Many Rivers to Cross

‘ah Kyle Lafferty all over.’

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GAME

Sat: Heart of Midlothian 3 East Fife 0

GAME OF THE WEEK

Heart of Midlothian 3 East Fife 0

Betfred Cup 1st Round Group B

Attendance: 6,265

Gate: £15

Programme: £3

My fourth season as a groundhopper started in Scotland a week later than anticipated due to being let down last Saturday with a lift north.

A Virgin Trains sale bought journey north from Warrington to Haymarket was not the most pleasant,  screaming kid and pensioners who walked up and down the carriage pretty much the whole way from Preston. Annoying.

Alighting into the drizzle of an Edinburgh summer I turned right out of the station and a 20 minute stroll later I was at Tynecastle, the home of Hearts, my 190th ground. Squeezing through a very tight turnstile I was inside, now I know I am not the most svelte of men, but on my travels I have met some, shall we say, larger folks. I have no idea how they would get in.

Inside the Wheatfield Stand, up the steps, pie and drink bought, I joined others looking out of the back of the stand and over towards the impressive home of the egg chasers Murrayfield Stadium. Looks good from the outside. Pre-match meal consumed, I made my way to my ‘Premium’ seat in Block B, row 16, seat 16. A fairly decent view, but not the most spacious of seats.

Tynecastle is currently undergoing the building of a new Main Stand and as such is 3 sided. East Fife’s travelling following were in the Roseburn Stand behind the goal away to my left, the home fans left with the remaining 2 stands, which they did a decent job of filling.

The hosts took the game to their opponents from the off and only ‘The Fifers’ keeper Goodfellow and the upright prevented right-back Smith from opening the scoring in the 6th minute. Six minutes later and Lafferty missed a golden chance, heading wide from close range, something he did again minutes before the break, In-between though he made amends and finished with his head from his hardest chance, ah Kyle Lafferty all over.

East Fife threatened  occasionally, assisted by Hearts stopper, Hamilton, not being the best under a high ball, flapping at a couple of crosses.

After the restart, the visitors had a couple of decent chances as the heavens opened. And boy did it rain, it rained in a way that it only can in Scotland, It rained in a way that it only can in Scotland in summer. Two years ago I was at a match in Lockerbie in July that was abandoned due to a downpour, surely not again? After 10 minutes of so of the ‘shower’ the rain eased. Slightly!

With 20 minutes or so to go, the Jambo’s doubled their lead, a corner was met by Berra, his header finding the back of the net, East Fife’s hopes over. The result in the bag, the scoring was too with 5 minutes or so left, a penalty given for a foul by Fife’s Gordon, which earned him a second yellow and his second shower of the half, Lafferty stepped up and scored, I was on my way back for my train, which was due minutes later.

The journey home was much more pleasant and peaceful. A good day out in Scotland’s Capital.

FACTS

Games: 395

Goals:  1348

Grounds: 190

Games since a 0-0: 8

SOUNDTRACK

The Harder They Come – Jimmy Cliff