Jim Glennie Park, Friendly, 3/1/22
Cowie Thistle Amateur Football Club
Founded – 1985
Nickname – Thistle
Honours – AAFA Division One East – 2001/02 and 2016/17. AAFA Division 5 – 1989/90. Aberdeen FC Trophy – 2000/01 and 2017/18. AAFA Association Trophy – 1999/00 and 2008/09. Edmond Trophy – 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2013/14. Frank Waugh Shield – 2021/22. Patterson Cup – 1990/91
Random Fact – Former Bad Boys Inc member and Ally Begg played for the club
A wee bonus game for me here as I was unwittingly left to my own devices for a part of the afternoon. Why not grab a friendly between one of the AAFA’s best teams in Cowie Thistle against a team a division below with what is one of the best defences in Scotland with only two conceded in the visiting Kemnay. It was also a good way to blow off some cobwebs after a mainly indoor but ace last few days with family, food, shite TV and beer.
An Amateur friendly on a Tuesday afternoon sounds random, but with Cowie still in the Scottish Amateur Cup (against fellow AAFA Premier League team Tarves on Saturday) they wanted to keep playing through the break. With a first friendly v East End falling through due to the junior side not be very , lets say professional. A more professional Kemnay AFC, who are in great form stepped up to the plate and I got to fill in a few hours prior to picking up Wee Man later than I expected to.
Jim Glennie Park is a fenced in 3G affair with to be truthful has a poor surface. Its like a carpet but not in a good way. Maybe a shaggy rug is a better description. It sits adjacent Glenury Park, home of Stonehaven Juniors sitting on the banks of the Cowie Waters which could be heard flowing throughout the 90 minutes due to their high levels with the recent rainfall . This a change to the norm of the rumble of trains over the viaduct which towers over Mineralwell Park . This due to not one passing with the current strikes. A first in all my days of playing and watching in Stoney, no trains. JGP is not the usual home of the hosts but it gave me a 90 minutes to have a gander at. A decent enough 90 minutes it was too. With the better team winning in the end all truth told.
The match started with Kemnay under siege with Cowie making sure the visiting keeper Calum Wilson knew he was in for a busy afternoon. First up to test him was Cameron Moultrie who skelped an effort goal ward which stung the keepers hands. Next up to test the keeper was Alan Oldroyd who hit what looked an awkward freekick at goal but Wilson did well to scramble across goal and tip it over. It wasn’t long before Wilson was again called into action when he got a strong hand to a Craig Buchanan header which he managed to gather at the second attempt. The next big chance for the hosts wasn’t saved by Wilson but instead hit the back of the net when Moultrie slid in to tap home a cross from the left from a couple of yards. There was a question of handball as the striker seemed to get a bad connection sending the ball toward his body. Was it hands or chest. I was a fair bit away but Kemnay claimed in their numbers. In terms of an attacking threat Kemnay did try to get forward and attempted to play good football in the process. They looked most dangerous on the counter but credit to Stuart Miller in the Thistle goal he was alert and quick off his line to the through ball tactic and snuffed them out more often than not. The chances for Cowie dried up and the gave evened itself out round about the mid half mark with both teams batting out what was a tight game.
HT 1 v 0
The second half opened with a good chances for Thistle. Substitute Daniel Knowles struck a powerful low effort towards Wilson’s bottom left corner but the keeper did well to send the ball wide and away for a corner. The keeper was soon diving again as the resulting corner found the head of David Salmond who connected well but maybe put it too close to the Kemnay number one. Wilson was soon picking the ball out his net for a second time and was most likely cursing himself. A through ball landed between him and defender Ewan McLeod, but the communication was not there leaving keeper and defender in no mans land, this allowing Steven Nicoll to nip in, nick the ball about 20 yards out and tap into an empty net. Kemnay pushed to get back in the game and had one of those stramash pinball episodes in the Cowie box. One of those with many attackers and defenders involved along with the keeper and no player is in control of the destiny of the ball. On this occasion Cowie got the break and eventually cleared. But moments later the deficit was halved with goal of the game . An inch perfect ball was threaded through to Alex Clark on the right, he cut inside and as he entered the box, Cowies’s keeper tried to narrow the angle, and despite being only a few yards off his line, he could only watch as Clark chipped him with nonchalant class into the back post. A superb finish.Was this game on? Unfortunately no, experience took over and the youth struggled a bit. Talking of the youth in Kemnay’s ranks, their oldest player was 23 and a few players had been at the club since they were 5 years old. This due to once the juveniles came to the end of under 19s in 2017 they decided to have a go at amateurs and formed a team. So despite only being a club of 5 years there is a long long history with some of these boys. A story that I find brilliant. Thanks for the info to committee member Steve who I had a blether with during the match. Cowie went on to grab a third when another through ball caused havoc, this leaving Ross Young to run almost half the length of the pitch unopposed to finish well to kill the game. But Cowie were not finished there. They kept pressing and were unlucky not to add more before eventually finding a fourth. Buchanan was unlucky with a low taebash which Wilson palmed wide for a corner. Oldroyd then struck the post soon after before the game was well and truly put of sight by Daniel Knowles who struck a fourth from 18 yards. The substitute was a constant nuisance to Kemnay after his introduction and deserved a goal. That was that. As the darkness came in, the final whistle went. A decent enough fare from both sides. The better team won but visiting Kemnay put in a good shift and had a few decent players, Wilson in goal and number 10 Reece Brown who caught the eye. Kemnay may be promoted to the Premier come May but this game did highlight the gap between the upper echelons of the Premier and the First Division somewhat. But good luck to both teams for the second half of the season.
A good way to start the year football wise (despite no Wee Man). It made me want to fire in a lot more local amateur games before the season is out, this rather than long haul fuel guzzling trips. Watch this space……
Attendance – 45 (much more present in the second half)
Pie – N/A
Pint – £3.95, Tennents, Market Arms