Saturday, 12 October 2013

Preston Athletic – Pennypit Park

12th October 2013

Preston Athletic 1
Queens Park 2

It is a long, long time since I first attended a football match at Pennypit in the East Lothian village of Prestonpans – almost 30 years in fact.  Back then there were pretty much just two open pitches in the ground: one for football, and the other for egg-chasers Preston Lodge.

The facilities for both clubs were significantly upgraded in the early 1990s with, for I am sure some totally sound logistical reason, the rugby pitch becoming the football pitch and vice versa.  Stands housing a few hundred or so spectators were erected at both grounds, although very little else in the way of shelter for spectators.

The stand at Pennypit, Preston Athletic FC

The stand at Pennypit, Preston Athletic FC

The stand at Pennypit, Preston Athletic FC


Nevertheless these facilities were deemed quality enough to allow Preston Athletic access to the Scottish FA Cup – their most recent venture being this Second Round Replay with a Queens Park side enduring a fairly torrid season to date.  For this afternoon found the famous old Glasgow club propping up Scotland’s bottom league division, having garnered but a single point from seven league matches; and having had to rely on a late equaliser at Hampden to take this tie to a replay.

Not that one would have thought so on the first 45 minutes showing here, as the visitors totally dominated their non-league hosts, turning around 2-0 to the good: both courtesy of winger Blair SPITTAL.  But the nature of the contest changed five minutes after the break when Preston’s Ricky RAMSAY pulled one back with a well-placed header.

The goal prompted a very minor pitch invasion by a number of the school kids who had been congregating behind one of the goal, and led to the referee taking the decision to lead the players off the pitch until the scamps were rounded up and ejected by the local constabulary.  As the oiks trooped out of Pennypit it looked like nothing so much as a school outing.

After play finally recommenced Athletic enjoyed their best possession of the game, but created little of substance beyond inducing a couple of frantic scrambles in front of Spiders’ keeper Blair Lochhead.  Inexorably though the visitors’ superior fitness began to tell, and much of the final quarter of an hour saw QP beating on the Preston goal –  Michael Keenan ( I think it was) headed against the crossbar, and twice John Gilbertson pulled of fine stops to prevent Queens closing out the tie.

I should perhaps liked to have seen Preston score a second, if only to see how the visitors’ fragile (I assume) confidence held out, but the stark truth was that Ramsay's header was in fact the only time Athletic had hit the target all match.

First-half Queens Park corner-kick.

First of a number of fireworks, flares and smoke cannisters set off.

Sean Burns

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013


Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

The second-half about to kick-off.

Blair (Two-Goals) Spittal

Saw this seat in the otherwise packed stand and made a bee-line for it.
I soon discovered why it was vacant.

More monkey-business

Ricky RAMSAY rises to head in Preston's goal........

......to bring the score to 2-1........

.............cue pitch "invasion".......

....which sort of fizzles out.

However, the constabulary are not impressed and strides onto the pitch........

.......requesting the ref to remove the players until order is restored.

"Right.  Oot ye's go.  The lot o' ye."

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Preston Athletic v Queens Park - October 2013

Michael Keenan

Keenan's diving header comes back of the bar.................

.....then Gilbertson stretches to deny Lee Davison

Panorama of Pennypit Park, Preston Athletic.

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