“Which match you going to today?” was the genuinely cheerful question my wife put to me before setting of on my trip today. Blyth’s season might have finished now but you can always count on a few matches still carrying on somewhere over the border in Scotland.
I was going to travel with a fellow Blyth fan. However he phoned in sick at the last minute. Whether he was genuinely ill or had enough of travelling with me for one season I was not sure. So it was Malcolm (no mates) on his own yet again.
Today I decided to let the train take the strain instead of driving. It’s a nice easy journey with a direct train taking an hour up the east coast.
The ground is only a short walk from the train station. If you were going on to Edinburgh the line goes past the ground with a perfect view of its set up. As I was approaching the ground there was another football pitch where two teams were getting ready to play. One team players were in black and white strips which are Dunbar United colours. For a minute I thought that this was it but then realised it was the Junior team (under18) who were also playing the same day.
It was only £4 into the New Countess Park but unfortunately there was no programme. I later got talking to the previous editor when they last produced one. Taking about 16 hours a week to put it together was just too much and you could not blame him.
The ground has hard standing all around the pitch. Attached to one of the outer walls is a covered area for fans when it is raining. Two park benches attached to a metal frame amounts the entire seated are in the ground. Dunbar United were formed in 1925 and moved to their present ground in 2001. The old one was just under a nearby tunnel (underneath the rail line) and is now built on by a school. The new ground is built within a sports complex and there is a rugby pitch close by as well. It’s a long while since the club won a trophy but they did win the Scottish Junior cup in 1961. Money is tight at the club and they rely on local players. This helps balancing the books and creating more local interest within the community.
Today the opponents were Falkirk Juniors. They were only formed in 2011. They had already won runners up spot this season to achieve promotion from the East region south division. Dunbar were 6th top so really there was nothing much for either team to play for. That did not stop either side putting their heart and soul into the game never the less.
Up until 22 minutes the game was pretty even. Then on 22 and 29 minutes MacAteer for Falkirk scored twice. Then just before half time Shirra scored to make it 3-0. That was game over really as both teams played out a scoreless second half.
I was invited into the sponsors lounge for coffee and a sandwich at half time and it was a nice touch by the Dunbar folks.
The Falkirk players/people celebrated at the end with a the champagne, loud cheers and a banner saying “we are going up”.
It was a nice easy train journey back down the coast and I was home by 7pm. I think that could be me now for ground hopping this season but you never know.