My Matchday - 254 New Victoria Park

Newtongrange Star 2v2 Lochee United
East Region Super League
Saturday 22nd May 2010

Newtongrange, known locally as “Nitten” is a former mining village situated eight miles south of Edinburgh. In the 1890’s it was Scotland’s biggest mining village with the sinking of the Lady Victoria Colliery. In 1981 the pit closed but the former colliery is now home to the Scottish Mining Museum.
The village had a number of clubs during the l880’s until Newtongrange Star were formed in 1890 playing on the original Victoria Park. The club were successful in the Midlothian Junior League, winning the title on five occasions up until the First World War.
The pitch and pavilion had been neglected during the war, so they applied for a grant to restart the club. The War Memorial Committee provided the club with a new pitch, deciding to use the old site as an extension to the public park.
After nine months work, the ground opened for its first match in August 1924. The ten acre park had a 900 seated stand with a covered terrace enclosure, which also housed changing rooms, committee rooms and a gymnasium used by the local boxing club. The pitch was bordered by a quarter mile cinder running track which made it a multi-used ground over its 70 years, with athletics, speedway and during the 1980’s it was the country’s top Stock Car venue which regularly drew healthy crowds.

The New Victoria Park was built by the Walker Group in 1994 in exchange for the old ground which was developed as a new housing estate, with street names such as Victoria Gardens/Road, Old Star Road and New Star Bank.
The 5000-capacity stadium cost £1,25m complete with pavilion, covered enclosure and social club. The ground is found just off the main road which runs through the village, the social club is at the top of the car park with the ground’s turnstile block entrance at the top of a flight of stairs. The changing rooms with refreshment bar, and the toilet block are at each side of entrance with a hard standing behind the nearside goal.
The enclosure sits centrally about a half pitch length with blue crash barriers and a row of 40 blue flip seats at the front. The brick dugouts are opposite the stand with the rest of the ground fully enclosed with trees and shrubs and well-groomed grass banks which makes it an ideal setting to watch football on such a glorious day.(26c in Scotland, hard to believe…Eddy)

Star are one of the most successful Junior clubs in the East Region, winning numerous honours in various cup competitions, including winning the big one - the Scottish Junior Cup in 1930.
The restructuring of the SJFA prior to the 2006–07 season placed Star in the East Region South Division, and in their first season were promoted as champions to the Premier League.
Last season the club were promoted to the East Super League after finishing runners-up the Musselburgh Athletic and continue to make excellent progress, currently in second spot behind champions elect Bo’ness United.
Although there is still three weeks worth of football left in the Super League this was Stars last game of the season, where another win would help to secure the runners-up spot.
After a goalless first half which saw Hagan miss two good chances for the visitors the game came to life in the second half with Star taking the lead with a 20 yard drive from Thompson on 55 minutes.
The goal spurred Lochee into life as they began to dominate proceedings, equalising through a Blackwood header before deservingly going into the lead with a good strike from substitute Jon Voigt.
Just when it looked like United had gained a well earner away victory, a late rally from Star produced a last throw of the dice with a corner kick in the dying seconds.
The kick was met by a towering header from centre-half Woodburn, who nodded the ball into the net just before the full time whistle, which meant my long action-packed season finished with a goal.

I preserved my tradition of my last match of the campaign taking place in Bonny Scotland, with a trip to Edinburgh, which gave me the chance to meet up with Squad #83 Jamie McQueen for the first (and last) time this season.
Throughout this season I’ve travelled hundreds of miles by rail. I must commend our rail network as I’ve had no problems this season as 99% of the time they’ve ran like clockwork. So with my final trip of the season it just had to finally go wrong with my booked 1036 train arriving at 1151, which was due to a person has been hit by a train near Darlington.
I arrived at 1.25pm with the game at Newtongrange kicked off at 1.45pm so it looked like we may have had to look at a Plan B, however Jamie was waiting on Waverley Bridge fully revved up and raring to go which meant we reached the ground missing only five minutes of action.
Once entering the ground it was a nice surprise to be greeted by Squad#155 James Little who was attending the game just so he could meet your truly.(Hope it was worth it Jim) It was good to meet up with James and hopefully we’ll be able to attend games together on my future trips to northern Britain.
A day which looked set to be a disaster ended up being very enjoyable. I finishing off with a couple of pints in the Gilly Arms before catching the 1705, which was dead on time, meaning I was back home in Gallowgate View by 7pm, so ending another great day out in which has been undoubtedly a great season.

Matchday stats
NSFC 2(Thompson 55, Woodburn 90+4)LUFC 2(Blackwood 71,Voigt 82)
att. 200.est
Admission £5
Programme: none


Pieman said...

Read about the train problems on the Kempster forum. That poster aborted his visit and went elsewhere. Glad you made it, Jamie to the rescue!

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