A SATURDAY afternoon always assumes a slightly rosier glow with news of an apocalyptic collapse for the Red Schichties. “Peanut” Sheerin – who, when not guiding his side to a 2-0 midweek home defeat against Inversneckie Colossal Tedium in the League Cup, was pebbedashing Twitter all week with endless birthday messages – led his shoddy farrago of stumbling makeweights down to Palmerston in the deluded belief his Maroon Malevolence might actually cause the impressive Doonhamers a problem or two.
Unfortunately, the crisply passing, clinically finishing Dumfries side thrashed the Schichties with six of the best from Lochgelly’s thickest extra-heavy tawse. Gavin Reilly’s hat-trick was the backbone of the Doonhamers’ six-shooting display; such was the superiority of the home team that a double-figure gubbing would not have flattered them. For the home fans, new manager Allan Johnston is proving a delightful tonic after last season’s unremittingly grim nine months of Gusball. Having pumped the Hibees out of the League Cup in midweek, the Palmerston side have established themselves as early favourites for an immediate return to the First Division.
It was a very different story for Stenny, the other cup heroes from midweek. Having recorded a truly remarkable success at Rugby Park, ejecting cup holders Kille 2-1 with a fine performance, Uncle Fester’s Bridies seemed a trifling obstacle by comparison. Stenny, however, turned in a jaded and dire showing which allowed the gleeful Loons to come away with a 4-0 success. Quietly, Fester’s grim but effective side are climbing the table after some good recent results.
Wonders will never cease! The Wee Rovers Kia Picanto’s worth of fans headed for the grim cold sore on the mouth of the Forth, Power Station Park, where Gordon Durie’s Methilated Spirits awaited. Goalless and pointless before kick off, Todd Lumsden’s side, organised according to a radical total football system (“aw bastarts ur expectit tae attack n defend”), looked set for another afternoon of grim failure and a possible switch to a Coatbridge catenaccio (“aw basturts ur exptit tae defend n nuffin else, right”) when a purling free kick from Scott McBride sent the away net swishing after just two minutes. But that was that from the strangely apathetic, feeble and disjointed Fifers.
Astonishingly, the Coatbridge Carl Zeiss Jena pulled level just as the referee’s whistle was in his mouth to blow for the break – from an own goal, no less. With the Methilated Spirits challenge evaporating quicker than liquid nitrogen on a hot day in the Sahara, Kieron Bannon scored the first goal from a Cliftonhill Nike Predator this season to deliver a hugely unexpected three points. It’s looking bleak for the Methilated Spirits. With poor “Juke Box” still ailing, a good-on-paper squad has been left in the less-than-convincing hands of Gordon “Jizzum” Chisholm and is in danger of being overwhelmed by a fatal apathy at the beginning of September.
Things would have been even better on the bouncing Wee Rovers, Todd Lumsden himself setting the party going with a moving rendition of “Unchained Melody” on the Park’s Coaches karaoke, had the Stena Sealink Works XI and the Honest Men fashioned a draw at Stair Park. Alas! Mark Roberts had another woeful afternoon on the Wigtownshire coast as his hapless cloggers slipped to a dire 2-0 defeat, a result Keith “the Postie” Knox’s side fully deserved. This latest daisy – in what is fast becoming a grim chain of set-backs – saw the malfunctioning Somerset side slip to the bottom of the table as well as enough withering cantankerous post-final whistle postscripts from the travelling faithful to sandblast Edinburgh castle.
Finally, the inconsistent Wasps triumphed 3-1 in the Land of the Hedge, despite Andy “Lorne Sausage” Jackson getting his cratered fizzog on the opening goal. After that, Retch-in steadily fell apart and had to suffer the indignity of conceding a late, final goal to Martin “the Greek” Grehan. This season, it seems the Village People will be good enough to see off the worst sides in the division, without every seriously troubling the best.