Pittodrie, SPFL League Cup 1/4 Final, 19/10/22
Me still 253 and Wee Man still 127
Aberdeen Football Club
Founded – 1903
Nickname – The Dons
Honours – European Cup Winners Cup – 1982/83. European Super Cup – 1983. Scottish League – 1954/55, 1979/80, 1983/84 and 1984/85. Scottish Cup – 1946/47, 1969/70, 1981/82, 1982/83, 1983/84, 1985/86 and 1989/90. Scottish League Cup -1955/56, 1976/77, 1985/86, 1989/90, 1995/96 and 2013/14. Drybrough Cup – 1980
Random Fact – The club are the only Scottish team to win two European trophies.
1299 days after I walked out of the South Stand after a Scottish Cup draw with rangers I took my place in Section Y once again. A long time coming yes but with good reason. When Wee Man started to accompany me to the fitba back in 2018 I did have visions of season tickets together and heading down Merkland Road East every other Saturday for the foreseeable. Unfortunately for me he had other ideas. Despite being fitba daft there were only three home games (Motherwell, St Mirren and and Hearts) and an away game down at Killie before declaring he didn’t want to head to “big games”. This meaning larger crowds. It was the Highland League he was after, the Juniors and the grounds I had been taking him to when the Dons were away. By taking him to these places I had unwittingly written and signed the death warrant for my season ticket. But how we have embraced that three and a half years and I would not have changed it for the world. It has been a fantastic experience and I hope it continues. Touring the country from top to bottom looking for fitba bliss armed with a yellow ball, with visits to St Duthus furthest north to St Cuthbert Wanderers in the South, with Stranraer taking the title of most westerly extremes and Buchanhaven Hearts in the east. Throughout this period I have asked if he fancied jaunts to Pittodrie but he always refused and picked his game. (Customary to offer him 3 games and he chooses where we go from them). He has always said he supports Aberdeen and Scotland and will religiously sit and watch Sportscene with me. He also has a habit of checking the Dons score on my phone when we are in whatever town we find ourselves. But this season he has taken a shine to a certain player and last week he asked “Dad, can we go to Pittodrie so we can see Duk?”.
I had ideas of spending the day in Aberdeen prior to the game but nobody was keen. So after asking Wee Man what he wanted to do instead, his simply wanted to do his Bob’s Burgers jigsaw. He really is a kid of simple pleasures. The jigsaw was we did for pre match entertainment and bangers and mash was the tea and you know what…….. It was an ace afternoon the two of us, well three as the puss kept jumping up and lying on the bloody puzzle.
We left for Pittodrie in plenty time and incredibly I couldn’t remember which way I used to head in. So I came in the back of Bridge of Don and up King Street but I came back to me that I used to use the third Don crossing. Had it really been that long since I had been that I had forgotten such a detail? I did however park in the usual place in Froghall. With just under a hour until kick off we decided to head to the club shop to have a rake. Interestingly on the way round I heard a good few separate American accents, are we now a tourist club? Do we have Yank appeal. Anyway the club shop was out of everything in Wee Man size which was a bonus as i could keep my wallet in my pocket. Anyway, I needed all my pennies for buying the food pre game. I was horrified at the price. £14.50 for two pies, two Yorkies, a coffee and a juice. In all honesty that’s a disgrace. Or am I making a mountain out of this as I am stuck in the non leagues. Then again why would the same thing cost more. I was not amused anyway.
The game started well with the Dons taking the game to Thistle. Leighton Clarkson had the clearest chance with his head which was cleared off the line by a Jags defender, this coming from some nimble feet out on the right by Besuijen. Thistle to be fair got the ball down when in possession and did try to play football on the deck. I have watched a good few teams in the Championship this season and its all a bit rushed and punted at times. Thistle are different and do try to play but they didn’t do much in the final third on the night. The only time Roos was tested was from a long effort from McKinnon, but the big keeper palmed it beyond the goal well. With Duk starting Wee Man was excited at the prospect of seeing him and the Cape Verde international didn’t disappoint. On 16 minutes he delivered the smile across Wee Man’s face when he broke the deadlock. Played in by the excellent on the night Hayden Coulson, he drove forward a few yards before sending the ball past Thistle keeper Sneddon. Mission accomplished for tonight when the “Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuk” shout was let out of Juniors mouth. Now it was all about getting to Hampden. Which in the end was not really that difficult. Coulson was then involved in the second when he hit a wayward shot which with a massive stroke of luck was sent off in a totally different direction by Thistle defender Kevin Holt wrong footing Sneddon. The Jorg Campos like kitted keeper was soon picking the ball out of the net again and it was Coulson doing the damage once more. The Englishman recieved the ball with a couple of Thistle players in the vicinity, he shimmied past them both and let fly, again his effort took a touch off a Partick player before flying past Sneddon but not to the extent of his previous. This was his goal and it was his first for the club. It was almost four soon after when Miovski had an effort cleared off the line after Clarkson picked him out well. Thistle had been blitzed and the Dons were heading to the semis without breaking much of a sweat.
HT 3 v 0
I had to laugh at Wee Man when he asked what we had to do at half time and to be honest, I found it strange just hanging about too. Amazing how much a part of a game the half time knock about has become. I had to give him my phone to find out all the scores elsewhere in Europe to keep him occupied. The second half was a lot different from the first and was extremely scrappy at times. It started off poorly with Partick scoring when Darren Brownlie rose above Ross McCrorie to head home from close range. The Dons man complained that the big Partick man was climbing but he was speaking out his hole. He was beaten to the ball by someone who wanted it more. On that theme it was not the first time either. I thought McCrorie had a mare throughout and was bullied at various times and was beaten on the deck with ease on numerous occasions, two of which that spring to mind were by Brian Graham. Worst player in red. Hopefully just an off day. Despite the drop in quality the Dons still had chances. Coulson set up Ramirez but the American didn’t get his bearings quite right. Ramirez then created his own chance when he turned with his back to goal and hit a snap shot which pulled out a very decent save from Sneddon. Partick had a few half chances creating a few rumbles of discontent from the home fans. But the were on their feet cheering what was goal of the game before night was finished. Substitute Ryan Duncan unleashed a howitzer across goal into the top corner from the left hand side. What a hit it was. It was needed to as the second half really didn’t make for good viewing. The job was done in the first 45 but that shouldn’t mean taking the foot off the gas. The Dons are heading to Hampden. Partick and their fans (who I must say made a good noise and looked to be in decent numbers) are not. That was the aim at 19.45. Oh and the Duk scoring, No complaints from me. Barring the fucking food prices.
Coming from fresh eyes on this team. It is good and has a hell of a lot of potential. Coulson is a brilliant player. Always looking to get forward. Scales never wastes a ball and I hope we get him permanently. Duk is exciting but needs to work on a few things, especially when he loses possession. He needs to bust a gut to win it back instead of feeling sorry for himself but I do like him. Ramadani is almost like a silent assassin breaks up the opposition moves very well. He never loses a ball in the air either. Clarkson looks good too and covers a decent amount of grass (was he injured?) On the negative though, again I will say, McCrorie had a mare. The Jags goal summed up his night.
A well over due return to Pittodrie, the question is, will it be more regular? I am not to sure. Wee Man clearly enjoyed it. But no ball plus the fact he also mentioned the shouting around him a couple of times which was a big part of why he didn’t want to go back three and a half years ago make me think the exile will be back in force again after tonight. It doesn’t put me up nor down to be honest. As long as we are together.
There are no ideas to walk down Merkland Road East any time soon and visits to Dyce v Hermes and Craigmark Burntonians v Kilbirnie Ladeside are the immediate plans. Where the pies are cheap and Wee Man gets in for free. Oh and we can blooter a yellow ball about at half time.
Entrance – Me £20, Wee Man £5
Attendance – 9323
Pie – £14.50, 2 x pie, 2 x Yorkie, Coffee and Juice
Pint – N/A
Score Prediction – Me 2 v 0, Wee Man 3 v 0
Season Score Prediction Total – Me 1 v 1 Wee Man