Grant Park, Highland Football League, 5/2/22
Entrance – Me £10, Wee Man £0
Attendance – 133
Pie – Coffee, juice, Wispa, crisps £4.50
Pint – N/A given the circumstances of the day
Lossiemouth Football Club
Founded – 1945
Nickname – The Coasters
Honours – Highland League Cup – 1961/62 and 1996/97, North of Scotland Cup – 1994/95, 1995/96, 1996/97, 2000/01 and 2002/03
Random Fact – The club nickname is ‘The Coasters’ and was decided by a competition between the towns primary schools.
Saturday game and for a change, instead of visiting a point of interest, Wee Man and I were the point of interest. This due to being invited to be filmed for a future episode of A View From The Terrace. I will state now, this was about the father son bonding element of getting about Scotland and the grounds but today was one of the best days we have had. From the minute the knock at the door happened until we left Grant Park at five.
The reason for Grant Park today, a few. Within one hour from home which was asked by AVFTT. Highland League ground(my rule as it is the best league in the world) and Wee Man had never been. It was a cracker to pick too. On arrival we were welcomed by the squawk of seagulls as we opened the car door. Grant Park is not know as the “Bernagow” for nothing. However, the welcome at the turnstiles was better. A decent chat with Lossie committee members who were all Hearts fans which I found strange given Grant Park is one hundred and seventy five miles from Tynecastle. But even more strange I was informed there is a big Hearts following in Lossie. Each to their own and all that. It’s not glory hunting at least. This conversation led to Wee Man being gifted a tourie to mark his special day. A great gesture from the club.
Prior to heading I checked the weather, this being down to the fact, the most insanely cold game I have ever attended was at Grant Park when Lossie faced Fraserburgh in the Cup in 2016. This match was painful on my extremities, my jacket was freezing up and my feet were still sore on my return to Meldrum that day. I was informed by the met office that we were to be met with hail, snow, sun, rain, wind and low temperatures. Typical day in Lossie in winter then. They were not wrong either, pissing rain on arrival, followed by a bitter cold and a piercing wind. Then a bit of sun, more wind, hail stones, rain then a bit of snow with the match finishing on its best bout of weather, to an extent that Wee Man removed his new Lossie hat as he was too hot.
The game was not as entertaining as the weather in the early stages of the first half in all honesty. There was action but incredibly no rustles of the onion bag or many threats. There was a decent early chance for Ross Archibald who pulled out a very decent save from Vale keeper MacIntosh but barring that the opening quarter was end to end with no final product. It really had the feeling of a nil nil when we really didn’t want one(more so than ever given our company for the day) In amongst it all there was a bizarre decision where a Lossie defender passed the ball back to the keeper but the Vale man Watson ran through on to it but was deemed offside. At this point I decided I do not understand the offside rule anymore. It’s beyond me. Phases blah blah blah. It was a lot simpler before. As the game went on the chances came more and more and excitement was injected into what was a really dull affair prior. Archibald had another good opportunity but again was thwarted by MacIntosh. Ryan Farquhar was clean through and was denied by MacIntosh with an ace finger tip save. The Vale were clearing off their goal line at one point too and McIntosh again came to the rescue when he got fingertips to a Farquhar effort and sent it into the side netting. Lossie may have had the better chances but in terms of of everything else it was even, end to end and the Vale were by no means just making up numbers. They just didn’t have a the clear cut chances of their hosts. A poor start to the game but it had heated up come half time, unlike my toes.
HT 0 v 0
Early doors in the second half the Coasters were looking for a penalty when Farquhar was sent packing in the Deveronvale box. Wee Man thought penalty, as did I. A quick check to the camera crew(as close to VAR as we had) and they confirmed it should have been. The move started with Farquhar letting fly and again MacIntosh stopping the effort but as the same man tried to tuck away the rebound he was impeded. Another penalty shout? The ball was then cleared and tensions boiled over with a bit of handbags. To be honest the game needed this to get the crowd going and ultimately the players. This injected more energy into the game and a big of niggle. Archibald was soon again looking at MacIntosh thinking what the hell did he have to do to beat the Vale custodian. His initial effort was fumbled after a bobble but the Vale man recovered brilliantly and bravely to block the second effort off the rebound. The deadlock was finally broken and it was from the light blues of the Vale and it was worth waiting for. Robert Scott cheekily sent a lobbed effort over Kelly in the Lossie goal. The keeper must have been six yards off this line but the Vale man was obviously a mortar shooter in his day job and got the trajectory of the ball perfect. A superb way to open the scoring on the day. Incredibly within the minute it was even again and Scott’s effort was trumped by the best goal I have seen this season. The cross came in from the right and Farquhar acrobatically connected and finally gave MacIntosh no chance. This was a truly stunning strike. Usually the punters in attendance are the only ones who will ever know about it. Luckily for Ryan Farquhar his goal was filmed and will find its way out of Grant Park soon enough. Amusingly, Wee Man told me and the AVFTT guys, ” I think I would have saved it”. Evens again. But for no time at all. The home side were given a penalty seconds after equalising when Archibald had his clock cleared in the area. As stonewall as they come without a complaint. Dean Stewart stepped up and put the Coasters in the lead. The lead could have been increased when James Leslie should have notched a third but was denied by McIntosh who despite being on the losing side was a sure fire contender for man of the match. This was closely followed by another Lossie penalty claim. I say yes, referee said no. But it was irrelevant as al that was left of this the match was a flurry of Deveronvale corners which led to nothing. The ref blew and the three points stayed on the beach.
Today was about a lot more than just the fitba. It was about Jake and me and the great memories we have had. Ironically the telling of the story and the memories will be one of the greatest memories we will ever have. A truly superb day topped off with a hyper loon talking me through his whole day while out for food at the Redgarth once back in Meldrum……..as if i wasn’t there to see it all when it happened.
Cheers A View From The Terrace, Lossiemouth and Deveronvale. Memories are the aim and well………
Me still 219 and Wee Man 90