King George Park, North East Scotland League 2, 17/8/21
Entrance – £0 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 25
Pie – N/A
Pint – £4.70 (Ythanview Hotel across the road, where we had our tea too which was good and well priced)
Methlick Football Club
Founded – A fact forgotten in time to it seems.
Nickname – The Meth
Honours – NESFA League – 2009.
Random Fact – Hamish French of Dunfermline Athletic fame has pulled on the Methlick shirt in the past.
When I first started trailing round the collecting grounds I had rules in place for them to qualify as a ground. Such things as, must be purpose built to be a teams home ground, must be fenced in, basically must be Juniors or up was the basic rule of thumb. To be honest I was doing Scottish non-league fitba a disservice as I was preventing seeing fitba grounds that have their own quirks at amateur level while being on the cusp adhering to my daft rules. Not being Juniors basically led to my own ignorance and even more ignorant is the fact I played amateur for years and know there are some beauties out there. It was almost snobbery.
So in Methlick we found ourselves and like North East Scotland League rivals New Pitsligo and Cuminestown who Wee Man and I have visited recently, Methlick fits right in with the slightly relaxed rules. Purpose built fitba pitch, check. Not a municipal multi-pitcher like Hazlehead, Aulton or Sheddocksley, check. Goals are fixed, check. Fenced in, check. It’s specifically the home ground of a club, check. King George V Park was worth the visit, has its quirks and is only six miles from our door.
Situated on the banks of the river Ythan, the river that flowed past my childhood home in Ellon, this excellent pitch has a lot going for it. Sitting in the shadow of a ruined kirk and graveyard at one end with the river and hills complete with grazing cows on the adjacent wing is picturesque for sure. Then to top it off the pitch is truly excellent,like a carpet. The community came together to raise money to upgrade the facilities and it was worth every penny. Surely one of the best pitches is amateur fitba in the Aberdeenshire region. If not the best. Dug down, dead flat, perfectly cut and a decent size. I was very impressed and could see why I was told to visit by three separate people recently. Would the game live up to the park and surroundings?
As far as one sided halves go, this was up there. Methlick could have been home free after fifteen minutes. But the Peterhead keeper had other ideas with a string of brilliant saves all from the home number 12(Reid). The first he managed to palm a point blank effort away from goal. He followed it up fantastic reaction save down low to his right ,again from point blank range. Again he foiled Reid when he manged to throw a hand to tip a header from a corner over the bar. Quality reactions from the man from the Blue Toon. Unfortunately for him, the resulting corner led to the opening goal when the home centre half Stottie had acres of room to bullet a header home. The keeper was well and truly let down by his team despite his best efforts to keep his team in the game. He couldn’t do much about the second effort either. Methlick captain Gracey went on a maze up bulldozing his way through the United team to calmly slot home. A great solo effort that covered maybe thirty yards despite his initial control looking awkward but he managed and took full advantage. A top goal. The visiting keeper was again in action with arguably his best save of the night when he was one on one with number 4, but again got his angles right and was down rapidly again. What a game the man was having. But his team were causing his tough night due to how deep they were sitting all game. Criminal on such a big pitch.
HT- 2 v 0
Two quickly became three when in the opening minutes skipper Gracey notched his brace after finding himself totally unmarked and on the end of an up an under cross. At the back post he headed home and pretty much put the game to bed. But Peterhead almost immediately found themselves with a life line when their 8 howitzered a 25 yard volley past the helpless Ainslee in the Methlick goal. A strike well worthy of my “fucking yass” outburst and I also noticed the Methlick locals all clapping it too and rightly so. Reid again should have found himself on the score sheet but again failed to stick it in the net when it seemed easier to do so, this time eighteen yards out, mid goal only the keeper to beat but fired wide. Not long after Anderson did mange to get the fourth when Gracey manged to out muscle a couple of defenders to get a cross away, this time the Peterhead keeper made an error/possibly a bit too short and only tipped the ball behind himself resulting in Anderson(7) nodding home from two yards. Surely game over now. Again though, Peterhead halved the deficit quickly, aided by poor defending,the visiting number 4 couldn’t believe his luck when he was two yards out with the ball at his feet to tap in. He wont score an easier goal in his career. The Meth defence just couldn’t seem to get rid and it somehow ended up near the goal rather than away from it. But it counted for nothing and the three goal lead was restored through Anderson. Not before he managed to miss a sitter when after route one fitba he was clean through, a goal was a certainty but again the Peterhead keeper was there to save again. But this was more a bad miss than a good save. The big number 14 more than made up for it moments later when he volleyed home a clearance from at least forty five yards from goal. A superb strike and the third goal of excellent quality of the night rounding off the scoring. Which to be honest should have been a hell of a lot more from the home side. Moral of the story, my rules were a bit too strict and King George V Park is a wee gem of a place. Better than some Junior grounds I have been too.Three cracking goals also went down a treat and all as good as on our doorstep
30 years ago to the day I walked into Pittodrie for the first time and notched my first ground. Today I am watching amateur fitba in my new guise as a fitba ground enthusiast, fed up with the pro game. Its bloody brilliant
Me 201, Wee Man 68