Davidson Park, North Region SJFA First Division, 13/8/21
Entrance – £5 me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 63
Pie – No pies being served, Coffee £1
Pint– £3.50 Tennents , (Longside FC social club)
Longside Football Club
Founded – 1933
Nickname – The Side
Honours – North East Premier League 1999/00, 2000/01
Random Fact – Davidson Park was the first Junior pitch I ever played on way back at U11s. Against Longside who pumped us 5-1(if memory serves me right)
Friday night under the lights and game of the season so far. Quite fitting as it was at my favourite grounds in the set up(toss up between here and Dufftown’s Westburn Park). A fine ending to a great day out, which started at the Scottish Deer Centre in Fife with the kids and the lovely lady and ended at Davidson Park. Game eight of the season and safely the best to date.
This was to turn out to be one of those games where you could not pick the winner as it was so even and wide open. Kicking off in the lovely Aberdeenshire sunshine this was a prime example of pretty much all I love about getting around the lower leagues. This was end to end for the full ninety and just a cracking watch as a neutral. Longside started the brighter of the two and on their charges forward created the better chances and at least made the keeper work unlike tonight visitors (who are the first team of the season to be seen for a second time by Wee Man and myself). It wasn’t a surprise that the Side were fist to find the net. After moaning to Wee Man about Longside pissing about and earning a corner when they should have shot given the space and time they had to hit the target. The resulting kick looked like something off the training ground and was neatly finished off by the number 3 who placed it in the keepers bottom left from 12 yards with precision. The game carried on in the same basketball like fashion , but with the Bankies looking more dangerous, creating decent chances and they got their rewards not long after. Some good play down the left and a ball into the box left the visiting 11 to slide in at the back post and poke the ball home. A very soft goal to give away due to hesitant goalkeeping but Sunnybank weren’t to care and the scores were even again. At this point I had a piece of non fitba related nostalgia when I bumped into my old work mate Euan Mutch(committee member at Davidson Park). He was the first guy I ever worked with during my apprenticeship twenty one years ago and I spent the next ten years of my life chatting fitba with him. A top man and good to see him still involved with his local team, and more importantly enjoying retirement. My first conversations on a Monday without fail back then were “how did Longside do on Saturday?” with Euan or “How did the Locos do?” with another dude depending who I saw first. Good times. The game continued to to and fro going into the half but with no more real clear cut chances. As the half time whistle went it was near impossible to guess the outcome of this match.
HT 1 v 1
Half time saw Wee Man and I have a kick about on the adjacent pitch. Or “Lesser Davidson” as I have christened it. This the home pitch of Longside Thistle in the North East Scotland Welfare League. A team who had a game tonight and when I saw the fixtures, thought there may be a chance of a double match report with two games next to each other. However it was kyboshed for two reasons. One, it wouldn’t have been allowed to happen and Thistle would have had to move their match and two, they forfeited the match v Elizabethan Link Up due to a lack of bodies.
The second half kicked of with the floodlights on and the Sunnybank keeper may just use that as an excuse for Longside’s early second. Last week the big man pulled off an unbelievable save v Stoneywood Parkvale, tonight he bettered it with a stunning low save at his left hand post, but the ball stayed in. Longside got the ball in into the box, not very dangerous and as good as floated easy for a catch, but the keeper undid all his good work seconds earlier and dropped the ball at the Longside strikers feet leaving an easy tap in. He could blame his defenders all night, which he tried or maybe the lights but……your fault mate. As it happened in the first half, a quick equalizer from the Aberdeen side was notched. A well worked passing move set the Black and Whites right hand side wide man on his bike, on reaching the ball he fired a cross in and number 6 thundered home a header from ten yards. With no celebrations for the goal, Sunnybank looked to win this and wanted the restart immediately. There was definitely a feeling of the goals not being finished at Davidson Park but with the visitors seeming to show supremacy, if I was to have bet on where the points were heading, I would have guessed Heathryfold. I was more sure this would be the case when the home number 10 put in a disgracefully shocking two footed challenge on the Sunnybank right back. A red card for sure. I am no shrinking violet when it comes to hard fitba but this had no place on a fitba pitch. This led to the referee handing out a yellow card which baffled anyone in the vicinity. I would love to hear his explanation for the card as I cannot fathom it. Interestingly the 10 was hooked within seconds of the incident. Eleven man Longside went on to take the lead through their best player number 11 who skelped a precision drive into the Sunnybank keepers left hand side. A great truly hit drive which most keepers would have failed to save. Would it be the points clincher? Both teams continued on the charge, created chances and put some superb balls into the boxes but none were taken and the balls looked wasted in the end. Maybe tiredness had set in as the game had been played at a hell of a pace from the get go. The action was not finished and the referee got to air his red card (finally) . After things boiled over a bit and a wee skirmish broke out toward the changing room corner of the ground, Sunnybank’s 12 punched Longside’s number 2 who retaliated with his own jab. The ref only brandished the red to the visiting player which again raised serious questions over what he had seen like the horror challenge earlier in the half. But in all fairness, I am not bothered. It just added a bit more to this excellent game of fitba and excellent day in overall. Family and fitba, who needs anything else.
Me still 200, Wee Man 67