Palmerston, Championship, 19/11/21
Entrance – Me £18, Wee Man £6
Attendance – Reported as 0 on the official QOTS website
Pie – £3.50 pie and coffee
Pint – £3.20, Tennents, fan bar
Queen of the South Football Club
Founded – 1919
Nickname – The Doonhamers
Honours – Division 2 -1950/51, 2001/02, 2012/13, Scottish League Challenge Cup– 2002/03, 2012/13.
Random Fact – The ground is named after the Palmers Toun Farm, the site which was acquired in the 1870’s for football in the town
The battle of the acronyms, and a two hundred and forty mile trip for us. Sounds like a bit much for a Friday but there were factors. The first being the Aberdeenshire long weekend for the kids meaning the world was our oyster. The second being I had a plan to break up the journey. Finally Wee Man had asked for long haul fitba and a hotel for his birthday. This meaning one way today.
The plan I had in mind was to take him to Cathkin Park and the Hampden Museum en route. What a day this could have been. Unfortunately the museum was closed. But that did not stop a great day. A picnic and a kick about at Cathkin followed by a trip to the Hampden Bowling Club followed by a trip to new Hampden just for a nosey. This meaning despite the lack of museum Wee Man learned about the four Hampdens (Lesser included, which is a tip just now). But the rummage about Cathkin Park was ace and Wee Man was clearly amazed by it and was verging on hyperactive.I was too, well maybe not hyperactive. Having a kick about despite the dubs was worth the trip alone without even setting foot in Dumfries. I will never forget it for as long as I live nor the picnic in amongst the Autumnal fallen leaves covering the deathly quiet terraces.
After arrival in the “Queen of the South” earlier than expected(museum closed remember) we chilled out over a game of football(not fitba) trump cards and Wee Man having a liking for Neymar was more than apparent. This needs to get in the bin as soon as possible. I thought I had taught him better. Anyway after deciding not to eat at the hotel, we ate at the hotel. This leaving us to go straight to Palmerston.
At this point I will state, its very seldom I am up for a game as much as this but i really was up for this. Was it the old school nature of Palmerston. Pretty sure that was it. But maybe the whole weekend of fitba was playing a part too with Irvine Victoria v Shotts Bon Accord on Saturday also adding to the intrigue of the trip.
Our first stop at Palmerston was to get a ticket , but not only that we got a team lines too. Two physical pieces of memorabilia, could a rare third come up trumps. Yes it could as we picked up a programme in the adjacent club shop. I doubt we will be lucky enough to get the three physical items again this season. So for that, Doonhamers, I salute you. Next stop was the bar as we were quite early and I had dumped the car and had a thirst. With little seating left a couple of old geezers gave us a corner of their table and coincidentally when we sat down they were talking about Pittodrie. Obviously this was the ice breaker and we spent forty minutes in their sound company. One of them was heading to Cove next week for the Scottish Cup. This leading me to my usual “fuck Cove” tirade. But they were more interested in Wee Man and his travels and seemed really impressed with his 83 grounds (including Palmerston) . Fine dudes
Then into the ground, it was as excellent as I hoped. A dying breed. We opted for the Portland Drive terrace( the biggest terrace left in Scotland) and it was perfect. It gave us a great view of the ground and of the game. I actually leaned against the floodlight for the ninety as Wee Man sat on the concrete plinth between his pole dancing exploits on the near by crush barrier.
The game was entertaining enough but from early on it was clear there was to be only one winner. The visitors. The young Doonhamers around us made their presence known but it was not enough to fire up their side who were pretty AWOL. But the first chance of the game came too home man Innes Cameron who tried an failed an acrobatic effort with his back to goal. It wasn’t long after this that i realized Kirk Broadfoot was playing for Caley. By playing I mean running like a lame giraffe and passing like a dead one. Despite Broadfoot being in their ranks they were the better side and looked more dangerous. The also seemed to find every little gap of space to pass into, giving QOTS the run around basically. Twenty minutes it took before Caley took the lead when as stonewall a penalty you are likely to see was awarded. This was dispatched by victim, Billy McKay who made no mistake.A deserved lead. As I watched on I couldn’t help but notice the constant dirge from QOTS. They would pass out from the back and lump it. Pass across the back and lump it. Pass to left back Debayo and lump it. It didnt work, it never worked and was never going to work but they kept trying it. Caley should have made it two when Devine headed a corner off target. He should have done better. The Doonhamers finally made Mark Ridgers in the ICT goal dirty his knees( well not really on a plastic pitch) with a tame first effort of the game. This was followed by a decent effort from Ben Liddle. This was the first time the Palmerston faithful showed ripples of proper excitement
At half time the obligatory piss was had and pretty much everyone was of the same opinion. “worst I have seen in years” was the general consensus. Poor yes but that seemed like hyperbole to me.
Queen of the South came out attacking and were the better team for the first five minutes and in typical fashion, conceded with the first ICT attack of the half. David Carson’s perfect ball was met by McKay who headed home to celebrate his brace with the hardy Caley contingent that had made the long journey. The goal may have added to QOTS woes but to be fair to them, the were a far better side than the first half showed. The continued to plug away but didn’t really have much in an attacking sense. The next big chance was for the visitors when McKay again was on hand to header toward goal but was off target and Shane Sutherland couldn’t get to it at the back post either. The pattern of the first half emerged again with Caley seeming to knock the ball about for fun and ease then from nowhere it was 1-2. Wullie Gibson got the ball into the box to Ally Roy, he squared to Innes Cameron who let rip, but made a mess of it and it was heading toward the wing stand, Gibson put it back in and Lee Connelly smashed home form twelve yards. A goal is a goal but the shanked shot in the lead up was comedy gold. This got Queen of the South tails up and a few more chances were fashioned with Ally Roy having the best when he was unlucky to put wide when he had no right to win the ball in the scum of players. Harry Cochrane then went on to rasp one that Ridgers tipped wide. The remarkable recovery for the Doonhamers was not to be and Alan Johnston will surely be frustrated that it took so long for his team to get into the game. Three points were heading the long journey back to Inverness.
What a day. Even the Hampden museum being closed didn’t put any sort of dampener on it. Once we were back at the hotel and before Wee Man crashed out he said, “my favourite thing in the world is football with you daddy”. I don’t think I need to hear anything else from anyone in the world again. Some people still ask how I could just chuck my season ticket at Aberdeen. I give you exhibit one your honour.
Me 213, Wee Man 83