Craigie Park, Midland League, 27/11/21
Entrance – £6
Attendance -58 (Including Scottish Premier alumni Phil Maguire and Lee Wilkie)
Pie – Pie and Coffee £3
Pint – £2 Ossain, Hospitality
East Craigie Football Club
Founded – 1880
Nickname – The Shipbuilders
Honours – ?
Random Fact – The club claim to be the oldest Junior team in existence. This is argued by Vale of Clyde and Kirkintilloch Rob Roy and others.
After a truly mental night in Meldrum with storm Arwen being a total bellend, it left Wee Man and myself joining the mass exodus from electricity lacking deepest Aberdeenshire to salvation where warmth was possible. To my folks in Ellon we went. This kind of shooting myself in the foot as only one thing trumps going to the fitba for Wee Man and thats hanging out with my folks. Due to the proximity to my parents house, I managed to rope in my cousin as a last minute substitute.
Despite numerous “you winna get a game” type texts there were plenty of options today and the plan of a reasonably close one over the original plan of Thorniewood was obtainable. This also being one in which I failed earlier in the season to get to as Craigie Park was out of use(which I didn’t find out until arriving there for a game only to find they were playing at Downfield).
Due to the weather, heading down for kick off was the plan but we appeared with 25 minutes to spare. A swift pint in the nearby Cutty Sark was on the cards until we saw it was shutters down. As there there is no social club at Craigie Park we thought a beer was scuppered until I asked at the gate. Turned out there was hospitality on and we were welcome to head in for a beer. Nice gesture, and they had Ossain too which was an added boost.
Given that prior to the game East Craigie were top with a goal difference of +61 and Scone were bottom with -90 a goal fest was expected and a goal fest we got. It took one minute for the net to bulge for the first time. Adam Brown found himself in space at close range due to some poor Scone defending and lashed the ball past the helpless keeper. It was two very quickly and less than sixty second later Fraser MacLeod was again the beneficiary of poor defending and was clean through to slip the ball past the Thiste keeper. A cricket score looked to be on the cards but the Shipbuilders were wasteful at times and this began in the third minute when Brown miscued an effort wide which looked to be a certain goal. Number 9 and club top scorer Grady McGrath was then guilty of missing a sitter when he fired straight at the keeper when he had the whole goal at his mercy. A third did come when some excellent wing play from MacLeod saw a great ball into the box which was headed goal bound pulling out a decent save from the keeper which unfortunately landed on McGraths head who opened his account for the day. Was this game over in twenty minutes? Not quite as Scone got one back. A corner into the box was direct and powerful at a height that avoided everyone barring the Scone man at the back post who headed home from a couple of yards. Twenty six minutes and four goals and it was five on the half an hour mark when McGrath scored a direct free kick past what looked to be a very poorly set wall. East Craigie should have had a fifth late on when MacLeod rounded the keeper and didn’t put enough on his shot leaving time for the defender to clear off the line.
HT 4 v 1
The obligatory pies were purchased and the first thing we noticed was the weight of the things, they were like a bag a sugar and they were bloody fine too. Good marks for these massively filled delights. Another plus point which was turning into a very good day. I also noticed the quirk of Craigie Park being flanked by a huge allotment at the clubhouse end and a graveyard at the wings side.
The teams came out with the ref who was partaking in my ultimate pet hate , short sleeves and gloves, something that probably rips my knitting more than it should. A couple of good chances for East Craigie went begging in early in the half. The fifth home goal did come when Fraser McLeod grabbed his brace with an easy tap in from a yard after a great team build up. Scone notched another an probably goal of the game when their 9 curled a left footed effort into the keepers top corner. Pretty much unsavable. 5 v 2 and clearly more goals to come and they did. Unfortunately I missed the sixth Shipbuilders goal as my pre-match pint and coffee plus the bitter cold sent me to the toilet. McGrath completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot with twenty minutes to go so I was informed. Again though more chances went begging for the home side and Scone were lucky they were not on the end of double figures. East Craigie did reach seventh heaven when Cameron smashed home from close range after another very well worked goal especially MacLeods part in the play out wide. Then it was eight when it was Howetts turn for an easy finish after some more great team play. The scoring was rounded off by Paul Moran who struck from twelve yards, an effort which seemed to go through the Scone keeper. As one sided as I have seen this season.
I was told at half time “we are definitely the best team in the league” by Jed in the pie hut. He could be right and if the Shipbuilders were more clinical they could be a devastating side. You can see why their goal difference is so high. (Not the highest in the league though) Don’t rule them out being in the Highland League playoff. A very good and surprisingly young looking team. As a club also they are a good bunch down Craigie Park, everyone we spoke to were very welcoming. Something that makes me feel connected with the lower levels of our game.