Rothienorman Football Ground, SJFA North Region Division 2, 28/7/21
Entrance – £5 me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance– 38 (minus committees)
Pie – Closed
Pint – N/A
Rothie Rovers Junior Football Club
Founded – 1983
Nickname – Rovers
Honours – None since making the step up to Juniors
Random Fact – Major upgrade works were carried out at the ground in 2007 inclusive of a newly laid pitch. The grand opening was a friendly played against Highland League side Huntly. But before the season started an RAF Sea King had to land on the pitch to aid in a rescue, this wrecking the brand new surface leaving it unplayable.
Another one of those grounds I played at on numerous occasions but never watched a match. Once upon a time I also won a 5-a-side tournament there, and I am pretty sure it was in the summer between Primary 7 and 1st year, so it is a place that goes way back for me.
On arrival the first thing you notice it the quality of the pitch, it is in fantastic condition and without using hyperbole it looks better than the bowling green next door(which could do with a good water). It’s the kind of park you wish you played on every week, so a big hats off to the people in charge of it. It is a tidy wee ground over all in fact. Then to add, the team using it are not bad either and play some good fitba as this showed. It really was one way traffic and as good as an exhibition game. The home side created changes from the start and were a fag paper away from opening the scoring in the first couple of minutes when a header off a corner was cleared off the line. This was followed up with another couple of decent chances with decent balls into the box being wasted by the strikers. However it was clear Rothie meant business. They were to get a scare from New Elgin when a huge clearance seemed to hang in the wind about twenty five yards out, the home centre half misjudged the flight leaving the ball to bounce through to the visiting number 11 who did the hard bit well and rounded the keeper, then ruined his good work by shooting from an overly tight angle making a hash of the move. The square ball to 10 was on and most likely would have put them 1-0 up. From here it was back to one way traffic and if it wasn’t from some good defending by New Elgin’s 17 on a couple of occasions the deadlock would surely have been broken. Rothie kept at it though and had a couple of long range efforts just off target and another header cleared off the line but New Elgin’s defence were getting battered and the opener did eventually come. On the half hour mark, a bit of fortune saw a heavily deflected effort from number 7 Jake(surname unknown but wee man was chuffed at his namesake bagged one) wrong foot the New Elgin keeper. A bit of a minky effort but very much deserved. It wasn’t long until it was two when the best player on the park in my eyes Gavin Smart (2) showed great tenacity to win the ball in the challenge at the edge of the box but to also get to his feet quick sharp and beat the next man to the ball and lash home to double the lead from around ten yards out. Great determination from a player who had been giving the NE left back the run around all day. More chances came and were not taken with the keeper only really called into action when he was at full stretch to keep out a pacey twenty five yarder which he pushed to safety. New Elgin again went on to waste a great chance when inexplicably their number 11 who was clearly offside nicked the ball off the toe of team mate 10 who had broken through the defence and was one on one bearing down on goal. It was a bizarre error and the “you fucking idiot” reaction from the 10 was duly deserved. Straight from here the home side went up the park to make it 3-0 through Walker. This was surely game over given how the half had panned out.
HT – 3 v 0
The second half was more of the same and the exhibition match feel to this continued. Rothie rattled the post early doors and this was pretty much how it was to continue. Bombardment. The wood work was again rattled by 7 but he didn’t miss with his next effort which he was gifted when a horror pass back from the New Elgin defender landed straight at Jake’s fee who finished with composure into the bottom corner to the delight of the other Jake in the vicinity. The chances kept coming and in all honesty the game lost any elements of being a spectacle as it was so one way. The rout was completed by Stuart Hodge and Ewen Clark taking the tally up to six. A good display from the Rovers but if I am going to be critical it could have and should have been double figures and I mean well into double figures. But the fitba was good and there were some decent players on show. With Rothie being newcomers to the set up and only 9 miles door to door from my abode they fit in as third closest Junior club behind Colony Park and Newmachar United. Being local, ambitious and having an ex team mate of mine from the Aberdeenshire Schools Select days, Kevin Beaton as manager I wish them all the best in their Junior(can I still call it that) fitba quest.
Three games so far and fourteen goals. Not a bad start to our season.
Me 197, Wee Man 63