Groundhopper: Bo‘ness United 0 Broughty Athletic 1 (14/5/16) (Malcolm Stephenson)

Bo‘ness United 0 Broughty Athletic 1 (14/5/16)

boness

Well this is probably the last game of this season for me after 11 months of football. This season started back in July 2015 for me with a trip up to Nairn County. I ended up in Scotland again to end the season but this time travelling not quite so far North.

There are no trains to Bo’ness so it was a question of a short bus ride from Linthlithgow railway station. The latter named Town is between Edinburgh and Falkirk. The distance form Linlithgow was just over three miles and I got off in Bo’ness town centre. The driver said the ground was at the top of the hill. I set off not realising the ridiculous incline of the hill and I had to stop and catch my breadth a few times. Mind you the views over the Firth of Forth were really picturesque and you could even see snow on the mountains on the other side. I was breaking into a hot sweat going up that hill and I must have lost half a stone which considering my physique would not have been a bad thing. Half way up the hill I had a sudden urge to use a toilet. My hot sweat quickly turned into a cold one when you realised you did not know where the nearest toilet was going to be. Thankfully a bit further up the hill was hotel and restaurant/bar. The toilet was clean and tidy but horror of horrors there was no lock on the toilet door. I was passed caring at this stage and got on with the job in question. After a weight of my mind I could concentrate again on today’s football.

 

Bo’ness United play in the MacBookie east region super league of which they finished runners up.

 

A club called Bo’ness was formed from the 1880’s and football has been played on the same site since then. In the 1920’s they were members of the Scottish Football league and once hosted Celtic in the Scottish cup. Bo’ness FC later merged with Bo’ness Cadora to form Bo’ness United. Formed as United in 1945 the club has won the Scottish Junior cup on three occasions. They have also competed before in the main Scottish cup. Bo’ness play at Newton park and has a capacity of 7,500.

 

At one time the ground had a 500 seated stand but there was no sign of that today. I later found out it had been built in 1927 but had obviously been taken down some years ago although I am unclear for the reason behind this move.

 

My entry into the ground was a strange affair. I got there about 50 minutes before kick off and no turnstiles were open. I walked around and went through a gate where there was no one collecting any money. It was a turnstile but doubled up as a players entrance. I offered an official some money and I gave him a £20 note. Thirty seconds later he came back and handed me the same £20 note and said nothing else. Looked like I got in for nothing today then!

 

If you think Junior leagues are not up to much in Scotland then you have to see them for yourself. They might be called Junior league but its adults who play in them. I think it is Scotland’s version of a name for non league football

 

The ground has terracing on three sides and a grass bank behind one of the goals. One side of the pitch has the changing rooms, sponsors bar and club officials room. Opposite is a covered stand for standing spectators. From the changing room side the terrace stretches around the corner and continues behind the goal to the other side. Its quite a large terrace but odd in the fact there is only one small crush barrier to function as any sort of crowd control. The grass bank at the other end had four crush barriers but hardly anyone stood there anyway.

 

Newton Park had the strangest floodlights I have seen at a ground. They were retractable and went vertically up when needed and down when not. They neither go up or down now because unfortunately these days as they are not operational.

 

The was quite a good crowd watching the game today. Although it was not as many as usual as it was end of season and nothing to play for. Today’s opponents were Broughty Athletic from Dundee.

 

It’s a great ground to visit and there were quite a few fans with their Bo’ness club shirts on. The only down side of the day, for me  at least was that no programme was published. However after a quick chat with the club chairman he agreed to send me one he had from home so he gave me his e mail to get in touch with him. Any programme to me is better than nothing at all, even if they are from previous seasons.

 

The game kicked off in glorious sunshine and the first half was a series of missed chances by both sides. Plenty of opportunities were created but no team could seem to score from really good chances. There was no break by the interval and it was the same story in the second half. Eventually something had to give with the visitors scoring on the hour mark. That goal was enough to seal the game and send Broughty back to Dundee with a smile on their faces.

 

So that’s me for another season although we have football next month in the form of the European Championships on the TV. Then after that its only a short while before the friend fixtures start and the Scottish season kicks off once again. No doubt I will be making my way North of the border very soon.

 

Enjoy your summer.

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One comment

  1. After returning home the chairman of Bo Ness sent me a bundle of programmes, key ring and badge. Much appreciated. Great ground for any fellow hoppers to visit one day.

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