Well I hope a few of you found the last article of some interest and a deversity from the mainstream football chatter and i did not bore you too much.
As I said last week we have this curriosity of 'Double headers' in the NC lge and last weeks Halkirk v Muir game went to to wire. The visitors were 3 goals up after 20 minutes, not unusuall at Halkirk this season, but by 45 minutes only a single coal sepearated the two sides and it could have gone either way at the half way mark. Halkirk were level after 15 mins of the second half. The home team dominated an interesting if not a classic which for some unknown reason attracted the smallest attendance of the season, somewhere in the region of only 25. Muir regained the lead but Halkirk drew level to leave the league game a 4-4 draw and another 30 minutes were to be played for the right to vist the Orkey Isles in the next round of the cup. although Halkirk were down to 10 men in the extra period of 30 mins, losing a player to the red card syndrome after 85 min, they dominated the extra time without scoring and the game went on to penalties were the home team scored only 2 form 5 while Muir managed 3 from 4.
Had Halkirk have won they were going to make the sea voyage to Orkney but as agreed before the start of the cup competions main land clubs could ask Orkney to play their "home" games on the mainland, so Muir will meet Orkney at a venue to be decided but possibly at John O'Groats, the second most northerly UK mainland point, and not the most northerly as the majority of people think. As i write i have been told the semi final will be at Thurso, the winters game most northerly UK ground as the summer pitch, yes summer, i will explain later was not ready. Up here they play a summer league which is in two sections one for town clubs and the other for county clubs and it starts in April. So for those on holiday north of Inverness there are usually two nights a week games are played on so ground hoppers could have fun.
Inverness Clachnicuddins Game today was called off at Halkirk by the league even though the pitch was quite playable as only scattered snow showers had been experianced up here but exceptionally bitter strong winds, which made it feel colder than when the car registered -15 degrees a couple of years ago, however if snow did come and covered the lines they did not want to have an abandoned game with Clach having to make the 105 mile journey north which takes between two and a half and three hours by road. The conditions would have been terrible for the players.
Last week the norths senior club Wick Acadamy were knocked out of the Highland lge cup by local rivals (they are only 55 miles away) Brora and this is Wicks only local derby.This leaves Wick to concerntrate on trying to gain their first ever League title since joining the league a few years ago.
Watching the Scotland / Wales game on tv as a neutral, it confirmed it is a big worry for the home fans seeing such poor quality players in their team. With Birmingham supplying a scottish winger it took me back to the days of Bartie Auld who later mover to Celtic and is the only player i believe to play for Birmingham and win a European champions winners medal.
When you consider Scotland and England usually had such closely fought games when i was young and i stand correcting on this but think Scotland won more of these games than England did. i do remind them I watched the 9-1 England victory at Wembley. while they do however keep reminding us they were the first to beat the world cup holders of 66, which i also attended, but i do add English fans prefer to be beaten by a country from the UK (which 75% of Scots wish to stay in although the independonists wont recognise) than a foreign side. However while every one is talking about the poor Scottish side we must recognise the great improvement by out Welsh neighbours and it is a pity they are not a little higher up their group as we desperately need more UK sides in the finals, to upset FIFA. I fear the chance of getting so many in the finals as in 1958 is a long way off.
Rangers are creating a lot of amusment with their inability of late to win home games. It is rare for them to go two home games on the trot without a victory, even in the top division.
Both they and Celtic would struggle in the English championship with their present squads, if it were ever to happen, and it never will. Both clubs would greatly improve their squads with players from Europe if they were in English football and with their support and money would quickly gain promotion to the English Premiership. This though will not happen as even if they applied to the English league how could they be put in the championship with out starting at the bottom tier like AFC Wimbledon, Newport, Accrington etc.
Well I hope you all have a pleasant Easter although from fixtures point of view i miss the days when three games were played over Friday, Saturday and Monday or Tuesday.
Generaly only clubs in the Birmingham area played on Tuesday at home as most people worked on Good Friday in the West Midlands and had Tuesday off. You would get either B'ham and WBA or Villa and Wolves away on the Friday and home on Tuesday and this period certainly sorted out who would be top and bottom of the leagues.