Groundhopper: Dalkieth Thistle 2 Thornton Hibs 3 (4/6/16) (Malcolm Stephenson)


Dalkieth Thistle 2 Thornton Hibs 3 (4/6/16)



Just a few weeks ago I thought last seasons ground visiting was over. However looking up the web site Non league matters I managed to find a league game in June which was a first for me. The Scottish Junior league were still going and in fact the very last game of the 2015-16 is on Wednesday next week. Scottish leagues seem to take a bit longer to complete and I think a lot of its to do with the weather over the winter months.

Its was a nice easy journey by car up the A1, past Berwick to Dalkeith which sits on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

Dalkeith Thistle play at the Kings Park ground and they are in the Premier Division of the Scottish Junior league, east region. The club nickname is the Jags and they were formed in 1892. There were two entry points to the ground. One along the far side from the changing rooms and another behind one of the goals to the side.

I paid at the gate and recognised the bloke taking the money had a North East accent. He was from Sunderland and I had a bit chat with him. He seemed quite pleased with his home Towns survival in the Premier this season especially at the expense of another local team we will not mention. Since we had a bit talk I offered to buy a raffle ticket for the half time draw.

Unfortunately there were no programmes today as I suspected there would not have been. I always like a souvenir to take home and I soon found a committee member to help me out. Any programme from the club keeps me happy. The club puts an advert for the game on face book. I just wonder of programmes might be all on-line in years to come? Less expensive, easy to store and you never lose a one. But if bigger clubs can make a good profit on programmes we will see them around for a bit longer yet.

The ground has the changing rooms and snack bar along one side of the pitch. Opposite there is a covered pavilion which was put up in 2007. The terracing was cinder and dirt supported by concrete blocks. There was actually a small amount of this type of terracing around quite a bit of the ground. Two porter cabins are behind the goal which serve as offices and sponsors rooms. The ground has a 2,000 capacity.

I was surprised but the club even has floodlights which were erected in 2013.

Under the pavilion stand were about 12 individual hard plastic seats scattered around. You just picked one up and positioned it wherever you wanted to.

Today’s opponents were Thornton Hibs who were just saved from relegation in midweek. The club is from Fyfe. Needless to say with a name like Hibs they played in the same colours as that the other main Edinburgh club. Dalkeith played in black and white strips.

The game kicked off and the home side seemed in the driving seat. However the visitors struck first after about 15 minutes. The Thornton players were not too overjoyed in their celebrations as they was a long way to go yet in this match. Thornton scored again with a cracking shot from outside the box. One of those goals you would see repeated on match of the day. Sad you never get a second view at this level of football. The players from Thornton were a bit more enthusiastic with this second goal. They were really pleased with their third as they went into the break. Dalkeith looked down and out.

I was just going to stay where I was but the half time raffle numbers were called out over the tannoy. Guess what? I had the winning tickets! While hoping for a life changing prize it turned out to be just a five pound note which was better than nothing. Life would have to go on as usual. Since I got my tremendous winnings at the snack bar I had a pie at the same time. I love those scotch pies they do in Scotland, the little round ones and a snip at £1.30 as well.

The second half began and the hosts were not giving up yet. In fact they pulled two goals back and you really though they would get an equaliser. They should have done when a Dalkeith player was through and the ball was cleared of the line. Hibs held on to end their season on a winning note.

For these players it’s all to do again in a matter of weeks as they started their pre season training.

For me that’s definitely it for this season and no more ground hopping ventures now for a couple of months. But we have the European championships to look forward to (or not) next week although I will be watching these on the tv.

So that’s it for me, which has been another good season for ground hopping.

Have a good summer everyone and I will catch up with you next season. Already I have a game pencilled in for August 6th in the Highland League. Look out for my report then.

Att- 60 (estimated)

Admission- £5




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