Showing posts with label Greenhill. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Greenhill. Show all posts

Friday, 29 July 2016

Midland v Grasshoppers - Sat 5th Feb 1876

In my ongoing attempt to cover early football in Central Scotland I have to cover some of the really early matches about which, it sometime seems, I am the only person that has any interest, but, the sooner I do it, the sooner I can get on to the later stuff.

This match was part of the first 'derby' in Stirlingshire, in effect the "Bonnybridge Derby". It would seem that the first match is lost, but luckily was referred to in this report [which is a shame because the Greenhill side won the first game].

Falkirk Herald - Sat February 12th 1876

Football- Midland Club v Grasshoppers - This match was played on Saturday on the ground of the former at Greenhill. The ball was kicked off at 3:30, and was kept well in the centre of the ground for a time, until Watson got away with it, and after some skillful dribbling, passed it to Marshall, who scored a goal for the Midland. On the ball being again kicked off, Mitchell and Clarke carried it well up to the Midland goal line, but failed to put it through. The ball was kept constantly going from one goal line to the other till half-time, both teams playing well, and their utmost to score. On ends being changed, the Grasshoppers' forwards got the ball well down into their enemy's quarters, and in spite of the efforts of Watson (who dribbled well, but always found Glaister at his post and one too many for him), they kept it there, and succeeded in scoring two goals before time was called, their own goalkeeper only once handling the ball after half-time. Besides those already mentioned, Mackie, Fotheringham, and Murray for the Midland, and Lapsley, Crombie, McPhie, and Paterson for the Grasshoppers played well through the whole game, which was witnessed by a large company. The Grasshoppers showed a decided improvement since their last match with the Midland (which they lost by one goal and two disputed to none) both in their style of playing and the position of their men, which added greatly to their success."

Friday, 1 July 2016

Midland Club - Greenhill

I have blogged once or twice about the Grasshoppers of Bonnybridge, rightly so as they were the first football club in the district. But it is easy enough to find out about them, they have their own wiki page after all.

Next to nothing is remembered of the second club in Stirlingshire - Midland Club of Greenhill. Greenhill is nowadays thought of as part of Bonnybridge, but it is not, and back in the mid 1870s there was definite green space [and foundries] in between the two villages.

Midland Club unlike their Bonnybridge rivals were a very short-lived affair not surviving a calendar year, with next to no match results surviving.

Falkirk Herald 25th December 1875


At the begining of the following 1876/77 season, the Falkirk Herald on 16th September 1876 reported a club meeting taking place.


And that was the last I ever found anything on the club. Nothing.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Lost Football Grounds of Falkirk District - Milnquarter Park

I just came across a fantastic new 'thing' on the NLS maps website, where you can look at the 1898 Ordnance Survey map cross-checked with the current bing maps to give it a historical context. So when I was playing about earlier, looking at the parts of Falkirk that I do not have on paper I came across a couple of grounds, some of which I am not sure about and will need to research a bit further, but some I knew but had never looked at on the map.

Football in Falkirk District started in Bonnybridge, but although they were enthusiastic the Grasshoppers never quite had the ability challenge on the field of play. As a result of this they never really managed to establish themselves so paid the ultimate price when the great cull of village clubs came in the wake of professionalism and league football.

Local knowledge has it that Grasshoppers' first ever match was played on a the field where Bonnybridge Library now stands [sometimes known as Bonnyside]. Exactly where the Grasshoppers played over the next couple of seasons is difficult to pin down. Occasional match reports state "Peathill" whilst others state "Highland Dykes" and whilst it is possible they were the same ground it still only vaguely locates it to the area about modern Larbert Road in Bonnybridge.

Around 1880-1881 Grasshoppers moved to what would be largely their permanent home for the rest of their history: Milnquarter Park. The club had relocated to the, then, largely vacant, fields between Bonnybridge and Greenhill. I say it was largely their permanent home because they spent season 1886/87 in Longcroft.

Since I have never come across any descriptions of the actual ground in any match reports I do not know what it was like, but it is fairly safe to assume it was very basic, probably just a roped off area in a field, the teams getting stripped in a nearby pub or similar hostelry. In the map [below] it is quite a bit off the local roads, this would affected access, and the fact that there was unlikely to be any Grandstand would have made it virtually impossible for the club to charge the any crowd for the privilege.


Milnquarter in 1896

According to the OS map it seems that the ground was partly built over the Antonine Wall, which leads one to presume that at least that part had been dismantled by 1880. Another thing which is missing from this map which is in later maps, is that the land immediately to the East on the other side of the railway lines was the home of Bonnybridge Cricket Club, part of which is now the playing area of the Antonine Primary School.


The exact same area taken from Bing Maps 2015

Although Milnquarter was never the greatest of grounds in the district, it was important enough. Several Scottish Cup matches were played on the ground, so we can tell that the ground was up to scratch in the eyes of the SFA, there are countless recordings of teams being forced to replay matches, or play matches away from home simply due to the quality of the ground.

I must admit to ignorance at this point though, I am not completely sure if the ground was shared in latter days with Bonnybridge Juniors, and even if so, how long football was played on the ground after Grasshoppers became defunct. I will get round to looking up these things in time, but for the time being I'd like to think that the ground was at least being used in the Junior Cup matches until it was finally built over.