Aberdeen Sports Village, North Region SJFA Superleague, 2/10/21
Entrance – Me £5, Wee Man £2
Attendance – 51
Pie – Coffee, Coke, Crisps £5.20 (you don’t get pies)
Pint – N/A
Bridge of Don Thistle Junior Football Club
Formed – 1983 (As Wilsons XI)
Nickname – Thistle
Honours – None
Random Fact – Since their inception in 1983 they have had a somewhat identity crisis. 1983-2006 as Wilsons XI, 2006-2011 as Hillhead, 2011-2016 as Bridge of Don Thistle, 2016-2018 as Newburgh Thistle and 2018 untill present they reverted back to Bridge of Don Thistle.
This was not the original plan for the day. With “Scottish Groundhop” on the cards down in Midlothian, visits to Dalkeith Thistle and Bonnyrigg Rose were plan A. But with severe weather and flood warnings set for when we would be returning home, I was put off especially with Wee Man in the car. The Aberdeen Sports Village it was to be. A local ground saved for a rainy day. And you dont get more rainy than yellow rain warnings .
A lot has changed here since the old Chris Anderson Stadium days and that doesnt necessarily mean for the better. I loved playing at CAS when Lewis United were the tenants. (I once destroyed 4 teeth on an elbow there) I also watched a few matches from the old stand too, But this place just doesn’t have the same appeal I am afraid. The pitch seems like a mile from the stand with there being a running track and more between you and the action. However its no Hampden. The pitch also seemed to be awfully bobbly. Also to be noted is you have to leave the place and head to the cafe to get a coffee, a huge no no for me. But it is not all bad, I like the highrisers looming over the north end of the ground in a Pollok (Newlandsfield) type fashion. But the most excellent and unique quirk is, the far side perimeter fence is the same perimeter fence of East End’s New Advocates Park meaning that these are the two closest Junior grounds in the country. Or even just grounds in general. I am certain this is the case. This meaning every cheer, grumble and whistle from there was audible to us in the stand at the Sports Village. (East End beat Maud 4 v 2 for the record).
Anyway my moans were no concern to the home side who destroyed my home town team. I predicted 7-0 to Wee Man on the way in. I wasn’t far off. But in all honesty this should have been double figures. When I saw the teams emerge from the changing rooms I was sure my prediction would be there or there about after seeing the youthfulness of Ellon’s line up against some familiar ex Highland League faces(which suggests BoD have decent financial backing).
It didn’t take long for the net to rustle for the first time as the hosts were handed a penalty in the opening minutes after some clumsy defending. After no complaints, ex Inverurie Locos and Buckie Thistle man Chris Angus sent Gibson the wrong way from the spot. It was soon two after Ellon “reject” James Bain beat a couple of defenders and rifled an effort into Gibsons bottom right corner. This is a player who was told he was surplus and not good enough for United not too long ago. The different calibre of players was clear to see and Thistle were looking the far better team. The bar saved United from going three down when the BoD full back unleashed a decent curling effort that left Gibson stranded onto watch it bounce off the woodwork and away to the safety of the running track. But the defecit was increased heading towards the half when that man again, James Bain (Jimmy Bain, rock n roll name that) trickled an effort across Gibson from the right which bobbled its way into the bottom corner. It looked as if it happened in slow motion. The last action of the half was a cracking save from Gibson from a point blank Angus effort. This the start of a frustrating afternoon for the striker.
The second half started in the same manner as the first ended with Angus pulling out another fine stop from Gibson. You could argue about the finishing being poor and he should be doing better but to the same degree the goalkeeping was very good. Gibson then looked to have given away a second penalty of the match when he fumbled an initial effort and bundled into the Thistle number 10. Clear as day but inexplicably the referee waved play on. Poor finishing was to keep the score down again when centre half McKeown won the ball in a cluster of players at a corner, the power generated was immense but the ex Formartine and Brora mans aim was well off. The fourth came and you guessed it, it was ex Ellon man “Baino” who sealed his hat-trick with a fluked effort. Absolutely a cross. So much so the big striker didn’t celebrate his miss hit. Not often you see a hat-trick not being celebrated but on this occasion it wasn’t. Four was soon five when some static flat footed defending at a corner allowed the BoD 12 get a run and bullet a header into the net. As unchallenged a header as you will see and the most avoidable of the goals conceded. Angus’ frustration levels grew when he thundered an effort off the bar from ten yards, the groundsman will have to check the bar for straightness as the forward has possibly bent it. It took until the seventy second minute until Andy Shearer in the Thistle goal was called into action when the ex Keith and Formartine custodian had to use his instincts to tip one over the bar. The lack of action for the hirsute goalkeeper was down to Ellon United’s reluctance to shoot when they did find themselves in good positions. Maybe it was inexperience playing its part but they were slow to react while on the attack. The sixth was my goal of the game when after some trickery on the wing from the Thistle 10 who swung in a fabulous ball to the onrushing 23 who smashed a header home. Shearer in the Thistle goal was not to get his clean sheet bonus when Ellon grabbed a consolation when Morris diverted a free kick past the big keeper with an old school dying art diving header as the predicted biblical rain started to stot down immediately saturating the pitch and surrounds. But Bridge of Don were not finished and after Angus again looked to the skies after he did all the hard work only to hit the post, his team mate 26 was left with a tap in, this rounding off the days events, goal wise events. The action was not over there for Ellon’s full back Burnett who was to take the brunt of a full pelt ball in the bollocks poleaxing him for a few minutes. If conceding seven was not enough the poor guy was left looking for his testicles in his chest. The final whistle went and it was almost dark due to the rain clouds in the sky, the decision to stay local was a very sensible idea as the roads were starting to flood half way between Aberdeen and Oldmeldrum. I may have missed the “Groundhop” but I got a new ground, an afternoon out with Wee Man, 8 goals and most importantly home safe and sound. I will never complain about that. The fact The Sports Village has been ticked off, the visit leaves only Nairn St Ninian and New Elgin left and I have completed the North Juniors. Next time home to dust it off? Could be a plan. With Lochmaben v Abbey Vale, Morpeth v Whitley Bay, Queen of the South v Inverness Caley, Irvine Vics v Shotts Bon Accord already penciled in and potentially Penrith v Redcar Arhletic, maybe not this next time but by the end of the season for sure. Good to complete another set up.
Roll on returning in November
Me 212, Wee Man 80