Lochbroom 3-0 Culbokie – Broom Secure Another Win, This Time Thanks To Goal Line Technology.

Lochbroom kept pace with league leaders Auldearn on Saturday with a hard fought 3-0 win over Culbokie, thanks in part to the introduction of goal line technology.

Broom went in to Saturday’s match against their in-form opponents knowing three points were necessary as the season reaches its conclusion. With both sides hanging on the coattails of Auldearn it was always going to be an even contest and so it proved in the early minutes. The opening period was a tense affair, with neither side displaying the required composure in possession. Once the game had settled down however Broom began to gain the upper hand and soon grabbed the lead. Stuart Mackay, in his final game for Broom before he embarks on a football scholarship in South Carolina, pounced on a hopeful long ball to finish coolly. After going behind many sides have crumbled this season at Morefield. Culbokie were never going to lie down and accept defeat though and came back fighting. They would of equalised just before the break had it not been for some heroic defending from first Danny MacDonald then Andy MacLellan. Half time: Lochbroom 1-0 Culbokie

Kyle was later awarded the goal thanks to 'Gooch Cam'.
Kyle was later awarded the goal thanks to ‘Gooch Cam’.

Broom knew that the second goal would be crucial and they started the second half in determined fashion. After creating some decent chances a guilt-edged one to grab that elusive second finally arrived from the penalty spot. It was spurned though to give Culbokie a lifeline and they broke forward in a desperate attempt to equalise. They left the back door open however and Broom took full advantage. Kyle Maclean broke through on the counter to stroke home past the keeper. With the lead doubled Broom could finally relax and they began to dominate as Culbokie’s heads went down. A third was added in the final stages to seal the win. Kyle again darted down the left before slamming a volley goal wards. The ball crashed off the crossbar and down onto/over the line where sub Neilly was there to clean up. In a dramatic turn of events, goal line technology (also known as Gooch) later credited the goal to Kyle much to Neilly’s dismay.

Lochbroom 5-3 Sams – Broom Back On Track With Home Win

Broom secured a hard fought 5-3 win over Sams on Friday night to put themselves firmly back in the title race. Although Broom enjoyed a spectacular start to the season the side has faltered in recent weeks, seemingly running out of steam as the final stretch approaches. Friday night’s game against Sams at Morefield was therefore a crucial tie for Broom as they looked to regain the form which had allowed the Ullapool outfit to sweep aside all before them.

Unfortunately Broom started in a similar turgid fashion to the previous week, finding it difficult to complete simple passes and control possession. Sams grew in confidence as a result and it wasn’t long before the visitors stole the lead, beating stand-in Broom keeper David Lees at his near post from a corner. Going behind seemed to be the wakeup call Broom required however and they soon equalised. Ben Bruce rounded the keeper coolly to bring the home side level. This set Broom on their way and they began to dominate proceedings. After a couple of near misses the lead was eventually secured. Michael Munro pounced on a Daryn MacRae cross to fire home from cross range. Sams were struggling to cope with Broom’s movement and it seemed only a matter of time until the lead was extended further. The third goal arrived on cue, again courtesy of Ben as he cut in from the left to slot past the keeper. Number four was notched just before the break when Scott MacRae doubled his tally for the season, capitalising on a goalkeeping error with a composed finish.

With a convincing lead Broom took their foot off the gas at the start of the second half and paid the price. Sams accepted a gift from Broom keeper Lees with open arms when the ball somehow squirmed under the veteran stopper. The blame may lie elsewhere however, with video replays suggesting the goal may in fact go down as a Daniel Farquhar O.G. This is subject to debate and further review at the time of writing.

A combination of pressure from Sams and fatigue in the sweltering heat led Broom to resort to ‘Route One’ tactics, lumping the ball forward to clear the danger. With the game on a knife-edge the next goal was crucial and thankfully Broom grabbed it. Gavin ‘Sugden’ MacDonald reacted fastest to the rebound from Daryn’s free kick to regain the three goal advantage, sparking wild celebrations amongst Broom’s merry band of supporters fresh from an all day Ullapool Construction drinking session. Despite another Sams’ goal Broom managed to see the game out quietly to reignite their ailing title hopes.

Lochbroom 7-2 Norbord – It’s Just Like Watching Brazil!

Lochbroom made it six wins from six on Saturday to go clear at the top of the Inverness Welfare 3rd Division. Broom have been steamrollering their opposition so far this season, racking up an impressive 50 goals along the way. However they went in to the weekend’s encounter expecting a sterner test as Norbord were also undefeated.

Though the step up in class of opposition was evident Broom still managed to dictate proceedings in the first half.  Perhaps inspired by the impressive Confederations Cup performances of Brazil and Spain in recent weeks Broom played some excellent football. Clever off the ball movement and slick passing ensured the home side dominated and soon opened the scoring. Ben Bruce evaded the full back with a neat turn before swinging in a cross to the far post for Stuart Mackay to head home. The lightning-quick forward went on to blitz Norbord with three more quick fire goals to continue his prolific early season goal scoring exploits. He doubled the lead when he skipped by a challenge and finished confidently across goal. His hat-trick was claimed when he put the finishing touch on a good team move. Stuart then raced on to a Daryn MacRae through ball and drilled the ball low into the far corner to grab his fourth within half an hour.

The only difference between this lot and Broom was the colour of the strips. Well...maybe not the only difference.
The only difference between this lot and Broom was the colour of the strips. Well…maybe not the only difference.

By this point Broom had sent up camp in their opponents half. Much like the rain which pelted down all afternoon the relentless Broom pressure ceased to stop. A fifth goal duly arrived and for once the scorer wasn’t Stuart.  Daryn got in the act by curling a free kick over the wall to make it 5-0. Already this season teams placed in a similar perilous situation to Norbord have waved the white flag of surrender, allowing Broom to rack up huge scores. To be fair to the visitors they showed no signs of downing tools however and managed to nick a goal back from a corner. The five goal margin was soon restored by Broom though as Daryn scored his second with a close range header before the break.

The comfortable lead meant Broom took their foot of the gas at the start of the second half. Some sloppy defending was punished to give the Inverness side’s hopes of a comeback a much needed boost. As Norbord pushed forward in determined fashion a sense of panic became evident in Broom’s play. They went from treating the ball like a baby in the first half to treating it like a hot potato in the second. As a result the game became scrappy, with the huge Morefield pitch proving sapping on the legs for both sides. The game looked to be fizzling out before Broom put the result beyond doubt with a seventh. Ben Bruce capitalised on a defensive mix up by slamming the ball into an empty net to set Broom up nicely for next weekend’s crunch encounter against Nairn outfit Auld Earn.

Lochbroom 16-0 Inverness Citadel – Broom Celebrate With Sweet Sixteen.

Lochbroom produced their best performance of the season so far on Saturday, putting a remarkable 16 goals past a hapless Inverness Citadel.

A citadel is a fortress that protects a town. Therefore, the least you would expect is some solid defending from the Inverness outfit in an attempt to live up to such a billing. Within seconds of kick off however it became clear the gates that guard the Citadel goal had been left unlocked. Broom marched up the field and scored almost immediately.

Stuart Mackay showcased the talent which has placed him on the verge of a football scholarship in America by notching an astonishing 9 goals. Ben Bruce also contributed four goals as Broom ran riot. An own goal from a corner, a Michael Munro drive and a terrific solo effort to cap a great display by young midfielder Liam McGregor made the final score 16-0.

The standard of the opposition has ensured this Broom side has failed to receive the praise it deserves for some excellent performances so far this season. At times Broom played some excellent stuff, passing the ball about with great composure to leave the Citadel lads chasing shadows.

Highlights of Broom games are available on YouTube courtesy of Angus Bruce: http://www.youtube.com/user/highlandspider27?feature=watch.

Lochbroom 13-0 Highland Hoops – Thirteen Proves The Lucky Number for Broom

Lochbroom continued their march towards promotion from the Inverness Welfare League 3rd Division with a crushing 13-0 over Highland Hoops on Saturday.

Broom had dominated the previous encounter between the sides, running out comfortable 8-1 winners at Morefield. Despite the ease of this first victory they were determined not to let complacency become an issue. Consequently, Broom started the game at a tempo the Hoops were unable to match. Ben Bruce opened the scoring early on when he cut in from the right and finished neatly into the bottom corner. Stuart soon doubled the lead, grabbing his first of the afternoon with a low drive past the despairing keeper. Neilly bagged the third with a great finish after the ball fell kindly in the area.

The Hoops back line were finding Broom’s attackers too hot to handle and a rout was on the cards. Number four arrived when Daryn MacRae chipped the ball through for Ben Bruce to run onto and finish despite a late challenge from the keeper. Michael Munro then got in the act with a terrific finish to make it 5-0 after half an hour. By this point the Highland Hoops back four had seemingly downed tools and called it a day, allowing Broom to create chances at will. Stuart scored again when he broke the offside trap and slammed the ball home. He then went on to claim his hat-trick before the break, poking home at the back post from a corner. Half time: Hoops 0-7 Broom

Fach's penalty continues to rise.
Fach’s penalty continues to rise.

The gap in terms of quality was clearly evident between the 2 sides. Stuart’s pace wreaked havoc all afternoon and he scored on another four occasions to end up with 7 goals in total. Daryn MacRae also notched with a composed right-foot finish. Broom’s thirteenth goal arrived via a comical own goal by the Hoops no-nonsense centre half who had lost the head and started launching into some brutal challenges as the game progressed. This resulted in the second biggest cheer of the afternoon from Broom’s travelling band of loyal supporters.

However, the biggest cheer wasn’t reserved for a goal but a miss. And some miss at that. Liam MacGregor won a penalty after a great run to gift Daniel Farquhar the chance to bag the second goal of his career. He stepped up calmly only to blaze the ball high over the bar.  With rumours suggesting the ball is still rising all flights have been suspended from Inverness Airport for the time being.

Lochbroom 8-1 Highland Hoops – Good Things Come To Those Who Wait.

Good things come to those who wait. Never has that phrase been more apt than on Friday night as Lochbroom fired home eight second half goals to continue their 100% win record in the Inverness Welfare League.

The green and white hoops of their opponents, the Highland’s Celtic Supporters Club, seemed to serve as the equivalent of a red rag to a bull for some of Broom’s players inclined to the blue half of Glasgow. Broom started the match at a ferocious pace, dominating possession and creating chances at will. Before the match gaffer Charlie had talked of testing the keeper and that he may be the weak link. With these wise words still ringing in their ears Broom peppered the Highland Hoops goal, only to find that the goalie was in fact quite brilliant. He made countless superb saves in the first half, including one from a penalty, to keep the scores level. Despite the goalie’s heroics Brooms attackers still had little excuse for not finding the net such was the number of opportunities spurned. On the touchline, where a healthy crowd had gathered to watch the game on a cracking night, questions were been raised as to whether Broom’s forwards could finish their dinner never mind a chance.

As the game entered the second forty-five minutes still somehow level Broom began to wonder whether this was going to be one of those bad days at the office. Five minutes into the half however the deadlock was finally broken. Stuart Mackay cut in from the left in trademark fashion before finishing expertly past the man mountain in the nets. Broom breathed a huge sigh of relief and were able to relax on the ball. Stuart’s second arrived soon after from a deflection and signalled the opening of the floodgates. The third came courtesy of Ben Bruce who cut in from the right and slammed the ball home. The Hoops players were tiring on the massive Morefield pitch and Broom were taking full advantage. Stuart bagged his hat-trick when he got on the end of a Daryn MacRae corner. Four became five when Ben grabbed his second with another quality finish. The Highland Hoops, fuelled by their fatigue, played a ridiculously high line and Broom were punishing them.

Had it not been for a number of questionable offside calls from the ref the scoreline could of ended up a cricket score. Despite been continually stopped in their tracks by the offside trap Broom managed to bag another three. Kyle Maclean marked his return from Brora Rangers with a composed finish through the keepers legs. Ben then claimed his hat-trick to begin his duel with Stuart for the top goalscorer prize at the end of the season. The icing was put on the Lochbroom cake with minutes to go as substitute Gavin MacDonald drilled the ball into the corner of the net. Broom’s back four had been that relaxed about their evenings work they may as well have got the cigars out. This composure soon became their downfall however. A slack bit of defending was punished by the Hoops to give them a consolation goal to take away from their trip to Ullapool. The ref’s full-time whistle followed shortly after to signal the end of the goal glut.

Lochbroom 9-2 Sams – Broom Run Riot In Nine Goal Rout.

Lochbroom produced a scintillating display to dispose of Sam’s and make it two wins from two in the Inverness Welfare League.

Broom returned to Bught Park in Inverness, the scene of last weekend’s crimes against goal scoring, determined to put on a more clinical display. It was Sams who started the better though, pinning Lochbroom back inside their own half. Sams struggled to break down Broom however, with centre halfs Stephen Ross and Andy MacLellan marshalling the defence superbly.

Having weathered this early storm Broom began to grow into the game and soon nicked the lead. The electric pace possessed by Stuart Mackay exposed the Sams back four which parted like the Red Sea. He picked the ball up from deep before driving towards goal and finishing coolly into the far corner. This goal gave Broom the foothold in the game they had been searching for and they began to dictate proceedings. Tannar doubled the lead when he managed to steer the ball home from close range. It was three soon after. Daryn MacRae produced a carbon copy of last weekend’s effort by curling another free kick into the top corner. Sams were unable to cope with Broom’s quick passing and a fourth was inevitable before the break. It came from the penalty spot when having won the penalty target man Neilly stepped up to convert in confident fashion.

Despite their four goal lead Broom knew all too well victory wasn’t yet clinched having themselves produced a stunning come back the previous weekend. The fifth put Sam’s hopes to bed however. Stuart scored his second when he cut in from the left to finish clinically. Neilly’s early penalty had given the big man the confidence boost he often requires and he was unstoppable in the second half. He helped himself to his second and Broom’s sixth of the afternoon with a towering header from a Tannar free kick. The favour was repayed soon after when Neilly flicked on a long ball for Tannar to finish.

With Broom 7 goals to the good and cruising to victory gaffer Charlie decided to make things interesting by laughing in the face of tactics and going three at the back. This served only to wind up Stephen Ross and caused great hilarity amongst Broom’s travelling support of 4.

Daryn made it 8 when he arrived right on cue to finish a Stuart Mackay cut back. He then claimed his hat-trick when he tapped into an empty net after more good work from Stuart. At this point Broom took their foot off the gas. Sams took full advantage by grabbing a couple of consolation efforts which put a slight dampener on an otherwise terrific Lochbroom performance.

Lochbroom 4-3 Jewsons – Forget ‘The Miracle Of Istanbul’, This Was ‘The Miracle Of Inverness’.

Liverpool in Istanbul. Manchester United’s 1999 Champion’s League win. Take That. All great comebacks. What happened on Saturday may well be the greatest comeback yet though as Lochbroom fought back from 3 down with 20 minutes left to win 4-3 against Jewsons of Inverness.

A great comeback. Just not as good as this one by Broom.
A great comeback. Just not as good as this one by Broom.

After a couple of successful seasons in the Ross-Shire League Lochbroom have began a new adventure in the Inverness Welfare League, where the side will start in the third division. Broom arrived at Bught Park filled with a mixture of anticipation and trepidation as this was a step in to the unknown for the side. Any fears about the teams ability to compete were soon put to bed as Lochbroom flew out of the traps, creating numerous guilt-edged opportunities. Each chance was spurned though, leaving manager Charlie MacRae to contemplate whether he’d be sensible to follow the lead of Sir Alex Ferguson and announce his retirement. Broom were soon made to pay for this lack of an end product when Jewsons took the lead after a clever turn and finish from the edge of the area.

The second half followed a similar pattern early on to the first. Broom continued to pass up chances to such an extent that you had to laugh or you might start to cry. This feeling of exasperation turned to sheer desperation when Jewsons capitalised with a quickfire double to make it 3-0.

With 20 minutes to go Lochbroom look destined to set off on the road to the first division with a false start. However, a tap in by birthday boy Big Neilly gave the side hope. Daryn MacRae then curled a free-kick into the top corner to put Broom within touching distance. Jewsons were like a boxer on the ropes and the equaliser came soon after. A slick move was finished by right winger Tannar to bring Broom level. From here the game only seemed to have one winner and for once it followed the script. Neilly bagged his second with a composed finish to spark wild celebrations and ensure Broom started the season with a memorable win.

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