Lochee United 5 Downfield 1

Despite the final scoreline the Bluebells knew they were in a game, particularly in the first half where Downfield gave as good as their hosts.

Lochee boss George Shields had a surfeit of central defenders so went with a back three of Danny Millar, Garry Kenneth and new signing James Thomson with Craig Smith being given a role up front.

Stephen McNally and Greg Kirk were deployed as wing backs with Kieran McWalter supporting Dougie Cameron and Grant Lawson in midfield and Connor Birse partnering Smith.

Lochee are going to be the team to beat in this league and Downfield were certainly up for the challenge of being the first team to beat the league leaders this season. In fact they took the lead within five minutes of the start, former Lochee favourite Paul BLACKWOOD volleying home a beauty from just inside the box.

Jose almost grabbed another minutes later but his effort was scrambled off the line.

The home side were slow to get going in this game but that all changed within a couple of minutes on the quarter hour mark with two goals in as many minutes.

A poor punch out from former Bluebells keeper Darren Clarkson found McNally who squared for SMITH to score. Then a terrific ball up the wing from Cameron found Smith who laid the ball into the path of the inrushing BIRSE to score from 12 yards.

The game was pretty even at this stage, although home keeper Lenny Ewing didn’t have a lot to do, but he had to be on his toes to tip a Blackwood shot round the post. From the resultant corner Terry Connell should have done better than head the ball wide of the back post.

Lochee brought on Logan Davie for the injured Kirk at half time and this was to prove a turning point in the game with Davie being at the heart of a lot of the home attacks and generally just taking a firm hold of the midfield.

The Bluebells increased their lead just three minutes into the second half and,from a Downfield corner, Lawson broke upfield and sent the ball into the path of CAMERON who slotted it past Clarkson.

There was almost a repeat minutes later and again it was Lawson who broke away, finding McWalter, whose shot was held by the Spiders’ keeper.

Clarkson had to come to the rescue of his side several more times as Lochee tightened their grip on the game but he was fortunate that Smith put his shot wide when right through on goal.

Downfield’s Calvin Colquhoun suffered a bad injury which forced him off, not aiding the Spiders' cause any and they were undone again in the 74th minute. Davie was the architect, scampering up the wing and centring for BIRSE to slam home his second.

Jamie Reid came on for Smith and within a few minutes, made it five. The Davie-Birse combination found REID in the box and he made no mistake.

With 10 minutes left Lochee brought on Reece Ritchie for Cameron and they comfortably saw the match out despite a late rally from the visitors.

Lochee United: Ewing, Millar, Kenneth, Thomson, McNally, Kirk (Davie 46), McWalter, Cameron (Ritchie 80), Lawson, Birse, Smith (Reid 75).

Downfield: Clarkson, Timmons, Hornby, Mudie, Duell, Colquhoun (Fraser 63), Davidson (Reilly 55), Gallacher, Connell, Blackwood (Berry 57), McLeod.

Written on 08 September 2018