title race.


Blackburn United line-up: G.McQuillan, Williamson, Lawrie, Mildren, Drummond, Spence (Fleming 65), Marshall, Young, McQuillan (Campbell 87), Donnelly, Swan Subs (not used): Herriot, Cormack, Gowans

Pumpherston line-up: C.Shaw, D.Shaw, Norris, Oliver, L.Fairley, McLaughlin, Wilkins, Nicholson, Murray, Elliot, Butler Subs: McLaren, Slessor, Ansong, Hepurn, S.Fairley

Referee: Mr. L.MacKinnon
South Division Table.....
(Top Six @ Full Time)
Blackburn United
Pumpherston
Dunbar United

1

2

3

4

5

6
Lochgelly Albert
West Calder Utd
Easthouses Lily
Pl
17

17

14

16

17

16
W
15

14

11

9

8

8
D
1

0

1

4

4

1
L
1

3

2

3

5

7
Pts
46

42

34

31

28

25
Match highlights click here
( © Jim McQuillan )
The league's top two went head to head with the visitors looking to extract some revenge for United's 6-3 win in the reverse fixture earlier in the season and, after an opening twelve minutes of Blackburn pressure that culminated in John Drummond heading a Craig Young corner narrowly past, they opened the scoring against the early run of play when Murray was able to show a clean pair of heels to James Mildren and deliver a low one onto the near post where debutant ELLIOT got in between Gavin McQuillan and Martin Lawrie to slide home. When Andy McQuillan was then fouled some twenty yards from goal at the other end Young's pop from the free-kick was turned around the post at full stretch by ex-United 'keeper Connor Shaw. From the resultant David Swan corner Shaw could only punch out as far as McQuillan before redeeming matters by saving his half volley. Pumphy's single goal

Match photographs click here
( © Donald Stewart )