Glenury Park (Stonehaven FC), Ian Napier Memorial Shield, 9/10/22
Me still 251, Wee Man 124
The second Aberdeenshire AFA game of the weekend and also the second to be played on a Junior pitch. With no plans for this blustery Sunday afternoon a chance for Wee Man to carry on his North Juniors quest was on. With ten to go, this visit to the Hive’s ground took him into single figures. He is getting there slowly but surely.
With a fair bit of time to spare on arrival in Stonehaven we went for a wander about. I did fancy a pint down at the Ship or the Marine but decided against it as stopping to sit outside would have been daft due to hoolie that was blowing . So it was just a walk about before returning to Glenury Park.
The Ian Napier Memorial Shield is played out between the previous seasons Division One East and Division One North winners. In theory the winners are the outright champions of the the second tier. As we got in the smell of hot food was too enticing not to endulge and we both opted for a steak pie. What a decision. These were up there with the best I have had. A delight and given how quickly Wee Man’s was gobbled up I am guessing he thought the same. Before the kick off I was wondering how this game would go given the high winds, if Glenury ever needed the trees that used to surround it it was today. Now with the exposed nature of the ground the wind was whirling through the place.
The game started in explosive style with the first goal coming in the third minute and it came for Alford via Greg Smith who let fly with a powerful effort from inside the box. This was a sign of things to come. Alford were more hungry, sharper and just all round better across the park. They got in behind well and created numerous chances. It wasn’t until twenty minutes after the first goal when they finally grabbed a second. A fantastic long/through ball from Neil Reid found McIntosh who took a touch past the Nicolls full back and lashed home. Nicolls were not out of the game but the did not bring much to the table going forward. A big change was needed if they wanted to get anything out of the game. It never came but a third Alford goal did come before the whistle sounded for half time. This time Ian Chalmers was on hand in far too much space at the left hand side of the box to slot home from ten yards. Nicolls seemed to lose focus and concentrated on the incoming players in to the box rather than Chalmers who made no mistake with the gift.
HT 3 v 0
The teams emerged for the second half with no referee or officials. They were out there so long that balls were chucked on so they could keep warm. It was a strange scenario. However the man with the whistle did appear and Nicolls must have wished he didn’t given what was unfolding. Staying on the referee, I am quick enough to hammer some of the shite in the amateurs but not the days ref, Gary Cheyne. I thought he was excellent. He had a good laid back manner, didn’t get flustered like some others do. Only got his book out when it really had to be and really was an invisible presence. Refs who are not seen are better than some of the eejits I have seen kicking about in the amateurs.
Like the first half Alford had the ball in the net sharpish and again scored in the third minute of the half. A corner was poorly dealt by Nicolls and a miscued header landed at Max Foster who thumped home on the volley from about twelve yards. Surely game over. Nicolls lost the plot a bit here and the foul count racked up. Nothing too nasty but many. Wee Man commented saying the game was now “pass, pass, foul”. There was still one to come and it was for Ewan Smith who took advantage of Nicolls failing to clear their lines again. A free kick was not cleared well, Smith wasn’t to care as he smashed a low hard drive into the bottom corner piling the misery on to Nicolls. Not much of a spectacle but fair play to Alford who from the off blitzkrieged their now Premier League rivals. There was only going to be one winner and that was clear early doors
Another trophy in the bag for Alford and the third we have seen them lift in around 4 months. A good team for sure.
Next on the wee dudes quest, Hermes this coming week.
Entrance – Free
Attendance – 125
Pie – £9, Pie x 2, Stoney Sookers x 2 and coffee
Pint – Didn’t bother due to weather
Score Predictions – Me 3 v 2, Wee Man 1 v 2
Seasons Score Predictions – Me 0 v 1 Wee Man