Author: Martin Fleming

Lowland League Preview – Edinburgh University

It’s game time once again as we make the trip to East Peffermill to face an Edinburgh University side that have suffered a string of rather depressing results which we’ll be looking to add to in order to keep our undefeated streak alive.

In recent weeks, our opponents have lost a few games with results they’d rather forget about including a 5-0 thrashing last weekend to fourth placed Civil Service Strollers, as well as a 3-0 defeat to Spartans the week before.

In fact, the University side have only gained a single point since 2019 began and that was in a 1-1 draw with Stirling Uni in the Lowland League’s University derby. The only point the side gained in December also came from a draw against Gala Fairydean Rovers which gives you the impression that Dorian Ogunro’s side are itching to get back to winning ways.

In the first instance it’ll be important to guard against complacency, as we go looking for another win to keep in the hunt for first place. Players like Finn Daniels-Yeoman, Stu McNicholas and Patrick Baird may have been misfiring recently but we know that they can cause problems and will need to be watched.

Whatever way you look at it, we go in to the game as favourites, especially given the result in the reverse fixture. At the end of November last year, a week after our trip to Forfar for the Scottish Cup, we put five goals past the Uni without reply.

Supporters will be hoping for more of the same tomorrow: Tom Orr and co. will be looking to oblige them.

Kick off at East Peffermill is 3pm and entry is £6 (£4 concessions).

Gala Fairydean Rovers Report: Vital 3 Points Keep Unbeaten Streak Going

Despite not being at home for a home match, BSC Glasgow dominated but could only manage a 1-0 victory despite a penalty and red card apiece.

There were a few changes to the team which started the draw with Edusport Academy last week; trialist Jamie McCormack made his first start for the club replacing David Verlaque, Robbie McNab and Robbie Duncan returned to the starting eleven. Cammy Ballantyne started, while Declan Hughes was out this week and Shaun Struthers was on the bench.

The first half kicked off at Broadwood in freezing, windy conditions and BSC looked to be the stronger side. An early attempt at a lob from Cammy Ballantyne went wide as well as a few long shots from Gala, however the wind played a little bit of a factor in the fact that each sailed metres over the crossbar.

Robbie Duncan showed his footwork skill, slicing apart Gala’s defence with a perfect through ball to Tom Orr but the striker just couldn’t catch it. Another great ball in the box from Duncan found Martin Grehan but his header went just over.

Jamie Mills found himself a yellow card after a tangle with Gala’s Craig O’Reilly just before the break, although we think this might have been a case of mistaken identity.

HALF TIME | BSC GLASGOW 0 – 0 GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS

Another chance came for Tom Orr just after the restart when he made space for himself in the box and committed to the shot only for Patrick Martin to palm it away.

Martin Grehan came off for David Winters just before Robbie McNab went caught the referee’s attention and received a yellow card for a collision with Alex Cunningham. I think size played a factor but the ref clearly didn’t agree.

On the 63rd minute, BSC at Broadwood finally paid off when a fantastic low ball into the box found that man Tom Orr whose strike went just under Patrick Martin and found the back of the net.

Only four minutes later and Gala went for a counter attack; however it was BSC who nearly caused their own demise. A ball into the box from Gala smashed off Jamie McCormack then hit Ross McMillan’s head and looked to be a certain own goal but Ryan Marshall made an incredible diving save to tip the ball out for a corner.

With just over ten minutes to go, frustration began to set in for both teams. BSC searched for another goal to put the game to bed and a lovely wee back heel from Winters found substitute Shaun Struthers who was fouled in the box by Reece Donaldson. The ref not only deemed a penalty but gave a second yellow to Donaldson bringing Gala down to ten men. Struthers got himself a booking due to pushing Donaldson in the aftermath.

Tom Orr stepped up for the penalty and, given that he hadn’t missed one this season, seemed certain to score, however, the ball smashed off the post and back out for Gala to clear.

The Fairydean searched for a successful counter attack as the last five minutes closed up. Their big chance came when McCormack handballed it in the box to give Gala a penalty and a lifeline. McCormack received a booking for the hand and McNab got himself a second yellow due to something he said in the aftermath, marking BSC’s first red card of the season.

Luckily for us, the drama may have affected Gala because Darren Smith’s penalty fired well wide and kept the three points on BSC’s side.

FULL TIME | BSC GLASGOW 1 – 0 GALA FAIRYDEAN ROVERS

MAN OF THE MATCH | CARLO PIGNATIELLO

Edusport Academy Report: Late Goal Secures Point in Disappointing Draw

Vice-captain Ross Smith hit a fantastic strike in injury time to get a consolation point in an otherwise poor game.

There were a few changes to the squad that beat Spartans three weeks ago – Shaun Struthers was in the starting eleven while fellow St Johnstone loanee Ben Quigley was on the bench joined by trialist Jamie McCormack.

Only seconds after the whistle was blew, Tom Orr fired straight into the box determined to grab an early goal only to be brought down. The man in charge deemed it fair play and, unfortunately for BSC, waved play on.

All of a sudden, Edusport burst forward and capitalised on a BSC defence that didn’t expect it – Andy Dowie slipped past and managed a low ball to Ross McNeil, on-loan from East Kilbride, who simply tapped in to open the scoring only six minutes in.

Orr continued to fight for BSC’s first goal hitting the post on the 21st minute. Shaun Struthers attempted to a low strike seconds later but the ball whistled by the right post. The equaliser finally came when Declan Hughes put forward a fantastic ball that landed at the feet of Martin Grehan whose first shot was initially saved but he was there to put in the rebound.

There was almost an immediate second for BSC when Struthers attempted another low strike that was only inches off target.  

HALF TIME | EDUSPORT ACADEMY 1 – 1 BSC GLASGOW

Edusport’s frustration was evident minutes after the restart when Theo Couve went in the referee’s book due to a rough challenge on Declan Hughes. The resultant free kick went just over the bar.

Despite BSC looking the stronger team, they conceded another just before the hour mark. A terrific cross into the box found the head of Jean Guy Lucas who in turn found the back of the net.

David Winters and Jamie McCormack came on the pitch for David Verlaque and Shaun Struthers in hopes to fight an unexpected upset.

With fifteen minutes to go, Edusport went for a third only for the flag to go up. The resultant profane scream from Ross McNeil was deemed unacceptable by the referee who showed him a red card. The Edusport striker could probably have counted himself a little unlucky to see red.

In the final ten minutes, Ross Lindsay replaced Jamie Mills, joining the team in throwing everything forward to salvage the game. The all-attack mode didn’t work in BSC’s favour for a good portion of the final minutes when Edusport’s Hugo Catrine got the ball to Jean Guy Lucas on the counter attack whose strike smashed off the crossbar.

We never lost hope though as finally, after a few desperate crosses into the box, the ball fell to Ross Smith who slotted in a perfect strike to keep BSC Glasgow’s undefeated streak alive.

FULL TIME | EDUSPORT ACADEMY 2 – 2 BSC GLASGOW

MAN OF THE MATCH | MARTIN GREHAN

Lowland League Preview – Edusport Academy

We are finally back! After three long weeks without any Lowland League football, we make the journey to Annan to play Edusport Academy.

Since the return game, both clubs have been on opposite paths. While BSC are on an unbeaten streak, Edusport seem to be slipping further and further away from the top half of the table, currently sitting uncomfortably in 9th.

Their last three league fixtures – Vale of Leithen, Gala Fairydean Rovers and Kelty Hearts – have all ended in losses and seen the side continue an unfortunate streak of dropping points despite showing they are more than capable of scoring. Their trip of Innerleithen resulted in a 5-4 loss; however it does prove they can be dangerous up front.

The other side of that can be seen last weekend when they suffered massively at the hands of Kelty Hearts. That 5-0 defeat will give BSC a bit of confidence coming off the back of a fortnight off, knowing that Ricky Waddell’s side are going through a bit of a crisis of confidence at the back.

Edusport will be itching to prove the doubters wrong though and will be a tough prospect at Galabank. That being said, they haven’t gained a single point since mid-November when they managed a 2-0 victory over Gala Fairydean Rovers.

BSC Glasgow should be prepared to capitalise on any defensive errors, after defeating current champions Spartans three weeks ago. Also, with three weeks away from the pitch, a refreshed squad will hope to put right the draw with the hosts at the start of the season.

Spartans Report: BSC Do the Double over the Champions

A late lob from Tom Orr secured another vital three points over the defending title holders and helped cement his side in second place.

The only change in the squad from last weekend was the return of Ross Smith allowing David Verlaque to revert to right-back, meaning Carlo Pignatiello could head back out to the right wing. On-loan St Johnstone forward Shaun Struthers was on the bench for this one.

Despite Martin Grehan attempting a sweet lob on the keeper inside the first minute, it was Spartans who looked the most likely to grab an early goal. Captain Michael Herd played a number of near-perfect crosses into the box. We were lucky Jack Smith, making his first start since the return fixture – in for the dropped Stephen MacDonald, couldn’t convert.

It wouldn’t be a Spartans vs BSC match without a bit of controversy. A corner from Declan Hughes looked to have been handled by a Spartans defender, however the ref seemed disinterested in the shouts and gave another corner after having a word with BSC coach Michael Moore.

Ross Smith and Alan Brown went up for the same ball and suffered a head knock. Luckily both players didn’t seem to have suffered too much, but Alan Brown seemed to have picked up a separate injury to his leg and was replaced by Aaron Scott. In either event, we wish Alan a quick recovery.

The rest of the first half was a real stalemate with the wind being more dominant on the ball than either team. Declan Hughes almost found the top corner from a free-kick just before the break, however the weather really worked against us as the ball squeaked inches wide.

HALF TIME | SPARTANS 0 – 0 BSC GLASGOW

It seemed certain that if BSC were to score, it would most likely come from a Hughes free-kick as another attempt went just wide of the post.

Just after the hour mark, Robbie McNab came off making way for Shaun Struthers, marking a fifteen minute period where basically nothing happened. This came to the first bit of noise from the fans as Hughes’ put in a strong standing tackle on a Spartans man, but the referee didn’t go for his pocket.

The reaction, or possibly some kind of adjustment from the bench, seemed to spur Spartans on as they flooded forward, playing some nice one touch football to set up a number of half chances (and a couple of full ones). Jack Smith fought through the defence and cut back to Blair Atkinson. The Spartans forward should have converted to put his team one up but Ryan Marshall – who seemed beaten – managed to pull off a stunning save to deny him.

Spartans were determined to grab the late goal and kept pushing players forward, working their way around the box, As the defending champions pushed forward, many would have thought we would be lucky to escape Ainslie Park with a point. Jamie Dishington fired just wide after some great play but Spartans kept pushing. Atkinson looked to be through far too easily but Jamie Mills appeared out of nowhere to make a brilliant tackle, win the ball and kick-start a BSC counter attack.

Davie Winters picked up the ball in a pocket just advanced of the halfway line, and played a gorgeous lob forward which Martin Grehan flicked on into the path of Tom Orr who outmuscled the Spartans defender and lobbed the onrushing Blair Carswell to break the deadlock in the 83rd minute.

The goal sent the BSC bench into raptures and in the melee the referee saw fit to send manager Stephen Swift to the stand for encroachment onto the field, but ultimately it didn’t matter as BSC held on throughout a nervy ten minutes where Spartans threw everything they had at us to secure a memorable smash and grab victory.

FULL TIME | SPARTANS 0 – 1 BSC GLASGOW

MAN OF THE MATCH | RYAN MARSHALL

Lowland League Preview: The Spartans

We head into a fortnight’s break from competitive action with a trip to Ainslie Park to take on Dougie Samuels’ Spartans side, looking to replicate the result from the reverse fixture.

In mid-November, we hosted Spartans at The Indodrill and grabbed a goal in the last five minutes thanks to a beauty from Declan Hughes to give us a memorable 3-2 victory. That game came amidst a flurry of fantastic results that only came to a halt last weekend when we had to come from behind to salvage a point in a 1-1 draw with Civil Service Strollers.

Spartans currently sit in fourth place, 13 points off the top spot. Their last two results only gained them two points. A draw with in-form Strollers wasn’t a huge shock; however last week’s stalemate with relegation-battlers Whitehill Welfare was. Welfare dominated a large portion of the game and Spartans only managed an equaliser in the dying moments of the 90.  

These results won’t mean that Spartans are any less of a threat than usual, and matches between our two sides are always closely contested affairs. Swifty and the boys will be itching to get back to winning ways but Spartans will also be eager to kick on and keep pace with the top three.

Once again, a top goalscorer this weekend for the boys to look out for is Stephen MacDonald who has managed 8 so far in the campaign, one of which was a well-taken header in the return game.

Civil Service Strollers Report: BSC’s Winning Streak Comes to a Halt

BSC Glasgow couldn’t find a seventh consecutive victory had to salvage a point as two late goals saw Stephen Swift’s side dig out a 1-1 draw with Civil Service Strollers.

There were no changes to the starting line-up with the gaffer opting for the same squad that took the points at Rosewell last weekend. Mitchell Taylor came in to make it seven men on the bench.

It was BSC who dominated the opening minutes of the game with Tom Orr proving willing and able to break through the Strollers defence when he chose, however he couldn’t manage to slide the ball past Strollers’ on-loan ‘keeper Josh Donaldson.

Orr seemed destined to grab a goal in the first half. Some great footwork from Carlo Pignatiello allowed him to break away from his marker and play the ball to Orr whose shot was off-target thanks to Civil’s defensive pressure.

It was Civil with the biggest chance just before the break when a challenge on Martin Grehan went unnoticed by the referee allowing Strollers to break into a counter attack. Scott Clapperton hit a rasping shot from the edge of the box, but Ryan Marshall made a fantastic save keeping it even as the half-time whistle blew.

HALF TIME | BSC GLASGOW 0 – 0 CIVIL SERVICE STROLLERS

Both teams continued to struggle in the second half with both keepers proving difficult to catch off-guard. Shaun Struthers made a tremendous run into the box but Donaldson made a great save to deny the forward. Robbie McNab got a booking for a tackle during a Civil attack, meanwhile, Shaun Struthers came off for David Winters.

Once again, Orr looked a favourite to break the deadlock when he got a one-on-one with Donaldson, tried to round the keeper but put too much on the touch allowing the ball to get away from him and firing his strike over the bar.

With ten minutes to go, a volley from Winters went only inches outside the post. It was one of those days for BSC and Strollers finally got the opening goal on the 83rd minute as Ian Ballantyne turned the ball home from close range, sparking wild celebrations on the pitch.

It looked like it was to be our first defeat since Kelty Hearts at the end of August, but that man Declan Hughes stepped up, leapt up, and met Martin Grehan’s header back across goal, sending the ball beyond Donaldson and sparking wild celebrations on the other side.

“It was a difficult one to take today.” Manager Stephen Swift told us after the match. “I knew straight away when I saw their set up that they were here to frustrate us and nick something on the break. They did us on a set piece down the side and at one down I think it would have been robbery for them to come away with all three points.”

“Fair play to the boys, they kept going till the last. We grabbed one with five minutes to go and it looked like we could have grabbed another to win it in the last seconds. Strollers are a good side – they’re well organised and well coached and we’ve just got to take the positives from the performance and move onto next week against Spartans.”

FULL TIME | BSC GLASGOW 1 – 1 CIVIL SERVICE STROLLERS

MAN OF THE MATCH | DAVID VERLAQUE

Lowland League Preview: Civil Service Strollers

It’s our first fixture of what could be one of the biggest years of BSC Glasgow FC. We take on the always difficult Civil Service Strollers at The Indodrill.

BSC will be hoping to continue this unbelievable run and grab a seventh consecutive victory especially after a nervy win last weekend at Ferguson Park when Whitehill Welfare went ahead first and it was only through Shaun Struthers’ 82nd minute goal that cemented the three points.

Strollers, on the other hand are looking to climb back into the top four especially after such a strong start to their campaign in the early fixtures. Their recent results certainly seem to point them in that direction as their last three fixtures included a massive 6-0 thumping of Gretna 2008, a 1-0 victory over Edusport Academy and a 1-1 draw last weekend in the North Edinburgh derby with defending champions, The Spartans.

The return match of this fixture was one that really kick-started BSC Glasgow’s run of form. Their 2-1 away win at Christie Gillies Park was unexpected at the time, but really kick-started our season.

As per usual in the Lowland League, there is always that one forward BSC’s defence must be warned about and this week is no different as Jordan Hopkinson will hope to put a bulge or two in Ryan Marshall’s net.

Whitehill Welfare Report: BSC Glasgow Do The Comeback Business

Despite Whitehill Welfare putting up a fight, it was BSC Glasgow who took the three points on a cold festive day in Rosewell.

The only change to the side that took the points from Colts last weekend was Shaun Struthers starting, with Ross Smith being out this weekend through injury.

Despite the fixture being a battle between a top of the table side against a side fighting relegation, the game was even and if anything, Whitehill had more chances in the first half. Kyle Mitchell managed break through BSC’s defence 10 minutes in and almost gained a one-on-one with Ryan Marshall, however the pitch was his enemy as he tripped over a rough patch in the surface and lost the opportunity. Mitchell almost got his revenge a few minutes later but a great save from Marshall denied him.

The game never seemed to have a solid five minutes of continuous play as the referee made a bundle of bizarre calls that most players seemed to disagree with including last week’s Man of the Match, Ross McMillan who picked up an early yellow for dissent.

The unexpected turns continued as Whitehill dominated the rest of the first half and found an opener that had the Welfare faithful ecstatic. The ball fell to James McPartlin at the edge of the box who lobbed the ball over Marshall who couldn’t do anything about it. Whether it was an intentional lob or a lucky catch on the pitch, we’ll never know. Unless we ask him… which we won’t. 

The referee also added David Verlaque into his book in the last minute of the first half.

HALF TIME | WHITEHILL WELFARE 1 – 0 BSC GLASGOW

The second half kicked off and Welfare were the ones who seemed destined for another goal when Kieran Somerville’s attempt when just across the face of goal. On the 58th minute, it looked certain that BSC were about to equalise when a Declan Hughes free-kick found the head of McMillan but Welfare’s Paul Grant made a fantastic save to deny the Skipper.

Finally, just after the hour mark, we got our equaliser. A long ball up field by Marshall took a hit off a Whitehill defender to land at the feet or Tom Orr who sweetly slotted the ball home through the narrow channel to get us closer to a point.

Robbie McNab came off for Joe Irvine just before a winning goal looked inevitable when Martin Grehan did a beautiful pirouette to escape the clutches of Nicky Faulds but his strike sailed over the crossbar.

The last 15 minutes at Ferguson Park was incredibly tense for both sets of fans; Welfare were desperate for another crucial point to keep their chances in the Lowland League alive, while BSC were determined to continue their winning streak to stay ahead of Kelty Hearts in the top three.

David Winters replaced Carlo Pignatiello to help lend a foot in hopefully grabbing a late winner. With eight minutes to go, Tom Orr found space at the edge of the box and held the ball before a low pass picked out Shaun Struthers who hit a low sweet shot into the bottom left corner, despite the ball taking an eternity to bounce across the line when it seemed to be heading wide.

The last few minutes saw Tom Orr come off the field for Ross Lindsay, Shaun Struthers went the book for a tackle that needed to be made and Welfare fortunately never found the equaliser despite a solid performance.

FULL TIME | WHITEHILL WELFARE 1 – 2 BSC GLASGOW

MAN OF THE MATCH | ROSS MCMILLAN (again)

Lowland League Preview: Whitehill Welfare

It’s a fixture to help dispense with those post-Christmas blues as we make the trip to Ferguson Park to take on bottom of the table Whitehill Welfare.

It’s a game we go into as favourites, not only because the home side have only managed 6 points in 16 games but because when they visited Alloa at the start of October they conceded 5 goals in a contentious fixture under the lights.

Since then, despite recently appointing new management in Ian Little, Welfare have only managed the odd draw to grab a point here and there. Their last fixture was a 1-1 draw with the team closest to them in the table – Dalbeattie Star. Star reportedly dominated the majority of the 90 minutes but Welfare were able to hold out and salvage a point which could be vital at the end of the season as they fight to remain in the Lowland League.

The concern for Stephen Swift’s BSC will be a renewed defensive solidity with Welfare able to keep things tight at the back with a view to snatching their chances when they become available. Swifty will be hoping to avoid any post-Christmas sluggishness, knowing that any side in the League – on their day – can be tough opponents.

The game is a 2pm kick-off at Ferguson Park. We’ll have updates for you on Twitter as usual!