The Meadows, AAFA Second Division
NOTE – In 2008 I had to get my ankle rebuilt in a bid to prevent arthritis. Too many hard challenges and knocks over the years had left my ligaments supporting my right ankle shot to buggery and my bones rubbing. My ankle had also been broken twice which was flagged up pre operation in an x-ray, these had healed but not perfectly. Interestingly these fractures were news to me as I never thought I had broken anything south of my waist. As I recovered, I was asked to write match reports for the local Ellon Times and Advertiser to keep me involved with the team. I recently came across the lot of them on a hard drive. Reading them gave me much amusement and disbelief at some of the stuff I managed to get in print. These were never vetted very well and sometimes just cut and copied by the paper editor. People in my local boozer used to say they were the highlight of the paper, teammates used to give me obscure words to fit into them and there was once even a complaint from an oppositon player via the club website as he didnt like being reffered to as “rotund”. Doing them certainly helped me cope with being on the sideline. God knows what I will do with them. There must be thirty or so, but there are certainly laughs to be had for readers. Below is my return to action after 11 long months which I forgot was against local (now Junior) club and a team I can now call pals these days, Rothie Rovers…………………….
Ellon had the chance to go top of the league and clear by three points ahead of the pack. Rothie Rovers stood in the way but they were blown away by a rampant Jags who are hell-bent on the “holy grail” that is gaining promotion. Ellon showed their intent from the first whistle and Rovers didn’t stand a chance in this one-sided affair.
The weather at the Meadows was diverse to say the least. The warmup was held in gale force conditions with a bit of snow chucked in for good measure. But when the teams appeared from the dressing room for the start of the match the snow had done a runner and the sun had popped out to have a gander. However, the wind was still howling.
In the early stages the pace of Mikey Wild was causing no ends of problems for the Rothie defence, especially the number 8 who at times was like a deer caught in the headlights, or more precisely, a deer hit by a bumper and run over throughout the afternoon.
The first of a copious number of chances fell to the cranium of Ryan Birnie. Wild left the defence for dead and boomed in an inch perfect cross that said “go on, bury me” to the Ellon captain but the finish was only to find the bushes behind the goal. Birnie looked to be put off by the Rovers keeper who was in the vicinity as the midfielder attempted his effort.
Wild was next to find the bushes with an unlucky half volley that was marginally wide. Anderson won the ball in the midfield and picked out the striker, the shot on the bounce had the beating of the keeper but lacked the accuracy.
Then the deadlock was broken and deservedly so. A Cockburn corner which was a googly miscue found its way into the six-yard box where an attentive WILD was on hand to tap in from four yards.
The Jags continued their assault and were given a staggering amount of time on the ball to which they took advantage of. McGill pulled a great save out of the keeper; the rebound was won by Birnie who found McGILL made no mistake thistime when he delightfully lobbed the ball into the top corner.
The Rothie keeper was a busy man all game and pulled of a string of fine saves; the best was with his feet from a Birnie effort from six yards. Maybe a toe punt would have been the better option
The game was as good as wrapped up with ten minutes to go of the first period when Henderson uncharacteristically kept the ball in play when he played a forty yard pass up the line to Cockburn who proceeded to cross to McGILL who snaffled up the opportunity.
The half ended with a bit of controversy when the Rovers token fat guy (number 2) reacted to a Cockburn tackle with a cheeky haymaker which didn’t connect and also went unseen by the referee.
Thistle came out for the second half with the same game plan as the first half with a nice passing game but couldn’t find the killer fourth goal. Birnie with the best of the chances and again squandered the chance from six yards. As an experienced elder statesman of the team he should really have buried it but lost his cool.
Rothie finally had a genuine threat their six opened up the Thistle team as if he was Moses and the Jags were the Red Sea; but his effort was narrowly past the stranded Adamsons post.
Mikey Wild had another couple of chances before his game was cut short due to a knee injury. The first being a half volley that was blocked by the defender and the second was an enterprising chip from twenty five yards out that was marginally off target. The Jags top scorer was replaced with Gibson.
Ellons second half dominance was rewarded by an unfortunate error from the keeper. A pass back was played to him from defence and in true Artur Boruc style he only found fresh air leaving David McKEITCH to slide in and score. A shame for the keeper who had kept the score respectable in the first half.
With ten minutes to go the Thistle fans were treated to a rare sight. A return to the fray for defensive mammoth Graeme Giles (Ellon’s token fat guy) after an eleven-month absence due to injury. It didn’t task the big defender long to be back to his moaning faced best when a dubious Rothie goal was questioned by the big centre back due to a handball offence and the goal scorer clearly being offside.
Losing the cleansheet was a slight damper on the days proceedings but it was all about the three points which were easily gained. Jags remain top with eight games to go. The promotion bid is still on track.
D. Adamson, B. Alexander, N. Henderson, D. Anderson, M. Cockburn, S. Cruickshanks, C. Duncan (S. Beaton), D. McKeitch (G. Giles), R. Birnie, D. McGill, M. Wild (M. Gibson).
Unused- A MacLean, A. Kerr
A good read for Thistle fans, would love to see more. Amazing that four of that starting eleven are still first picks on the team sheet these days.
Aye very true. There was worries of three of them leaving over the summer. Hopefully they scoosh the league and get back up. For these 4, Titchie Birnie and my old boy. All stalwarts of that club. There are some good things happening by the looks
Leave a comment