The Meadows, North Region JFA Super League, 12/4/22
Entrance – £5 Me, £0 Wee Man
Pie – £1 Coffee
Pint – N/A
Ellon United Football Club
Founded – 1890
Nickname – United
Honours – North East Division One – 1983/84. North Region Division One – 2016/17. Morrison Cup – 1977/78. McLeman Cup – 1977/78
Random Fact – The Club played at Amateur and Senior levels before joining the Junior ranks for the 1974/75 season
The Meadows in Ellon, home of my hometown Junior club Ellon United. Hometown as I spent the first 24 years of my life in the town. Being a native led to so many hours of my life have been spent at the complex in the past. My boys club(Ellon Colts latterly Meadows) played here, the school districts trained here, I used to train with the athletics club there to keep my fitness up for fitba, the last team I played for (Ellon Thistle) played there and on Friday nights I used to play badminton after work there too. It was the hub of my life for a long time and holds many memories. United’s pitch was my home pitch for many a year at Juveniles. I have scored against Dundee United on it, I have been headbutted on it, won a league on it, I have broke my nose on it a couple of times, I watched my first ever Junior game on it (Ellon United v Maud circa 1997) but most importantly spent some of the greatest times of my youth on it sharing them with my Dad on it. Today it was time for a third generation to to visit.
As the day went on the more miserable the weather became, the puddles grew and the sky continued to descend into a deeper grey. However this did not put Wee Man off. He was given the choice of Glentanar and Ellon United. The latter was chosen and despite the weather, questions like “will we get a kick about?”, “will I take my gloves?” ,”who is higher in the league?” were asked. He was clearly not deterred, something I have noticed with him in recent times, unlike before when rain could put him off.
The United pitch is still pretty much the same basic set up it always has been. But since my last visit there is now the Miller Mathieson Suite added to the wing. This for pre-match and half time food and drinks for the committees, with the plebs window for pies etc. (Miller was a long term athletics man in the town and used to train the Athletics team when I was there for a link, he is now on the United board).
The game was a slow burner to start. It had a distinct feel of a end of season dead rubber, this probably down to Ellon’s recent good form pulling them away from the mire and to safety and Dyce in all honestly looking at fourth at best. The first half lacked much action. There was an early chance from the visitors when Leyden struck a dangerous corner which team mate Adam Cross got his head to but just got the direction a bit skewed. Dyce had another chance when Cross thundered the ball goal ward only for it to be met by the chest of Calum Irvine in true Happy Gilmour fashion, however within a minute the defender was down struggling for breath and no much wonder and the strike was fizzing. Dyce played the better football on the eye and Ellon had a bit of a kick and chase half but neither could break the deadlock before half time.
HT 0 v 0
With the darkness coming in quick due to the rain filled skies half time was a quick turn around of 5 minutes. This did not stop me noticing there were teams training on the adjacent “Thistle” pitch. This is a disgrace in my eyes. There was a game postponed half an hour before kick off by the referee on Saturday due to the boggy parts of a box and whoever this team were training in said box and tearing the pitch to bits. With the astronomical amount(and I mean astronomical as I know exactly how much given family ties to a team that plays there) the place charges for a match on a pitch they surely don’t need to have teams training on them. This was unheard of back in the day and this preserved the pitches and gave the Meadows one of the best surfaces in the area where games were never postponed. Not now. The Thistle pitch looks tired, bare and for want of a better word, fucked in some place. Standards have clearly slipped over the years.
Once the game started Ellon seemed to have a bit more go about them and created a couple of half chances early. This before they did take the lead when a stone wall penalty was awarded for a a clear sliding foul. Callum Tremaine stepped up and sent the ball into Pennycooks net with a cool head. Ellon were the better team at this point and their substitutions were making life difficult for Dyce. Jo Airens in particular who saw an effort cleared off the line just moments after coming on. Almost immediately after he saw another effort come close when his curling effort went just wide. He was offside but the referee and linesman both missed it and it would have counted if he had just got that little bit more whip on the ball. Dyce were unlucky not even things up when a sensational jungle run from Ian Leith saw the full back slalom his way through five United players and clean through but Gibson in the Ellon goal was up to the task and came rushing out to make himself big stopping the Dyce mans effort. This forty yard run deserved a goal and it was a shame to see anything but the net rustle. The darkness was coming in rapidly in the dying minutes of the games but the action was not done. In the last minute Dyce forward Sam Robertson saw red in two ways when the red mist descended and he went flying into a challenge that there was no need for given the time in the game and the position in the corner of the pitch. This kicked off a bit a rammy between the two sides, there were hands flying and possibly a head too . Robertson was given his marching orders and team mate Ian Leith followed suit but with the darkness and the amount of bodies involved I dont know what Leith was sent packing for,maybe it was his hands i saw going into the face of a United man. The referee finally got composure in the sides and went to restart with the United freekick but did not bother and blew up for full time ending United’s season on a high.
A poor first half but the second half made up for it. The weather was bloody dour, but give me standing out in that watching the Joons with my loon above the overhyped crap that was on the box tonight.
Me still 228, Wee Man 105