Spain Park, Highland Football League, 14/1/23
Me still 263 and Wee Man still 135
Banks o’ Dee Football Club
Founded – 1902
Nicknames – The Dee, The Rechabites
Selected Honours – Scottish Junior Cup-1957, Aberdeenshire Cup 2021/22, Aberdeenshire Shield– 2021/22. North Region Superleague – 2007/08, 2008/09, 2015/16, 2015/16, 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2021/22. Grill League Cup – 2013/14, 2016/17, 2018/19 and 2021/22. North Regional Cup – 1969/70, 1970/71, 1973/74, 1976/77, 1978/79, 1980/81, 1981/82, 1983/84, 1984/85, 2010/11, 2017/18 and 2018/19. McLeman Cup – 1924/25, 1937/38, 1938/39, 1950/51, 1955/56, 1958/59, 1960/61, 1967/68, 1969/70, 1978/79, 1981/82, 1986/87, 1990/91, 2015/16, 2016/17, 2018/19 and 2021/22
Random Fact – The club have won 147 trophies in its 122 year history. Averaging 1.2 a season . Compared to other highly decorated teams in the country it’s a high average. Celtic come in at 0.8, Auchinleck Talbot 0.9, Clachnacuddin 0.7 and the original rangers only racked up 0.8 before their demise in 2012. A team with a clear massive history.
Same place twice in twenty four hours? Ach why not. A combination of weather and Wee Man asking “are big Banks o’ Dee at home” was enough to take us back. We did have Cruden Bay v Aberdeen Uni earmarked due to its proximity to Peterhead but the rain had other ideas. So to Tullos we headed again.
I will be honest, this wont take long to write up. 50th game of the season but not one to live in the memory for long. It really was not great viewing and I would say both sides would agree with me.
Arriving with 25 minutes to spare, Wee Man had learned his lesson from the previous night and the pies were in straight away so he would not be disappointed (saved me a row too). After grabbing the food. you guessed it, the tyre game was in full swing. The real reason for his urge to return today I suspect.I remain unbeaten for the weekend much to his displeasure and he got bloody sulky about it too.
The first half was incredibly flat and littered with fouls. Many committed by Dee captain Kane Winton (more on him later). The game never flowed and there was very little of note. Banks o’ Dee should have scored when the trio of Phillipson, McLeod and Watson over played a move in which neither of the three got their shot away when all three had the chance to fire one off. Phillipson was then guilty of spurning a decent chance mid-half when after Turriff defender Kinsella slipped allowing Magnus Watson to break in his usual speedy manner, he found Phillipson who dallied for a split second which allowed Max Foster to throw his body across the box and block . On Foster good to see him playing after his nonsense red card last weekend was rescinded and to be honest I was very impressed with him. He was United’s best player on the day and a couple of punters I spoke to were in agreement. Good player. But Phillipson really should have scored. On Phillipson it is also good to see him playing after witnessing his leg break v Culter last season which kept him out for the guts of a year. Not much else happened in the half and I couldn’t help but think I was to witness my first ever 0 v 0 in the Highland League in around thirty years of watching. The fact the first shot to pull out a save came on 46 minutes didn’t help me change my mind. This when Magnus Watson was comfortably denied by Dey just before this dour half ended.
HT 0 v 0
After more tyre game action and a 9 v 8 win for me. I grabbed a quick coffee as the second half kicked off. As we exited the coffee shop we saw Dee man Watson receive the ball and strike past Dey to put the hosts into the lead. We had just witnessed an extremely dull 45 and within two minutes of the second half we had already seen more action. If that wasn’t enough, by the time we got to our vantage point behind the goal we had another incident within the first 3 minutes of the half when Winton stupidly lunged into a reckless challenge and was immediately given his marching orders. Anyone in Spain Park saw this coming. He was petulant in the first half and looked like a man with a chip on his shoulder as he sulked around the pitch. This was coming, Had the captain let Turriff into the game? Incredibly within two minutes of the sending off Banks o’ Dee grabbed a second when Hamish MacLeod lashed home from the left side of Dey’s goal after the Dee passed through Turriff and it all looked too easy. Five minutes of the second period gone and we had been spoilt for action. But then it lulled back into what looked like the first half again, flat and full of fouls. But the highlight of the match in my eyes was still to come. Dee keeper Andy Shearer was placing the ball for a goal kick when a nearby Turriff fan shouted “get on with it Shearer” to which the big keeper jokingly replied “come on, I’m an old mannie now” . The retort was brilliant “just get on with it ye dick” shouted with such venom it seemed to echo round Spain Park and shoppers packing their messages in the adjacent Tesco must have heard the heckle too. Continuing on Shearer he earned his money soon after when he was faced with a one on one with Kyle Gordon, the Turriff man seemed to wait for the keeper to go down but he didn’t and managed to get a strong hand to a solid effort. Cracking goalkeeping from the veteran. Then Murray Thompson should have at least tested Shearer when he found soon found himself clean through, but he got his feet all wrong and sent the ball wide. Turriff then had another big chance when substitute Reece McKeown found the ball at the edge of the box, his first touch was immaculate and his second was a shot which beat Shearer only to hit the post. Turriff were unlucky not to have put the frighteners up the Dee in the second half. As the game died out i found myself taking shots at at Wee Man in a training goal as the game was as already stated, a bit dull. 50 up for the season for me(32 Wee Man) but it wont be remembered as a classic . Two teams I have a lot of time for who we frequent regularly due to proximities to certain places and I have definitely seen both on better days. The Dee are heading toward being the most watched team for the second consecutive season for us.(Do we need scarves?) Let’s see come May. Hopefully if we visit either again before the season is out we are a bit more entertained. Would Cruden Bay v Aberdeen Uni have been better? I guess we will never know
Entrance – Me £10, Wee Man £0
Attendance – 166 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – £10 Pie x 2, Juice x 2, Coffee
Pint – N/A
Score Predictions – Me 3 v 1, Wee Man 3 v 0
Season Score Prediction Total – Me 1 v 2 Wee Man