Foresters Park, Lowland League, 21/12/22
Me 261, Wee Man 133
Tranent Juniors Football Club
Founded – 1911
Nickname – The Belters
Honours – Scottish Junior Cup – 1934/35. East of Scotland League – 2021/22. East Region South Division- 2015/16. Midlothian League – 1928/29, 1930/31 and 1936/37. East of Scotland Junior Cup – 1913/14, 1919/20, 1930/31, 1931/32, 1933/34, 1935/36, 1937/38, 1959/60, 1978/79 and 2016/17. Fife and Lothians Cup – 2016/17. Kings Cup – 2018/19. Renton Cup – 1924/25
Random Fact – The club hold the record for largest winning margin in a Scottish Junior Cup final. This coming when they defeated Petershill 6–1 at ibrox in 1935
An extremely rare venture into the Lowland League. By this I mean I had it in my head to boycott it completely due to the farcical shit show it has become. I could rant about here about colts, podcast publicity stunts, franchise type clubs and the latest revelation of the new conflict of interest sponsorship announced a couple of weeks ago. But I will leave that for other outlets. This is about visiting a real club, one with a real history who I have taken a shine to this season, looking out for their results on a weekly basis. This because I seriously hope they win this cesspit league to get themselves free of it.
After some Christmas arts and crafts at the school, one hundred and seventy miles lay between our Meldrum home and the East Lothian club. No issue as the refreshing thought of being back to watching neutral fitba was a welcome one. This after finding my blood pressure at critical levels over the last week due to the shambles at Pittodrie from Aberdeen on Saturday followed by a capitulation not worthy of any words at all on Tuesday. On saying that, did I really go into this neutral? Not so much. I was firmly in the Big T corner and will be until they make the step up of this league. Its not often I let my neutral hat slip but it did tonight. No offence to Edinburgh Uni , who for the record are also good guys and anti-colt voters. But for the best outcome Scottish football needs a Tranent juggernaut from now until the season end.
With this being a school night there was no pre match entertainment leaving us to head straight to Foresters Park and set foot in Tranent for the first time in my life. Its a tidy place is Foresters. “A proper Junior ground”. It has clearly had work done in recent times which I gather is to make the grade for SFA accreditation. Its clean and it has one of the best features in a ground in the country. The wall bearing the clubs name in humongous lettering. Somethings you just admire and this is a prime example. The pitch also looked to have stood up very well against the recent cold snap. Prior to the game we spoke to committee member Craig who I have spoken to on numerous occasions via twitter and is an avid reader of my mumblings on here. I am glad I can finally write about his team for his perusal. He is in luck too as there is nothing but praise coming for this performance. It was a slaughter and could have been more. Shooting towards the noisy “Big T Bois” (a group of youthful Ultras, great to see), the home side looked in the mood Adam McGowan looking to cause problems for the Uni down the left. Clearly a decent player and I later found out he is on loan from Hamilton Accies. The number 11 had a couple of early chances but failed to break the deadlock. The Uni actually had the best chance in the opening stages when Ryan Murray found himself in a dangerous position unmarked in the box. But he seemed to have a rush of blood and go for immense power getting it all wrong and sending the ball out for a throw. This was a rare sighting of goal for the visitors and the game turned one way. McGowan had the next good chance when he hit a freekick from 20 yards which pulled out a decent save from Uni keeper Quate. Tranent were pushing and a goal seemed inevitable and the first came on 25 mins when McGowan struck a clearing header first time into the bottom left corner of the goal kissing the post in the way in. A decent strike from around 20 yards. Next up to try his luck was Nicholas Reid who rifled an effort goalward which stung the fingers of Quate. It was clear more goals were coming and a second did on 35 when Martin Maughan finished from 12 yards out from a Reid cross. Had the floodgates opened? It looked that way. However, Uni did try to get something in the game and were unlucky not to have scored before the half was out when Lewis Henry cut in from the left only to see his effort hit the side netting. He maybe should at least have hit the target. A big chance that needed taking giving the rarity of Uni finding themselves in the Tranent box
HT 2 v 0
The usual half time kick about took place on the wing side.Foresters has plenty grass to knock a ball about much to Wee Man’s delight. This led me to getting a coffee as the second half kicked off. In typical fashion. In the two minutes or so that I was in the hut I missed a goal. Aiden Walsh scored it. It could have been a worldie for all I know, then again it could have been a worm burner. 3 rapidly turned to 4 when a Uni defender put a McGowan cross into his own net. It didn’t look like an OG from where we were(other end of the park) but the box was packed so my view was maybe not the best. Chief tormentor and best player on the pitch McGowan was again causing problems and set up number 5 and Maughan for a brace when he struck home the cross from a few yards out. Things were looking bad for Uni and Wee Man even said “will they get 10?”. At this point it couldn’t be ruled out. The sixth came when Nicky Reid finished off another great move from inside the box. At this point I noticed a good few people left the ground which I found surprising. There were clearly more goals coming and I couldn’t really see them being Uni fans either. I found this a bit strange. More goals did come. The seventh was goal of the game and no surprises came from another great team move and great advantage from the referee as the move started from a clear foul on the Tranent defender (Barr I think). The defender played on knocking the ball forward, a few passes in midfield led to the ball out wide to McGowan who found Reid who took a touch on the 18 yard line, mid box, then howitzered an effort into the top right corner. Unstoppable, just like Tranent. They really should have added a few more especially when Ben Miller found Edinburgh(the city of, not the Uni) with an effort. He just needed to place the ball from the 6 yard line on the half volley but chose the world cup finish sending the ball high wide, handsome and out the ground. I am sure he will agree it was a bit of a shocker. The goals had not totally dried up, and a penalty was given to the hosts late on to no complaints to from the Uni players. Reid stepped up, Reid buried, Reid notched a hattrick. At this point we said our goodbyes to Craig and shuffled toward the gate so we could get away on the whistle and on to our long journey up North. This was some performance by the Big T, one we were both glad we took on. It’s not often I promise myself I will visit a certain club these days as its about where Wee Man wants to go. Tranent were one of these rare occasions and what a night to do it too.
Another win on the board for Tranent. I have found myself saying this many times this season and I will continue to………’mon the Belters. Do it for the good of the game.
Entrance – Me £8, Wee Man £0
Attendance – 318
Pie – £10, 2 x pie, coffee, crisps and a badge
Score Predictions – Me 5 v 0, Wee Man 4 v 0
Season Score Prediction Totals – Me 1 v 1 Wee man
Good read, hope you got home safely. Below is a link to the game highlights, you and wee man can see the goal you missed directly from kick off
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