Colony Park, North Regional Cup Final, 5/5/23
Me still 272, Wee Man still 143
Five years ago almost to the day Wee Man and I went to a game of fitba together for the first time ever. The venue, Colony Park where the eponymous home side were trunced 0 v 6 by Stonehaven complete with a red card for a ludicrous elbow.However being our most local Junior team at 5 miles away, surprisingly we had never been back until tonight.
A cup final on a Friday night, something never to turn your nose up at. Although on paper this looked to be only heading one way given Culter’s “grand slam” quest. To be honest it wasn’t as one sided as expected. The game wasn’t hugely incident packed and to be more truthful the officials were the real story here. Some seriously one sided decision making throughout with no consistency whats so ever. Well there was consistency with the inconsistency. Fouls made by Culter going unpunished while Rothie were pulled up for identical infringements. Rothie manager Kev Beaton getting booked for coming out his technical area then two of Culter’s bench doing the same a few moments later and not a peep. Offsides not being given against the men in red. But the pièce de résistance being a handball from Culter keeper Tait which will be described further on.
Rothie seemed to frustrate Culter in the first half preventing them getting forward as much as they would have hoped in a misty and wet Inverurie. The game was a bit stuffy with no team really taking a hold of proceedings on Colony Park which looked a bit tattered and overused. After half an hour of action lacking play littered with strange refereeing the net finally rustled for the first time and it came in a bit of minky circumstances. Culter striker Callum Dunbar sclaffed an shot from the left side of the Rothie box which deflected to Ross Clark who from six yards out, took a touch and his goal ward strike nicked off a Rothie defender on the way in. But the Culter man wasn’t caring as he wheeled away celebrating his thirtieth goal of the season. It wasn’t long before the Aberdeen side doubled their lead. Again in deflected circumstances. Craig MacAskill recieved the ball on the right taking a touch to set up and firing off an effort, the ball struck a Rovers defender wrong footing and leaving Lewis Milne stranded on his line. This coming in the 36th minute. The action didn’t stop there as off the pitch there was a some sort of tractor/old car rally with too many union jacks on the go pass by much to the delight of Wee Man. Old Porsches, Morris Minors and numerous others including and a legendary Ford Capri zoomed their way up Harlaw Road.
HT 2 v 0
After soaking Wee Man with the spray off his ball after a HT kick about with him and my pal Lliam’s loon Angus. (He was wringing). The game got underway again and the action was not long in coming when Culter hit the bar. But more importantly and controversially the aforementioned Tait handball happened. Wee Man, Lliam, Angus and I couldn’t have been in a better position to see this. The Lino was right next to us, the referee was looking right at it however Tait managed to slide out of his box with ball in hand which he let go but as he saw a Rothie man coming he grabbed the ball again by which point he was at least a yard out his box. It was as clear as day and a stick on red card for the Culter number one. But incredibly, it was waved away. A truly astounding decision and the worst I have seen in years. Maybe the thickening mist got in the official’s eyes. A game changing decision which clearly pissed off Rovers who seemed to lose discipline a bit. What tipped them even more was when Stuart Hodge had a glorious chance to half Culter’s lead. The Culter defence was all at sea leaving the Rothie forward one on one with Tait. He put the ball past the keeper only to see it come back off the post. A huge chance which in my opinion should have been taken. A spattering of bookings came Rothie’s way as their tackles got a bit firmer lets say and the frustrations were more apparent. As the fog descended and the visibility lessened the game ended and Culter made it a treble so far for the season. The better team on the night but were aided by a huge let off. As Culter lifted the cup there was a shout of “are you nae getting a wee lift ref”. That summed up goings on in Inverurie for me.
Entrance – £7 Me, £0 Wee Man
Attendance – 256 (Rough Head Count)
Pie – £9, 2 x pie, coffee, juice
Pint – N/A
Score Prediction – 4 v 0 Me, 3 v 0 Wee Man
Score Prediction Season Total – Me 1 v 3 Wee Man