Tenant Park, North East Scotland League 2, 8/6/21
Cuminestown United Football Club
Founded – 1923
Nickname – N/A
Honours – I am not even going to pretend I know
Random Fact – More ground related than club. Cuminestown once had a Junior team. The reason they don’t now is because the club cut back the trees surrounding the Tenant Park pitch. This pissed off locals and authorities and the club were evicted from the ground. This leading to the club relinquishing their Junior status
Due to work approaching rapidly this will be the fixture to drop the curtain on my 2020/21 season, all measly 13 games of it. But in truth, what a way to do it. This was entertainment at its finest. With this being my last night with Wee Man before a trip away , I asked what he wanted to do, “go to football” was his reply. He doesn’t have to ask me twice. After our New Pitsligo jaunt on Friday I looked up the grounds of teams in the set up. Some wouldn’t fit my criteria but Cuminestown’s Tenant Park was the most intriguing. This due to it being one of Scotland;s forgotten Junior grounds that is still in existence and at twenty minutes up the road it was a fine easy one to tick off.
I am one to harp on about how fitba doesn’t need to be played by multi million pound mercenaries to be good or entertaining, well, this will be me on about this exact point again. What a fantastic game as a neutral. Truly great stuff. Let me also point out……….Welfare fitba
We rocked up in Cuminestown bang on kick off and by the time we took our position it was more than apparent the near by bowling green patrons were going to be subjected to a barage of “fucks” and “cunts”. Tenant Park is only part of the James Tenant Playing Fields which also include Bowling greens and tennis courts. Wee Man was quick to notice that the teams were decked out in “daddies teams colours” with the home side in red and visiting Macduff in yellow and blue horizontals(like a couple of old Parma shirts I have, who are not really my team, a childhood thing maybe but he thinks so). Cuminestown looked the better team in the opening exchanges. They were using the ball better and taking the game to the visitors. This inevitably leading to the deadlock being broken against the run of play by Macduff who broke leading to a decent save from the home keeper who did all he could, but the secondary Macduff man was there to finish into an empty net. The games path didn’t change with the reds still controlling proceedings and they grabbed an equalizer after a neat move led to a cracking 18 yard finish into the keepers right hand corner. A very decent effort. Cuminestown looked well up for it after the leveller went in and continued to look for more then again against the run of play the visitors took the lead. A speculative effort from at least 25 yards got the Cuminestown number one back tracking to pull off a decent save over the bar. He then went on to blot his copy book as the resulting corner went over his head when he failed to get off the ground leaving an easy header to restore Macduff’s lead. This did not last long as two minutes later the hosts were awarded a deserved penalty which was dispatched by the number 9. This starting a flurry, two Cuminestown goals quickly became three when the number ten struck home from eight or nine yards after a rapid team move up the park. Then it was four when the 26 five yards out delicately touched the ball past the hapless Macduff keeper off a monster throw in from almost the half way line. Within three minutes the hosts had gone from 2-1 down to 4-2 up. The rest of the half was disappointing from a Macduff point of view. I am a fan of games being fought hard and rough when need be , but shouts of “nail him”, “hit him”, “break him” have no place on a fitba pitch. The ref should know this too(more on him later) It wasn’t just one or two either it was constant and the tackles did start to fly in too. The last act of the half came from a sublime piece of foot work from the home 26 who well and truly skinned two defenders and let fly a twenty yarder which fizzed just over the bar. A shame it didn’t find the net as the slight of foot which bamboozled the defenders was quality.
Cuminestown is pretty much a proper teuchter town, in America it may be refereed to as a hick town, people may disagree but when a car fires about the town sounding off the General Lee horn it really doesn’t help the cause. The van in question was heard at both side of the ground just after half time, much to Wee Mans amusement.
Cuminestown put the game further out of Macduffs reach early on in the second half when they were awarded a corner. The Macduff keeper completely misjudged it and number 8 was there to slam the ball home to create a three goal lead. Game over you would have thought. From here again a nastier side came out of the visitors and the first booking of the match was handed out after a seriously late challenge was deemed caution-able, and in all honesty there could have maybe been two prior. Then Macduff found themselves being handed an unavoidable lifeline. A long ball was played into the Cuminestown box, the keeper came rushing out bellowing out ,”keeper”, unfortunately he put too much effort into the shout and forgot about goalkeeping 101 and the number ten had the easy task of tapping home while the keeper effectively jumped past him. A calamity for sure. What made it even more amusing was the keeper shouting “I am going to smash him next time”. Hindsight and all that. From here Macduff were the better team for the first time in the game and could easily feel aggrieved when their number 7 was through on goal and pulled back by the reds 4. The referee said there was cover. I can categorically guarantee the centre halves would not have got there, it was a clear denial of a goal scoring opportunity, the forward was on the 18 yard line and was away to let fly. Yellow it was however. Poor stuff in my neutral eyes. This seemed to irk the visiting team and again the tackles came flying in again with a couple of bookings dispensed. Then the referee continued to show his credentials as a dope when the home number 28 went down like he had been blown up by an IED. This under a nothing challenge(which was right in front of us). Time wasting is all it was, but incredibly the referee said to the supposed assailant, “you wont get any more of them mate”. In a rare act of rage(when Wee man is there) I asked the referee(politely of course) “what does that mean, it wasn’t even near a foul”. The referee then puffed out his chest and explained “I didn’t give one, he went in over hard that’s why” which made me ask (again politely). “So why are you threatening the player, it is a foul or it is not a foul, its simple”. Still baffling how you can speak to a player for being too hard but not give a foul. Anyway there is more to come from the man in black. Not long after this the cat was put right amongst the pigeons when a brilliant multi pass team move led to a very good header from the number 21 which seemed to hit the net in slow motion, this off a perfect ball in from the number 7 out wide. It was well and truly game on now. Incredibly the comeback happened and I cannot give this goal enough credit as it was truly spectacular. It was so good I can’t even remember how the move started but it ended with the Macduff 16 letting fly from 35-40 yards leaving the whole of Tenant Parks jaws dropping. What a fucking hit. Up there with the most special I have seen. A perfect scud of a fitba if ever I have seen one.(Welfare Fitba remember). The unlikely comeback was complete or was it. Well step forward Mr referee again. The unthinkable was denied by a guess by the official, Wee Man and myself were dead in line when the ball was played in, there was no offside when the Macduff man headed forward and his team mate snuck in to finish . There was no infringement at all, but the referee summed up his game and blew for offside. A truly shocking decision. It could only have been a guess.
What a way to sign off the season, 10 goals(well 11 really), a shite ref, cracking night, some great goals and most importantly and something that is more apparent than ever. Wee man just loves the fitba. It doesn’t matter if it is Pittodrie, The Stadium of Light, Cappielow or this forgotten Junior ground. He wants goals, he wants to have fun and he bloody loves it, from Welfare to the South of Scotland League. From the Highland League to the Scottish top flight. It doesn’t matter where we are.. It is brilliant.
It turns out there was another 5 v 5 in the league tonight between Longside Thistle and St Combs. I would love to see the scoring order in that. Surely not as good as at Tenant Park.
Me 193, Wee Man 61
A forgotten Junior ground
Wee Man’s first vantage point(photo credit Wee Man)
2-2 from the spot
The changing rooms have character
As does the net being pegged into a hill
The trees that caused bother in the past