Another Saturday and another train journey to Scotland! This week it is for yet another cup competition, the CIS Insurance cup clash between Dunfermline Athletic and Arbroath. The two teams met last weekend in the Alba cup and Dunfermline secured a 1-0 win which, according to a supporter I chatted to, was a bloody awful match. Hopefully today's game would prove more exciting.

After sampling a few beers in the Commercial Inn in town it was a short-ish walk up to East End Park. The ground is a neat and tidy affair but pretty bland in terms of how it looks. Today there was only one stand open, as a big crowd was not expected, and everyone congregated in the old Main Stand.

There was time before taking my seat to nip into the 'legends bar' situated within the Main Stand and have another beverage, whilst supping my pint, as if by magic, a Dunfermline legend did appear, Jim Leishman walking around saying hello to as many people as he could.

The first half was not the greatest in terms of football and the possession was dominated by The Pars but it was Arbroath who took the lead on 12 minutes Paul Sheerin heading home. It wasn't long before Dunfermline were level, Andy Kirk equalising with a header two minutes later. The home team had all the play but Arbroath carved out the best scoring opportunites and should have gone in at the interval in the lead, but it wasn't to be and those missed chances would come back and haunt The Red Lichties.

The second half was a different story as Dunfermline finally made their dominance count. It did take a long time to crack this tough nut as Arbroath defended solidly, rode their luck at times and generally frustrated their hosts. It was a bit of a fluke that eventually did them when Arbroath keeper Darren Hill did a "Robert Green" and spilled an easy shot which Paul Willis then scuffed but it had sufficient power to dribble over the line.

The floodgates were now open. Andy Kirk added his second two minutes later and Steven McDougall made it four on 82 minutes. Gavin Swankie reduced the deficit for Arbroath on 88 minutes but the Pars went nap in stoppage time when a cross was deflected into his own net by Stuart Malcolm.

Today's trip takes me into single figures, as regards to completing the Scottish League grounds so roll on the next visit north in September!!

view of the East End Park floodlights (from the park en-route from station)

the final resting place for crap footballers?

Sheerin gives The Red Lichties a shock lead

Saturday 31st July 2010
Scottish League Cup 1st Round
Dunfermline Athletic 5-2 Arbroath
Attendance: 1,238


Hello all and welcome back for a brand new season and more inane ramblings about my footballing travels. After what seems a mightily short close season, we are off and running again as competitive football returns in all its glory and lets be honest, it will be good to watch some decent football after the steaming pile of poo that was the world cup!

This is not actually my first competitive game of the season, that was in Dublin last weekend with a visit to University College Dublin but as it fell in amongst my pre-season travels I have included it as part of my pre-season blog (click here).

So, on to today and I found myself heading north of the border yet again, this time on a train bound for Glasgow and an Alba cup derby clash between Partick Thistle and Clyde. Partick play at Firhill, which is in the salubrious area of Glasgow called Maryhill. This is actually the closest professional ground to the city centre and is just a mere 45 minute stroll from Central Station. Admittedly my walk may have been hampered by the fact that I chose to seek out some real ale serving pubs en route, so I was a wee bit tipsy as i walked up the hill to the ground! One of the GBG gems I paid a visit to today was the superb Bon Accord.

Firhill, as it stands, is a three sided ground with an old fashioned Main Stand ie woooden and lots of post, though this wasn't open today. Two modern new stands, the Jackie Husband stand, where I sat today, and the North stand, which housed the away fans. Behind the other goal there is the old demolished terrace which is so overgrown in fact its now a grass bank. There are/were plans to redevelop this into flats and/or car parking but when this will happen is anyones guess.

The game itself had enough to maintain interest, but as with most early season clashes it never exactly set the pulses racing. The Jags took the lead after 12 minutes when Liam Buchanan's mis-hit shot shot somehow found
its way past John Hutchison in the Clyde goal. This was somewhat against the run of early play but to their credit the Bully Wee kept going, Marc McCusker being particularly impressive, and it was a foul on him which led to a free kick on 31 minutes which Adam Strachan blasted home.

It was a different story in the second half as Thistle took control of the game and they eventually got their winning goal after 71 minutes when Ryan McBeth fired home. A lack of poor finishing meant they only added this one goal when in reality they should have been out of sight. Clyde did come close to an equaliser in the dying moments but Partick weren't to be denied and they will now go on to face Berwick Rangers in the next round.

North Stand

Jackie Husband stand

Disused terrace, now overgrown

Main Stand

 Saturday 24th July 2010
Alba Cup 1st Round
Partick Thistle 2-1 Clyde
Attendance: 1,759

PRE-SEASON 2010 (part two)


Lots of groundhoppers frown upon the pre-season friendly. I personally do not, especially when one is hundreds of miles away from home...

Monday 12th July
Pre-season Friendly
Rothienorman Park

ROTHIE ROVERS 2-6 Deveronvale
Att: 80 (h/c)

Rothie Rovers: Ross Mackie (3) Benn Riddell (87)
Deveronvale: Michael Lombard (10) Gary McGowan (12, 35 & 61) Graeme Watt (17 & 49)

Tuesday 13th July
Pre-season Friendly
New Bayview Stadium

EAST FIFE 4-1 Dunfermline Athletic
Att: 400 (est)

East Fife: Steven Hislop (15) Bobby Linn (34 & 59) Paul Tansey (41)
Dunfermline Athletic: Callum Woods (68)

Wednesday 14th July
Pre-season Friendly
Kynoch Park

KEITH 2-5 Elgin City
Att: 85 (h/c)

Keith: Stuart Walker (17 & 78)
Elgin City: Craig Gunn (8 & 15) Craig Frizzell (33 & 56) Bryan Cameron (60)

Friday 16th July
Irish Premier League
Belfield Bowl
Att: 250 (est)

UCD: Ciaran Kilduff (51, 53 & 71) Greg Bolger (76)

Saturday 17th July
Michael Halliday Testimonial Match
The Oval
GLENTORAN 1-1 Livingston
Att: 450 (est)

Glentoran: Andy Waterworth (28)
Livingston: Robbie Winters (14)