A Pleasant Summer Evening In Fauldhouse

Don Burns samples the goods on offer at Fauldhouse

Wednesday 17th August – Fauldhouse United v Bo’ness United

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Park View is an idyllic sounding location for a match on a midweek Summer evening. As I approached the gate, the nearby aroma of a wood barbecue just added to the feeling.

No programmes on offer at the gate, so a quick trip round to the food stall as I hadn’t had time for my tea before the bus (honestly!). Pies and hot dogs were on offer but I tend to skip the latter as they never stay in the bun. So pies won the day.

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I was pleased to find out that two types were on offer, mince and steak & gravy. Thought I had better try both for strictly research purposes. Both were a little crispy but rather that than grease-soaked breeks. Topped off by a cup of tea, that came to £3.40. Great value.

Most of the regulars of the ‘Coo Shed’ sensibly swapped to the other side to catch the sun and the usual banter ensued. I for one hope they manage to stay up this year as the League will be a poorer place without them.

Park View is another ground with an enclosed feel to it, due to the tall trees round two sides and the mobile stand parked behind the goals at the entrance end. Not for me on a night like this though.

As half-time approached, I headed round to the famous ‘Howff’ for some liquid refreshment. As I entered, it looked as if some of my fellow fans had never left for the kick-off. Fosters is the only beer on tap but there was a wide range of bottles, cans and spirits. I settled on a can of Newcastle Brown ale, which hit the spot after 45 minutes in the sun.

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In the second half the banter between the ‘hoose fans and the tree-side linesman was one of the things that make Junior football so special. The (strictly) good-humoured comments regarding ‘Mad Jack’ were particularly funny.  (Mad Jack is an assistant ref in the East Region famous for his quick wit and eye catching tattoos, always willing to engage with the crowd)

Now before the game I was delighted to be visiting the ‘hoose in lovely weather. My mind was changed, however, when the sun disappeared behind the tree tops and legions of midges descended. The last half hour was torture and no mistake as the wee blighters gorged themselves on all around. Give me the cold, rain and snow any day.

The bus back must have been a sight, with nearly everyone sitting and scratching.

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