By Lewis Michie
Last Season we tracked the progress of all Mearns located sides – Women’s, Juniors and Amateurs – speaking to the clubs on a weekly basis and keeping our readers updated on results, league tables and everything else to do with the football clubs. This season we will continue to do the same, with increased coverage – more detailed, more interviews, teamsheets, stats and the addition of Montrose & District Welfare side Johnshaven FC.
This week we don’t have any interviews as we look to set the scene and detail the early season results for each side.
Starting with the only Juniors side in the Mearns, Stonehaven. Martyn Rollo’s side were relegated in a close fought battle last season from the Northern Juniors SuperLeague. This season they will be seeking to return to the top tier as they play in the First Division.
Things start for the Hive in the Grill League Cup – which is set up into group stages. Stonehaven have been drawn into section 7, with SuperLeague sides Hermes and Dyce Juniors, as well as Division Two side Glentanar.
Things started on a sour note for Stoney with a 5-1 loss to Hermes this past Saturday. Derek Boylan scored the Hives only goal of the game.
The club’s Facebook page described the game, saying:
A depleted Stonehaven squad were well beaten by a rampant and clinical Hermes team today in the Grill Cup.”
This was followed up with a much improved performance over Glentanar who play their football in the division below – beating them 7-0 on Tuesday night.
Michael Gunn scored a hat-trick, with Callum Watson who recently arrived from St Laurence scoring twice and further goals from Finn Masson and Craig Mackie.
Saturday will see the final Grill League Cup game for the Hive as they host Dyce Juniors. The following weekend will then see Stoney kick off their league campaign away from home against Aberdeen University.
Stonehaven Ladies are the only Women’s side in the Mearns. They play in the SWFL Divison One North, the third tier, after promotion last season. They are currently second bottom, in the final relegation spot – but they trail Westdyke by just one point.
Stoney certainly had the game of the weekend, although in a losing effort this past Sunday as they were beaten 8-5 by Buchan Ladies.
This weekend they’ll travel to face league leaders Aberdeen FC Women.
League action is officially underway in the Aberdeenshire Amateur ranks, with all divisions kicking off this past weekend. This season will see three Mearns sides competing at the highest level of Amateur football – with Bervie Caledonian promoted last season to join Cowie Thistle and St Laurence in the Premier Divison.
Unfortunately all three Mearns sides got off to losing starts.
Bervie’s first game at this level saw them defeated 3-1 by Cove Thistle. Frazer Cerretti picked up where he left off last season by scoring Bervie’s only goal.
The club’s Facebook page described the result, saying:
The boys showed good fight and commitment today, which will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season if they can replicate that week in week out.”
St Laurence were up against Rothie Rovers who last season made a deep run into the Scottish Amateur Cup and could challenge for the title this season after the departure of Sportsmans Club.
Scott Ferries and Ewan Slesser both scored for the Saints as they lost 6-2 to Rovers.
The club’s Facebook page said:
Credit to Rothie for being as clinical as they were in the 2nd half but a 2nd half performance we need to improve quickly on.”
Both St Laurence and Bervie would meet on Wednesday night in the first Mearns derby of the season. It was certainly one to remember as the two played out a 3-3 draw in Laurencekirk.
Gordon, Salmond and a late equaliser from Findlay McCallum all contributed for Bervie, while the Saints scorers were Ewan Slesser, Andy Howat and Billy Irvine Junior. Sam Wood was dismissed for the home team early in the second half after something he said to the referee in the aftermath of a foul on Wood.
St Laurence said on Facebook:
Credit to our squad, which is depleted at the moment due to injuries, for continuing to battle throughout.”
While Bervie’s reaction was:
A tough encounter against our nearest rivals leaving to a few aches and pains. Hopefully the St Laurence player who got injured before he got sent off isn’t too badly injured and makes quick recovery”
Bervie face Tarves on Saturday in an away fixture.
Always good to see a, somewhat, friendly local rivalry.
The final Premier Division Mearns side were Cowie Thistle. They began their campaign with a 3-1 loss to Echt on Saturday – Smith picking up their only goal.
They said on Facebook:
A tough start for the team but the effort from each player could not be faulted, with some impressive debuts from a couple of players, there just wasn’t much options to change when legs became tired.”
This was followed up on Wednesday with the short trip to Newtonhill – which produced a 4-4 thriller.
Lovick, Waton, Causby and Valetine the scorers for Cowie. Unfortunately it was a late equaliser for Newtonhill which cost Cowie their first win of the league season.
The effort was there again with limited numbers but it’s a lesson for Cowie in giving away sloppy goals and becoming complacent when in a winning position.”
Next up for Cowie is St Laurence’s second Mearns derby in a week – with the Saints visiting Mineralwell Park.
Ac Mill Inn were the only Mearns side to pick up any points on the opening weekend. Inn drew 2-2 with Alford in the Division One East – the level directly below the Premier Divison.
Sam Hutcheon was the scorer of both goals in the game, the Club’s Facebook page said:
We are currently on a 4 game unbeaten run, the longest in stonehaven which we will look to improve on in our next match.”
Ac Mill Inn had an interesting night on Wednesday evening, drawing 6-6 with Kaimhill United AFC.
Chris Bremnar, Jo Smith, Mikey Adam, Sam Hutcheon and a brace from ‘Hippy’ or Brian – finding scorers for local teams is a joy, as you can tell – outlined the scoresheet for Inn.
Instead of the reaction to the game, here’s our favourite comment from the Facebook match report:
It would seem apart from big Sam Cosgrove, Sam (Hutcheon) is now the top scorer in world football with the name Sam”
Stonehaven Athletic play in the same tier, but in the North division following promotion last term. Athletic started their campaign in the second tier, which they were relegated from the season before last with a 6-3 loss to Stoneywood East End.
Mitchell scored twice and last season’s top goal scorer Sawyer scored the other.
The club’s Facebook page described the result this way, saying:
We knew going up a division would be tough but the lads proved they can make the step up and compete, however individual mistakes will need to be cut out as they ultimatley cost us today.”
The club are however now off the board, after a 4-2 win over Nicolls on Wednesday.
Reid and Stout both scored either side of a Sawyer double – it appears his goalscoring has picked up exactly where he left off in the division below.
Here’s the Facebook reaction:
The lads learned from Saturday’s mistakes and dug deep to hold on to a vital 3 points.”
Athletic host Faithlie United, who were also promoted last season, at home this coming Saturday.
The newest addition to the MFW line-up is Johnshaven Athletic football club. They formerly played in the Aberdeenshire Amateur ranks but have since joined the Montrose and District Welfare League.
Their season has not yet kicked off, although this past weekend they lost a pre-season friendly to Forfar Albion U19’s 3-2.
Back next Thursday with further results – and our first of now weekly interviews – any additions you like to recommend to the weekly feature, let us know via social media. We are still looking to get regular contact with some of the clubs, we intend to get in touch with each team, but feel free to get in touch via Facebook.