Echt win 7 v 6 on Penalties
Pleasure Park, Association Trophy 1/4 Final, 31/5/21
Entrance – Free
Attendance – 89
Pint – N/A
Echt Amateur Football Club
Founded – 1990
Nickname – None
Honours – AAFA Premier Division/Division 1 – 1996/97 , 2000/01, 2001/02, 2006/07 and 2007/08. AAFA Division 2 – 1995/96, AAFA Division 3 – 1994/95, AAFA Division 4 – 1993/94. North of Scotland Cup – 1994/95, 1995/96, 2000/01 and 2006/07. AFC Trophy – 1995/96, 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2001/02, 2005/06 and 2007/08. Association Trophy – 1997/98, 2001/02, 2005/06, 2007/08 and 2009/10. Premier Trophy – 2007/08 and 2010/11
Random Fact – The club were accepted into the Aberdeenshire AFA set up for season 1990/91 where they were promoted at first attempt from Division 7. The same feat was managed in Division 6 and 5. They then won Divisons 4, 3 and 2 at first attempt then capped the run off with an incredible Divison 1 crown in their maiden season in the top flight in 1996/97. An astounding run at any level of fitba
Wee Man had the choice today, the old three games and he picks one approach. His choice sending us 20 miles to watch two big hitters of the Aberdeenshire AFA set up battle out a quarter final. I did fancy a trip to Rosewell for Whitehill Welfare v Tranent but it was out of my hands unfortunately. However this cup tie was decent and ended in the way any neutral watching cup games to end……penalties. I will not complain about the serving of fitba we got. Plus I had only played here in the past and never viewed.
On arrival at Pleasure Park were getting the obligatory thumbs up photo when Echt manager Marc Reid spotted us. After asking for help with details on twitter he knew we were coming to watch. He went out his way and made Wee Man’s day by gifting him a hat, scarf and Haribos. A truly awesome gesture from the club, uncalled for but very welcome. It’s these details that junior remembers forever so he will definitely have grown a soft spot for Echt tonight in whats was a historic game for him as it was his first penalty shoot out in his brief fitba watching career. Which left him buzzing in the car on the way home.
The game was decent viewing despite it taking a while to warm up. Kincorth are Premier League Champions but seemed to lack something in the opening stages and were outplayed by their hosts for the first 15 minutes. A spell in which Echt created some good chances. Ben Rattray must have thought he opened the scoring but stand in Kincorth keeper Gary Clark showed a wrist of steel and somehow kept the ball out. David Clark will be kicking himself after allowing Kincorth defender Leisk thwart him after the big striker ran half the length of the park with the defence chasing, he could have got his shot away earlier but chose an extra touch giving time for the covering challenge which was expertly executed on the edge of the six yard box. Having watched the League Cup final from the division below these two teams last night i was very apparent the difference in levels of physicality. This game seemed a lot tougher with challenging seeming to be a lot harder and there was a bit more streetwise shown with sneaky feet being left in and such like. As the half wore on a bit of niggle between team mates started to creep into the Kincorth team. The crux of the issue was sharpness and to be honest it was correct. Echt were the better team and seemed the more hungry. With Lee Murray in the middle for the visitors continually firing up his team Kincorth finished the half as the better team amd really should have went into the break in the lead after Jefferey volleyed a glorious chance over the ball after being found with a free kick. The last action saw Declan Urqhuart pull out a fine stop from Barry Mitchell in the Echt goal with a powerful effort from the edge of the box.
HT 0 v 0
A wee set of goals next to the pitch was a guarantee of a kick about at half time and a simple game of me pinging shots at Wee Man was the order of the evening. But with half time being short it left him a little perturbed at the lack of time to hone his goalkeeping skills. The second half started with a terrible decision from the referee when Kincorth number 9 Gunn was through on goal but called offside. I was in line and I can assure you he was onside when the ball was played and the decision was an absolute coin toss. Not long after I was accosted by a dog who took a shine to me for some reason and a bloody big one at that . A friendly big beast of a thing that when asked what breed I was told a Romanian Mioritic Shepherd Dog. A dog breed that kills Wolves. Not that this one would as she was a big sook. A funny moment and one you don’t get at the upper levels of fitba. Back to the game and the first booking was handed out to Kincorth’s Murray. This on the fifty fifth minute but it wasn’t to be the last. Kincorth pushed for the opener and were astounded that the deadlock wasn’t broken after an hour when a cross made its way through a raft of bodies and goal bound. The destination was Mitchell’s bottom left hand corner but somehow the big keeper got down to flick it past the post. There were definite Gordon Banks vibes to it. The ball seemed to be behind him before he got down. Top goalkeeping. Then the opener came when wide man Andrew Ewen swung in a pin point accurate ball which found its way through the narrowest of channels deceiving the Echt back line and keeper picking out Urqhuart who headed into an unguarded net. The diminutive winger celebrated with a double somersault to match the quality of the cross that found him. A better ball I wont see for the rest of this season. I was right in line with Ewen as he struck it. A thing of beauty. Kincorth were by far the better team at this point and created enough chances to bury the game but could not get the deal done. They then had Clarke in goal to thank for keeping them in the lead when he was wrong footed by a moving/deflected long range effort but miraculously managed to get a last gasp hand to it. A fine save from a man who is actually a centre midfielder. The visitors finally got the second through McKenzie who was left with a tap in after a bit a shambles when Mitchell pulled of what could be called an unorthodox save which went behind him. His teammate stopped the ball dead a couple of yards out leaving McKenzie to poke home into an open goal. Avoidable for Echt giving them a mountain to climb. That mountain was half scaled not long after when Aiden Greig blasted home but was it too late and would the old heads of Kincorth use their experience to hold out for their semi berth? No would be the answer. Echt counter attacked with Ewen in hot pursuit, the Kincorth man went flying in from behind taking the Echt man out the game. No sooner had Ewen got to his feet he had the second yellow and the subsequent red in his face. The resulting free kick was swung into the box with Anderson on hand to head home. A late come back for Echt, one I did not see coming. The home side again had their keeper Mitchell who made a another cracking save in the last minute to stop a Dean Stewart header taking the game to penalties. But not before a big bout of handbags broke out at the final whistle .
The quality of the penalties was high with the first 13 being struck home. Barry Mitchell again acted as the hero for Echt when he stopped Kincorth’s seventh effort from Leisk. A good save more than a bad penalty ending what was an enjoyable game and a cracking choice from Wee Man. (Tranent beat Whitehill Welfare 2-0 for the record). Fitba is about entertainment and thats exactly how I felt walking back to the car. Entertained.
A final word, the Kincorth shirt. Smart
Me 231, Wee Man 108