A Trip to Meadow Park

By Martmak

A Trip to Meadow Park

Another weekend without a match in the Ladbrokes Premiership, and another chance to sample the delights of Scottish junior fitba, the third round of the Scottish Junior Cup to be specific. I’d thought about travelling up to Linlithgow, but I had a change plans. I then thought either Neilston or Irvine Meadow, and as I’d already seen Pollok play at the Brig O’Lea earlier in the season, I headed for Meadow Park via Neilson, to watch Medda v Blackburn United.
It’s the first time that I’d driven the back roads down to Neilston, and it was a real eye opener. The roads were narrow and winding, much like the Highland roads but without the ability to see far in front, so it was slow going at times. I managed to avoid an accident with a couple of eighty year old farmers on a quad and their flock, and got to Meadow Park with thirty minutes left before kick-off.
Amazing as it may seem, but I managed to negotiate the journey from Cambuslang to within thirty metres of the turnstiles, without the aid of map or satnav. I’d glanced at a route planner earlier and somehow it had stuck in there. Considering that I can’t remember my kid’s names at times, it’s amazing that I found the ground, stuck at the end of a cul-de-sac in a housing estate!
I walked past the ‘Strictly No Alcohol’ sign and I picked up my copy of the match programme at the turnstiles, and went for a walk around the ground. Meadow Park is a proper football ground, terracing from a greater to lesser extent on three sides, with an old fashioned timber stand. The changing rooms, pie stall and social club are all found inside, I only went in for a couple of pies, the social club maybe next time.
I decided to try two local steak pies, shaped like scotch pies but with a puff pastry lid. They cost the modest sum of three quid for the pair and were well worth it. There was a lot of thick gravy and the meat didn’t come in abundance, but that was okay by me. As soon as I bit into the pie, the structural integrity of the pie completely collapsed. I had to use all my experience as a mono cycling high wire performer, to avoid a serious scalding gravy hazmat incident from occurring. Despite this modestly heroic feat, the pie was a 7.5 on the steak pie index.
Whilst this near disaster was being diverted, a couple of big kids I’d seen earlier assembling a drone thingy, had got it up and flying twelve feet above my head. I await with baited breath, my appearance on some twitter account with a beard full of meat and gravy. There were maybe 250 sober fans in attendance (a first since attending junior matches), and before the match kicked off, a minutes silence was held for the recently departed, former Medda player Billy Lewis.
The match finished 6-1 to Irvine Meadow, but Blackburn United gave a good account of themselves in the first half and were unfortunate going into the break 2-1 down. With one minute of the second half gone, Medda made it three and the United collapse began. It finished with the ball in the back of the net six times, a score line that’s a little harsh on Blackburn, as they had a more than a few chances themselves.
The cup tie opened in a rather industrial manner, ball in the air, frantic pace and absolutely no time on the ball to engage the old brain with foot. Medda eventually mastered their environment and knocked the ball nicely about with some aplomb, McPherson found McCann with a great pass. McCann’s initial attempt was blocked by Shaw but he managed to collect the rebound and put his second attempt into the net from wide, with a little help off a defenders chest, 1-0.
The visitors equalised almost immediately, the Irvine defence got caught out at the back when Williamson intercepted and passed inside to Campbell, he then played through for Cook, who managed to evade Twaddle, and blast into the net from ten yards, 1-1. Both sides were perfectly matched, until the forty first minute when Sinclair found McCann out wide. He ran in and struck the ball low into the six yard box, a defender clipped the ball, it rose and Deas headed in from three yards, 2-1!
The second half had barely begun, when Deas had shot low from the corner of the penalty area and past the keeper at the back post, 3-1. From this moment on, the tie was over and the Blackburn performance fell remarkably. Cue the sweary breakdown by Blackburn manager Mark Campbell aka Begby, with some truly world class swearing for about five minutes after this goal went in. Gordon Ramsey was standing next to me in his Rangers strip, the poor guy didn’t know where to look.
The fourth came when the ball was played long toward McPherson, with more than a suspicion of offside about it, he took his time, teed up and struck home from fifteen yards, 4-1. The fifth came after a nice build up, then McCann crossed in for McPherson to volley home from ten yards, 5-1. The final goal came when McCann crossed low into the six yard box from out on the right, the ball missed everyone and went in at the back post for 6-1!
The score line came as a bit of a surprise to me, as Medda had only managed to win one of their previous eight league games and sat second bottom of the Super league Premier Division. Whilst Blackburn United play in the McBookie.com South Division, they have still managed to remain unbeaten in their eleven matches so far. Whatever, it’s history now, and another half decent day out at the juniors was had.


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