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Den Spark

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About Den Spark

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  1. All things Dundee FC

    No relation to Martin Woods, hopefully.
  2. East Region Superleague

    Lochee United 2 Broughty Athletic 2 Lochee United finished the season unbeaten in the league as The Fed became only the second team to take points off the Thomson Park side this season. An unfamiliar looking Broughty side applauded their opponents onto the field but the niceties stopped there as the league runners-up looked to be the first to topple the Bluebells. As early as the second minute Lochee keeper Mark Fotheringham had to save from Bradley Smith and he had Greg Kirk to thank for keeping his goal intact when Kirky blocked a close-in shot from Billy Young. The visitors took the lead against a lacklustre home side on 17 minutes. Stephen McNally put team mate Scott Webster under pressure with a poor pass and he was robbed by Marc SCOTT. The Broughty striker raced down the touchline and found the net from a difficult angle. Lochee replied with a Scott McComiskie header which was cleared off the line by Jamie McCunnie but they equalised on the half hour mark. Ross McDonald made ground up the left and sent in a terrific cross with the outside of his left boot to McCOMISKIE who volleyed home. Lochee went close again when a Danny Cavanagh free kick was punched away by Broughty keeper John Sinclair. The home side started the second half in more determined fashion, with Cavanagh and McDonald combining well down the left. A McNally free kick almost put Lochee ahead but Sinclair saved before the danger was cleared by Young. The Bluebells took the lead in controversial fashion on 51 minutes when Cavanagh found BIRSE unmarked six yards out. With Broughty claiming offside the Lochee striker calmly slotted the ball into the net. Lochee dominated for a spell after that with Reece Ritchie going close and a terrific move involving McComiskie and Cavanagh earning applause from the large crowd. Logan Davie, Bryan Deasley and Jamie Reid were all brought on by the home side to see the game out, but it was the visitors who grabbed a late equaliser. If Broughty thought they were hard done by for Lochee’s second goal, it was evened up by another controversial decision in added time. Substitute Louis Appere seemed to foul Scott Webster on the edge of the box but was allowed to continue and cross into the penalty area for the inrushing Stewart McCONNACHIE to net from close range. So ends a great league season for Lochee United but Broughty have one cup in the bag and are in the hunt for two more. They certainly look like a team to watch in future. Lochee United: Fotheringham, Webster, Kirk, McNally, McDonald, Ritchie, McWalter, Lawson (Davie 85), Cavanagh (Reid 89), Birse (Deasley 88), McComiskie. Broughty Athletic: Sinclair, McMillan (McCracken 46), Young (Appere 74), Warwick, Anderson, McCunnie, Coupar (Banyard 60), Smith, Farquhar, McConnachie, Scott.
  3. Dashed inconvenient

    Had a choice of two games today (or so I thought): North End v Broughty Cup Final at Tannadice, KO 1.00 or East Craigie v Pumpherston at Craigie Park KO 2.30. As entering Tannadice makes me feel queasy I decided to skip that one and head to Craigie Park. Arrived there at 2.15 (along with several others) to be informed the match was over, as it had kicked off at 12 noon. Apparently the time change had been posted on something called 'Facebook'. It's still showing on East Region website as 2.30 KO. What with Lochee United and Kennoway SH playing last night instead of today, it looks like a blank Saturday for me. No doubt the players wanted to get home in time for the Newport County-Tranmere Rovers game! For the record, I believe Pumpherston won 2-1.
  4. Scores tonight

    Forfar West End 4 Forfar Albion 0. Last time I saw Albion they were the Coupar Angus of the division. Big improvement. Lots of younger players with enthusiasm.
  5. East Region Superleague

    Forfar West End 0 Lochee United 2 Lochee United were crowned East Region Superleague champions with this hard-fought victory over Forfar West End. Mathematically still needing a point to clinch the title, the Bluebells never really looked in trouble against the only side to have taken points off them this season. And, remarkably, the Thomson Park outfit have conceded only one goal on their travels in the league and that was way back in October at Glenrothes. West End never looked like adding to that total though they couldn’t be faulted for effort. In the fifth minute a Grant Lawson shot was parried by keeper Aaron Morrison into the path of Scott Webster but the full back sent his shot wildly over the bar. But the opening goal was only delayed three minutes, Lawson finding Danny CAVANAGH racing in at the back post to net. Connor Birse then provided fellow striker Scott McComiskie with a chance but his shot skimmed across the face of Morrison’s goal. It was 37 minutes before Forfar seriously tested Jordan Millar in the visitors’ goal, Craig Batchelor playing in Andy Walls, whose near post flick was kept out by Millar’s feet. Four minutes into the second half Cavanagh found McComiskie and the striker’s blistering shot came back off the far post with Morrison beaten. A Webster ball to Birse looked promising but for a timely interception from West End full back Robbie George. On 53 minutes Lochee went two up, McCOMISKIE heading home a cross from the left. Ten minutes later Walls claimed for a penalty when he went down in the box but the referee waved play on and Lochee resumed on the offensive. A superb run by Webster saw him take a one-two with Birse and bear down on the home side’s goal but Morrison was out quickly to deny the Lochee man. Stephen McNally was next to have a go for the visitors but Morrison was alert and saved easily. The Lochee keeper had to make only his second real save of the game in the dying minutes when he held a Ryan Cruickshanks effort, but the Bluebells were home and dry at that time and were able to celebrate a famous title win with two games to spare. Forfar West End: Morrison, George, Cruickshanks, Rae, Allan, Robertson, Petrie, Timmons, McIlravey 66), Batchelor, Montgomery (McMahon 66), Walls (Hart 81). Lochee United: Millar, Webster, McNally, Kirk, McDonald, Ritchie (Davie 81), Cavanagh (Reid 81), McWalter, Lawson, Birse (Deasley 76), McComiskie.
  6. Todays scores 18/5

    Lochee United 6 Thornton Hibs 1 Lochee United all but sealed the Superleague Championship with this comprehensive victory over a Thornton Hibs side forced to play with 10 men for 65 minutes. Although they still require a point from their final three games to make it mathematically certain, their goal difference over chasers Broughty Athletic is so vast that it would take a collapse of seismic proportions to rob them of the title. The Bluebells started off like a house on fire with Connor Birse hitting the bar and Scott McComiskie seeing a header come back off the post within the first five minutes. It didn’t take long for the home side to break the deadlock though. BIRSE twisted and turned inside the Hibs penalty area and sent his shot into the far corner of the net. Four minutes later and it was 2-0. A Grant Lawson cross fizzed dangerously along the Thornton goal and skipper Greg KIRK raced in at the back post to turn the ball home. The visitors were showing plenty of spirit but their attacks fizzled out when they got near the Lochee goal. That was until a misplaced header from Kirk saw Garry Thomson race through on goal. Lochee keeper Jordan Millar raced from his goal and did enough to delay Thomson until help arrived. On 34 minutes Thornton lost Ian Shanks when the defender brought down Birse just outside the box and he was shown a red card. However, they pulled a goal back three minutes before half time when Scott ORROCK headed home an Andrew Adam corner kick. Two minutes after half time Lochee regained their two-goal advantage. A long ball found McCOMISKIE with his back to goal on the edge of the Hibs box and the striker turned and lobbed the ball over the head of the keeper. Birse should have made it four a few minutes later with two attempts to convert Ross McDonald’s cross but he was denied both times by keeper Scott Costello. The keeper also made a good diving save at the feet of Danny Cavanagh. Thornton’s Orrock tried his luck from 30 yards but Millar spectacularly tipped his effort round the post. There was some controversy over Lochee’s fourth goal on 68 minutes, scored by Grant LAWSON and deflected in by a defender, as a second ball was on the pitch at the time, but the Hibs dugout’s protest was clutching at straws there as it did not affect the run of play. Three minutes later LAWSON grabbed his second, stroking the ball into the net from around 12 yards out. Logan Davie and Jamie Reid came on for Birse and Reece Ritchie with 20 minutes left and the Bluebells tied up the scoring seven minutes from the end. Scott Webster was fouled out on the right and Reid’s free kick brilliantly found Stephen McNALLY who bulleted the ball home with his head. Webster then went off to be replaced by Kevin Buchan. Lochee continued to press and Lawson shot over the bar and Reid fired into the side netting, but there were no further goals. Lochee United: Millar, Webster (Buchan 85), McNally, Kirk, McDonald, Ritchie (Davie 71), Lawson, Cavanagh, McWalter, Birse (Reid 71), McComiskie. Thornton Hibs: Costello, Drummond, Robertson, Shields, Shanks, Orrock, Keatings, Hepburn (Crichton 78), B Anthony (Coleman 46), Thomson, Adam (McNab 75).
  7. Tonight Games

    East Craigie 4 Lochee United 1 With East Craigie already qualified for the next round of the Thorntons Property League Cup and Lochee United fielding a number of trialists in advance of a crucial league game on Saturday, this game had a pre-season/end of season feel to it, but that shouldn’t detract from a fine performance and result for a young Shipbuilders team. They took the game to Lochee from the start and should have gone ahead after only five minutes. Rory Faulkner burst through the visiting defence and laid the ball into the path of Finlay Baird who somehow managed to hit the crossbar with goalkeeper Mark Fotheringham stranded. Then Adam Brown was very unlucky to see his shot rebound off the woodwork and into the arms of Fotheringham. The Lochee keeper was in action again soon afterwards, diving at the feet of Euan McIlvenny. It was 25 minutes in before the visitors mustered their first serious attempt ton the home goal with their trialist number 7 hitting the post with a 25-yard drive. However, on the half hour mark Craigie took a deserved lead when Jordan CONWAY beat Fotheringham with a shot from the edge of the box. At half time Lochee boss George Shields brought on Connor Birse for Scott McComiskie and another trialist for Kieran McWalter but the home side continued to dominate as an unfamiliar Lochee side, understandably, failed to find any rhythm. There were other close things for the Lochee goal before the Shipbuilders added a second on 62 minutes, Brown and Nathan Scott combining to set up McILVENNY for a tap-in. Seven minutes later the home team went three ahead. Brown got to the byline and cut the ball back for McILVENNY to grab his second. The Bluebells did manage to pull one back 13 minutes from time when BIRSE beat the offside trap and rounded keeper Liam Dunn before chipping the ball into the net. And they almost pulled within one goal when their trialist number 7 burst through, only to be denied by Dunn diving to his right to save. But the final word went to East Craigie nine minutes from the end. Again, the ball came down the right from Sean Reekie and, though substitute Nick Mann miskicked, the ball fell to Conan HOWETT who made no mistake from close range. So, a well deserved win for the home team and Lochee fans will hope that there is a more familiar look to the line-up when they meet Thornton Hibs on Saturday. East Craigie: Dunn, Reekie, Christie, McDonald, Brannan, Conway, Brown, Faulkner, Baird, McIlvenny, Howett. Lochee United: Fotheringham, Trialist, Trialist, McNally, McWalter, McDonald, Trialist, Davie, Reid, Trialist, McComiskie.
  8. Today's scores 13/5

    Chose the wrong game last night. Went to North End 3 Violet 1 instead of Downfield v Broughty game. However, still a good game with some excellent goals. If Downfield had managed a draw Lochee would have clinched the title on Saturday with a win over Thornton. A win puts them six points clear of Broughty with only two Broughty games left and a goal difference of 20 odd + but mathematically, it will still be possible for Broughty to do it.
  9. And his name isn't Hopkirk.
  10. Someone who will re-sign Cammy Kerr and Kerr Waddell.
  11. Todays scores 11/5

    Luncarty 9 Coupar Angus 0. C Angus must hate the sight of Luncarty. Scores this season have been: 1-6, 0-9, 0-10 and 0-14. Mind you, they probably also hate the sight of Blairgowrie (0-11, 0-8), North End (1-13), Scone Thistle (0-9, 0-7), Lochee Harp (1-9) and Kinnoull (0-9). Good on them for keeping going.
  12. Todays scores 11/5

    Further to the Lochee v Carnoustie game, the 'controversial' winning goal might have been down to an earlier factor. At a Lochee corner a Carnoustie player went down injured and the ref signalled for the physio to come on. The physio seemed to develop arthritis and couldn't get his arse off the bench. By the time he finally did recover and was about to 'sprint' on to the park, the player had recovered, meaning Carnoustie were able to defend the corner with 11 men instead of 10. Maybe the ref felt he'd been conned on that occasion and gave the benefit of the doubt to Lochee at the end. Having said that, the Carnoustie player at the end did look genuinely injured. Refs have to be careful with this 'head knock' culture. Don't want players seriously injured but some players are coming it. Last week at Dundee v Hamilton, Dundee were building up an attack just outside the Hamilton box when an Accies player suddenly goes down. Ref stops play but player is fine and carries on. Accies 'sportingly' play the ball back to the Dundee goalkeeper and any danger has now passed.
  13. Todays scores 11/5

    Lochee United 2 Carnoustie Panmure 1 Lochee United took a giant step towards the East Superleague title with this scrappy and occasionally bad tempered, win over Angus rivals Carnoustie. The home side were without defensive stalwarts Greg Kirk and Garry Kenneth and had to draft vice captain Dougie Cameron into defence. They took the lead on nine minutes with a well worked goal that owed a lot to the persistence of Reece Ritchie. The midfielder battled hard for possession and fed Danny Cavanagh, who, in turn, found Cameron and Cameron’s cross was deftly flicked into the corner of the net by the head of Connor BIRSE. The lead didn’t last long, however, precisely three minutes. The Lochee defence stood off Gordon McDONALD who arrowed his shot from the angle of the box and into the net past a surprised Mark Fotheringham in the home goal. Five minutes later, it looked like the Thomson Park side were going to retake the lead when Bryan Deasley passed to Ritchie who could only manage to guide his effort across the face of Jamie Robbie’s goal. Lochee were hit with another injury to add to their long list when Deasley had to go off to be replaced by Jamie Reid. Carnoustie were also dealt an injury blow when Bruce Hearn was unable to come out for the second half, being replaced by Jake Mair. Petty fouls and some inconsistent refereeing meant the quality of the game stagnated for a bit although both sides enjoyed periods of domination without really troubling either goalkeeper. Good work by Scott McComiskie and the hard-working Danny Cavanagh gave Birse a chance, but Robbie went down at his feet to save the day. The Bluebells were on top at this stage and Cavanagh fired in a free kick that went just wide. Birse and Cavanagh carved out another chance for the home side but again Robbie was bravely down at the feet of Cavanagh to keep his side level. If Lochee were denied the winner at that end, Carnoustie almost grabbed it at the other a minute later, a Ryan Dignan effort being tipped over the bar by Fotheringham. With six minutes to go Lochee grabbed the winner in controversial circumstances. A ball into the box saw goalkeeper Robbie apparently flatten one of his own players, centre half Ryan Roche. With the Gowfers screaming for the game to be halted owing to a head knock, the ball was bundled home by Scott McCOMISKIE. The visitors protested loudly but the referee was having none of it and the goal stood. So Lochee march on and three points next week against Thornton Hibs would give them one hand on the title. Lochee United: Fotheringham, McWalter, McNally, D Millar, Cameron (McDonald 70), McComiskie, Ritchie, Cavanagh, Lawson, Birse, Deasley (Reid 21). Carnoustie Panmure: Robbie, Hearn (Mair 46), Cruickshank, Steel, Roche (Sievwright 85), Dailly, McDonald (Conway 74), Scott, Dignan, McPhee, Simpson.
  14. East Region Superleague

    Injuries, suspensions and a heavy fixture schedule taking its toll on Lochee just now. Kirrie deserved their draw, though. Much better side than the one I saw lose 8-0 to Lochee earlier in the season.
  15. Tonight's scores

    Lochee United 1 Kirriemuir Thistle 1 Kirriemuir Thistle deservedly took a share of the points in this Thorntons Property League Cup section match with a battling display at Thomson Park. Despite undergoing constant pressure in the second half the Angus side held out due to some excellent goalkeeping and some stout defending. Having conceded 17 goals without reply to Lochee in three games this season, Kirrie weren’t expected to give the Bluebells too much trouble, but this was a different Thistle from these previous games. They shocked the home side on seven minutes with the opening goal. A misplaced pass saw Dale Reid pick up the ball on the halfway line and burst through the exposed Lochee defence. REID outpaced Garry Kenneth and lofted the ball over the advancing Mark Fotheringham in the Lochee goal. Kenneth appeared to pull a hamstring in the chase and had to be replaced by Dougie Cameron. Reid could have made it 2-0 a couple of minutes later but the lively Kirrie forward shot wide. Lochee had a great chance for an equaliser when a Jamie Reid through ball found Scott McComiskie in the box but the striker was crowded out before he could shoot. McComiskie had another opportunity just before half time but his first touch took him wide and he shot across the face of Mac Whyte’s goal. If Whyte didn’t have a lot to do in the first half he was to earn his keep in the second. His first save was from a Ross McDonald shot from a tight angle which he managed to push away. Then he tipped a powerful Reece Ritchie shot over the bar as Lochee pressure mounted. The Bluebells finally broke down the Kirrie rearguard on 64 minutes. Danny Cavanagh had looked the most likely to score and when Whyte parried the midfielder’s shot, Grant LAWSON was there to drive the ball home from close range. Kirrie were relying on breakaways upfield at this stage and, from a rare corner kick, substitute Stuart McKenna headed wide. Whyte was the Kirrie hero again as he brought off two great saves from Cavanagh in the dying minutes of the game. So Lochee United’s midweek maladies continue with these dropped points costing them dearly in their League Cup section. Lochee United: Fotheringham, McWalter, McNally, Kenneth (Cameron 10), McDonald, Davie, Ritchie, Lawson, Cavanagh, Reid, McComiskie. Kirriemuir Thistle: Whyte, Grant, McNaughton, Bews, McVicar, Kerrigan (Thomson 86), Fairweather, Winter, Reid, Cormack, A Kettles (McKenna 46).