Macduff Sports Centre, SJFA North Region Superleague, 15/12/21
Entrance – £5
Attendance – 49 and a dog, at least 15 fare dodgers outside
Pie – Coffee £1 and free sandwiches
Pint – N/A
Deveronside Junior Football Club
Founded – 1977
Nickname -The Side
Honours – North Region (North ) League Winners -1983-84, 1985-86, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1993-94, 1995-96, 1999-00 and 2000-01
Current Division – North Region Superleague
Random Fact –Deveronside are one of the rare clubs who I have seen play at their old and new grounds. Canal Park and The Macduff Sports Centre
When you are supposed to fly to work and there is a hole in the tyre of the plane, what do you do with your impromptu extra night at home. Get shunned by your loved ones. What do you do as your second plan to save you sitting at home alone? Head half an hour up the road to watch Junior fitba and expect double figures.
Double figures it was not. I would be lying if I thought this was going to be anything other than a slaughtering. The combination of Deveronside being bottom of the league and The Dee hitting 10(ten) or more on numerous occasions this season would have suggested my predictions had a fair chance of coming up trumps. I was well off the mark. The Side were very good in the first half and well deserved their half time 1 v 0 lead. They had chances early. The first falling to big centre half (5) who connected his head with a corner but failed to get the required power. His reaction showed he knew how big a chance it was. The second chance for the home team fell to Wojcik who got in behind the Dee defence but sent his effort inches wide of Hobdays post. The Side were getting in behind often and Dee seemed to struggle with their nippier players. 7 especially who was a pest. But despite being the better team you can never rule out Banks o’ Dee creating chances and they had a couple of solid chances. McAskill went close when played in after MacLeod showed good strength at the edge of the box, but the effort was well saved. Wallace was also disappointing at all a corner when he headed over from ten yards. MacLeod was unlucky when he controlled the ball brilliantly in the box then proceeded to juggle the ball over a couple of defenders then sending a lobbed effort goal ward. But the strikers effort was cleared of the line. Deveronside continued to hassle and frustrate The Dee and were continually in their face. More chances came and Wojcik was unlucky when he nicked the ball past the Dee keeper leaving an open goal but the fast surface made the angle to tight to direct the ball in and it was sent crashing into the side netting but the striker didn’t miss the next time. A ball over the top led to a foot race between the striker and Hobday, the keeper got there first but just and no more and his attempted clearance ricocheted off Wojcik who was left to head into an empty net. A surprise but deserved goal for Deveronside. The Side had their keeper to thank for keeping their lead in tact going into half time when at full stretch he clawed a top corner bound McAskill effort over the bar
HT 1 v 0
Half time saw me go for another coffee (my first before the game was free with a mince pie chucked in, a nice touch). There was a spread of sandwiches for free too as there is no hot food on midweek matches. Two things , one free sannies, great stuff by the club and two, when we were at Rutherglen Glencairn on Friday, Wee Man asked why you never get a sandwich at games which I though was a good point. A few days later when he was not there and it happens.
The second half started with the same intensity from the Side and the chased and pressed everything and you could see the Aberdeen side getting frustrated and you could hear it in the players and benches shouts. The did have a penalty shout waved away and from where i was standing it looked a foul. This seemed to piss them off more. The lead should have been double when the centre half (5)again missed a good header from a corner. Same as the first half. Would this be costly as the game went on. You cant really afford to miss chances against a team like the Dee. Matheson however did not miss on the hour when he was faster than the Banks o’ Dee back line he cut inside from the left and curled a great effort into to far right corner. A magic finish and the surprise result was looking more likely. The visitors were not out of this and and hit the bar with a booming header. This was followed by a second penalty shout which looked like clutching at straws. But third time is the charm and a penalty was finally given when another troublesome long throw was not dealt with. Jack Henderson made no mistake. 2 v 1 and game on. with twenty five minutes to play. The Dee were right back in this aided by Deveronside clearly tiring. Had all the hassling and intensity of the first hour caught up with the young team? The inevitable equaliser came when Lachie MacLeod rose above everyone to head home from a corner and it wasn’t long before the game had swung completely. Penalty number two was awarded to no real complaints. Henderson stepped up again with the same result. From here you could see the collapse coming and it did. Thirteen minutes remained and the visitors netted another three times. the fourth came from Henderson who completed his hatrick when his lashed home from a tight angle on the right. Not tot be upstaged, Lachie MacLeod was given too much space and he took advantage from twelve yards out, but he wasn’t finished there and he rounded off his own hatrick in the last minute with a tap close range.
The score line flattered the Dee a bit. But they did what any good ruthless team would do and took advantage of their oppositions frailties, which was the fact Deveronside had run themselves into the ground with their very good first half/third quarter performance. It cannot even be called a game of two halves as the Dee were very ordinary for almost three quarters. They woke to become pretty bloody impressive. If the Side play like that more often they could escape the drop I would imagine. Especially against teams around them. Two of whom Maud and Ellon United, I have seen this season and I haven’t thought much of them.
I load my praise onto the Highland League at every opportunity and deservedly so but the Juniors deserve credit too. Very rare the games are poor and thats why I k When this game kicked off I should have been in Asterix de Gaulle airport if my day had gone to plan. I am glad it didn’t as i enjoyed that game a lot. A decent bonus before I do actually get away.
Me still 219