Highland League, Canal Park, 31/1/20
Clachnacuddin Football Club
Founded – 1885
Nicknames – The Lillywhites, Clach
Honours – Highland League-1894–95, 1896–97, 1897–98, 1900–01, 1902–03, 1903–04, 1904–05, 1905–06, 1907–08, 1911–12, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1938–39, 1947–48, 1974–75, 2003–04, Highland League Cup-1947–48, 1950–51, 1981–82, 2003–04, 2013–14, North of Scotland Cup-1894–95, 1895–96, 1897–98, 1899–1900, 1902–03, 1903–04, 1905–06, 1906–07, 1919–20, 1920–21, 1922–23, 1937–38, 1939–40, 1946–47, 1947–48, 1948–49, 1949–50, 1953–54, 1964–65, 1979–80, 1992–93, 2001–02, Qualifying Cup-1934–35, 1938–39, 1947–48, 1973–74, 1974–75, 1998–99
Current Division-Highland League
Random Fact-Clach have the most HFL titles of any functioniong club. They are joint on 18 with the now defunct Caledonian. The closest challengers are Buckie Thistle who are seven behind. But Elgin are on 14,meaning there is an outside possibility of them catching the Lilywhites. But a very remote chance.
I thought I was done and dusted with collecting HFL grounds. I didnt factor in unfortunate events. Just prior to Christmas Clachs Grant Street Park was ravaged by fire. In the interim period Highland Rugby Club have stepped up and allowed the fellow Invernesians a helping hand and allowing them to use their Canal Park facilities. This meaning I get a random rugby ground added to my collection. There was fitba played on it. It counts. It also put two teams I have great respect for against eachother in this scenario of playing out of a egg chasing den. This respect stems from them being the only HFL originals.
I was orinally penciled in for Partick v Ayr tonight. Then I saw the battle of the Highland League originals at a random rugby ground and my Glasgow plans were immediately shelved. How long Clach are to play out of Canal Park is unknown so I had to take the chance, minus Wee Man unfortunately.
Canal Park is a tidy set up. It has a good sized bar area in the upper of the club house. From here you can step outside to watch the game. On a rugby day you could stay inside but because Scottish drinking laws are made to make football fans out as drunken thugs, this meant the blinds were lowered for kick off and drink was off the menu. But you get a good view from the upper “balcony” area. Unfortunatley the heavens good and properly opened for kick off and I along with the other couple of hundred were in for a soaking. Or half a soaking as the rain was coming in directly from my right.(I was still saturated when i got home, after two hours in the car) I didnt venture down to pitch level but its also a possibility if thats better suited for you. With the torrent of rain blasting down I wasnt up for a rake about the ground as it was miserable enough where I was. The pitch is a plastic abomonation, but, it actually lead to two teams trying to play good passing fitba on the deck. Long balls were a rarity throughout the game. A bizarre sight on the pitch was the rugby posts still being up being the fitba goals. It just didnt look right
The game was entertaining. Pretty much end to end. Martin Callum put the hosts in the lead with a long range drive that seemed to take a skip off of the surface and over the outstretched Knights hands. But the lead didnt last even a minute. Forres took centre and immediatley broke forward with Patterson finishing the move from eight yards in the eighth minute. It wasnt long untill the hosts net was bulging again as the Can Cans Fraser rifled an effort across goal into Williamsons bottom left corner. Ten minutes gone and three goals already. The game continued with good passing and both teams probing but there were no more goals until the forty first minute whem Clach were awarded a penalty for handball. The Mechanics defender couldnt get out of the way quick enough. Unfortunate but stonewall as the shot was on target. Michael Finnis stepped up and smashed the kick off the bar and in. 2-2 going into the half
The second half was much and such the same as the first. Good passing, slick moves and a barrel load of rain. It took longer this half for any goals and it was to be the only one of the half and the winner for Forres. James Ross picked up the ball on the eighteen yard line on the right and placed an effort across the goal which nestled in the bottom corner. The rain kept coming but the goals dried up. Before the game was out Clach were reduced to ten when Graham was shown a straight red for what looked to be a booking at the most. This wasnt surprising as the referee had shown throughout the game that he wasnt a fan of any physical contact. A decent game, at a decent venue in horrific conditions. A good way to spend a Friday night. A draw was maybe the fair result but Forres wont complain taking the points back to Mosset Park with them.
I’m away to dry out my pants