Sunday 27th November - St.Andrew's Day Cup

v Ormond Saints at North Inch Community Campus

Willie Fernie, Arthur McCue (Eileen Myles), Allan MacKenzie (Calum Colquhoun), Stuart Waugh, Jack Waugh, Ally McNaught (Andy Dick), Alan Galindo, Craig McKenna (Andy McNaught), Paul Joyce (c), Gav McDonald (Ryan McCue) and Adam Walker (John Crosbie)

For the first time since August we were on our travels, excluding the uphill trip to East Kilbride. Perth was the destination for the St.Andrew’s Day Cup, a three way tournament involving ourselves, Ormond Saints and Hamilton Accies.

It was an historic day as we would be playing our 700th All Time Game and also celebrating Adam’s 50th appearance (“does that mean he’s missed 650 games ?”).  What a season of firsts and milestones this is becoming.

A large squad was expected but, as ever, there were call offs in the morning which still left us with a healthy, in numbers, seventeen on the Essbee bus at Battlefield.

Dougie was last on, being picked up in George Square, but luckily he had some refreshments with him which stopped anybody being dehydrated on the long journey.

The football was taking place at a new venue for us but on arrival we were greeted with the news that Hamilton wouldn’t be coming and that we’d now just have the one game.

“More time in the pub” was the general consensus but the proposed kick off was delayed which gave us a chance to sort out a team for the one game.

We had three keepers in the squad and Safehands decided to sit the game out with Dougie going on the bench and Fernie starting the game.

In defence we started with a usual back four of Arthur, Wee Al and the Waugh Twins; in midfield were Ally, Gee, Craig and Adam; Paul and Gav were up front.

The playing surface was very Holyrood like and there was a wind blowing up and down the pitch which made conditions very familiar to us.

What wasn’t so familiar to us were the opposition as Ormonds have undergone yet another transition and the only recognisable faces were Davie Robb, Andy Muir, Elvis and Brian Campbell.

We shot with the wind in the first half and enjoyed the bulk of possession but couldn’t create anything in front of goal.

Wee Gee came closest with a shot from outside the box which struck the bar but that was about our only real close thing in the opening stages.

Unfortunately we were hit on the break three times in the first half and made to pay each time. Saints took their chances and, in a game where we had the bulk of the play, we found ourselves way behind at the interval. One of the goals had Safehands sniggering on the touchline as Fernie got lobbed whilst standing on his goal line (“everything changes and everything stays the same”).

Half time and changes to be made. Not in goal though as Dougie decided that Fernie should carry on, mainly because he’d have the wind against him and the “Orange One” isn’t that clever even on a calm day.

The full backs did change though with Eileen and CC coming on and Andy D and Uncle Crossers also joined the team for the second half.

Nothing much changed after the break though, we still enjoyed the bulk of the possession but lost a fourth goal not long into the half to ensure that we’d leave Perth with a defeat again.

However, after that goal we finally got a break from the referee, Mister Carr (Bankfoot), who had spent most of the game whistling for offside against an Ormonds forward, when we were awarded a penalty as Paul was fouled.

As soon as the penalty was given Paul turned round and shouted CC forward to take the kick. Without hesitation the (reserve) left back bounded up to the Saints penalty area to at last get a chance at glory.

Now, for all those who don’t know, CC, in his 60th appearance, had never scored a goal for the Club and only ever come close once when he headed over an open goal from five yards, so a penalty kick was probably the only chance that the Phil Neville lookalike would ever get to score.

Up he stepped and fired the ball home as luckily the keeper dived to his left or it could be another 60 games till he got a chance of scoring.

The celebrations were wild and long as CC took a bow to all four corners of the pitch and took his jersey off and waved it around his head. This revealed the tee shirt he had faithfully put on every game in the vain hope he would score one day and which said, “Vote Gordon Brown”.

But what do some of our other starlets have on their tee shirts in anticipation of scoring a goal ?

Well, I can exclusively reveal that Dougie has on his shirt, “Only Louis Walsh Can Judge Me”, and the last time he was judged he only got a four but for his singing Louis gave him a nine as he has “the voice of an angel, from the American Deep South.”

Safehands has “Fiscal Deficit” on his shirt, which is the catchy Christmas single that his country and western band, The Petting Zoo, have recorded this year.

Andy Boy shamelessly has accepted money to display, “Buy One Burger Get One Free At Luigi’s Caff, They’re Pure Like Amazing”.

Our esteemed skipper Paul has a list of all his goals on the front of his tee shirt and, on the back, he has listed all the times that he would have scored if only people would pass to him, a long list, apparently.

Uncle Crossers goes down a more humorous route and has one of his famous jokes, “did you hear about the dyslexic who walked into a bra ? Ha, ha, a bra, ha, ha.”

Arthur just goes for a photo of a pint of Guinness (regular, not cold) whilst Stu couldn’t find anybody that would make him up a tee shirt as “you’re better not wasting your money”.

Anyway, after the CC moment (“it’s all about me”) had passed the game continued and Ryan and Andy Boy were sent on to try and get another goal but it was Ormonds who got a fifth and the game finished disappointingly for us.

Back to Ormonds for the presentations and food, which eventually arrived about three hours after we’d been in the pub, and bizarrely Arthur was presented with a memento for his recent achievement of  reaching 200 appearances for us (I have sent a list to Perth of everybody that has reached 200 and 300 hundred appearances, plus at least one of the 100’s, so hopefully mementos will be on their way soon).

Uncle Crossers was voted “Sportsman of the Day” (nope, me neither) and Galindo got a Player of the “Tournament” award. Sadly CC was absent when the “Goal of the Day Trophy” was being presented as he would have been a stick on.

Eventually we headed up the road and the bus journey home was just as riotous and drunken as normal.

Not the best day out though and only having one game was disappointing considering we had nineteen in the squad. But, as ever, we enjoyed certain aspects of it, the pub, and CC will always remember the day he scored from twelve yards through a ruck of players !


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