Spain Park, Inter-regional Cup 3rd Round, 29/1/22
Entrance – Me £5, Wee Man £
Attendance – 130(Rough Head Count)
Pie – Coffee and Juice £2
Pint – N/A
Banks o’ Dee Junior Football Club
Founded – 1902
Nicknames – The Rechabites, The Dee
Honours – Scottish Junior Cup-1957, Aberdeenshire Cup – 2021/22, North Region Superleague – 2007/08, 2008/09, 2015/16, 2015/16, 2017/18 and 2018/19
Current Division – North Region Superleague
Random Fact – In 2008, the club made their senior Scottish Cup debut by obliterating Fort William 10–0 in the first round. Quite the introduction
Well, today was one of those days you just want to get out the way. Well in truth, the last couple have been, but with the bloody weather, the power outage, my fence blowing down, my dry stone dyke breaking, nobody to turn to for help in the power cut and more shitey personal stuff, I was well and truly burst with the day come ten in the morning. A game was not the main objective today but just came our way as to shut off for a couple of hours. Given the weather somewhere, near home was the safest option due to the hurricane winds battering the area earlier on. This after we grabbed lunch down the beach as its what Wee Man wanted.
There was no bigger game than North Region Superleague Champions elect v Midland League Champions elect. I was sure this was to be a cracker. Hence why there was no new ground for Junior or me. It all started so well too. The wind died down for the afternoon, the sun appeared and the afternoon was generally pleasant. The game unfortunately was no spectacle. East Craigie were far superior and more than deserved their their win. The Dee in all honesty were the worst I had ever seen them in my years following Junior fitba in the area. I am also positive this is the first time I had ever seen them draw a blank. They just didn’t seem up to speed. Was this partly to do with the energy sapping defeat to Raith Rovers last weekend? Possibly I would say. The couldn’t seem to get the basics right and were uncharacteristically sloppy at times. But that is not to discredit the Shipbuilders in any way. They played some brilliant fitba at times and had all the stand out players on the pitch.
The first talking point of the game came when you saw how much odds and sods were on the pitch, twigs off the surrounding trees that had clearly been battered into submission earlier in the day. Wee Man immediately picked up on it. The ref then followed suit not long before KO. A wee sweep from committee members and the ref was happy. What I cant believe the ref was happy about was the choice of kits. The Dee in their traditional light blue and navy hoops as expected, but East Craigie were in light blue and black verticals. Strange to see in my eyes and again Wee Man noticed it and announced “they are too the same”. Alex Ferguson would not have stood for it. But it meant nothing. East Craigie rarely put a pass wrong the whole game so it didn’t affect them. Their 7 terrorised the Dee defence throughout with his quick feet and skill. If it wasn’t him it was great team passing moves. Fraser McLeod had a great chance to break the deadlock from twelve yards but he fluffed his lines and shanked wide. But he didn’t have to wait long until he did break it after he rounded off a decent team move from close range. It was another decent team move that led to the second five minutes from the half but McLeod had a tougher job on his hands this time around but with a superb outside of the foot effort he bent a fantastic effort past Hobday into the keepers top right corner. Half time came and the Dee had only had a couple of flashes early on in the half. They had to up their game and had a lot to do in the second forty five especially against a clearly hungry Shipbuilders.
HT 0 v 2
The Dee were lucky to still be in it after three very good opportunities passed East Craigie by. The first when Hobday fumbled a high ball leaving the striker to slide in and connect with the ball but the keeper got down and redeemed himself. The next fell to the East Craigie captain Number 4 who found himself with acres of space at a corner, only to head wide. It looked as if he was taken buy surprise by the fact the ball had evaded a plethora of players before reaching him. Next up was Grady McGrath who is in better scoring form than most players at any level in the land. He found himself on a signature Craigie move for the day, 7 taking on the Dee defence himself and sending a great ball in but McGrath inexplicably put it wide. The Dee were well on the ropes with the main instigator being the 7 who was excellent for the entire game. McGrath wasnt left out (as he is not in most games) and notched his own beauty for the day, picked out on the left hand side box apex, he took a couple of touches past a defender and bent curling effort at pace past Hobday into the bottom corner and the celebrations showed the Dundee side knew this was a great team effort against one of the best teams in the tournament. The Dee did have a spell where the tested the keeper numerous times in a short space of time but he stood up to everything thrown at him by Henderson, Winton et al. The last chance of the match fell to Grady McGrath again who was clean through bearing down at pace but Hobday stood up well. This irking Wee Man who’s pre-match guess was 4 v 0 for the visitors. No matter the score they were worthy winners and I wouldn’t rule out watching them for a third time this season. A very entertaining team. I have a lot of time for the Dee and I am quick to load superlatives on to them but I can’t say much about them here. I am sure they would know it themselves too.
Me still 219, Wee Man still 89