Borough Briggs, SPFL League 2, 15/2/22
Entrance – Me £12, Wee Man £7
Attendance – 347
Pie – Pie x 2, Coffee and Juice £8
Pint – No time
Elgin City Football Club
Founded – 1893
Nickname – The Black and Whites
Honours – Highland League – 1931/32, 1934/35, 1952/53, 1955/56, 1959/60, 1960/61, 1962/63, 1964/65, 1965/66, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1969/70, 1973/74 and 1989/90. Highland League Cup – 1959/60, 1966/67, 1982/83, 1990/91 and 1997/98. Qualifying Cup – 1935/36, 1937/38, 1959/60, 1964/65, 1967/68, 1970/71 and 1989/90. North of Scotland Cup – 1898/99, 1923/24, 1936/37, 1954/55, 1955/56, 1960/61, 1961/62, 1967/68, 1968/69, 1970/71, 1972/73, 1975/76, 1982/83, 1988/89, 1989/90, 1997/98, 1998/99 and 2003/04
Random Fact – The club were the first Highland League Club to qualify for the Scottish Cup in three successive seasons. 1908, 1909 and 1910. They fell at the first hurdle in each season to Dunblane, Motherwell and St Mirren respectively
After a great weekend and Wee Mans appetitie well and truly whetted for the fitba it would have been rude not take him to another of Scotland’s greatest grounds. I love Borough Briggs, it has its charms and is a throwback to a bygone era. It really is a gem of the Scottish game. There is a wee change that has happened since my last visit. The new astro pitches behind one of the goals. The fact this backs onto the ground now adds a modern part to this one hundred and one year old beauty which would look better if it was walled off. But I can’t really complain as these new facilities are for the greater good and throughout the night were chock a block with kids of all ages. That has to be a good thing.
Wee Mans first Elgin City experience started in amusing fashion during the warm up. We stopped behind the goal to watch the keeper warm up as this is part of a match day for Wee Man. As we were eating our pies (delightful steak efforts for the record)and I was scoofing my coffee his yellow ball was sitting on the terrace. A guy walked past, saw it and thought it was a training ball.(Elgin’s balls were also yellow). This led to him booting it on the park, my inner monologue let out an “oh fuck” and without a thought I cleared the perimeter wall and ran on to get it before any Elgin player got a hold of it, this raising a few funny looks from the players and punters. The Elgin player coming to get the ball was informed “that’s my ba min”. It must have looked strange. But I couldn’t care as an upset Wee Man is not worth thinking about.
The game was strange. Annan looked pretty decent and were suffering no hangover after their Scottish Cup exploits on Saturday but Elgin had the the best chances and really should have been a few to the good at half time. Instead they let in an early goal which was avoidable. This came from Lewis Hunter who couldn’t believe his luck when he found himself twelve yards out to slip the ball past Daniel Hoban in the Elgin goal. A poor goal to give away defensively and not the start Gavin Price needed with his team in poor form. Elgin from here created numerous chances. Omar shanked a clear shot on goal wide from eighteen yards. He had to at least hit the target from the position he was in. Dingwall was next and fired one over the bar when hitting the target seemed easier. Angus Mailer then had a great chance but this time was thwarted by the fingertips of Fleming who got the slightest of touches to send the ball out for the corner. A great save rather than a bad miss. Next up was Omar who rifled an effort across goal with venom but saw it head just past the post. Then Elgin’s best chance of the half fell to Kane Hester who was clean through heading toward goal at pace. Fleming came out and it looked like Hester would round him but he got it wrong and the keeper came to Annan’s rescue. A huge chance. Omar then again had a decent chance which he made easy for Fleming to get behind. Incredibly Elgin hadn’t scored and Annan again did what the Black and Whites were failing to do and stuck the ball in the net, again with the help of poor defending. Aiden Smith the scorer with a minute of the half to go leaving Elgin duo Hoban and McHardy to argue about who’s fault it was.
HT 0 v 2
Half time saw some more quality old rock tunes played over the PA as we were also treated to pre game. A bit of Free and Aerosmith will never go a miss. I also noticed that the stadium announcer seemed to be the most pleasant MC I have ever heard at the fitba. We had our usual kick about and I hadn’t realised the low temperature. Wee Man removed his hat and scarf and I wasn’t cold at all, then when I went to bin our cups the bin was frozen shut. Either there is a lot to be said about a HT kick about or I have a quality jacket. The lack of wind was probably a big factor too. There was not even the slightest breath all game.
The second half wasn’t as action packed as the first but Elgin did create a couple of decent chances early with Dingwall pulling out a decent save from Fleming being the most notable. Annan had a penalty shout when a rocket of an effort from Hunter(I think) looked to hit a black and white hand on its way toward goal, the whole Annan team claimed but the ref waved it away. Elgin had another great chance which was created through a wonderful move which started in their own box. The multi pass move was rapid, well worked and deserved a goal but the final part of the move fell flat as the opportunity for a first time effort from Dingwall was not taken which killed it. The lead up though was a fantastic move though. A lot of the remaining play was in the Annan half and a lot around the the box but Annan defended well and didn’t let Elgin get near. As the time started running out more and more fouls crept into the game and it got a tad scrappy until the final whistle. The 512 mile round trip was worth it for the Galabankies.
A big win for Annan with them opening a 9 point gap between them and being out of the playoff spots. In Elgin’s case this was a bad loss as they now find themselves on the same points as third bottom Albion and two games in front. Then below them, Cowdenbeath are 9 behind with three games in hand, and guess who they are playing on Saturday……..?The Blue Brazil at Central Park, a bloody huge game for them and the run they are on does not make for good reading.
A decent game in a magnificent old school ground and to make things better Wee Man told me in the car “I really like Elgin’s ground”. A man of good tastes. A great end to this mid-term football traipse. Four new grounds to his collection and his fitba education grown considerably over the weekend with all his questions and of course our visit to the Hampden museum. Who knew your best mate could be a seven year old.
Me still 222, Wee Man 95