Winter break, football in Scotland and Two Drowned rats

The winter break is upon us and after a bit of a tail off by the Bluenose Nation we start to think about the most ill timed and irrelevant World Cup in history. That’s if you don’t count the last World Cup in Russia of course. Putin’s party impressed no-one, and his invasion of Ukraine was no surprise either.

The World Cup disinterest starts with week-long warm up programmes put on by Sky who are broadcasting zero matches. They are plying us with endless ‘experts’ with questions like “how will England do?”. If you watched the Tilton Talk show last Monday the whole subject was done and dusted in just over an hour and the winners likely to be France, Argentina or England. My colleagues are as knowledgeable as anyone who is likely to offer an opinion and far more entertaining. I declined as my only interest is how Jude or the Blues players over there get on. I have never liked Gareth Southgate from his Palace days and joining Aston cemented the feeling. I do not like his team selection, the formation he plays and his delay in picking Jude is unforgivable. We do not have a goalie or defender out there worthy of the name and only one striker who is likely to score.

Where to go to get away from the World Cup? Obviously, Scotland! I write this in the Hampton Hotel in Dundee after 2 days in Aberdeen. After about 12 hours in the delightful Granite City, and having my photo taken with Sir Alex outside Pittodrie my craving for football action had to be sated. Inverurie Loco Works v Huntly in the Aberdeenshire Cup was a must see. An all-Highland League clash. Three stops on the train north found my son and I welcomed in the Locos social club at Harlaw Park.

Two drowned rats with Blues hats talking English might have caused a stir, but it did not. The game itself was extraordinary in so many ways. Firstly, the two teams arrived on the pitch separately. No mascots, no sponsors, and no lining up to shake hands, The reffing crew came out last and the ball was place on the spot, the toss made, and we kicked off, on time. No kneeling either! About 3-400 fans there with a vociferous away following. Huntly is one stop further north so almost a Derby atmosphere. Even when one of the floodlights pilons went out there was no messing about. The excellent referee just got on with it.

The ref did not stop play for minor knocks and the trainers came on only three times in 90 minutes. Each time the players were hurt and took no further part. Proper geysers. The standard of play was excellent as was the pace of the game. For my Sussex readers either team would have beaten Hastings comfortably and for you West-Midlanders, would have bettered Kidderminster.

Despite the torrential downpour which is still raging 48 hours later, the pitch was immaculate, and the two keepers were honestly the best Scottish keepers I have ever seen. The fans, especially the visitors never uttered a 4-letter word until the 81st minute, and again in the 85th. It was getting a bit tense by then. Huntly ran out winners 2-1 and most returned to the bar best of buddies. Can’t wait till Saturday in the Capital as FC Edinburgh face Alloa.  All details to follow next week along with a view of England v Iran (YAWN) God Bless & stay safe Bluenoses


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