New Western Park, Lowland Development League Conference D, 10/9/21
Entrance – Free
Attendance – 57
Pie – Hot Dog and Coffee £2.70
Pint – £3.00, Carling, Club Bar
St. Peters Football Club
Founded – 1984
Nicknames – ?
Honours – None (First season at this level)
Random Fact – St. Peters is not only a football club as it also has a Netball team attached to it
Two hundred and eighty eight miles for a night time Development League fixture……..well worth it. With the international fitba break being its usual hindrance and leaving as good as no games midweek we were choking for a match somewhere. Renfrew it was for WOSFL new comers St. Peters under 20s squad. I promised myself to watch as many levels of fitba as possible across the country this season and this is my first venture into U20s, and it wont be the last as this was decent viewing. Was I expecting such a quality showing, in honesty no. Me of little faith.
We arrived with a bit of time to spare, this meaning we got to check out New Western Park (St. Peters are tenants of Renfrew). It is a typical community new build ground with plastic pitch and basic enclosure on the wing. I am not a fan of fake pitches but I get the purpose of money generating and if it helps clubs survive then so be it. I was a fan of the social aspect of NWP. At one end of the pitch there is the clubhouse, complete with bar with a shed load of pennants on the walls which was good to have a gander at(Renfrew’s foes from over the years). There is also corporate lounge and out door drinking area. It’s a decent set up and it would have been rude to not partake in a pint.
After the beer we were away to grab our vantage point when we bumped into the the host gaffer who I had spoken to prior on Twitter to find out if the game was at NWP. After a wee chat he gifted Wee Man with a pennant and a shirt due to our distance traveled and the fact Wee Man’s birthday is next week. A bloody excellent gesture that made a young loon absolutely delighted (although he didn’t show it at the time as he went into shy mode). These types of gestures make you realise how great some clubs out there are and inevitably gain them the utmost respect. You are more than just a number a lot of the time in non league fitba.
With Wee Mans free gear we couldn’t possibly stay neutral while watching and from very early on it was apparent that we backed the right horse. St. Peters obliterated Forth in the opening stages. Taylor Fadian started the ball rolling when he cut across the box left to right and fired an effort back the way he came from into the keepers bottom right. A very good move and finish. Wanderers looked like a deer in the headlights and within thirty five minutes they found themselves 5-0 down. Danny Nixon tapped in off a save from a Fadian effort before the fifteen minute mark to make it two. Rheigan McCarthy bulleted home a header off a corner almost immediately. The eighteenth minute saw Fadian get his brace with a precision effort across the goal into the same corner as his opener. This was looking to be a massacre and Nixon continued the bombardment when he also notched a double in the twenty fifth minute after he ran on to a long ball and shot from a tight angle beating the keeper who to be truthful looked as if he could have done a lot better. From where I was standing it looked as if he could not have had his angles correct. This was looking to be heading for double figures but Forth were let back into the game when St. Peters took the foot off the gas leaving a spell of ten or so minutes in which they let the visitors in when number 6 buried one in the bottom corner after a decent run past three St. Peters men. This was closely followed by an effort cleared off the line. Forth’s tails were certainly up going into half time.
HT 5 v 1
Forth were a totally different team in the second half and caused problems for St. Peters. A complete transformation and they turned a match which what looked like a formality into a decent game and they were rewarded with a second. This was no ordinary goal either as their captain (2) unleashed a superb effort after he traveled twenty yards from his right back berth and let fly from 30 yards across goal. The effort had stunning dip on it and nestled itself in the St Peters keepers top right hand corner leaving him no chance on earth of saving it (think Georghe Hagi v Colombia at World Cup 94, but from the opposite side). A goal well worthy of my Archie MacPherson-esque “whooooof” that I involuntarily let out as it rippled the net. A cracker that wont be forgotten in a hurry. After such a poor first half performance Wanderers were making a proper fist of things and almost put the frighteners right up St Peters when their 9 should have grabbed a third but he made the keepers job far to easy. He was once again guilty of poor finishing soon after when he pulled a decent stop from the keepers feet from close range. Good save yes, but enabled to make it by the effort being too close to him. If Forth had grabbed a third the nerves would surely have set with St. Peters and the game would have changed in Forth’s favour more so, this I am sure of. The scares were not over there either as the 9 rattled the bar with a howitzer of a volley. On another day he could have had a hat-trick. The latter effort seemed to deflate Forth who from here seemed to give up as things weren’t going their way. St. Peters weathered the storm and hats off to them for it. This plus their blistering start to the match gained them a valuable three points which took them top of the league after Blantyre Vics were beaten by Carluke Rovers.
Some people would think it was daft to travel as far as we did for an under 20s game. For me it was worth every mile and minute. Fitba is about entertainment, we got it in abundance. Seven goals inclusive of a goal of the season contender, fine folk, fabulous gesture from clearly a great club and a new ground for the both of us, with it also being a milestone seventy fifth for Wee Man. Whats not to like about that. I would do it again no hassle. I may have been old enough to be every player on the parks dad and both teams cost nothing to assemble but this just proves once again that you don’t need overpaid mercenaries and can be any age to create highly enjoyable fitba and thats exactly what we were treated to.
Me 207, Wee Man 75