South of Scotland League, St Marys Park, 23/10/19
Saint Cuthbert Wanderers Football Club
Nickname – The Saints
Honours – South of Scotland League – 1927–28, 1928–29, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1936–37, 1954–55, 1956–57, 1958–59, 1970–71, 1973–74, 1980–81, 1995–96, 2015-16. South of Scotland Qualifying Cup– 1971-72
Random Fact – The club are named after Saint Cuthbert of Lindesfarne who is the Patron Saint of Kirkcudbright. The ground is named after the church found on the Holy Island. Lindesfarne being where we were sightseeing twenty four hours prior to our visit. Quite the random coincidence.
Due to being in Sunderland the night before and then driving the Hadrians Wall tourist route during the day I thought it would be rude not to take advantage of the nights South of Scotland fixtures due to the fact it is one of the only leagues I havent watched a game in. The choice was Mid Annandale v Newton Stewart in Lockerbie, Threave Rovers v Abbey Vale in Castle Douglas, Dumfries YMCA v Creetown or the trip to Kirkcudbright. For some reason the bright lights of St Marys was the most appealing
Kirkcudbright is somewhere I have never been. To be honest there is not much to see or do there and there is no real purpose to visit the Dumfries and Galloway town. Im glad we spent as long as we did toddling along Hadrians wall or we would have been stuck in the middle of nowhere trying to pass time prior to kick off. But this isnt me trying to discredit the town. It is a charming wee place stuck in a timewarp where old school morals and practices (see the hotels especially) are still followed. A word of advice, dont head there for food prior to five in the evening unless you want a chipper which is what we had to settle for. But its a lovely wee town and its had the Fitbawbag walking treatment and fitba visit
The weather leading up to this was deteriorating quickly. The black clouds were blowing in and the wind was getting up. It was clear this would be a wet one
On arrival at St Marys I went for the obligatory coffee. I was very surprised to find that the boy in the coffee shop was wearing an Aberdeen fleece. Not something I would expect to find the guts of two hundred and fifty miles away. Good on the lad. Turns out the allegiance had been passed down from his old boy. Good on Dad too in that case
St Marys is a tidy set up despite the plastic pitch. New changing room block complete with built in tea room. There is also a sheltered area between the dug outs. There is a new enclosure built on the opposite wing which is tidy enough also. A decent wee ground i have to say
Once in our vantage point next to the home dugout it was clear the team shooting left to right had to rack up a decent score first half due to the mini gale blowing end to end. The hosts were to be this team and set about the task percectly by taking the lead in the first minute when the Saints right winger cut in a whipped a precisioned curling effort across the goal where the keeper had no chance of reaching it. One became two when after the left winger failed to get his cross in numerous times(seriously infururiating the home bench) he ended up being swiped to the deck. The wide man brushed himself off and finally got his cross in via the freekick and laid it on a plate for a tap in from a couple of yards. From there St Cuthberts went on to spurn three decent chances which was to come back and bite them on the arse. They were then to give away a crazy penalty when the keeper fouled the Rovers striker who was running away from goal. Leading to deficit being halved going into the break.
It didnt take long for the Dumfries side to take advantage of the condition when they equalised through a fantastic forty five yard effort. Wind assisted absolutley yes and it but Newlands still had to direct the effort from range and he did so with class. This howitzer seemed to get faster and faster and eventually turned into a blur before hitting the net .Heston were then reduced to ten men with half an hour to go for a second yellow offence. This didnt stop them swinging the score from two down to three two up. Granted the keeper had a hand to play in this, or two poor hands as he pretty much chucked the ball in. Surely an OG and an embarrassing one for the Saints number one. Despite Heston trying to award it to Newlands. With the game dying out Wee Man decided he was wanting a pee. As soon as the door shut in the bathroom the equalising cheer went up. Milligan the scorer. All I know is it was deserved as a draw was a fair result after a game of two halves which was expected due to the climate on the night. A random place to find ourselves but we were served up quite an entertaining night of football.
The fact I have now seen a South of Scotland league match means I have only to see a North Caledonian League game and I have been to a game in every league in every association from juniors up to Premiership
Me 164, Wee Man 38