Victoria Park, Aberdeenshire Shield Semi Final, 11/1/23
Me still 263
Buckie Thistle Football Club
Founded – 1889
Nickname – The Jags
Honours – Highland Football League 1919/20, 1926/27, 1927/28, 1933/34, 1936/37, 1953/54, 1956/57, 1957/58, 2009/10, 2010/11 and 2016/17. Highland League Cup – 1953/54, 1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1960/61, 1979/80, 1986/87 and 2011/12. Aberdeenshire Cup -1936/37, 1938/39, 1945/46, 1952/53, 1953/54, 1954/55, 1956/57, 1984/85, 1986/87, 2005/06, 2007/08, 2009/10 and 2016/17. Aberdeenshire Shield – 1992/93 and 2007/08. Scottish Qualifying Cup – 1952/53, 1953/54, 1958/59 and 2003/04
Random Fact – The club play in the Aberdeenshire Shield and Cup despite not actually being situated in Aberdeenshire
I had no intention of attending this match at all. I had no Wee Man and my day was spent up seeing loved ones in Peterhead, but this did not last as long as I thought it would. This meaning with no time to spare I headed directly from the Bloo Toon up to Moray to grab this semi final. The first of two semis AFC have this week .With making good time up to Buckie with various speed limit breakages, I managed to grab a pint in the usual pre-Victoria Park haunt, the Thistle Bar. A swift one in there listening to the jukebox playing just the Stranglers and New Model Army much to my delight, I was off to what turned out to be the coldest game of the season to date. As I said I headed from Peterhead straight to the game, this meaning I was a tad under dressed for the infamous wind machine of Viccy Park. To use a local term, I was “jeelt” as soon as I set foot in the place and at times in pain with it.
The game was well worth the tenner as I was treated to a shit pinger worldie, some calamity defending and a rapid fire comeback in a five goal thriller. Coldest game of the season but also one of the best games I have watched in 22/23. I had seen the Dons youngsters play Huntly(out on pens in the Aberdeenshire Cup) and Formartine United (won on pens, Aberdeenshire Shield) this season already and I had not been too impressed with them. Buckie would be a sterner test as they are streets ahead of both Huntly and Formartine so I expected the HFL side to head through to the final and even told my mates to lump on it. However, Aberdeen seemed a different side. A lot sharper and even seemed a bit more street wise tonight. They sprung into the lead early when Liam Harvey rose well to head home from 10 yards out off an Adam Emslie cross. A great start from the youthful Dons. I had to laugh at the wee shites behind the goal as Aberdeen celebrated “who cares you’re shit and can’t beat celtic”. “fuck off, you are not as good as celtic, fuck off you dicks”. If anything summed up the town of Buckie its that.(Along with referring to the far side enclosure as “the Jungle”). Too add, if I heard my kids speaking like that at that age they would be sporting fat lugs, both sides of their head. Back on the pitch the Dons clearly meant business and really should have had another one soon after when Kevin Hanratty broke into the box, the shot was on but for some reason tried to play in Emslie instead. A baffling decision from the wide man. Haratty then had another chance but this time taking the shot which went just wide. Emslie had a chance soon after with his head off a Hanratty cross but was unlucky putting it over. Buckie have a player in their ranks that I have bigged up on numerous occasions and tonight he was the best player on the pitch. Step forward Andy McAskill. And also take a bow min. The number ten equalised for the Jags and this was no ordinary goal. Receiving the ball slightly left of goal 25 yards out he cut across and unleashed an unstoppable effort into the top right hand corner. It was pin point accurate and at full stretch Dons keeper Blessing Oluyemi got nowhere near it, not even close. A truly fantastic effort that hurt my hands when I clapped it, well the cold hurt my hands, but the goal caused the clap. Buckie’s main man was at it again from range on half an hour when he rifled an effort just a fag papers width over the bar. The game was certainly evening out now and was end to end with half chances being created by both sides, but nothing to bother either keeper. Then when it looked like they were heading into the break level, the Dons grabbed a second on 45. Questions need to be asked of the Buckie keeper Lee Herbert after he saw a powerful Emslie shot from inside the box beat him at his near post. But they all count and Emslie wasn’t caring as he celebrated with his team mates.
HT 1 v 2
After a half time stoor that felt like a godsend as it warmed me up for the first time in the night, the second half started as the first finished with chanced being created at both ends. It was a decent cup tie between two well matched sides. Bavidge and Hanratty had big chances for the Dons but were both thwarted by the keeper Herbert. On Bavidge, I am struggling to think of ever seeing a quicker player off the mark than him. He is absolutely rapid. The type of player that will get kicked to death by cloggers in the SPFL (if he makes the grade). Buckie also spurned big chances via McAskill and Max Barry with both opportunities coming from poor defending from Aberdeen. It was poor defending that led to the equaliser. A free kick was sent into the box and with two Aberdeen men trying to win it while both being flat footed Kyle McLeod nipped in and toed the ball into the roof of the net from 6 yards out. It was level again. But not for long. McAskill added another less than a minute after the equaliser when again it was too easy from the Dons defence. McAskill was allowed to step past players and find space for a shot which he stuck into Oluyemi’s right hand bottom corner. The Highland League side were in the lead for the first time in the match. The Dons chased an equaliser but were then hampered when they were put down to ten men after Hanratty made a reckless and needless challenge on the half way line leaving the referee who was close by to immediately brandish the red card. It was looking like Buckie were heading to the final versus Fraserburgh and they were unlucky not to put the game to bed completely when Scott Adams smashed the bar from the edge of the box late on. But it was to be their night and after what seemed a huge Qatar like amount of injury time he blew for full time. Ending the game and leaving me excited at the prospect of putting the car heaters on to try and warm me up on the hours drive back to Meldrum. Cracking cup tie, but from now on I am leaving a fleece and a scarf in the car at all times. Just in case of another bonus game. Buckie in January is not for wimps.
Entrance – £10
Attendance – 322 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – £6.60, 2 x pies, coffee, Irn Bru
Pint – £3.40, Tennents, Thistle Bar