Seafield Park, Highland Football League, 30/3/22
Entrance – Me £8, Wee Man £0
Attendance – 179 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – Pie x 2, Coffee, Juice, Crisps £6.60
Pint – N/A
Strathspey Thistle Football Club
Founded – 1993
Nickname – The Strathy Jags
Honours – None
Random Fact – The drunkest I ever got on a bus ride home from a game(playing days) was after a game in Grantown back in the Strathy Jags’ Junior times when our refreshments for the journey home after a few pints in the local pub was a “Glasgow Banquet” . Which is made up of Buckfast and Space Raiders. Early bed for me that night
A rare Wee Man Wednesday for me and when he asks for fitba, I am not going to say no. Usually I would be donning my chefs hat and watching films with a few beers in the company of the other greatest human on earth, but a late change of plans saw the father son combo instead. With Wee Mans’s quest for fitba and the time of the season, there was only one place to start, the Highland League title run in. A new one for him but a place I have played and viewed in the past. With the Met Offices lazy just assuming that Grantown-on-Spey would be bloody freezing and snowing did put the doubts in my mind to whether this was a good idea and even drew me towards the Forres Mechanics v Buckie Thistle game for a wee period but we braved it and found that the Met Office were speaking pish. Snowing on the way there, nope, snowing at kick off, nope. Sub zero temperatures, again wrong. On arrival at Seafield Park the hills around Grantown did not have a drop of snow on them. I would even say that Oldmeldrum was suffering worse weather than the Highland town. Yes there were a few light sporadic showers but nothing to give a yellow weather warning. Well off, but I will not complain.
With us arriving twenty minutes before kick off there was plenty of time for a pre-game kick about and with Wee Man’s eyes lighting up at the huge expanse of grass behind the near goal I could tell he already loved the place. The simple things make grounds good for him and he loved Seafield.
The game didn’t go to the score line i went for in the car on the way there. 5-0 the Broch was my guess but it was far from it. To be honest The 4-2 isnt as comfortable as it looks. The first half was very even in terms of possession. The first ten minutes was all Strathspey and played in the Broch half until the visitors warmed into the match. The first real chance of the match fell to Scott Barbour who broke free from his man in the box but was brilliantly denied by the Strathy keeper Robert Donaldson who got down well and managed to paw the ball from the Broch strikers feet. It wasnt too long until Barbour was in the thick of things again but he found himself blasting over from twelve yards. Given his reaction he knew he should at least hit the target. The game continued to be eeksy peeksy with the only difference in the sides being Fraserburgh getting more balls into the box but the score remained deadlocked in the first third of the match. Strathy’s first real chance came from a set piece when a header was put wide(not sure who as it was at the other end and the dark blue number on blue shirt is not the easiest to see under the lights). But whoever it was really should have done better as the goal was gaping and the header was free. Fortunately, no more than a minute later the home side took the lead. A headed pass through to Dylan Lawrence left the striker with an open goal to tap into. Keeper or defensive error? I am still trying to work out what happened for the man to have such an easy goal. The Jags had played well thus far and nobody would say they didn’t deserve it. At this point Buckie also took the lead at Forres meaning the Broch dropped to second. The Strathspey goal did seem to annoy the Broch who had their best period of pressure and a common as day turns to night the equaliser went in for the Broch from that man “Fig” Barbour who was on hand ten yards out to slide onto a rebound and fire an effort through a clutch of bodies that left Donaldson no chance. The visitors were soon in the lead and Barbour was again involved when he took the left back out of the game and swung a ball perfectly to the head of Paul Campbell who directed the ball past Donaldson to take the Broch in at the half in the lead. But they were fortunate as the last action of the forty five saw Strathy forward Kris Duncan balloon one over the bar from close range, he seemed to go for too much power when it was not needed.
HT 1 v 2
Half time saw us have another kick about behind the goal and Wee Man was determined to show off his goalkeeping skills. Not something I would usually be against but…….when he is wearing his school jacket as its his thickest jacket and best for the elements on the night, I could only watch and think, “what the fuck is he going to wear tomorrow?”.
The Broch came flying out of the traps in the second half and immediatley had the ball in the net for a third time when Campbell played the ball wide to Logan Watt on the left who cut inside an let fly with a brilliant effort across the goal and into the far corner. A great goal and a good nerve settler for Fraserburgh. If there was any worries of the three points not heading to Bellslea they were eradicated when in the fiftieth minute it was 1-4 when Scott Barbour knocked the ball over Donaldson from close range after a header to him from Butcher. It looked a poor goal to give away given the space but that takes nothing away from a quality finish from a man who struck his 200th Broch goal on the night. Both teams seemed to sense the game was over here and the action dried up and in all honesty became a bit boring. The next big moment came when Strathspey grabbed a goal back when Wee Mans namesake centre half Jake Thomson delightfully headed a Logan cross past Joe Barbour in the Broch goal. The header was perfect and everyone in our vicinity let out statements such as “some fucking header that” or “beautiful heider “. Goal of the game for sure but it was nothing but another consolation. There was a controversial moment with ten to go that may have set the cat amongst the pigeons when Strathspey should have had a penalty. The centre halves handball was clear as as day and stonewall, however the offside the linesman called was baffling. The handler was playing everyone on. Would a penalty and maybe a red card have changed the outcome of the game or the league, we will never know but it was a lucky break for Fraserburgh thats a fact.
Credit to Strathspey as they did not look like a team languishing second bottom.Well done to the Broch for another three points in the bag but they were not at their best and a better team would have beat them tonight. But I wont be too critical as it is “squeaky bum time” and they are doing the business and that’s all that matters and it doesn’t matter how. See you in Rothes on Saturday .
Finally, congratulations to Scott Barbour on his milestone goal tonight. He really is a top top player.
Me still 227, Wee Man 103