Guthrie Park, Friendly, 22/5/21
Entrance- N/A (Club unsure of rules in regards to admittance)
Attendance – 34 committee, parents and sneaky tree dodgers like me (unofficially)
Pie – N/A
Pint – £3.60 (Heverlee, The Stag, close to Guthrie Park)
Forfar United Junior Football Club
Founded – 2020
Nickname – N/A
Honours – None
Random Fact – The club was formed after a merger of old Junior team Forfar Albion and amateur side Lowson United.
Not where I expected to be. Guthrie Park was a third choice venue in all honesty. Scourie v Loch Ness was numero uno destination for the weekend but with the biblical rain on Friday I did not want to head off and find out it was off. Next idea was WOSFL new boys St Peters and I headed that way. After stopping for fuel I checked time of arrival which had leapt 40 minutes meaning I would have missed 20 minutes. A quick check of fixtures sent me in the direction of the birthplace of the great Ronald Belford “Bon” Scott.
It may not have been first choice but I cannot complain. The sun was out, the pitch was immaculate and I was let in when I probably shouldn’t have been by the friendly United committee, who instructed me to stay near the trees as the Association had not clarified the rules.
After a swift pint at the Stag back in the town centre, I was in the ground dodging in the trees as instructed for kick off. What a start. I wait five months for a game and I get treated to a goal after 23 seconds. A comedy of errors it was too. Albion looked like a deer in the headlights and shaky from the whistle, some nervous touches and passes lead to a horror back pass which the keeper could only attempt to header. With no length on his clearance the ball was rapidly dispatched by Crichton into a largely unguarded net. The pressure was to continue and the match was literally men against boys for the opening 20 minutes. Chances came and went with United’s number 7 (Starkey) causing all kinds of problems but the score remained at just the single goal. Then entirely against the run of play the 19’s took advantage of some pretty poor decision making in the Juniors midfield and back line leaving the young striker (Number 11) to hit a precision effort across the goal well out of reach of Shaw in the United goal. A great finish but an avoidable goal none the less. The game trajectory did not really change and the Juniors continued to control and create. The second came from a set piece, the initial shot from Crighton was parried by the 19’s keeper and danger man Starkey was there to prod home the rebound as the defence stood and watched flat footed. A third was to come before the half when Starkey was again on hand for an easy finish from close range.
Half time came and I switched pitch sides just in time hear the 19’s manager team talk. Abysmal would be a way to describe it, full of “shut your puss”, “just fuck off”, “fucking listen to me” and other gobshite like approaches to management. A very poor show and in my eyes was detrimental to the rest of the game as the young lads didn’t turn up for the second half. To be fair the game didn’t really turn up for the second half as the action seen in the first half had pretty much petered out entirely. United did not have much to do to ensure the victory a few chances were made but match sharpness prevented any additions to the score. Between that and a few decent pieces of goalkeeping from the Albion number and a few poor misses, including one off the line, this could have been a massacre on another day. As mentioned earlier Starkey seems a quality player but other goalscorer Crichton (“Kierzo” to his pals) was also quality and put in a shift throughout covering a significant amount of grass.
FT – 3-1
On the ground, Guthrie Park is a great setting. Situated a few hundred yards from the town centre it is set in a wood which surrounds approximately three quarters of the pitch. The club house sits in an opening where the local houses(mansions really) on the hill in behind could take in a game no problem. The wooded area seems elevated an in some places looks like it used to be a terrace(which it wasn’t) This plus the distance from goal to “terrace”it leads to Guthrie Park creating a Cathkin Park vibe to it. It really is a quality setting for a ground. Yes it was third choice, yes the game wasn’t a classic and yes it was a meaningless friendly but I am glad I have manged to tick off the quality Guthrie Park. A good place to announce FITBA IS BACK.
Me – 189