Moorside Park, South Challenge Cup, 8/3/22
Entrance – Me £7 , Wee Man £0
Attendance – 88 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – £3 Coffee, Mars Bar, Caramel Wafer
Pint – £3.50, Tennents and Irn Bru , Social Club
Dundonald Bluebell Football Club
Founded – 1938
Nickname – The Bell
Honours – East Region Central Division – 2006/07. Fife Junior League – 1951/52, 1956/57, 1957/58 and 1982/83
Random Fact – 1946 saw the team win three cups in twenty four hours, Friday night, Saturday afternoon and Saturday night. Quite the feat before ending their time as a juvenile club and turning Junior .
This fixture is a bit of a derby for me. In terms of I have tried to see both sides in the past and failed miserably. On the first occasion for the Bell the game was postponed due to weather. The second attempt was a day out on the beers with a few mates. Train tickets bought to Kirkcaldy, all set to get for a few scoops in Lino City and Cardenden. Then corona put all fitba to the sword. Tranent on the other hand have had three attempts, two were weathered off and the third time penciled in was coronad off too. But to add to my Tranent nightmare, the only time I have managed to see them was at Hill of Beath Hawthorn where the game was abandoned after around twenty minutes. Tonight I finally got a ninety minutes of both clubs and a decent watch it was too.
Fife for a midweeker seems a bit mad with Junior in tow but there was reason for the madness. He needed to tick of his 99th ground before Saturdays visit to Pollok, the club he has chosen to celebrate his milestone and with our plans set in stone we needed something this week. With the AWPR a trip to Fife has been drastically reduced time wise and with lack of traffic, a visit to the Bluebell only took us one hour fifty minutes to get home from. Its not as bad as it sounds, a later alarm in the morning will fix everything.
On arrival in Cardenden we headed for a chipper from Tony’s and i have to say the Jumbo sausage supper was quality. The chicken nugget I nicked out of Wee man box was also spot on. A fine and enjoyable start to the night. Once we arrived at Moorside Park I was disappointed with the darkness on entry, all choice thumbs up photo locations were awfully dark. But it was all forgotten when in the ground. This due to it being a great wee ground. It’s compact in general. The main enclosure looks ace with the clubs name emblazoned across the roof. The whole place looks good and its tidy too. It also has another couple of enclosures, including the Kop adjacent the main terrace. The bar is of decent size and is decked out well with ace wee tables sporting the clubs badge. I was a good start to the night seeing this excellent set up
The game added to the night to as it turned out to be a very well contested match. To add to Wee Mans night there was a fair sized expanse of grass at the dugout side where a kick about could be had. A winner of a night on the whole. The games data will show that Tranent had a higher percentage of the ball, more balls into the box, more attempts but who really looks at the data. The only thing that matters is the score and it was not in the East Lothian sides favour. The visitors did take the game to the Bell from the off and the game was largely played out in the Bluebell half for the first twenty minutes but Tranent didn’t make it count and as wannabe goalkeeper Wee Man pointed out the bell ‘keeper Allison had not touched the ball with his hands by twenty minutes and neither had Kelbie Mason at the other end for that matter. Football is a funny game and despite all the possession the home side took the lead through Barry Sibanda who ran onto a through ball to slot home past Swain from fifteen yards. The Tranent back line claimed offside but it was in vain and from my neutral opinion it was clutching at straws as we were bang in line and Sibanda was onside. Tranent went in search of the equaliser and almost immediately found one when Renton saw an effort strike the post. Then a moment of controversy when the visitors looked to have scored, some players celebrated but Allison in the Bell goal scrambled to retrieve his error and carried on , no goal. Whether it was in or not I will never know and was too far away to see clearly but at the break a few punters said it crossed the line. Credit to Allison as he played to the whistle, football 101 that. Dundonald doubled their lead when Lewis McKenzie expertly struck a venomous volley when the Tranent defenders clearance dropped at him. The effort left Mason no chance. A very sweet strike. The deficit looked to be halved late in the half when Tranent had the ball in the net. But inexplicably the ref chalked it off. I can only imagine it was for a foul on the keeper, but if that was the case it was a nonsense decision.
HT 2 v 0
As we walked back to our kick about area, Wee man gave me a good laugh. We had to walk behind Bluebell’s keeper Allisons goal, as a very vocal player all we could hear was his voice. This made Wee Man pipe up, “Dad what language is he speaking?”. After laughing I replied “He speaks Fife “. I suppose though he has not been to Fife very often. Must like foreign to him. One of the best moments of the game came early in the half when Ross Brown headed a cross into the bottom corner, it looked a dead cert to hit the net but from put of nowhere Mason got across his goal to palm it wide. A superb save and well worth the clap it got. Then another great moment came. Tranent’s goal. It was great but in a calamitous and lucky manner. Euan Bauld thundered an effort goal ward which smashed the Bluebell centre half square in the face, Bauld again powerfully struck the ball on the rebound which cannoned off team mate Renton’s back this took all the power out of the ball sending it up like a mortar and over the helpless Allison who was stranded by the deflection. As minky a goal as you will see. Game on. Or was it as the visitors were put down to ten men when McKenzie threw himself into a challenge at speed. It looked rash but again it was the kind of challenge I used to love. Maybe not a red in yesteryear but today’s game I suppose it was right. This did not seem to affect Tranent who continued to look for the equaliser and finished the game as the better team creating a lot which didn’t have the final touch. The best effort fell to Renton who header pulled out a tidy save from Allison. The game again seemed to all be played in the Bluebell half in the final quarter as it was in the first quarter but Dundonald hung on and progressed to the next round.
A decent game for the neutral, a cracking wee ground, not as far away from home as I thought. Moorside Park is part of the upcoming “Scottish Groundhop” and is a great addition in my eyes. The lovely ladies birthday is that weekend again so would not have been heading(twice that has happened). But to anyone who is, you will love this place.
More importantly though, tonight’s visit sets us up nicely for Wee Man’s big day on Glasgow’s southside on Saturday.
Also, maybe it’s time we try Foresters Park again. Maybe we might make it this time
Me 225 and Wee Man 99