Victoria Park, WOSFL Conference A, 20/11/21
Entrance – Me £6, Wee Man £0
Attendance – 83
Pie – £2 pie and coffee
Pint – N/A
Irvine Victoria Football Club
Founded – 1904
Nickname – The Westenders
Honours – Ayrshire District League – 2013–14
Random Fact – The clubs record win stands at 10 v 0 v Adrossan Winton Rovers (1938), Their record defeat also stands at 10 v 0 v Saltcoats Victoria(1927) and again Glengarnock Vale (1939)
The weekend officially started and it felt like it should have been coming to a close given Wee man and me had been rummaging about adding to his fitba education for three days already. But when Saturday comes then so does a ninety minutes. As we had stayed in Dumfries after the Queen of the South game I decided on an Ayrshire team for a game. Why did I pick the Vics? There is no reason as such. Quite fancied seeing Shotts again but not enough to pick this match. It really was just totally of the cuff. Interestingly though I have never been asked “why them” as much as I have about a fixture before. I just reversed it every time to “why not?”.
After leaving Dumfries in the bright sun we searched out the Twelve Apostles Stone Circle. ( I will point out here that I am a stone circle nerd and seek out as many as I can wherever I am) Not one of the better ones I have came across if I am honest but a wee challenge to find it. Next stop was the Routin Brig Waterfall. This was a better. Noisy but mesmerizing at the same time. We stood looking at it for ages. What impressed me was how deep a drop it has in it, obviously the weight of the waters has battered and eroded its way through the earth over time. Anyway , yes I am a stone circle and waterfall geek. Then it was across the A76 which is a stunning road for Birds of Prey. There are hundreds all along from Dumfries until around Cumnock. I have never seen so many in such a small space. This goes for pheasants too, but I will have to admit, there are two less pheasants on the go now. These things are fucking idiots and unavoidable because of their moronic behaviours.
On to Irvine. After spending more time at the falls than planned we turned up in Irvine with around fifty minutes until kick off. With a good bit of food left from the previous days picnic fare Wee Man was just up for eating the in the car and blethering. I did fancy heading to the harbour area but it was his decision and I saw very little of Irvine. Bigger place than I thought it would be to be honest is something I did notice. A long time since I had been in the town. Is the Magnum still there? The highlight of my day came when we got the jackets out of the boot I was informed, “my jackets heavy. Oh yeah, i broke this off at Queen of the South” and proceeded to whip out a piece of the Palmerston terrace. Nice one, and something different to go in his fitba bits and bobs tin.
Thankfully the rain from when we were eating in the car had blown over in time for the KO with the sun and rainbows glowing. We nipped in for a wee kick about for fifteen minutes before kick off as I knew there was an adjacent training pitch to the ,main pitch. Very clear that Irvine has seen some amount of rain recently as this was dubby and I thanked the Adidas Samba gods for making me put a scabby pair in my boot for these exact occasions. Within a minute of entering the ground we saw our first train on the raised track on the wing, which I had pre-warned junior of as i knew the track was close. I didn’t realize there were to be so many. Wee Man says he counted 15 during the game. Who am I to doubt him. Our kick about was interrupted as SBA were finishing their warm up by shooting at their keeper and many a shot missed the target and Wee man decided to act as ball boy.
I am not going to try and gold plate a turd here. This game was not great. It started with a bang and Shotts Bon Accord had scored in the first minute. A simple ball over the top caught the Vics defence cold and Martin Shiels took full advantage breaking through the Vics defence and coolly put the ball out of reach of Vics keeper Taylor. Given the difference in League positions (Shotts top, Vics second bottom) this looked like a hiding was on the cards. However it did not materialize. Irvine got stuck in and gave Shotts a game. It was a midfield battle mostly. I liked the attitude of Vics’ Ross McDougall,as he got himself about and was very lets say bullish. The Vics shot themselves in the foot again defensively again on twenty minutes when Danny Burns was clean through after being left by both centre halves, offside was the call but Burns didn’t care and Burns tucked the ball away neatly. It was almost immediately 0 v 3 when again the Vics defence went AWOL leaving Burns and McGeough racing through, Burns laid off McGeough and that was game over in the thirtieth minute. But a couple of minutes later the Westenders grabbed a lifeline, even if minuscule. Declan Walsh curled a freekick over the wall and past the big Shotts custodian. It was being praised by all around us but……It was not in the corner, it was mid goal and in my eyes savable. It did not make much of a dent in the game as the damage had been done. The Vics would have went in at half time kicking themselves as they had actually went toe to toe but three defensive lapses ruined their day.
HT 1 v 3
The second half was a tough watch. The standard dropped drastically and there seemed to be no much going on barring hoofball and unforced errors. It was really going through the motions. The biggest chance in the opening stages fell to Irvine’s Farrell who’s header was very well placed with power but the Shotts defender did well to get across and clear off the line. The fourth came for the Bonny when Burns found himself on the end of a cross from his full back to tap in. Again though it was caused by poor defending as once the ball was put in the box there seemed to be no attempt to cut it out, the all froze and Burns couldn’t believe his luck. The game continued in the poor fashion the second half had been so far. Interestingly the BA fans around us were declaring this was the worst performance of the season. Burns was given his chance at a hatrick from the spot after a clear foul when Beveridge fouled McGeough. Burns struck the kick well wide from twelve yards. But Burns made amends with the goal of the game when he cut in from the right and let fly across the goal leaving Taylor diving at air. The score may have looked like it was impressive but it was deceptive as it was four defensive lapses for four of the goals. I think the Bonny number 4 summed it up well in a moment of banter with the fans towards the end when he stated “this is a fucking shite game of football this”. It was not great, that’s a fact. Shotts were good for the win but I am sure the could play better.
Given the 13.30 kick off in Ayrshire we hit Dundee as all the Aberdeen supporters buses were heading up the A90 full of glum faces. I mentioned in the QOTS report about why giving up watching Aberdeen for Wee Man was simple and worth it well. Symbolic that we are in the car talking about how fantastic our weekend had been in amongst Dons fans heading home fuming, dispondant and stuck in a gloomy season.
Me 214, Wee Man 84 (Milestone 75th Scottish Ground For Him)