Well that’s January nearly gone and I still haven’t shaken off the festive sloth. Suppose I’d better get a wee blog in before the transfer deadline. Been through at Kilsyth v Bonnyrigg yesterday and that was a cracking cup tie in the rain. 4 goals and a replay next week.
There’s loads of clubs to visit in Fife as I said before. So the other week, with hardly much else on over the New Year, I popped over and first-footed Oakley as I hadn’t been there since 2002.
The graphic below was used in a previous blog and shows all the current Fife Junior teams in yellow with a few defunct teams in red. Nice to see Crossgates (no 1 red) back this season.
Anyhow I dug out a few photos from my last visit in March 2002. This was a last-16 tie in the Junior Cup. Oakley United were a bit stronger back in those days and I thought Auchinleck were lucky to get a late equaliser in a 2-2 draw, probably the only time I’ve seen Talbot lucky in any game. Talbot went on to the final where they lost 1-0 to Linlithgow at Firhill.
Nowadays Oakley are in the East Juniors South Division, the third and lowest tier. They were playing Edinburgh side Craigroyston who have defected to the Junior grade from the East Seniors. I recognised Ross Nisbet and Kyle Boggie in the Craigie team from their days at Whitehill.
First I had a quick visit to the compact social club for a wee warmer, £1.50 for a nip. The regulars were engrossed in Man U v Reading in the FA Cup.
Then braving the January air and out to the main event. The first half was pretty forgettable and the standard in the South Division is pretty poor. I suppose it was the first game back after the festivities if the players needed an excuse…
I bumped into an old pal from my teenage years. Colin Reid used to watch Rangers but wised up or drifted away, take your pick. Watched Newcastle for a while and did ‘the 92’ in England which was quite a rare feat back in the 70s/80s. Colin now lives in Fife and sees a fair amount of Junior games locally.
The second half was a complete contrast. The game had barely started when Gollan volleyed in to give Oakley the lead, and then Celentano scored minutes later with a header. Craigie keeper Beverage struggled manfully to keep Craigie in the game but the roof fell in with only a few minutes left. First Fisher was shown a straight red for denying a clear goalscoring opportunity, then a goal from Smith and two from Iliopoulos made the final score 5-0 to Oakley. The crowd was about 40.