Saturday 30th March 2019
663. Craighead Park
Lesmahagow Juniors 5-1 St Anthony’s
West Region Division TwoLesmahagow is a small town and Civil Parish near Lanark, in the central belt of Scotland. (population approx 3,700)
The name translates as "Enclosure of St Machutus". “Les” meaning a garden or a monastery and the saint was originally known as "Mahagw" prior to emigrating to Brittany, where the Welsh born saint became known by his Latin name and also as "St Malo".
The birthplace of actor Billy Boyd who played the role of Perregin “Pippa” Took in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Former Man United and Scottish international Jim Holton was also born in the town and tragically died of a heart attack, aged just 42.
The Mighty Gow reached the final of the Scottish Junior Cup in 1990, losing out to Hill of Beath Hawthorn 1-0 in the final.
Central Region League champions 1981-82, 1991-92
Central League Division 1 Winners 1988–89, 2005–06
Division A champions 1977-78 B champions 1981-82
Craighead Park is another classic Junior ground. The peaked roof stand on the far side terrace has been dismantled over the last week, due to safety issues with the council. The rest of the ground has terracing and steep grass banking, allowing great panoramic views. The changing rooms, refreshment bar and hospitality room is behind the goal.
Lesmahagow Juniors(2nd) v St Anthony’s(8th)
McBookie.com West Region - Division Two matchday 20v24
The Gow came back from an early setback to record a convincing win. Kamil Lesczcynski fired St Ants into the lead, but hit back through Scott Schoneville and Johnny McStay to make it 2-1 at half time.
With an hour gone the hosts were awarded a penalty and I was thrilled to see goalkeeper Sandy Thomson running up the pitch to take it, then relieved to see the ball hit the back of the net to finally break my duck in seeing a goalie score a goal. Lesmahagow were awarded a second penalty ten minutes later but Sandy was denied the chance of a second, as his brother Jason told him that he was taking it and thankfully he converted the spot kick.
With time running there was just enough time for Kris Jarvie to score his usual cameo appearance goal to make it 5-1 in an enjoyable match.
A huge thanks to everyone at Lesmahagow, especially Andy for the hospitality and gifted souvenirs of our visit. Good luck in your promotion push this season and Lee, Katie and myself will be following your progress with interest.
LJFC 5 (Schoneville 26 McStay 41 S.Thompson 52pen J.Thomson 61pen Jarvie 90+3)
StAFC 1 (Lesczcynski 15)
Scotch pie £1.50
Raffle ticket £1
664.New Murrayfield Park
Blackburn United 4-1 Preston Athletic
East of Scotland League - Conference CBlackburn is a town in West Lothian which means "the black stream", from the Old English blæc "black" and burna "stream". The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152 and developed as a cotton-manufacturing town, before becoming a centre for coal mining in the mid-19th century. (population:just under 5,000)
The birthplace of Australian paralympic gold medallist Michael Gallagher and Susan Boyle, who had the fastest selling UK debut album in 2009 after being a contestant on Britain(hasn’t)Got Talent.
Blackburn United formed in 1978 following the merger of Blackburn United Welfare and Blackburn Thistle. The club joined the Junior ranks two years later, the eighth club to represent the town at this level following Blackburn Thistle in the 1887-88 season, Blackburn Rovers (1899-1901) Blackburn United (1905-1906) Blackburn FC (1912-13) another Blackburn Rovers (1921-1926) Blackburn Athletic (1932-1937) and New Blackburn Athletic (1962-1974)
New Murrayfield Park
Blackburn moved next door from Murrayfield Park in March 2013, which is still used by the club’s youth teams. The covered enclosure was also moved to the new ground and holds about 100 spectators. The pavilion houses the changing rooms, bar and refreshment hatch. There's hard standing around the sides with floodlights and a 3G playing surface which was added in November 2015.Blackburn United(7th) v Preston Athletic(5th)
Central Taxis East Of Scotland League Conference C matchday 23v24
In a fixture which wouldn't look out of place in Lancashire it was the host team who got off to a dream start, as Darren Downie bagged two with a penalty kick and a superb 20 yard volley. Downie grabbed his hat-trick with an easy finish just after the hour and although Michael McFarlane capitalised on a ‘keepers mistake to pull one back, Michael Browne headed in the fourth to make it 4-1.
BUCFC 4(Downie 2pen,4,64 Browne 82)
PAFC 1 (McFarlane 78)
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Sunday 31st March 2019
Peebles Rovers 1-3 Newtongrange Star
East of Scotland League - Conference APeebles is a royal burgh in Peeblesshire within the Scottish Borders, which lies at the confluence of the River Tweed and Eddleston Water (locally called "the Cuddy").
Originally a market town, Peebles played a major role in the woollen industry during the 19th and early-20th centuries, until its decline in the 1960s, although the last mill remained open until 2015. (population over 8,000)Peebles Rovers formed in 1893 and are former members of the Scottish Football League(1923-1926) In the 1966 they joined the Junior ranks and entered a period of decline, until they returned to the Seniors in the East of Scotland League in 1980.
Peebles Rovers merged with local youth teams in 2006 to form a new community club. The new Peebles F.C. took over Rovers' place in the league until 2010, when Rovers demerged re-established themselves as a separate senior club.
East of Scotland Football League Winners: 1928–29, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1935–36, 1945–46 First Division Winners: 1988–89, 1997–98, 2014–15
King Cup Winners: 2015Whitestone Park
Capacity 2,250(250 seats)
The dark green main stand sits proudly on one side, which looks over the dugouts in front of it. The rest of the ground is railed off, with the changing room facilities shared with the rugby ground at the park entrance.Peebles Rovers(10th) v Newtongrange Star(4th)
Central Taxis East of Scotland League, Conference A matchday 20v22
A comfortable win for Nitten, taking a two goal half time lead through an opportunist strike from Sean Jamieson, before Kyle Scott ran onto a flicked header and rifled in a right foot shot. David Lindsay got Peebles back into the game on 72 minutes, but the visitors restored their two goal cushion when Ryan Porteous fired home from a tight angle.Matchday Facts
PRFC (Lindsay 72)
NSFC 3 (Jamieson 13 Scott 40 Porteous 78)
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Scottish football grounds visited 104
Scottish Junior grounds visited 43
Current East of Scotland grounds visited 19/39
Travelled north with Katie & Lee who picked me up in Blossom at 10.30am.
As I’ve already been to Camelon and Linlithgow Rose we just needed to do the middle two Saturday games on the Scottish Hop. We decided earlier in the week that it wasn’t worth heading up to Inverkeithing, instead ticking off a Junior ground in the vicinity of Blackburn.
At Blackburn I met up with Mark Wilkins, James Little and his pal John, heading back into Edinburgh with them for a night out on the lash for James’ birthday. We stayed at James’ luxury apartment on Saturday night and we headed off to Peebles on Sunday morning feeling rough as a badgers, after a heavy session and a late one the previous night.
After the football me and Mark stayed in Peebles for a few hours to visit some pubs, which included the Bridge Inn, which is a very friendly boozer with some good ales. After a few pub detours within the Borders at Clovenfords, Galashields and Melrose, Mark finally dropped me off back in Gateshead at 8pm on his way back to London.
A fabulous weekend and I’m already looking forward to see what Groundhop UK have planned next season in the East of Scotland League.