The Haughs, Highland Football League, 4/3/22
Entrance – Me £8, Wee Man Free
Attendance – 335 Rough head count (also to be noted hard to decipher officials from fans)
Pie – Sausage roll x 2, crisps and coffee £8.60
Pint – £4 , Tennents and Irn Bru, Fan Bar
Turriff United Football Club
Founded – 1954
Nickname – Turra
Honours – Aberdeenshire Shield – 2010/11, 2012/13, 2014/15
Random Fact – A friend of mine Keith Reid played for Huntly but decided to leave and head back to the Juniors as the travel was too much in the HFL. He signed for Turriff and almost immediately after joining the club they applied for the HFL which was almost guaranteed to be successful, meaning his stint was a short one.
A local one under the lights for us as we had a wee matter to take care of at half ten at night. Where better than the ace set up that is The Haughs in Turriff, just a mere fifteen miles up the A947. The greatest league in the world on a Friday under the lights. Sign me up. A beer in the supporters bar prior to kick off saw us bump into an old fitba/college acquaintance who was on the corporate for the night. This leading to a catch up and making me aware of a potential team he coaches for Wee Man to join as he is now seeming to be keen on joining one. A good bonus for the night seeing Stuart after a good few years.
First thing to notice about the Haughs as we headed for our perch was the pitch. Heavily cut up during the warm up leaving it severely rutted. This coming as no surprise given the rain in the previous few days plus The Haughs pitch which is renowned for not being the greatest with dealing with water. With a few minutes prior to KO we got wired into our sausage rolls and let me just get it in here they were bloody brilliant. Some of the finest fitba cuisine I have had in a good while. Kick off came and it was the hosts who looked the more threatening and created a couple of decent chances early on. The best being when Magnus Watson made his way at pace from around the halfway line, as he closed in, a number of team mates were in space and arguably better positions but the Turriff number ten took it on himself and curled an effort across goal but off target. Formartine were incensed by a non penalty award their way moments later. I cant say if it was or not as we were at the furthest point from the incident as we could be. It was not given and Turriff continued to take the game to Formartine. Reid had the next good chance for Turra when he drilled a volley from a corner low but missed the target by a couple of inches. Poor Formartine defending from Chris Antoniazzi let Turriff full back Rhys Clark get the ball into the box where Reid pulled of an improvised flicked effort that visiting keeper MacDonald managed to deal with. Turriff were by far the better team limiting Formartine to one good chance where Jonny Smith stung Findlay’s fingers with a bullet of a freekick. We saw Turriff chase shadows against Brechin a few months ago and the improvement in the side since that night was remarkable. They got their rewards when Brown chased down keeper MacDonald after the keeper was given a terrible pass from Anderson, MacDonald tried to clear but Brown had closed down all angles leaving the keeper to kick straight off the forward and see the ball end up in his unguarded net. As Wee Man needed the toilet just before the half i duked in for a quick piss too and in this time Formartine equalised through Jonny Smith in what I was told was “a bit of a scramble” by a fellow punter.
HT 1 v 1
Even with the pitch looking sorry for itself at the halfway mark, Turriff were quick out the traps and regained the lead almost immediately after the restart.Aaron Reid was played in with a fantastic through ball which he latched onto and calmly rounded the on rushing MacDonald. A cracking start for the hosts and they continued to seek goals and were unlucky not to add when Watson shanked an effort wide just after the lead was taken. The ball was continually in the Formartine half, so inevitably Formartine went up the park and equalised for the second time in the night when Graham Rodger was on hand to wallop home a rebound from close range. It was turning out to be a very good game of fitba. Fridays under the lights have a special greatness to me and when the games are good on the eye it adds to the occasion and this was one of those nights in front of a very healthy crowd. Formartine should have taken the lead through Scott Lisle who should have scored a volley when the Turriff defence seemed to switch off again as they did for the equaliser. A big let off for the home side. The game became end to end from here with the changing of possession being constant. This leading to the Turriff faithful giving it the old school cheering of every touch then booing when Formartine regained the ball. A bit of amusement in the dying moment of the games. The action was not finished though and Keir Smith will be a little disappointed with his headed effort late on which he put well over the Formartine bar. Formartine would also have left The Haughs disappointed as they should have capitalised on another switch off in the Turriff back line but the effort(unsure who due to the mass of bodies) was tame giving Findlay too much of a chance to save which he did. This infuriating Formartine chairman Athol Cadger who was stood next to us turning the air blue at this point. The final whistle went and the two of us were happy with the nights viewing. I was also chuffed to see the improvement in Dean Donaldson’s side. I do carry a wee soft spot for Turriff given my frequency of visits and hope to see them at the better end of the league in future.
Me still 224, Wee Man still 98