Saturday, 28 May 2011

Greenfield Park (Shettleston v Thorniewood United)

Even though the weather we have had in Scotland lately has made it feel like autumn or even winter it is definitely springtime. That means the days are longer and we can go to midweek junior games with evening kick-offs. Most junior grounds do not have floodlights and games are usually only played on Saturday afternoons but come May they are played on basically every day of the week. The ones on Friday nights are my favourites as it means a perfect start to the weekend and I am not really bothering my wife.

On Friday 20th May I decided to go to Shettleston v Thorniewood United, an encounter in the West Region Central District First Division. I took a train from Paisley to Glasgow Central, then walked to Glasgow Queen Street and jumped on the train to Edinburgh, the new connection via Bathgate that is. Unfortunately there had been line problems and the train was six minutes late. I was on a tight schedule and it meant I would miss kick-off. After a very short train journey of only a few minutes I got off at Carntyne station, in the east end of Glasgow, and walked to Greenfield Park which took me less than ten minutes.

Greenfield Park is a great junior ground: it has two enclosures, a lot of crumbling terraces and supposedly a good social club as well (which I did not have time to visit). Tonight's game was important for both sides. Thorniewood, who were already promoted, were still in with a chance to win the league. If they beat Shettleston and Kilsyth Rangers lost the next day the title would be theirs. Shettleston needed a win to be still in with a chance to avoid relegation. Unfortunately both sides did not get what they wanted and the game ended in a 1-1 draw, although I think this was a fair result on the night.

After the game I walked back to Carntyne station and discovered the next train was due in 30 minutes. After a half-hour wait that felt like a two-hour wait I was on my way home.

Tonight's game: Shettleston v Thoniewood United.

Greenfield Park seen from outside.

The two enclosures.

No junior ground is complete without a brick wall painted white.

Another look at one of the enclosures.

The social club behind the white wall, beautiful crumbling terracing in front of it.

Shettleston score seven minutes before time.

The leafy east end of Glasgow...

Friday 20th May 2011
West Region Central District First Division
Shettleston 1 Thorniewood United 1
Shettleston: McCormick 83.
Thorniewood: Devlin 87.
Att: 150 (est.)

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Keanie Park (Johnstone Burgh v Blantyre Victoria)

Last week I went to Keanie Park to see Johnstone Burgh versus basement boys Blantyre Vics in Central District First Division. Johnstone is only four minutes by train from Paisley and the walk to the ground is a short one as well. I arrived at Johnstone station well before kick-off which meant there was still time for a pre-match pint in the Silver Tassie. I then made my way to Keanie Park, which is a nice and tidy ground. The weather was great at first as well until it started raining in the second half.

Vics were already relegated before this game but still somehow managed to beat Burgh 4-0. This result meant that the drop to the Central District Second Division loomed for the Renfrewshire side as well and after today's result their fate was confirmed. For most of the match this had seemed a typical goalless draw. Burgh looked slightly stronger but were unable to find the net. With 13 minutes to go Vics were awarded a penalty. Vics' number 7 scored and then Burgh fell apart and conceded three more goals in the next 13 minutes.

The entrance to Keanie Park.

Burgh's warm-up: throwing the ball at each other...

The club building.

Johnstone is on the Glasgow Airport flightpath.

Burgh goalkeeper Fraser Wilson was carried off after just five minutes.

This Blantyre free kick did not go in.

The enclosure was not very popular today, even after it had started raining in the second half.

A closer look at the enclosure.

Saturday 7th May 2011
West Region Central District First Division
Johnstone Burgh 0 Blantyre Victoria 4
Goals: 77 (pen.), 80, 86, 90.
Att: 65 (est.)
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