Simpson Park, North Region Second Division, 25/8/19
Islavale Football Club
Founded – 1949
Nickname – The Vale
Honours – North Region League winners: 1970–71, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99
Current Division– North Region Second Division
Random fact – Colin Hendry of being a hun, a stalker and a general lowlife fame played for Islavale previous to starting his professional career at Dundee who signed him from the Keith club
I needed a fairly close game this weekend due to a night oot in Stonehaven being on the cards in the evening. So a wee trip up to Banffshire was the perfect place. Islavale have a tenuous link to my fitba geekdom and was part of the reason I chose Simpson Park for the days fitba. When I went to Keith at the start of my “groundhopping” we were having pints the Ploo after the game at Kynoch Park. Islavale came in for their post match soup and sandwiches and generously offered some to me and the gang. A nice uncalled for gesture and very welcome as it soaked up some of the days beer. The other part of the reason for heading to Keith was because in my Junior playing days I never played there. Despite being in the same league. For some reason it always eluded me
No morning visits anywhere as Wee Man just wanted to try out his new goalie gloves in the back garden. Straight to Simpson Park it was. On entry I paid my four pound (Wee Man was free as always at the Joons) and bought two half time draw tickets but the guy ripped three out by mistake. I was hoping this was an omen for winning it. Turned out it wasn’t though .Ach well
Simpson Park is the reasonably new home of Islavale. After spending their first fifty years playing in Fife Keith they moved to Simpson Park in Keith in 1999. It’s a tidy enough set up. The views could be great but due to the adjacent electricity sub-station the pylons ruin it somewhat. The pitch was in a very good nick. But as the game went I’m sure Islavale could have won on a cow shit filled meadow. An incredibly one sided affair this one, entertaining none the less, due to the amount of goals, the amount of misses and the terrible defending by the away side. It took a while, maybe around twenty to twenty five minutes but once the first went in the floodgates opened and it was three nil by half an hour with a double from the Vales number ten “Beef” who was clearly a decent player. The fourth came before the half.
I learned of a new rule during the match when the Vale keeper passed a goal kick to the left back who was still in the box. As I didnt know of this change I asked the Linesman who informed me that it was a new rule introduced this season. Is it just me or is that absolutely pointless. Why introduce such a meaningless rule. That is to be filed with one man centres. Makes no difference to anything. Why not introduce rules to heavily punish divers or such like. Every season we seem to get one of these daft futile rules.
Second half produced the moment of the game and maybe of the season for me. Islavales fifth was an absolute peach. Hit from the guts of forty yards like a bullet straight into the postage stamp kissing the bar and post on the way in. Take a bow. A truly superb hit. The Vale should have hit double figures but the spurned many a good chance or picked the wrong option rather than the simple square ball was the easier option. The sixth came after some poor defending. Which the linesman was blamed for and was lambasted for as the Hills players thought there was an offside. (For the record, it was clearly on as I was in line). After taking the torrent the Linesman coolly replied to the Hills centre half who was the worst “oi,just accept you are down six nil because your positional sense is atrocious” which immediately shut the big centre half right up. More chances were wasted before that man again “Beef” grabbed his fourth and finished of a decent day at the office for the Keith outfit. But in all honesty it could have been double the score. Sounds mad after a seven nil win but the Vale need to work on their finishing. Wee Man and me got seven goals. Ill never sniff at that
Me 157 Wee Man 30