NESCOL Park, NESFA League 1, 4/6/22
Entrance – Free
Attendance – 37
Pie – N/A
Pint – N/A
Elizabethan Link Up Football Club
Founded – 1990
Nickname – The Lizzie
Honours – NESFA League One – 2007 and 2008. NESFA League Two – 2021. Brucklay Cup – 2018. Ardallie Cup – 2019
I have lost count of the many arguments I have had in regard to you don’t need mega million pound egos to create entertaining football. It is a corner I have fought for many years and will continue to fight for many a year yet. There are some people out there who genuinely believe that the more expensive the better or the lower you go the shiter the spectacle becomes. I beg to differ and today I gained more evidence in my favour.
Scotland had some big games on today, three cup finals including the Scottish Junior Cup final between Auchinleck Talbot and Yoker Athletic. There was also the WOSFL Cup semi final between Hurlford United v Pollok. But it was also 20 degrees outside at ten in the morning. There was no way this weather was being wasted sitting in a car for the guts of say seven hours if we went to Ayrshire for example. The Broch awaited….
Where to start with this game between two teams named after pubs(Fraserburgh and St Fergus based). How about the pitch? What a midden. The grass was long and the last batch of cuttings were still scattered across it. A half assed job to say the least. I did wonder how if this would ruin the game somewhat. It didn’t and game wise it was a bloody explosive start which is probablly an understated way of putting it. With early chances to Haven squandered in the first couple of minutes this signaled how this game was to pan out. All attack and no defence. Haven had an early goal ruled out for a foul which i think was correct. Then on four minutes The Lizzie were in the lead when Clint Cassie headed home a corner from five yards out. This lead was lucky to stay in tact after Haven went straight up the park and squandered a good chance when Malloy hit one over the bar when he knew he should have scored. It wasn’t long and the ball was in the net and it counted. The equalizer came when Haven’s Danton was given the freedom of the Broch in the middle of the box, a cross in from the left found him, he had so much time he managed to get his feet tangled, correct himself then finish past Bain in the Link Up goal without a defender near him. Haven then took the lead immediately when PA Bruce knocked home from close range after a brilliant team goal that saw the ball knocked around three quarters of the pitch length. A brilliant multi-pass goal on the eye and only eight minutes on the clock. Link Up were aggrieved soon after when they had the ball in the net for what they though was an equaliser but the referee decided that the Haven keeper Gerard had been fouled in the build up. I would doubt it was a foul but maybe in today’s watered down game its the rules. Soft in my eyes. This game was fast paced and end to end and from a neutral perspective a great watch. The equaliser did come when Robertson struck a long range effort which Gerrard saved well, then saved again at the feet of the oncoming Link Up striker which ricocheted the ball back to striker Sutherland who prodded home. Haven then had a goal chopped off for offside when after running the ball down the right losing the whole Link Up defence, Malloy played a square ball to Danton who tapped home. Absolutely onside but it wasn’t to be. It was now 1-1 in poor refereeing decisions. The legitimate scoring immediately continued and it was the visitors who took the lead when Danton wowed Wee Man when he rounded the keeper and rabona finished into an empty net from twelve yard, “wow that was magic” to quote him and to be fair I clapped it as it was a special finish. The to and fro game continued and Link Up were next to score. A through ball saw Shane Wall burst goal ward, Gerrard came rushing out out and it was the Link Up man who got there before the keeper or the defenders with a swift poke of his toe to send the ball into an empty net. There was hardly time to note down goings on this game was so frantic and before the half was out the Lizzie took the lead with the seventh goal of the game when Gerrard punched a cross into his own net. Sun in his eyes perhaps? Whatever the case Link Up didn’t care and neither did Wee Man and me as this game was a cracker and well worth shunning the big games for. To be noted before the half was out, the referee stopped play at a corner and headed to the corner before it was taken and demanded the ball was put in the quadrant. This pleasing me as it is a pet hate of mine stemming from many years in section Y off the South Stand of Pittodrie where I used to see various players steal half a yard numerous times every other week. A silly bugbear but one I hold. Well done ref.
HT 4 v 3
The question was, how would the second half go? Would their be so much action in this scorching heat, which was 23 degrees when we got out of the car. The first half surely would have taken a lot out of both sets of player. There was not even a minute on the clock and it was 4 v 4. This game was not slowing down by the looks as that man Danton grabbed his hatrick with a decent finish leaving Bain little chance. One aspect of the game that changed was Link Up fell out of it catastrophically and with six minutes of the second half gone they had gone from 4 v 3 up to 4 v 6 down. Not to be out done by his team mate PA Bruce grabbed his second and third in rapid fashion. The second was a sprint through onto a through ball, cut in and neat finish. His hatrick goal was a thumping finish from inside the box. This was surely game over, but going by what happened in the first half and the length of time left you could not rule out any more madness. However Haven were to dominate proceedings and should have hit double figures but missed a hat full of of decent chances. They did however notch another two, PA Bruce did to be more precise taking his tally for the day to five. His fourth was a header from a set piece and his fifth and Haven’s eighth was a another through ball goal where he sprinted onto letting off his shot from the edge of the box and into the net, despite the Link Up defenders multiple pulls at his shirt during the foot race. This ended the scoring for the day and top of the table Haven took the tree points south east to St Fergus. A deserved win from a good team who when knocked the ball about are a decent side to watch with a forward line of PA Bruce and Danton will score a bucket load of goals this season. We will have to visit Auld Park soon
Going back to what I said earlier, the first half of this game was one of the most entertaining halves of football I remember seeing in a long time. I had a repetitive strain injury in my neck come half time with the end to end nature of it. There were goals, there were errors, there were some great passages of play and seven goals. Whats not to like? The second half was different but it showed a quality attacking team in Haven who are good to watch, no question. Football is about entertainment and we were well and truly entertained today at amateur fitba. It’s not the first time and it wont be the last either. Not that any of the football snobs that I have spoken to would get that though. Too blinkered to believe it. But this is more ammo to make me argue. Excellent viewing.
Me 232 and Wee Man 109