THE small hill to Beechwood Park is soundtracked by the pounding of a drum.

Inside the ground and across the pitch you can find a small band of Sauchie Juniors enthusiasts who are providing the atmosphere for Saturday's match.

After a longer than hoped for – and untimely – winter break, Sauchie returned roughly where they left off, in winning form. Last weekend they blew Fauldhouse away, scoring five without response. That followed a 1-0 victory over Broxburn.

On Saturday, they were aiming to make it three in a row and maintain their 100 per cent record with a visit from Blackburn United.

Fraser Duncan named a strong side with Chic Bell in goal behind a back four of Ross Hutchison, Scott Davidson, Darren Carroll and Connor Willaghan. A midfield featuring Jack Docherty, Brian Morgan, Danny Smith and David McCaughie provided support for a front two of Ross Kavanagh and Sam Davidson.

From the opening minute Sauchie were the side on top. They should have been ahead from their first corner. Smith's delivery was superb and Carroll's header went just wide of the post.

A main factor in Sauchie's success so far this season is the strength on both ends of the park. While Kavanagh has been banging in goals for fun, the defenders are more than adapt at dealing with any danger. Whether it's Willaghan tracking back to block a corner, Scott Davidson's excellent clearing headers or Carroll and Hutchison's quality on the ball, Blackburn found their attempted attacks swiftly dealt with.

On one early occasion that Blackburn had a sniff, a good shot at goal was stopped by Bell with ease.

It would take less than half an hour for Sauchie to take the lead. Scott Davidson's terrific through ball found Kavanagh's run and running from the defender's blind side he was brought down in the box. Smith stepped up to take the spot kick and saw his effort hit the back of the net despite the keeper getting a hand to it.

The home side should have doubled their lead through Docherty. Morgan cut back onto his left foot and scooped a great pass to the back post. Docherty had gambled and connected well with the ball but his effort went wide of the post.

Another through ball, this time from McCaughie, once again found Kavanagh's run. The striker maybe took the ball a yard too wide but still managed to get a shot away which was saved.

Minutes later Sauchie increased their tally and it was identical to the first. Once again a through ball found Kavanagh and he was brought down once again. Smith again took the penalty and this time he smashed the ball into the back of the net. The keeper got a glove on his first penalty. He had no chance with the second.

Half time saw Duncan make some changes as former Alloa Athletic youngster Lucas Williamson entered the pitch, as did Danny Connor.

Connor almost had an immediate impact. Docherty's long ball was won by Kavanagh who waited and waited before lifting the ball over everyone to Connor at the back post.

Struggling to get the ball out of his feet, he managed to eventually lay it off to Morgan who managed to get a shot away that was saved.

Sauchie continued to push for a third with Sam Davidson and Williamson both taking aim. Davidson's effort went wide and Williamson's effort was saved but the pressure was mounting and it seemed increasingly likely a third wasn't far away.

Debutant Jay McInally then took McCaughie's place and didn't have to wait long for his first Sauchie goal. Williamson's cross found Kavangh and his touch – whether deliberate or not – fell into McInally's path and from five yards out he couldn't miss.

Three goals to the good and in complete control of the match, Sauchie almost gave their opponents a lifeline through their own complacency. Scott Davidson's casual approach gave Blackburn a chance at goal. Thankfully Bell was there to make a save.

In the end the hosts were able to maintain their three goal lead and pick up three points. It means Sauchie have now played three matches in 2023, scoring nine and conceding none.

Perhaps more importantly was a result elsewhere in the East of Scotland Premier Division.

Linlithgow Rose, the league leaders by some distance, were defeated by Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale. They now sit 13 points ahead of Sauchie. However, the two sides play each other on Saturday and Sauchie also have two games in hand.

Duncan said he thinks they might be too far ahead and wants to make the gap more respectable. Smith says there is still hope.

Sauchie just need to keep taking care of their own business. Whatever is meant to be will be.

What isn't up for debate is the form Sauchie have found this season. That's why you can hear the noise from the fans outside of the ground. That's already a sign of success.

SAUCHIE: Bell, Willaghan, Scott Davidson, Carroll, Hutchison (Williamson), Docherty (Anderson), Morgan, Smith (Connor), McCaughie (McInally), Sam Davidson, Kavanagh (Kelly).