2022/23 – Sunnybank 1 v 2 Rothie Rovers

Heathryfold Park, NRJFA Championship, 23/8/22

Me still 242, Wee Man 121

Sunnybank Football Club

Founded – 1946

Nickname – The Bankies

Selected HonoursScottish Junior Cup – 1953/54. Aberdeen and District Junior League – 1951/52, 1953/54, 1955/56, 1965/66 and 1966/67. North East Premier League – 1971/72, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1982/83, 1996/97 and 1998/99. North Region Superleague – 2002/03 and 2009/10. Grill League Cup – 2001/02, 2007/08 and 2009/10. Interregional Cup -2008/09 and 2009/10. Archibald Cup -1947/48, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1963/64, 1969/70, 1974/75, 1975/76, 1979/80, 1983/84, 1994/95, 1995/96 and 1997/98. Morrison Trophy –  1971/72, 1980/81 and 2013/2014

Random Fact – Included in the Scottish Junior Cup winning squad in the 50s was one Harry Edward Scott. Better known as Teddy Scott, the bona-fide Aberdeen FC legend. Teddy was signed in 1954 by the Dons after the the Scottish Cup winning run. This starting the 49 year Dons association of the legendary Mr Aberdeen. A truly great man.

Back from our Ulster adventure and once again on the trail of getting Wee Man up to date with the current NRJFA clubs. A challenge he has set himself. This being number twenty, leaving ten on his quest. Two Tuesdays in a row we have seen league leaders Sunnybank who going into this were the only team in the division with 100% record. Rothie on the other hand were building a bit of momentum coming into this. This was set to be a cracker between the two teams I predicted preseason to be the main challengers for the title.

Heathryfold is somewhere I have been copious amounts of times, whether watching Formartine, Ellon Thistle or cup finals the place is most likely in my top five visited , but it has been a long time since I had set foot in the ground. But with the quest on I am back to the famous old club.

Obviously with school back this was just the game only, the first match of Wee Man being a primary four. An obligatory pint in the social club and and even more obligatory kick about before kick off was followed by a decent enough showing. To be noted I grabbed a coffee and pies and was given them for free as “your the guy who did the report last week”. A fine and much appreciated gesture. The game was end to end in the opening exchanges, however there was a lack of final product. The closest was the Rothie crossbar being walloped by a Josh Petrie header after 8 minutes. The forward was unlucky as he had Rothie keeper Milne well beaten. As the half aged more chances were created. Rothie looked shocked that they were not in the lead when some excellent defending saw three rapid efforts from Ethan Grant, Scott Chalmers then Chalmers again were blocked by various Sunnybank players. No shirking out the way of the ball like some professionals were guilty of this weekend. The visitors again came close to taking the lead when Grant managed to keep the ball in on the byline and get in behind the Bankies defence to cross to Jake Stewart but the striker failed to beat keeper Myles. The deadlock was broken late in the half and it was Sunnybank who were celebrating when Lewis Petrie tapped home from close range unmarked. This coming when a high ball into the box was knocked on. Rothie will be disappointed at the space Petrie found himself in. 1 v 0 to the high flying Bankies. But the home side could not hold out to the break as within two minutes Jake Stewart thumped the ball through Myles from inside the box taking the teams level into half time. A powerful finish but he really should not have been scoring from where he was.

HT 1 v 1

Wee Man was delighted to have his yellow ball back in tow after two games without it. He was even more delighted that the wall of Heathryfold has supports that create a goal giving a proper target to hit shots at. These kick abouts are as important as the game itself and when bonuses such as that add an even wider smile its the best result of the night. Half time also saw referee Derek Folgannon come over for an interesting chat with us. If he is reading I may just look into your suggestion. The teams remerged for the second half and continued from where they left off, even and end to end. Sunnybank had a big chance early on when an huge up and under landed at Petrie who attempted a first time shot which he failed to get a decent connection with. A big chance. Team mate Connor Rae also passed up a big chance when he got in behind a sleeping Rothie back line. Again like Petrie, the full back failed to get proper connection. Barring this there was not much more clear action. Rothie had one dangerous ball into the box (Thompson) but there was a lack of anticipation from the boys in blue and the ball flew across eluding everyone. It was asking to be tapped in. Then came what I though was the turning point in the game. Sunnybank thought they should have had a penalty when Ewan Reid went to ground. I didn’t think it was a pen but there was much protesting on the pitch, sideline and from the home punters. Until this point the game was played in a friendly enough spirit between two decent sides. Sunnybank from here added a bit of niggle to the game and stopped playing the football they were prior to the pen shout. I thought they were the better team until this point but they seemed perturbed at the decision, took their eye off the ball a bit and allowing Rothie to take a hold of the game. The visitors looked the more dangerous of the two teams from here on. With two minutes left on the clock they took the lead, a ball into the box was headed goal ward with venom from around the penalty spot by Fraser Reid. This crashed off the underside of the bar and to me bounced behind the line meaning Reid’s goal, a Sunnybank player tried to clear but the ball ended in the net. Some think OG but from our position it looked in from the initial header. Rothie wont care as they managed to see out the remaining minutes and recorded a big win ending Sunnybank’s 100% start. It was always going to be a tight affair and it was. A draw was probably fair but football is not always fair. Come May I still believe these two sides will see themselves promoted to the Premier League with one as champions. You can quote me on that too.

Good to get back to Heathryfold after some time , I am glad of Wee Man’s challenge as he still has to visit some decent places meaning I get to revisit, here being a good example. Next up, my favourite in the set up, Westburn Park, Dufftown.

Entrance – £6 Me, £2 Wee Man

Attendance – 58 (rough head count)

Pie – 2 x Pie and coffee, Free (great gesture)

Pint – £3.30, Tennents, Sunnybank Social Club

Score Predictions – Me 2 v 2, Wee Man 2 v 1

Overall Score Predictions – Me 0 v 1 Wee Man

Number 20 of Wee Man’s challenge
One of my most visited grounds
Second half kicks off
The return of the yellow ball
I accidentally caught Rothie’s winner going in
The Aberdeen Space Needle
The most famous day in the history of Sunnybank

Published by pacman1903

Once a football fan. Now a football nerd

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