Hillhead Park, Soccerworld Premier Division, 6/4/22
Entrance – Both Free
Attendance – 42
Pie – N/A (Closed for midweekers)
Pint – £3.80 Tenenets, Aberdeen Arms Hotel
Tarves Football Club
Founded – 1930s
Nickname – None
Honours – Aberdeenshire AFA 3rd Divison -1990/91. Hans Fyfe Trophy – 1990/91 Stephen Shield – 2009/10 and 2013/14
Random Fact – The big 3 inch scar at my right eye is a permanent reminder of Hillhead Park. Although not done during the game but two days prior, I refused to sit the derby v Tarves out on the Monday night and played with a bandage, all stiches burst during the game and the cut opened much further. Every time is see the scar in the mirror I remember that game. (3 v 2 win for Ellon Thistle for the record)
Something a bit different tonight and extremely surprising it was possible given we were snowed in four and half miles away not much more than twenty four hours previously . The joys of Aberdeenshire weather made sure this derby was on. I say derby because there are ten miles between the clubs and both towns come under the bracket of my hometown Ellon. That’s a proper derby distance in my eyes. However on a personal level its a teenage related derby for me as these were the two places my group of friends lived and I used to underage drink and attend house parties when at school. There was the added bonus of the the now defunct Globe in Tarves selling me drink at fifteen as I was a big loon. Never was an eye lid batted in that joint. Those days were magic, life was all about a Saturday, fitba then partying at night. It really is a shame I had to grow up. Then again life isn’t too shabby these days with the Wee Man and the Banks o’ Dee-er. Swings and roundabouts I suppose.
After the snowed in day yesterday of Mario Kart and blizzard kick abouts in the garden yesterday, I fancied being out all day today. Wee Man had other ideas though. Cinema, Uni game at Hillhead(could have done two Hillheads in a day), down to Perth for the day, walk in the middle of nowhere were all rebuffed by him in favour of garden kick abouts being again flavour of the day. Something I will never complain about. Strangely though there was a request to make crumble which we duly did. A fine quiet day ending up the four and a half miles away on Tree Road after a good munch at only Tarves pub, the Aberdeen Arms.
Up Tree Road we toddled towards the game and the temperature was unbelievable considering the arctic conditions on Tuesday. It was easily ten degrees. A huge swing in circumstances. But Hillhead Park was wet and dubby making me hope it would be throwback fitba on show. It also made me glad I keep a pair of scabby trainers in the car for nights like these. On arrival we were met by the teams warming up on a wee training area next to the pitch complete with goals, Wee Man’s eyes lit up as he knew there was an impending kick about. (A bloody muddy one too). Then he notice the famous slope. “Daddy that goal is higher than that one”. He doesn’t need to have an eagle eye to see the incline, it is a beautiful fitba ground quirk. The fact the place is called Hillhead (Tree Road is a hill street and it sits at the top) is quite humorous as the pitch itself has its own hillhead on it. The game itself started off scrappy in the first ten minutes but it wasn’t to last and the first half became a very entertaining watch. Tarves started to take the game to Newburgh and you could see a goal coming. Not before a few guilt edge chances were wasted, Blair Davidson, Stuart Massie, Brycie Davidson all guilty. However I may be being a tad harsh on the latter who headed wide, but maybe the ball was just a bit too high on reflection. Newburgh had very little to offer barring a free kick from Crosby which Boddie dealt with easily. Tarves continued to get the ball into the Newburgh box and eventually opened the scoring through Fraser Tait who knocked home from close range. Tarves then could have had a quick fire second if not for Thistle keeper Gary Cruikshanks who was off his line well and down quick to stop Davisdon in his tracks. The game was a bit one sided at this point and Massie again fluffed his lines when he should have been celebrating as he sclaffed an effort into Methlick from inside the box. It should really have been buried. A second did come from Davidson when he found himself inside the box in acres of space to side foot home into the bottom right corner. Newburgh claimed for offside but it was futile and reeked of knowing their defending was very very suspect. Then immediately Newburgh scored and in easy fashion too when Liam Jones seemed to in slow motion waltz past three Tarves defenders and leave Boddie rooted as he slipped the ball into the bottom corner from twelve yards out. A very good solo bit of play from the Newburgh man. The action continued immediately when the home side were give a penalty after Davidson was scythed down. There could be no complaints. Stuart Massie stepped up but Newburgh keeper Cruikshanks got across his goal smartly to save. Massie turned villain to hero when he grabbed a third for Tarves when he struck the ball past Cruikshanks this time from inside the box before the half was out. This killed the game in all honesty and Tarves were to shoot down the ski jump in the second which suggested more goals were to come.
HT 3 v 1
The second half was a lot more one sided and Newburgh seemed to know it was beyond them. Tarves dominated the ball, ran the midfield and showed the difference in league positions. Not much in terms of attacking threat in the early stages with a fizzing effort from defender Shaun Reid which went just wide. It took until the hour for Tarves to score again and once again it was aided by poor defending, a poor under powered headed clear landed at McEwan who softly but accurately slipped the ball across the the goal into the bottom corner and if the game wasn’t over before it was now. Brycie Davidson notched the fifth when some great work out on the right from Bruce Davidson led to a tap in for the number ten. The game descended into a very stop start affair with fouls becoming more and more frequent and a moment of controversy came. After a comical multi-man stramash at the edge of the centre circle with nobody seeming to be able to win the ball, it was ended by a foul on Newburgh centre half Main who took umbrage to the challenge and clearly tried to headbutt a Tarves man. This coming a couple of yards in front of the referee who chose to ignore it. Was it because the game was gone for the visitors. I cannot believe this was not spotted by the official as Wee Man and me were forty yards away and saw it clearly. Tarves were not finished with the scoring and grabbed a sixth and final goal when Colin “Chucky” Cruickshank scored goal of the game when Tarves knocked the ball about splendidly toying with Newburgh, this culminating in a great run in behind and an equally as good through ball leaving the big striker to poke the ball home from six yards out. A cracking team goal and a good note to end the game on.
One thing I did notice tonight as I was watching. I knew I had played there a few times but never thought I had watched a game. But a day back circa fifteen plus years ago came to mind. Myself and a couple of team mates watched Tarves when our own team had a free week once. We were drinking Stellas in the car on the way there and had a couple of pints in the Aberdeen Arms prior and post. The opposition was Sportsmans Club of Aberdeen and it was a scorching hot day. I now remember it like it was yesterday. But when compiling my ground list when Wee Man and I took this neutral fitba malarkey on, I missed them as I had completely forgotten. I wonder if there are any more missing.
Me, belatedly 228 , Wee Man 104