McRobert Park, AAFA Division 1 (East), 10/8/22
Me 239, Wee Man 116
St Marnans Football Club
Founded – 1893 as Aberchirder (St Marnans name change coming in 1896)
Honours(Since Joining AAFA in 2016/17) – Chattan Rovers Cup – 2017/18. Hans Fyfe Trophy – 2017/18
Nicknames – Saints and Foggie
Random Fact – Jake kicked his original yellow ball about on McRobert Park before he ever attended a game. This when we headed to the brilliant Foggie Truck Show in 2017 which takes place on the pitch.
From one Saints to another in 24 hours. I said this season we will dip into local amateurs due to the piss take with fuel prices. Tonight was a perfect opportunity, with an early start in the morning for the Ballater Highland Games , local was key.
After a lazy day playing pool out of the gaze of the sun and 27 degree heat we were off to Aberchirder or “Foggie” as it is known to see the town side take on the side from the town my mum was born. Aberchirder is a town that sits to the west of Turriff and basically, is at the furthest extremities of the Aberdeenshire AFA (similar to Huntly). Over a season they clock up some mileage heading east every other week. It is also a town the has spawned a European Cup winner in Des Bremner who with Aston Villa won the big cup when it was a respectable trophy back in 1982.
After dipping into the Aberdeenshire AFA last season I decided to give it a go some more this season. Between the fuel prices(as stated) and running out of local Junior grounds to visit has brought this on. No rhyme nor reason for the picking of where we go though, tonight did have a reason. I really like the heraldic St Marnans badge. This is a good enough reason surely? But as the day went on I realised that the Saints have a huge history dating back almost 130 years. That’s some achievement in the amateur game. (Side note, are they the oldest in the AAFA? I will need to research this). The night started well as part of the sponsoring of the match ball got me the new St Marnans history book to add to my Scottish football shelf. Also pre-match we had our usual kick about which was on a training pitch behind the goal. A Dons shirt clad loon of about 13 joined in taking shots at Wee Man. A well mannered boy who was impressed with Wee Man’s abilities which led to him asking if he wanted to play in the multi kid sidey which started after the Saints game kicked off. I was abandoned for only the second time ever. Not an issue at all, as long as he enjoys himself.
The real game was decent viewing. It was two teams who were there to play football on the deck with some decent moves from both teams. The first “effort” of the game came on the fifth minute when Owen Patterson crossed in from the left and saw his ball float over McKinnon in the Fyvie goal and strike the crossbar. A miss hit but bloody close. Pattersons next cross was anything but a miss hit when he picked out defender Andy Paton who out jumped everyone to thunder home a header to put the home side ahead on six minutes. Great start and hopefully game on. The fitba on the floor continued but both sides defended well and nullified each other . This leaving little final third action but a decent enough tight serving of fitba. Both teams had big chances before the half was out. Fyvie had the best when a cross into the box eluded the whole St Marnans team, with three players queueing up at the back post with as good as an open goal, somehow the trio of Marshall, MacLeod and MacDonald incredibly all failed to connect. A huge chance for Fyvie. The half was closed out by a big Saints chance when Patterson was teed up by a brilliant low cross from Stephen but sent it flying wide. St Marnans should have been heading in two to the good.
HT 1 v 0
Wee Man continued his kick about and didn’t even touch his crisps such the fun he was having. This meaning I was to spend the second half on my own as well. Before the half kicked off I recounted the crowd as it seemed to have swelled a bit since I counted earlier when I got 126. This time i got a whopping 157. This equates to 13% of the wee towns population. Impressive.
St Marnans started the better team in the early stages with David McCallum at the forefront of things. He should have been celebrating when he was picked out on the pen spot in the first minuted but unfortunately for the midfielder he got a bit tangled up and the shot never materialized. Soon after he went on a jungle run passing four Fyvie men then collided with the fifth. He claimed penalty, the Foggieites/Aberchirdesers(I dont know) around me thought so. However if I had that given against me I would have been apoplectic, the ref waved play on and on this one occassion I think he was correct. Fyvie had their keeper McKinnon to thank when he bravely and rapidly made himself huge at the feet of Patterson who looked odds on to score. A great bit of goalkeeping. This was about it and the game went back into the tight affair it had been in the first half. If anything Fyvie were getting more of a foot in it and the introduction of Rafa Barbosa seemed to give them a new dimension. This was until around twenty minutes to go when the referee, who looked ridiculous as he was inexplicably wearing tracksuit bottoms stepped up to show he was nothing more than a joker. After blowing for a foul against Jamie Marshall, the Fyvie man let out a disappointed in himself “fuuuuuck”. The referee immediately took out his red card and sent him packing despite the shout not being in his direction. This led to team mate Ross Strath asking “what the fuck?” and before the red card was back in his pocket was flashed for a second time in five seconds. Game over as it had been ruined by a referee who looked like he had never played fitba in his life. If it wasn’t over at nine Fyvie players, it was when they went down to eight a minute later. This came when McKinnon plucked a cross out of the air and was away to quickly release but the ref blew for an offside avoiding the advantage. The keeper let out a “fucking what?” as the refs whistle blew. A dangerous thing to do given the previous and it turned out to be. The referee was so hellbent on sending the keeper off he ended up fumbled and failing to get his book out his pocket given his excitement. Finally the red card was shown and Fyvie were down to eight men. The game had descended into farce. With no substitute goalkeeper the unlucky outfield man to end up in goal was Lewis Chalmers. St Marnans were comfortable but didn’t test the makeshift number one. A couple of low shots needing saved with feet but nothing too hairy for Chalmers. The game died out as it seemed both teams sensed it was a bit of a joke. A decent contest it was too for around seventy minutes until the sending offs. The full time whistle went and I had to drag Wee Man away from his kick about, out of breath and red faced.
Entrance – Sponsored the Match £30
Attendance – 157
Pint – Didn’t bother
Pie – N/A
Match Score Predictions – Me 3 v 1, Wee Man 2 v 1
Overall Season Prediction Scores – Me 0 v 0 Wee Man