Purvis Park, EOSFL Second Division, 3/9/22
Me 245, Wee Man 123
Lochgelly Albert Junior Football Club
Founded – 1926
Nickname – The Berts
Selected Honours – Fife Junior League – 1937/38, 1946/47, 1948/49, 1954/55 and 1973/74. Fife Junior Cup– 1934/35, 1940/41, 1953/54, 1956/57, 1957/58 and 1977/78. Fife & Lothians Cup – 1936/37. Cowdenbeath Cup– 1946/47, 1953/54, 1954/55 and 1958/59. Dunfermline Cup– 1934/35, 1936/37, 1955/56, 1956/57 and 1971/72
Random Fact – The club hold the record for the biggest crowd to attend a junior ground in Fife when 11,645 turned up for a Scottish Cup sixth round tie v Bo’ness United in 1948. A record that will stand forever.
A rare long ranged effort today , rare as in the furthest drive to date this season was to Scone Thistle. Lochgelly is almost a 250 mile round trip from the Garioch. Given we were heading so far it was to be a full day affair. Our point of interest pregame was a stunning pick from myself. As we were heading past the Lomond Hills I thought it would be rude not to have a wander around John Knox Pulpit taking in the stunning views and Glen Vale Waterfall. I state quite a lot that I bloody love my country and visiting these sorts of places just reiterate the fact we are lucky to live where we live. Unspoilt, peace, tranquility and just lashings of natural beauty. Not even the rain or wind could ruin this landscape. Incredible allure and well worth the visit.
An obligatory picnic and a twenty five minute drive down the road we pulled up at Purvis Park, previously Gardiners Park,(I knew that) previously Albion Park(a fact I learned today). No matter what it’s moniker is these days it is a place with a great welcome awaiting. On arrival the man on the gate was nice and tried a wee bit of banter with Wee Man, but being the shy guy the little one is it was a tad wasted. The man in question was Ian who was the father of the next committee member to welcome us to the club. This was Derek who gave us a great run down on current happenings and a bit of a history lesson on the Berts, but also on Lochgelly fitba in general. From here we were given a coffee and a juice on the house from Mags and we also had chats with Margaret, Karen, Jock, Jimmy(apologies if anyone missed out). The club seemed really close knit and genuinely glad to have us there despite a few “are you mad” looks when it was found out we were from “north of Inverurie”.
The ground its self is tidy set up, clubhouse and bar at one end, enclosure on the same wing with the other three sides blocked in with sloped embankments.(Which came in handy through out the ninety).The game was played to the soundtrack of the nearby bangers at the Lochgelly Raceway to the east of the ground. On nearby establishments, Mossmorran Gas Plant sits to the south of the ground. However given the weather complete with mist I cant help but think today was not the best day for the southern view as visibility was low. Mossmorran and the actual Loch Gelly came and went from view and I was told the Firth of Forth can be seen on a clear day. Scottish weather for you. But back to the ground structures. Another stand is to be added behind a goal and eventually the whole changing block and cafe etc will be a singular building but there is no time frame on that.
The game was not what was expected. It was pretty much one way traffic. As our predictions show we both expected a home win. This was nothing like it and unfortunately for the Berts was completely self inflicted. Tweedmouth had an early chance which Robinson failed to convert. The ease of the chance was to be the story of the match and it wasn’t long before Robinson was on the scoresheet. A corner passed the whole Albert defence unchallenged leaving the Tweedmouth striker to tap in from a couple of yards. An avoidable goal and it was not to be the last. The visitors had a couple more half chances including a lobbed effort which left Albert keeper Kaye to just watch it sail narrowly over. However Kaye was picking the ball out his net again after puling off a wonder save, but he was left high and dry for the rebound which Cummings smashed home from a couple yards. Albert were not out of this and in their number 8, Murdoch they had a player who wanted to create stuff and he did set up chances for Celenatno and Spence who both struck their efforts over when they probably should have done better. Tweedmouth could have killed the game when midfielder Melvin Sebastian hit a speculative effort from 25 yards which beat Kaye but was struck the bar. The deficit was halved not long before half time when Celentano was wiped out by Tweedmouth keeper Mason who was slightly late on hitting the deck to prevent the Albert striker rounding him. The referee pointed to the spot and it was the striker himself who stepped up to slot home with ease. 1 v 2 and game on……..for about a minute as Tweedmouth opened up their two goal lead again and it was Robinson once more who surely could not believe his luck when he was given another close range tap in which he instead thundered into the top of the net with the last kick of the half.
HT 1 v 3
As there were numerous match balls around us due to the incredible amount clearances that left Purvis Park for the adjacent field, Wee Man decided to shun his own yellow ball for a kick about with these full size Mitres for a change. How quickly we could reach fifty passes up and down the hill was the aim of the game. Speaking of hills, the job Lochgelly had on their hands was also in an uphill trajectory and they were facing an even more mountainous task when almost immediately into the half Robinson grabbed his hattrick for Tweedmouth. Similar to his team mate Cummings, he was gifted a tap in after a very decent Kaye save. 4 v 1 the visitors and surely game over and the side from the other side of the border were to pick up their first win of the season. It was almost game on again moments later when Albert created move of the match. A great string of passes from the halfway line into the box via numerous players led to the ball landing awkwardly at Celenato who used his ingenuity to produce a quality backheeled shot which he put a lick of paint wide. It really deserved a goal for the move and the effort combined. The wind had picked up significantly in the second half and it was sending high balls all over the place sometimes even stopping it dead in the air. At one point a Tweedmouth goal kick reached the halfway line then seemed to change direction by ninety degrees and head out in our direction. Although we couldn’t feel the wind it due to the aforementioned embankments, we could see the havoc it was causing. This killed the game to an extent and the action seemed to dry up on the whole. However there was time for the visitors to rub salt in the wounds when Craig Bell was given too much space leaving him the opportunity to finish with a drive off the inside of the post ensuring the three points were heading the ninety miles down south in a fully deserved victory for Tweedmouth.
After our welcome I did want an Albert win or at least a decent game between the two struggling sides. It was not to be though but I wish them all the best on the pitch and with their plans for the pitches surrounds. I am also looking forward to taking Allan(Tweedmouth committee man with the flag in front of Wee Man’s “personal box”) on his offer on us coming to visit them at Old Shielfield where we are sure to be “treated very well”.
Despite the one sided game a cracking day was had by the two of us culminating in tea watching the Scottish highlights. Aberdeen may not have won but…… ach well. Our day together trumps shitey 96th minute goals preventing wins.
Entrance – £6 me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 37
Pie – £5.30, Coffee, juice x 2 and pie
Pint – Spoke to committee in the cafe until kick off
Score Prediction – Me 2 v 0, Wee Man 2 v 1
Overall Score Predictions – Me 0 v 1 Wee Man