Riverside Park, EOSFL Premier Division, 15/4/22
Entrance – £6 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 85 (Very Very Rough Head Count)
Pie – £6, 2x Pie and Coffee
Pint – £3 Tennents, Ground Bar
Jeanfield Swifts Football Club
Founded – 1928
Nickname – Swifts
Selected Honours – Perthshire Junior League 1941/42, 1947/48, 1948/49, 1963/64, 1965/66, 1966/67, 1967/68 and 1968–69. Midland Junior League-1943/44, 1945/46 and 1946–47. Tayside Premier League – 1972/73. Tayside Division One – 1976/77, 1984/85, 1995/96 and 1999–00. East Region Central Division – 2011/12 . East Region Premier League-2015/16. Perthshire Junior Cup – 1942/43, 1943/44, 1944/45, 1945/46, 1946/47, 1947/48, 1954/55, 1964/65, 1965/66 and 1972/73. Inter-Regional Cup (GA Cup) -2011/2012 and 2012/13
Random Fact – The clubs most successful period came in the 1940s where they won an incredible 32 trophies over the decade. (9 separate tournaments).
I have heard many a good word regarding the pies at the Riverside Stadium, I am not saying this was the reason for the visit, its more now down to the fact I am running out of grounds between Inverness and Dundee to visit and Perth and north Fife are home to the nearest un-visited grounds to my Garioch abode(Barring Brechin Vics and Nairn St Ninian). But subconsciously I do think the pies were a bit of the draw. Tonight was a bonus game as it was supposed to be tomorrow but at the request of Tynecastle it was pulled forward due to the Edinburgh semi final tomorrow. This giving us a floodlight Friday. It was also a double bonus as we were due to head down a couple of weeks ago but weather concerns prevented us.
On arrival in Perth I realised I had little cash on me, this meaning I had to find the nearest hole in the wall to the Riverside Stadium which turned out to be Asda, or more importantly, what used to be Muirton Park which i tried to explain was St Johnstone’s old ground to Wee Man, however he didn’t get it as we had seen McDiarmid on the way in. “But we saw St Johnstone’s floodlights before”. I quickly gave up. The Riverside Stadium is a tidy set up this was clear on pulling up in the car park. What was also very apparent was, they are a very welcoming and warm club. From the guy at the gate who I had a good blether to about how the Swifts were doing. Interestingly he was telling me that they were short of guys earlier in the week against Thornton Hibs, the reason for three absentees…………they were away playing futsal at international level. I cant say i have ever heard that before. But back to the club, the barman was friendly, the PA announcer was a top bloke and I even had a wee chat with the media man who spotted us and had a blether (he informed me earlier in the week about the fixture being pulled forward). The place just had a feeling of a good club.
The game was a very entertaining watch. I am not one for teams taking a hiding but this was constant entertainment from the first minute until the end. There seemed to always be something of note going on. The match opened with a bang and was a tale of the two keepers. Mark Mitchell in the home goal and Murray Jackson blocking the visitors net and it was the latter who was the busier. Within ten minutes he had kept his team in the game with three great saves. Chris Dodd was first to be thwarted when after taking a long ball down superbly on the eighteen yard line Jackson managed to put it wide after racing off his line and making himself huge. Dodd was again cursing the keeper soon after when he hammered a half volley from twelve yards but again it was expertly palmed to safety. Then Connor McLaren hit a bouncing shot which did take a strange bounce in the rutted goal mouth but despite being initially wrong footed Jackson managed to save then gather at the second attempt. This was his best save of the three given the circumstances. In amongst, Jackson’s opposite number Mitchell pulled of a cracking save when Tynecastle’s striker attempted to smash one home across the goal into the opposite corner but Mitchell was down in a flash at full stretch to tip past. Best save of the match so far. Swifts had a lot of the ball and it wasnt long untill they were knocking at the door again but once again Jackson was on hand to keep it 0-0. This time when Shaun Struthers hit a powerful effort from range which was superbly tipped over. The home side were infuriated by the referee when he tossed a coin for a stonewall penalty decision but incredibly gave a free kick to Tynecastle when it was a defender ball watching who clipped the Swifts striker. All this had happened in the first fifteen minutes and it was on the quarter of an hour mark where the Tynecastle net was finally breached. Dodd this time had his moment of glory when he was clearly hungrier than the Tynecastle defence and keeper when he managed to barge through bullishly leading to a poor clearance hitting him leaving a tap in. A deserved goal for the man who had been a constant pain in the Tynecastle side. From the restart the visitors got up the park and were also the victims of a coin toss decision from the ref when again it was a stonewaller when their big striker was scythed down. We could see it from the opposite end. Worse still Jeanfield went up the park straight away and doubled their lead when Dodd slipped in McLeish who was clean through to slip the ball cooly past Jackson from eighteen yards. Not long after it was three and it was McLeish again who rose in wide open space to nod home a freekick. The defending was abysmal from the visitors. It was looking like game over at twenty two minutes on the clock.However Tynecastle had different ideas and came into the game and had a decent bit of possession. On thirty eight minutes they had one back. A great mazy run from Kennedy took the whole swifts defence out of the game leaving the ball to land at Taylor Hendry who stuck it away. Tynecastle almost had a second before the half was out too when Hendry chipped a ball over Mitchell but it was agonizingly slightly behind an onrushing Kennedy. The half time whistle went and it looked like Tynecastle were back in it given the last ten minutes of the half.
HT 3 v 1
Half time saw the usual kick about but also the unusual me winning the half time draw. Well third prize which saw me win a fiver. Tynecastle’s late first half resurgence was extremely short lived. Within seconds of the restart it was 4 v 1 when Lowe was on the spot to tap home a McLeish cross from close range. Surely game over. If it wasn’t it was a minute later when Jeanfield rattled in a fifth. A stunning inch perfect ball through to Keilour Lowe was finished off with ease just like the visitors seemed to be. It could have been worse for the Edinburgh side too as Swifts missed a some simple chances, all headers from crosses. Some of which were absolute sitters. Also added into the mix was a missed penalty when Jackson stopped McLeish bagging a hatrick. It looked a poor penalty rather than great save but the keeper guessed right all same. Tynecastle were screaming for a penalty again shortly after when Ponton was challenged by Mitchell in the box. The big keeper slid in with a perfectly good challenge but it led to mass remonstrations from the bench and players. Wee Man and me had the best view in the house and I can assure everyone it was a great tackle. A sixth came on seventy eight minutes and clearly Jeanfield were saving the best until last. Chris Dodd take a bow sir. From twenty five yards he stuck his laces through the ball and let loose a howitzer into Jackson’s top right corner. It was so hard it looked as if Jackson dived after it had passed him. As sweet a strike as I will see all season and the cherry on top for the Swifts. The scoring may have ended here but it really shouldn’t have as the hosts again missed a few good chances before the final whistle brought this highly entertaining match to a close. As stated above, I am not a fan of teams getting a hiding but it was hard not to really enjoy this match, one that is potentially the last of the season for me. If so its a good way to bow out. Oh and the pies were bloody fantastic too, I had a feeling they would be.
Me 229, Wee Man 106