Seeing as I’ve not done a post for a while, I thought I’d mix a few things I’ve been to over the last month or so into one post. Newcastle v Chelsea will follow later today or tomorrow.
Sunderland v Arsenal – 25 October 2014
Some pre-match build-up in Sunderland
First on the list is a wee family trip to the Stadium of Light back at the tail end of October. We’d collectively promised my grandad a trip to a Premier League match for his 80th birthday, and Sunderland provided the perfect mix of readily available tickets for a biggish game and not being too far from Fife. My dad, brother and uncle made the trip too.
Arsenal didn’t play particularly brilliantly, but two horribly glaring errors from the home team were enough for the Gunners to win 2-0. In the first half, Wes Brown’s horrendously short pass-back was pounced on by the magnificent Alexis Sanchez who finished with ease. Then as Sunderland pushed for an equaliser, Vito Mannone tried to take Sanchez on in his six yard box. The Chilean unsurprisingly won that battle, knocking in an easy second and with that a very cheap three points for Arsenal.
Arsene Wenger in big jacket mode
Scotland v New Zealand, 15 November 2014
Murrayfield in the dark as the teams line up
Sporting event two was seeing the new and suddenly try-scoring Scotland rugby team in action. Having beaten Argentina 41-31 the previous week, when my parents offered me and Clare the chance to go to the All-Blacks match it was hard to refuse. And what a match. Scotland played incredibly well though ultimately lost 16-24, though what change Vern Cotter has already provided to the side. We now seem to offload with some confidence, Tommy Seymour scored another interception try and if Greg Laidlaw’s kick had gone over in the 72nd minute, we would have led the All Blacks with 8 minutes to play.
As it was, the All Blacks bundled over for their second try of the day with a couple of minutes left to put some air between the sides on the scoreboard. 8 points was still the smallest gap between the two sides in 23 years, and with the convincing-ish win over Tonga in Kilmarnock that followed, this could be a good 6 Nations to come for Scotland.
Some second half action from Murrayfield
Linlithgow Rose v Montrose Roselea, 29 November 2014
Finally, last weekend saw another trip to Linlithgow. Between this one and my last trip, Rose had performed valiantly against Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup before going down 2-0. This time, they were not to be outdone in their Scottish Junior Cup replay against their East Premier League opponents.
Some second half action from Prestonfield
In short, Rose won 6-0, a scoreline that flattered a little as Roselea dominated parts of the first half without finding a goal. The needle in the match increased as it wore on, Roselea’s striker Watson hitting John Ovenstone but out of sight of the referee. Rose eventually pulled away from their opponents in the last 15 minutes with Coyne, Batchelor and an excellent team moved ended by Colin Strickland putting a gloss on the performance.
A potentially tricky round four tie awaits, likely to be away at Aberdeenshire giants Culter. With Rose losing today at home to Kelty Hearts, falling 15 points behind their Fife rivals for the Superleague title, the Cup might be Rose’s best hope of silverware this season.