Belgar Playing Field, NESFA League 1, 16/5/23
Me 276, Wee Man 148
Invercairn United Football Club
Founded – 1891
Nickname – The Belgers
Selected Honours –Scottish Welfare Cup – 2015/16 and 2016/17 NESFA League 1 – 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. NESFA League 2 – 2015. Brucklay Cup – 2015 and 2017. Gordon Leask Memorial Trophy – 2018, 2019 and 2021. NESFA League Cup – 2017, 2018 and 2019. Victoria Coaches Cup – 2018. Ardallie Cup – 2015
Random Fact – The club won the Scottish Cup in consecutive seasons but never got to defend it in a third campaign. Could they have done the treble? Who knows.
Back on the Welfare trail adjacent the North Sea, not to far from Fraserburgh and in amongst the pungent sea air. This complete with a random bit of sightseeing and history. Random as midweekers don’t usually allow the time for it. First up was the showing the Sovereign ship wreck to Wee Man. The fishing boat ran aground in 2005 and has since became famous as images of it were used in the promotion for The Life of Pi film. From here we parked up at the fitba and attempted to nip across to the old RAF Fraserburgh. A World War II aerodrome that was opened in 1941 and closed by the War Office in 1945 but I am not to sure how to get over to it or if you can. We also didn’t have too much time to attempt to find the runways either. (Maybe someone could enlighten me if you can still see anything and how to). But the fitba was the important thing here as I have an idea up my sleeve for later that involves Welfare fitba across the country.
This meant we found ourselves at this old club one which out dates the Scottish Welfare Football Association (which itself is 105 years old) by 27 years. This visit comes off the back of some cracking games in the NESFA over the past couple of summers. Always goal laden and entertaining. Tonight was no different. 9 goals with 6 coming in the first half. However the first piece of action was seeing Faithlie’s Mark White being as good as carried off the pitch injured by his team mates after twenty seconds. Not the start the Fraserburgh side would have been looking for. But the goal action wasn’t far away. The test was when Faithlie keeper MacKenzie Stephen was forced to save a corner that was heading directly in with insane amounts of whip on it. The stopper tipped it on to the bar and away for another corner. He was soon called into the fray again when Belger man Ramsay attempted to round him but the keeper did well to push him wide, the ball then landed at Fraser Watt who’s shot was then blocked by the recovering Stephen. Watt was pivotal in the opening goal. Which came around a quarter of an hour in. A ball was played over the top which Watt ran into the corner then crossed to Cammy Gray who was left with a tap in. The first goal was quickly followed by a second Belgers goal and it was role reversed for Gray who this time turned provider for Jamie Ramsay who was also left with an easy finish into an unguarded net. It was looking like a do-in could be on the cards as Faithlie had not shown up to this point. But to be fair to the men in orange they got better once they found themselves two to the bad. The had a huge chance when MacKinnon ran through a split Invercairn defence but he gave MacLennan in the Belgers goal too much of a chance. He should have done better. Immediately following this chance Faithlie did score when Roy Noble made no mistake from close range off of a set piece. Incredibly straight from centre Invercairn opened up a two goal advantage again when some AWOL Faithlie defending left Cammy Gray clean through to stick the ball under Stephen from 18 yards. Not a minute later and Invercairn had a fourth when full back Gray got down the right and as he cut into the box he placed the ball across goal and into the far corner. Three goals in as many minutes we had just seen. It should have been four in four but Faithlie spurned a huge chance when a freekick found Grieve at the back post unmarked, but he opted for placement and missed the target from 5 yard. A big miss. Before the half came to a close Faithlie grabbed a lifeline through Aaron MacDonald who touched home a long Masson free kick. Some half of goals keeping up traditions of our NESFA viewing to date.
HT 4 v 2
Half time saw us play a crossbar challenge type game which in truth was bloody great fun despite losing 8 v 6 to an eight year old. The idea was hitting the ball from around 18-20 yards and hit the bar of the wee goals adjacent the pitch. When the teams reappeared the game was done much to the disappointment of Wee Man who was gutted it had been halted(8 year old world problems). The second half may have only had half the goals of the first but it only took a couple of minutes for the net to rustle in the second period. This when Faithlie got it back to one behind. It was quite fortuitous as Noble’s shot was poor but it turned cross and John Murray was on hand to tap in. They all count and it was game on. But it wasn’t to be for Faithlie as once again Invervcairn extended their lead when Ramsay out fought Faithlie defender Roger who claimed he was fouled. Ramsay wasn’t caring as he swung in the ball for Watt to head home from a few yards out. For the record the protest may have came for the foul but in my eyes there was nothing a do. Then it was six for the home side right away when Ramsay went down in the box to earn a penalty. Was he on the way down due to a slip prior to contact. To be honest it looked that way. But the ref gave it and Marc Walker sent Stephen the wrong way. Surely game over now. Both teams created a few solid chances but the goals had dried up for the night. Faithlie were very unfortunate not to have their own penalty when there was a clear handball but the ref missed it and waved play on. A big call as Wee Man and myself both saw a blatant infringement. That was pretty much it barring Belger man Wilby fizzing one past the post late on. Watching fitba is about being entertained and once again the box was more than ticked in the North East Welfare.
Another nine goals to add to the 55 in 8 previous views of the NESFA. We had an average of just shy of 7 goals a game prior to tonight. It raised above 7 tonight. Next up a trip to see Faithlie at home to Glenugie United once I am back from offshore. The wonders of the Welfare.
Entrance – Free
Attendance – 54
Pie – N/A
Pint – N/A
Score Predictions – Me 3 v 0, Wee Man 4 v 0
Season Score Prediction Totals – Me 2 v 4 Wee Man