Spain Park, North Region Superleague, 19/2/22
Entrance – Me £5, Wee Man £ 0
Attendance – 73(Rough Head Count)
Pie –Pie x 2, Coffee and Juice £8
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, Aberdeenshire Shield– 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 – The Club are the first Junior club to win the Aberdeenshire Cup and also the Aberdeenshire Shield, both feats managed in a historic double this season.
After a near apocalypse of frozen proportions which included having to abandon my car in the middle of Meldrum, school closure, jack knifed lorries, gridlock for miles and miles and much more unwanted shite, I was surprised that even thinking about a game was possible let alone actually setting foot in a ground. But life is full of surprises and we found ourselves at Spain Park again to see my intermittent local team v my hometown team. I say again as its not the first time this season we have found ourselves there or this month either. The choice given to Wee Man was close-ish games as I didn’t want to travel too far, Peterhead, Forfar Athletic and Banks o’ Dee. There was no thought to his decision, it was immediate and Spain Park was our destination. We seemed to have adopted Banks o’ Dee over the last few seasons, this not really occurring to me until this season. This being my 8th viewing of them thus far in 2021/22. To be noted the original plan was to head to Nairn St Ninian v Banks o’ Dee but it was off due to the weather and the league hastily arranged this fixture.
This does not go down as a classic or a typical Dee performance but it was entertaining enough and played in fantastic weather. The visit also started in great style when we were allowed in to the board room by chairman Brian Winton for a close look at the trophies of the Aberdeenshire double the club has secured this season. Two stunning pieces with amazing intricate design. Many expected this to be a rout, myself included who had predicted seeing double figures for the first time this season.(The closest so far being East Craigie sticking 9 past Scone Thistle). There is a reason I don’t gamble much, I would be crap at it as my prediction proved today. This due to a combination of the Dee being wasteful and Ellon seeming to have improved since we saw them take 8 off Bridge of Don Thistle. Early chances came to the Dee with the best falling to Lachie MacLeod who cleared the bar and perimeter fence of Spain Park from ten yards out after latching on to a Henderson cross. A player of his caliber should really be burying these. The first goal wasn’t too long in coming and it was Marc Gilmour who nodded in from five yards after a cross from Young was just out of reach for the United keeper Gibson. It hit the bar dropping perfectly for the Dee number 8 to head in. Banks o’ Dee continued to dominate but could not add to their lead. This allowed Ellon to equalise with their first real chance of the match when Fraser Thompson pulled a save out of Hobday and was on hand to tuck away the rebound. A surprise to the sparse crowd(possibly affected due to the last minute nature of the fixture). The Dee had a penalty claim not long after, from where I was the view was obstructed by players, however the Dee players reaction plus an Ellon man’s hands to head were sure signs there was something in it, the ref waved play on to the dismay of the home players. They did find the back of the net again before the half concluded, again via a head. This time Jack Henderson stuck one in the top corner from a few yards after MacLeod picked him out brilliantly. The Dee were not firing on all cylinders but were comfortably in the lead going into half time.
HT 2 v 1
Half time saw Wee Man ask me to play his chipping the balls into the tyres game with him. (As mentioned in the Culter match blog). This making it clear to why he really chose to head to Spain Park again. To be fair it’s a good laugh and fills in the break and at least I didn’t lose to a seven year old this time. 6 v 6 we finished. The second half was much and such the same. Ellon were not scared to hand out a bit of roughhousing, The Dee missed chances and the ball was mostly in the Ellon half. The first real chance fell to Gilmour who headed wide from a corner when he really should have hit the target at least. Gilmour was then soon on hand to wallop a shot goal bound which seemed to hit a hand on the way through and out for a corner. The Dee players protested but the corner was the decision. From the kick Lachie MacLeod had an effort cleared off the line. Jack Henderson flashed a decent header wide before the Ellon goal was breached again. Matthew Wallace scored goal of the game when he managed to drive an effort low across goal beyond Gibson. The cross came in on was on the way up as he hit it but he drilled it like an arrow into the bottom corner. Not the easiest skill to pull off but he did it very well. MacLeod was guilty of not taking his chances again when he burst through with two Ellon defenders failing to keep out with him, Gibson came out and thwarted the big frustrated striker. The next decent chance fell to Beattie who lashed a ball across the goal from 18 yards only to see it go marginally wide. MacLeod was again to add to his own frustrations when he struck a half volley straight at Gibson from close range. His shooting boots were needing a good polish today. But in the last minute he finally got his name on the score sheet when he fired home into Gibsons right hand corner. This goal was bizarrely not celebrated at all and MacLeod just ran back over the half way line as did his team mates. Was this a collective annoyance at not scoring at least double during the match. On another day this could have been 8 or 9. The Dee were never in doubt but as the final whistle went it was clear they knew this could have been a massacre. Ellon on the other hand were very much a better team than the one we saw in October in the shadow of Pittodrie . I can’t complain about anything, it got us out the house, the weather was ace, Wee Man enjoyed it and Wee Man was more than chuffed with his photo with the double. A good day watching our “adopted” team together.
Me still 222, Wee Man still 95