The Halfway House, North East Scotland League 2, 23/8/21
Entrance – £0 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 11 (minus the two clubs folk)
Pie – N/A
Pint – N/A
Ardallie Football Club
Founded – TBC
Nickname – The Dallie
Honours – TBC
Random Fact – Ardallie are the only team I ever scored against for two seperate clubs. Both friendlies but they count.
With this being the last week of the NESFA midweek matches I thought I would grab a couple before it goes into hibernation soon. I have come to like it over the three games we have watched so far. The combined goal tally of recently viewed games at New Pitsligo(6 v 3), Cuminestown (5 v 5) and Methlick (5 v 2) going into the Ardallie game was 26, so we were hoping to keep the trend of goal gluts . We were not left disappointed.
The Halfway House is another of these grounds that I have played in the past but not watched a game at. This is surprising as being an Ellon native and its proximity to Ardallie. The Halfway House also more than fits in to the qualification in my ground rules so a Monday night in the warm Aberdeenshire heat was more than welcome. Ever since I first set foot here many years ago I have though its a quality ground and has scope to be even better. You could make it an ace Junior ground for example. It’s fenced in already,there is room for a clubhouse to be built on the new changing room(The place has had a bit of a face lift in recent years). It would be cozy due to the proximity to the adjacent A952 Ellon to Fraserburgh Road but I think it would be possible with a bit of tinkering. But I am just rambling. A final point on it, Ellon United play five miles away at the Meadows that is A-extortionate to play on, B-easy to sneak a watch without paying and C-a bit shite to be honest. Anyway the fitba…..
The last game of Wee Man and I’s season 20/21 (We work Scottish Cup Final to Scottish Cup Final so a NESFA season falls in two of our seasons) was the best game in the corona truncated season. It was between Cuminestown and Macduff who shared ten goals. It was bloody brilliant viewing with Macduff coming back from 5 v 2 down. This made me think we could be in for goals and again we would be treated to four or more goals. So far this season we have seen eight out of ten games (RIP Sean Lock) with at least four goals scored. I was positive this would be the case again tonight with there being three goals scored in the first eight minutes. The visitors started things off with a well worked move down the left which was laid on a silver platter for the number 7 who powerfully struck home with the inside of his right foot. Ardallie came close to equalizing almost immediately when their centre half “Ally” looked destined to score from three yards out but for some great pack like defending from Macduff squeezed him wide and away from goal to concede the corner. Top last ditch defending. Unfortunately for the defenders the resulting corner was cleared for another kick, this time it was a stunning ball which was even more stunningly dispatched by the home number 8 “Tiago” (very exotic name for deep in Aberdeenshire). The placement he got on the header was class and we had a cracking view, across the goal and into the side of the net leaving the keeper well and truly planted. The scoring continued straight away when the visitors were handed a stonewall penalty. No complaints were had by Ardallie and Macduffs 11 stuck it in the keepers right with no hassle. Ardallies job got even bigger not long after when randomly numbered 29 was also given the silver service, can’t miss treatment. 11 put a ball in from the right wing that evaded everyone in its path and landed perfectly for a tap in from a couple of yards. 3 really should have been four when the so far quality Macduff 11 was picked out by a defence splitter. Bearing down on goal the goal looked to be a certainty but the BIG Ardallie shot stopper stood his ground well and managed to block the effort. I was then turn for the visiting keeper to be called into action to pull of a rare save during the night. A save that was in fact save of the match. Was the ball over the top from the Ardallie defender a hit and hope or was it deliberate? I am not sure but it picked out 11 who ended clean through but the keeper was well aware and rushed off his line closing down the angles but his work wasn’t finished. The Ardallie man rocketed his effort but the keeper was down in a flash to palm it to safety. A huge save in the match. Equally as huge as the Ardallie hitting the post not long after(11)
HT 1 v 3
Ardallie came out for the second half like a team reborn. The game was all them for the majority of the half with the number 5 “Ally” leading the way. Chances were created with the best falling to number 6 who really should have done better when he shanked an effort wide from 12 yards out. Could Macduffs numerous wasted chances in the first half come back to haunt them. From what Wee Man and I were seeing, it looked that way. The game was was had flipped on its head but Macduff still created the odd chance and again were guilty of poor finishing when 11 missed from a one on one situation again. This time he beat the Ardallie keeper only to see his effort head the wrong side of the post. A warning for Ardallie . The home side got a second midway through the half ensuring it was game on. “Tiago” on hand again to bend one round the Macduff keeper into the bottom corner from a mid goal position ten yards out. Could the Dallie pull of a very respectable come back. Going by their second half performance so far it would have been deserved. They continued to push and good chances fell to 5 on two occasions, the first effort he really should have finished. It was header from close range off a corner. Did he end up underneath the ball rather than onto an attacking it. I would say so. The latter effort again was a header which he put wide when again he should at least have hit the target. Despite the gallant effort it was not to be for Ardallie and the away side as good as cemented their 4th place finish. Ardallie on the other hand confirmed they would only have single figure points for the season and also have failed to confirm they will not finish bottom of the pile with Boddam United having a game in hand on them. Fitba is about entertainment and that tonight was highly enjoyable stuff at a wee beauty of a ground. A ground which is as good as in the middle of nowhere complete with a Snakes and Ladders table if you get bored with the fitba . New Deer tomorrow, you better believe it.
Me 203, Wee Man 70