Posts Tagged ‘Scottish juniors’

Game Fifty-Two – Pollok vs. Irvine Meadow XI

July 5, 2009

Pollok vs. Irvine Meadow XI

Pollok 0 vs. 1 Irvine Meadow XI

Evening Times Cup Winners Cup Final
Thursday 18th June 2009, Kick-Off 7.30pm
Newlandsfield Park, Shawlands

This is my final game of the season, the final game in the Scottish football season and probably the final game of the 2008/09 season anywhere.

The final of the Evening Times Cup Winners Cup, where cup and divisional winners are pitied against each other in the dying embers of the junior season.

I get the bus out to Pollok’s Newlandsfield Park, the ‘neutral’ venue for tonight’s tie. Meadow are apparently okay with it as their main concern was to play on a decent playing surface.

Baners for the Evening Times are dotted about outside the ground. I notice also that the local Oddbins, in anticipation of a win for Pollok, has Bolinger on at £31.99 a bottle, if you buy six.

I head into the Pollok FC Social Club as I’ve arranged to meet up with Dave from Dave’s Football Travels. This is also Dave’s final match of the season. However, where this is my 52nd game of the season, this will be Dave’s 105th.

When we come out of the club, about five minutes before kick-off, we find that there is quite a big queue (for junior football) waiting to get in. The queues are so big that the kick-off is delayed by ten minutes until 7.40pm.

The game starts off quite well with both teams going at each other. It soon becomes obvious however that Pollok cannot, for the life of them, get a shot on target.

In the 26th minute McGinty cuts a ball back across Pollok’s penalty box, it’s headed on for Chris Robertson to a shot that beats his namesake Kris in the Pollok goal. It’s a shock for Pollok, as they had much of the play up until now.

There’s very little of note to report after that. The rain comes donw heavily at half-time forcing the majority of fans on the opening terracing to join us under the roof.

Andy McLaren, the one-time Scottish international comes on as a sub for Meadow late on. McLaren hasn’t had his troubles to seek throughout his career and his drug abuse problems have been widely documented. So it was no great surprise to hear some Pollok fans loudly suggesting that he snort the white lines on the pitch as he came on.

Pollok’s Derek Wingate has a great chance to level late on, but when he shoots over the bar the fans know that their chance has gone.

There’s a good natured pitch invasion as Irvine Meadow are presented with the impressive trophy. As we make our way outside we notice that through the dressing room window the Meadow players are dousing each other in champagne. A group of Meadow fans are quickly hanging in the window joining in the celebrations.

And with that the 2008/09 season is over. Never mind only three weeks until the new season starts.

You can read other reports of the game at Dave’s Football Travels, The Mighty Meadow blog and Nomadic Fitba.

Irvine Meadow fans

Pollok: K. Robertson, Carruth, Dillon (Halliday 81), Wingate, Walker, McLay, MacKay (Harrison 73), Turnbull, Dingwall, Essler, Cruickshank. Subs not used: Newall, Morgan, MacKillop

Irvine Meadow: Wardrope, Ryan, Swift, McGowan, C. Robertson, Crilly, Strain (Docherty 10 (McLaren 76)), Turner, Barr, McGinty (Hyslop 72), Hamilton. Subs not used: McBride, McLaughlin

Scorer: C. Robertson (26)

Attendance: 1,153

Referee: Des Roache


Game Fifty-One – Arthurlie vs. Irvine Meadow XI

July 5, 2009

Arthurlie vs. Irvine Meadow

Arthurlie 2 vs. 5 Irvine Meadow XI

Evening Times Cup Winners’ Cup
Tuesday 9th June 2009, Kick-Off 7.30pm
Dunterlie Park, Barrhead

The junior season is still ongoing for a week or two yet, so just enough time to cram a couple more games in.

This is my second trip to Dunterlie Park this season. I saw the local derby against Neilston back in January.

The first thing that hits me when I alight at Barrhead train station is the smell. There’s a really strong, horrible smell wafting over the place. I didn’t notice it last time I was here, but it’s certainly prevelant today. I believe it may be farmland nearby, but I’ve had a search online to see what it is exactly, but to no avail. If anyone knows, please enlighten me in the comments.

There’s a small crowd queing up to get in when I arrive at the ground. The first place I head for when I get in is the toilet. Dunterlie Park still has the kind of toilet that all grounds had decades ago. It’s not so much a toilet as a wee wall hidden away behind a slightly bigger wall. The elderly gentleman who stands next to me obviously had a long trip on the bus from Irvine. He provides me with a commentary to his bodily functions. “Oooh, aaah, oh good arse. Oooh, ooh, what a relief, aaaaaahhhh….”

This weather this evening is quite pleasant. The last time I was here it was howling wind and pouring rain.

I notice that many people are coming awy from the pie stall with plates of pie and peas. I don’t try it myself, but I’ll give it a go next time I’m here.

A rare thing happens before kick-off. The linesman actually finds a fault with the goal-net. A portion is loose and leaves a big gap. It’s repaired with very little fuss however and the start of the match isn’t held up for long.
The linesman checks the net

In the starting line-up for Arthurlie tonight, wearing number 15, is the Iranian Pedram Ardalany. Signed in February this year after being released by Partick Thistle, Ardalany came to Britain as a 15-year old asylum seeker in 2004, without being able to speak a word of English.

He began his footballing career with Saipa Karaj FC, working his way through various youth teams, until the political situation in Iran forced him and his father to flee the country.

After a journey through Turkey, Greece, Italy and Holland he finally ended up in Sighthill.

He was spotted playing for Greenview in the Strathclyde Evangelical Churches Football League. Apparently Celtic wanted to sign him, but his lack of a work permit at the time precluded him joining them. When the Home Office gave him leave to remain he was by that time training with Thistle and chose to sign for them.

After being released by Thistle in January Arthurlie gave him a contract until the end of the season.

Irivne Meadow take the lead in 13 minutes when confusion in the Arthurlie defence allows Zander Ryan to get a shot in that keeper Peter Shaw only blocks with his foot. Richie Barr follows up to sidefoot the ball into the net.

It’s two-nil on the half-hour when a foul down the right hand side of the pitch results in a free-kick being fired into the box for David Hamilton to neatly head home.

The Arthurlie fans behind me are outraged at the refereeing decisions and give the linesman nearest them absolute pelters.

Five minutes later Emilio Jaconelli bags a goal when he knocks the ball in from close range after the keeper has blocked a shot.

At this point it was looking like it was all over for Arthurlie, but with six minutes remaining in the half Stephen Anderson shot home through a ruck of players to make the score 3-1.

He’s played through just two minutes later when John McLay hits a defence splitting pass. He keeps his cool and drills the ball in to bring Arthurlie back in it at 3-2. It’s now looking like it might be one of the best games of the season.

Arthurlie pile forward in search of an equaliser and Ardalany had a great chance, but fired the ball over the bar.

At half-time though the home support are quite happy with the scoreline.

I have a wander around the ground during the interval and can’t help but notice that there’s several big drinking sessions on the go. A group of youngsters and another group of older lads have full cargoes on the go. There’s MD 20/20, Buckfast, Miller and Scrumpy Jack all being put away.

At the start of the second-half Arthurlie’s chance of a come back is pretty much extinguished when centre-forward George Wallace receives a staright red card for a studs up challenge on Mark Crilly. There’s no complaints from the ‘Lie fans behind me, and had it being even slightly dubious I’d have heard them.

That smell still hangs over the ground.

Some old guys return, having nipped to the pub at half-time. Some other old guys wind them up that they’ve missed a couple of goals. Hilarity ensuses when they discover that they haven’t in fact missed any second-half goals, just a red card.

It’s 4-2 Meadda when a 20 yard screamer from Barr flies into the net with 12 minutes remaining. Thre minutes later he nabs his hat-trick, when he meets a long diagonal ball into the penalty box on the volley and crashes an unstoppable shot into the goal.

The Arthurlie fans finish the game off by giving the linesman a bit more abuse.

Arthurlie: Shaw, Lundie, Sharp, McKeown, Higgins, McLay, Ardalany, Johnston, Wallace, Malcolm, Anderson

Scorer: Anderson (39, 41)

Irvine Meadow: Wardrope, Ryan, Swift, McGowan, Robertson, Crilly (Docherty), Strain, Turner, Barr (McLaren), Jaconelli (Boyle), Hamilton. Subs Not Used: McGinty, Hislop

Scorers: Barr (13, 78, 81), Hamilton (30), Jaconelli (35)

Game Thirty-One – Petershill vs. Clydebank

March 19, 2009

Petershill vs. Clydebank

Petershill 1 vs. 2 Clydebank

Scottish Junior Cup Quarter-Final
Saturday 14th March 2009, Kick-Off 2.30pm
Petershill Park, Springburn

I’m becoming something of a regular at Petershill Park, as this is my fourth visit there this season. The first to see Petershill though.

This match stood out when I looked through the fixtures a week ago. As a Clydebank supporter I knew that this is a pretty big match for them.

With William Hills Clydebank are 7-2 to win the match and reach the last four for the first time since they became a junior team in 2002. Petershill are 1/3 to win the tie. For the cup itself The Peasy are quoted at 7-2 with Bankies 20-1 outsiders. So not many folk are giving the away team much of a chance today.

The Clydebank fans have travelled in numbers. I think it’s fair to say the away support outnumber the home fans.

There is a strong wind blowing. The corner flags are having trouble standing upright. Being Astrograss they aren’t hammered into the ground. A Petershill official wants to use cones in their place, but the referee is hearing none of it. Some young boys are enlisted to pick the flags up whenever they fall down.

Clydebank come at Petershill from the first whistle. They have an excellent chance in the 3rd minute, but the Peasy keeper makes a good save.

What appears to be a Clydebank Boys Team (they’re all wearing tracksuits) spend much of the first half indulging in high-pitched singing, chasing each other around and climbing over the barriers to get onto the pitchside.

In the 14th minute Clydebank win a corner on the left. Mark Hailstones takes it. The wind helps the ball curl into the goalmouth and past the keeper’s despairing dive to drop straight into the net. Bankies take a shock lead.

“It’s the fucking wind that scored that,” mumbles one Petershill fan beside me. There’s no denying that the wind played a major part in the goal. Before the match I watched Clydebank’s gaffer Budgie McGhie put his corner kick takers at either side through their paces and it’s paid off handsomely.

Nineteen minutes later Clydebank’s new signing Chris Mackie finds himself in a packed penalty area. He swings his boot at the ball and appears to connect poorly. The ball, however, rises and lands in the top corner of Petershill’s net. The Peasy players are stunned. They’re now two down. Mackie leads his team-mates in a celebratory charge up the pitch to the Clydebank dugout.

Chris Mackie off on his celebration

The Clydebank Boys Team are now shouting abuse at a resident of a nearby house.

Late on in the first half Stefan Gonet in the Bankies goal makes a great save to stop Petershill getting back into it.

In the second half the ball is barely out of Clydebank’s half. Gonet makes several good saves to keep the scoreline intact.

Petershill put everything they have into finding a way back into this match, but when another shot goes astray you can tell it’s not going to be their day as several players cry out in frustration.

They have so many attacks it’s almost inevitable that they’re going to score. In the 90th minute the ball falls to Stevie Dallas, a Clydebank man in his testimonial season at Petershill. Dallas hammers it and Gonet can only watch as it flies into the net.

The twenty yard screamer is met by silence. It’s too late for Petershill to get an equaliser now, surely. But they push forward once more and gain a corner. Their keeper comes up to join in the attack, the first time I’ve seen that this season. But they can’t find that one goal they need.

Clydebank have provided the shock of the round and they now find themselves in the Scottish Junior Cup semi-finals.

As the final whistle sounds the Clydebank fans spill onto the pitch. It seems daft not to join them so I follow on as the support surround Gonet who takes their acclaim.

Bankies now face a two-leg semi-final against either Pollok, Kirkintilloch Rob Roy or the winners of the drawn Arthulie-Auchinleck Talbot tie.

This is the match report on the Clydebank website.

Clydebank supporter John Dunbar films all Clydebank’s games and then very quickly edits them into highlights. It’s thanks to him that the goals and brief highlights are down at the bottom of this post. You can find more of his footage from other Clydebank games on his website.

Stefan Gonet takes the fans' acclaim

Petershill: Parry, Wild (McCabe 77), McMenamin, Joyce, Coulter, McPhee (Lindsay 75), Murray (McGowan 60), Dallas, McCarroll, Keenan

Scorer: Dallas (90)

Clydebank: Gonet, Soutar, Lynn, Rushford, McInnes, A. Jack, Smith, Anderson (McIntrye 84), Mackie (Selkirk 74), Hobbs (Cunningham 58), Hailstones

Scorers: Hailstones (14), Mackie (33)

Referee: Derek Nicholls (Motherwell)

Assistants: David Cockburn, Peter Hefford

Game Twenty Four – St Anthony’s vs. Yoker Athletic

February 22, 2009

St Anthony's vs. Yoker Athletic

St Anthony’s 0 vs. 0 Yoker Athletic

Central District First Division
Saturday 14th February 2009, Kick-Off 2pm
McKenna Park, Cardonald

This is the second time this season I’ve seen Yoker play, having gone along to their derby with Clydebank back in August.

St Anthony’s McKenna Park ground is only about five minutes walk away from Cardonald train station, which is in turn less than ten minutes away from Glasgow Central.

When I arrive at the the ground I’m one of the first there. There’s little to the ground itself. No real terracing to explore, but the pitch looks in good condition.

There is a nice little virtual tour of the pitch and the changing areas at this link.

This Wikipedia article suggests that Celtic actually began playing in green and white hoops after being inspired to do so by St Anthony’s in 1903.

I queue up at the pie stall just before kick-off. I’m quickly joined by three of the St Ant’s subs. To be fair to them they forgo the pies and only buy soup.

McKenna Park is parallel to the M8 motorway. The match is soundtracked by the constant ‘woosh’ of traffic flying past. The building where the Daily Record and Sunday Mail are printed also overlooks the pitch.

St Anthony's vs. Yoker Athletic

The first action of the match comes in fifteen minutes when Yoker look to have scored. A low shot from John-Paul Grant beats the keeper, hits the inside of the post and looks to (although I didn’t have the best angle) have crossed the line. The referee waves play on. The Yoker players go nuts, while the home side keep quiet.

“It’s over by a yard!” one of the Yoker players shouts.

“A fucking mile ref,” another exaggerates.

The ref is not having it. It’s no goal.

“Not one of them [St Ant’s players] said ‘Good decision’,” another Yoker man points out.

Yoker’s local paper, The Clydebank Post, later has the headline ‘Ref’s blunder costs Yoker’. Their article goes on to say “…with photos later proving the ball had crossed the line.” The photograph that accompanies that article is not of the ball crossing the line, but one of Grant, which wasn’t even taken at this match. So we’re no clearer.

Yoker go close another couple of times before the interval, but the first half finishes without any further incident.

In the juniors it doesn’t seem to be uncommon for some of the guys standing in the crowd to be among the backroom staff, or at least such regular supporters that the players and management don’t mind them hanging about with them. This seems to be the case with the Yoker fan next to me who returns from the clubhouse after the interval to comment to his pal, “The ref asked, ‘Was the ball over the line?’ He didnae see it!”

The first excitement of the second period is when Yoker’s keeper Kenny Meechan is caught on the knee by a St Ant’s forward as he goes up to catch the ball. “Whit did you dae that fur?” he shouts as he falls to the ground. “Naewhere near it ya cunt.”

Neither side makes many chances in the second half as the match becomes rather turgid.

A Yoker fan frequently berates the ref for giving free-kicks and throw-ins to St Ant’s. “Ho ref!” he shouts, “Which side are you on?”

“Green and white,” St Ant’s number 2 quips as he runs past.

With an hour gone the home side hit the crossbar, but it’s looking very much like a no score draw. Fifteen minutes remaining and Yoker get a free-kick just outside the box. O’Hara lines it up and curls it nicely into the keeper’s top right hand corner. It’s disallowed as the referee indicates that he hadn’t blown his whistle for the kick to be taken.

St Ant’s have a little bit of pressure in the last few minutes, but there’s no way through to goal and the match finishes a nil-nil draw.

Yoker attack

Yoker: Meechan, Dempsey, Bissland (Vickers), Cameron (O’Hara), Schoneville, Jordan, Carson, Grant, Gallagher, Marshall, Malone (Williams) Subs not used: Quigley, Lalli

After a rough headcount about 60.

Game Fourteen – Pollok vs. Auchinleck Talbot

November 12, 2008

Pollok Clear an Auchinleck Attack

Pollok 2 vs. 0 Auchinleck Talbot

Stagecoach West of Scotland League Premier Division
Saturday 8th November 2008, Kick-Off 2pm
Newlandsfield, Glasgow

Other commitments have prevented me from attending a match for five weeks and if I’m honest I’m up against it now to make 50 matches by the end of the season. I’ll just have to cram them in over the winter months.

Today’s game looked like it might be a tasty encounter between two of junior football’s best sides. Before the match I went along to the Mitchell Library. Here there is an exhibition highlighting Pollok’s centenary. Although ‘exhibition’ makes it sound slightly grand, it was really a display case with a handful of items in.

These items included a club ledger from (I think) the 1948/49 season, 3 match programmes from Pollok’s 3 Scottish Junior Cup wins, 2 medals – the 2007/08 Junior Premier League and the 2007/08 Evening Times Cup Winners’ Cup winners medal. There was also a hat, scarf and T-shirt in addition to some photographs of the side through the years.

Newlandsfield is pretty easy to find. Get the train from Glasgow Central to Pollokshaws East and the ground is viewable from the station. It’s right around the corner from the exit. The doors don’t open until about half an hour before kick-off, and although there’s only a handful of people waiting around at that point there’s a decent attendance once kick-off arrives.

Kids on the Pitch at Half-Time

The game starts in quite an attacking style with Auchinleck going close after Pollok keeper Kris Robertson came for a long ball and missed it. His defender put in a terrific goal-line clearance to keep the score at 0-0.

Robertson might be the quietest goalkeeper I’ve seen so far this season. He contributed to a few defensive muddles due to his lack of communication with his defence. So much so that one of his team-mates berated him for his lack of vocals. His distribution was also quite poor, continually launching long balls up the field to no one. At one point both keepers kicked the ball to each other three times in sucession.

As I stood behind the Pollok goal for a period in that first half I could hear two old boys beside me, in the midst of a conversation. They were discussing Harry a chap who was absent from today’s match.

“You wurnae speaking to me at that match. You were too busy talking to Harry.”

“I was just wanting him to be happy so he’ll keep coming to the games.”

“He’ll only come if I give him a lift.”

“Aye, that’s good of you giving him a lift.”

“Did you get another prgramme for him the day?”

“Aye, I got another programme for him.”

“That’s four you must have for him by now.”

It was like some junior football based version of Waiting For Godot.

Auchinleck can’t capitalise on the home side’s defensive misgivings and Pollok take the lead in the 21st minute when Stevie Miller hits a low shot through a packed penalty area.

Some of the junior grounds have new toilets, some like here, have old school outside brick wallks. Peeing outside, you cannae beat it. While I was there two Auchinleck fans were having a heated discussion about the facilities. The elder of the two seemed outraged by having to pee out in the open, while his youngre counterpart was quite happy.

“At least they’ve got a pish-hoose! It’s better than that thing we’ve got.”

When the half-time whistle sounds scores of kids run onto the pitch to start their own games. There is at least 20 of them running about and a seven-a-side game is in progress. On the terracing a group of Pollok fans have a carry-out well on the go.

Andy Essler Celebrates

The second half starts off with Auchinleck trying hard to get an equaliser. Kris Robertson in the Pollok goal makes and outstanding save to stop a close range shot and turn it past the post. This turns out to be Talbot’s best chance of the match.

A few minutes later Pollok make it 2-0. After a corner on the right a shot looks to be missing everyone and going wide of the post. Until, that is, Andy Essler slides in a foot out from the back post and slides the ball in between woodwork and keeper.

You’d think that with over 20 years in the game, playing with sides such as Queen of the South, Stirling Albion and Dumbarton, 41 year old Stevie Mallan would have experience enough not to get up to some off-the-ball violence. You’d be wrong. He received a straight red card and Talbot kissed goodbye to any chance of getting back into the match.

After that incident a few more tasty challenges went in from both sides, but there were no further incidents as Pollok ran out deserved winners.

The Pollok website has several very good pictures from the game here. The Auchinleck Talbot website similarly omits a report of the game but again has some good photographs on the main page.

Pollok: Robertson, Carruth, Cruickshank, McClay, Wingate, Miller, Hardie, McGeown (Dillon 52), Dingwall, Turnbull (Downs 60), Essler (Newall 79)

Auchinleck Talbot: Strain, Latta, McVey, Pettigrew, Robb, Davidson, White (McIlroy 71), Slavin, Doolan (McKelvie 86), Mallan, Young (Phillip 79)

Sent Off: Mallan (63) for bammery

Scorers: Miller (21), Essler (52)

Referee: Derek Nicholls (Category 2)

Attendance: 702