Most people who know me will testify, i'm a groundhopper. Most people who know me may testify i'm slightly mad. Either way, I travel around various football grounds of this island and, sometimes, beyond to watch the beautiful game.
Most of my travels encompass the non-league game and, with my inane ramblings, I will attempt to show you where my travels take me and, also, try to show you that there is footballing life beyond the so-called "best league in Europe"
I hope you enjoy reading!
Saturday 19th March 2011 Scottish Football League Division 2 Peterhead 1-2 Ayr United Attendance: 536
It was an early start (an 8am flight to Aberdeen) on my quest to visit one of the most northern Scottish League grounds (not THE most northerly pedants!). If you are travelling by public transport it is quite an awkward ground to get to as the nearest train station is 34 miles away in Aberdeen. That means it’s a bus journey round the houses to reach Peterhead.
However, when the Aberdeen v Rangers game was postponed, due to the Gers being in the league cup final, thus curtailing our Sunday option, it was decided to hire a car (for an alternative Sunday option, see below) which made the task of reaching Peterhead a whole lot easier.
We were in the town by 11am with plenty of time for a full Scottish breakfast, a bit of sightseeing and to get to the Balmoor Stadium. The home of the 'Blue Toon' is a two sided affair with very similar stands on either side of the pitch, quite unremarkable to be honest. The social club is good, though has lots of Rangers memorabila on show, including a lovely (sic) portrait of The Blessed Walter.
The game itself was the usual Scottish fayre, but i'm used to it by now! Peterhead were bottom of the table at the start of play, whilst 'the honest men' of Ayr were third top. On paper it was an away banker and so it proved. Ayr took the lead after 24 minutes when Alan Trouten lashed home the ball in from just outside the box. Michael Moffat (68) slotted home Ayr's second, showing some quick feet after a goalkeeping error.
Peterhead substitute Dennis Wyness was brought down inside the box on 81 minutes and got up to score the resulting penalty. This proved mere consolation as Peterhead, despite their possession, never looked like equalising.
Footnote: This result led to further bad news for Blue Toon Manager Neale Cooper, as he was sacked on the Monday and replaced by ex-Cove Rangers Manager John Sheran.
The Blue Toons athletic no4...there is hope for me yet!
Youth football is never usually on my agenda but, with Dundee Under 19's playing their home games at Glenesk Park, and with little else to do on a Sunday morning, it was an early drive down the A90 to "the city of discovery" for their 'home' game with Airdrie.
Glensek Park is the home to Dundee Violet JFC, who ply their trade in the East Region North Divison which, to be brutally honest, is a league that is nowhere on my radar at this moment in time. Therefore a chance for "tick" for any game at any sort of level is not an opportunity to be sniffed at, hence my appearance along with 36 other people.
The game was very one sided as Airdrie United cruised to a 5-1 victory. The star of the show, in my opinion, was the Airdire No6 who scored two of the goals, had a superb range of passing and had a bit of bite in the tackle. I subsequently found out that his name was Nathan Blockley and he has recently signed professional terms and made his first team debut a couple of weeks ago. It will be interesting to see how his career progresses.
It was then a re-visit to Links Park in later in the afternoon (anything to avoid the old firm) for more Under 19 league action, where hosts Montrose were easily despatched 4-2 by a very impressive Ross County side.
The covered seating at Glenesk Park!
hmm...I wonder where Violet got their dugouts from?!