The Haughs, Highland Football League, 17/11/21
Entrance – Me £8, Wee Man Free
Attendance – 239 Rough head count (also to be noted hard to decipher officials from fans)
Pie – Sausage roll and coffee £4
Pint – £3 , Tennents, Fan Bar
Turriff United Football Club
Founded – 1954
Nickname – Turra
Honours – Aberdeenshire Shield – 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15
Random Fact – The club were the first live televised Highland League side ever when they reached the Scottish Challenge Cup 3rd round and faced Hibernian at the Haughs in 2016/17
A rare Wednesday with Wee Man being very welcome. However, being a weeknight there was not much could be done in terms of pregame shenanigans. A visit to the Turra Coo statue for a photo of Wee Man with it was about as exciting as it gets. Having to explain national insurance issues, disputes and public outcry to a seven year old was not something I would have been able to or could be assed doing. So when asked why there was a statue of a cow. I replied “it was a really famous cow”. It was a very simple but true answer, she was famous after all. We followed this up with tea at a regular haunt of Wee Man, the Banks o’ Dee-er and me. The Kastille. Decent food in there, never a let down. After a burger and obligatory ice cream for him and scampi for me it was back down the hill to the Haughs
On arrival at the gate we were given a fine welcome from the lovely lady on the cash duties. As we were getting the thumbs up photo (at the gate) it got conversation going with her and a couple of committee guys. They loved the story of Wee Man’s travels and could not believe a 7 year old could have been to 82 grounds. It is quite impressive to be fair. It was a great welcome to a club I have always enjoyed visiting and I suppose I could say have a wee soft spot for. A regular haunt for me given its proximity to Oldmeldrum which makes the fact this was Wee Man’s first visit a bit of a surprise. With a wee bit of time to burn a pint and juice was had in the fan bar. It was in here speaking to another committee member, I mentioned i thought it was a shame Brechin were up on a midweeker as a Saturday would see many more fans in attendance. He told me this game was pulled forward and the original date was heavily booked up by Brechin fans. The moving of the game is a shame on two counts due to a big loss of cash for Turriff but also interested Brechin fans miss out on the great ground the the Haughs is and may not get back if the holy grail of an immediate return to league fitba is achieved.
The game started with City zipping the ball about at rapid pace and it took only three minutes to open the scoring. The ball was passed up the park with very little resitance landing at Max Kucheriavyi who slid the ball past Dey in the Turriff goal from twelve yards out. A simple a goal as you will see which must have left Turriff manager Dean Donaldson fuming given the futile defending. Brechin were head and shoulders above Turriff in every area of the pitch. They were clearly sharper, the never let the ball go dead and zipped it about at high intensity. When they did lose the ball which was rare in all truth it was hunted back and recovered immediately. There was a clear gulf which was to be expected but City clearly meant business. The should have had a second when Davidson was free at a Michael Paton corner but he mistimed his jump leaving the ball to roll down his face. Any real connection and the lead was doubled. Brechin continued to dominate the possession but in an attacking sense did not really create much for a long period. In this time the home team got their first and rare effort on target when left back Esson broke forward but his effort was saved by Willis. The second Brechin goal came in the twenty second minute when a Paton corner was only cleared as far as captain Davidson who shot through a pile of bodies hitting the last in line and unfortunate Esson who deflected it past his keeper Dey. A third should have came when Julian Wade attempted to volley from close range but he got it all wrong and shinned it well wide. But a minute later the third did come and bloody hell it did come. Marc Scott take a bow. After cutting in from the right he unleashed a left footed curling effort into Dey’s top right hand corner. Absolutely unstoppable and a goal of the season contender in our travels for sure. The fact the whole of the Haughs crowd seemed to applaud it says everything. No sooner had the applause stopped Brechin were celebrating again when Wade was left a tap in after some cracking play down the right from Ross. This was starting to look like a very long night ahead for the young Turriff side as there was only a third of the game gone. But the goals dried up for the half
HT 0 v 4
At half time I had to laugh at Wee Man and his lines. The half time draw was made and low and behold I did not win. I chucked them in the bin in disgust. To which I was told “how many times do I have to tell you, you cant win them all”. He is wiser than his seven years. And funny with it too.
The teams re-emerged for the second half and the fact Brechin’s keeper Willis had a quick warm up of shots fired at him before the whistle blew told the sory of the first half. Within seconds Brechin’s Ingils was booked for a needless rash challenge given his team was four nil up. I knew the Turriff team was young by watching the match but i was shocked when the subs came out to warm up in front of Wee Man and me. Babies. I was easily older at 37 if you combined any two players ages. The were lucky if they were shaving. It’s good to see yet sad at the same time as it shows the woes Turriff and Donaldson have. Especially in a league of big spending teams like the visitors, Brora, Locos or whoever. But to be fair to the players on the pitch their attitude seemed to have changed (half time team talk?) but they seemed to be getting wired in, they had a bit of niggle about them that was lacking in the first half. Something else of note was the pitch starting to deteriorate which was no surprise considering the rain that has hit the north east recently and we all know the Haughs is not the best for sooking up the rain and you can find it submerged like Atlantis at some points during a season. This definitely changed the roll of the ball. But I cant put Brechin’s second half no show down to this. Barring a spate of corners mid half which were well defended nothing much happened. City had lost all the impressive venom they had shown first half. The created very little and what they did was poorly executed or lashed at. An example was when Scott was picked out at the back post perfectly, he just seemed to chuck his foot at the ball and missed the target from eight yards when he had all the time in the world. Two following efforts cleared the net behind the goal and left the Haughs completely. Quite the feat to do it once but twice. There was a moment of controversy when form my vantage point Brechin should have had a penalty for hand ball. I saw it clearly from the other end of the park but it was not given despite the multiple claims from players and fans alike. But as a half the game lacked any real spark and was poor on a whole. As we moved toward the gate to get a quick get away(the Haughs can be a pain to get out of in the car) we saw another bad miss from substitute Gary Wood who was fortunate to find himself clean through after a howler from the defender but the finish just seemed lazy and made the keepers job easy. This really summed up Brechin’s second half performance. But it was a possibly offside Wood that turned provider soon after, as in the last minute he laid one on a plate for fellow substitute David Cox(good to see he didn’t give up the game). The well traveled striker had an empty net to tap home into and did so infront of Craig Levein the Brechin advisor. This summoning the final whistle. An easy night for Brechin but a very lackadaisical second half performance given the first half blitz. But on that, Turriff were much improved and defended better in the second period too.
Me still 212, Wee Man 82