Groundhopper: Hill of Beath Hawthorn Junior FC 0 Lochee United 2 (20/5/17). (Malcolm Stephenson)

Hill of Beath Hawthorn Junior FC 0 Lochee United 0 (20/5/17).

 

I travelled by car to this one with two other lads although they were not going to the same game as myself. Hill of Beath is on the outskirts of Cowdenbeath and near to Dunfermline. My two travelling companions were going to take in Cowdenbeath V East Kilbride in the Scottish Division two play-off second leg. Of course I had already been to Central Park many years ago so it Hill Of Beath for me as was a new ground not visited. 

The Town is birthplace of current Celtic player Scott Brown. Other notable names associated with the place are former Scotland captain, Willie Cunningham from the 1960’s (spent 14 years at Preston North End as well as time at Dunfermline, Airdrieonians and Southport) and Jim Baxter. Baxter was a player who played for Rangers twice as well as Sunderland and Nottingham Forest. Jim apparently lived life to the full and possibly too much in the end. Often players have a vice which is one of gambling, women or booze. Jim had all three! He was a womaniser and spent a fortune gambling as well as liking the drink. In the end he had two liver transplants and eventually died of pancreatic cancer. Stories go that he could be falling over blind drunk the night before a match then put is a star performance the next day! There is a statue of Jim Baxter in Hill of Beath remembering him.

The club were formed in 1975 and Hill of Beath play at Kiers Park which has a capacity of 2,000. It is a smart little ground with standing covered terrace’s down both sides of the pitch. There are also floodlights on the ground with 4 down each side. Unfortunately there was no programme and I believe they have never produced one. It might have been and end of season game but there was quite a healthy attendance at the game especially with the Cowdenbeath play off just up the road. At the top end of the pitch are the changing rooms and offices, and also incorporating a small bar.

The clubs greatest success was winning the Scottish Junior cup in 1990 and the club has a memorial celebrating this at the ground.

Today’s opponents were Lochee United, a club from Dundee. Hill of Beath were playing in red while Lochee played in all blue strips. The visitors appeared to take the game straight away to the hosts but the game was still 0-0 after about 20 minutes. The in about a three minute spell Lochee United scored twice to put the game to bed. Hill of Beath worked hard in the second half and got back into the match better than the first. However their efforts were in vain and 0-2 remained the final score.

Well that’s me done for another season. I am busy on Sat 27th may but if I had not had been I would have found another game somewhere in Scotland. It’s been another season of happy groundhopping. I think the total for me now is about 570 grounds visited. Not as many as some real anoraks as I like to see my own team most of the time. I do not want to spend my whole life groundhopping and its about getting balance right for moi!

That’s it for another season and I will now be spending some time in the summer months going fishing and having trips out on my small pleasure boat I bought last year. The football might be finished but if the wife thinks I will be spending more time with her, well what can I say? Dream on.

Looking forward to the Season starting again in August when my team Blyth Spartans start their campaign in the National league North. Enjoy your summer everyone.

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