By Lewis Michie
The season is into full swing in the Mearns, with fixtures coming thick and fast for sides in all ranks, with mixed fortunes for each club.
Beginning in the Amateur ranks, we’ve already had two rounds of weekend fixtures, with another two rounds of mid-week game. Placing us well and truly into the league season – and we begin at the top with the Premier Division which contains three Mearns sides.
Bervie Caledonian were promoted last term into the top tier, following a win and a draw in their first two fixtures, it was on their travels to Tarves that Danny Melvin’s Bervie would secure their first win in the Amateur’s highest tier. Frazer Cerretti and Craig McKenzie the scorers in a 2-1 victory.
This, after three games, left Bervie in a healthy fifth place.
NE98 spoke to Bervie manager Danny Melvin to get his reaction to the win, he said:
The victory on Saturday was well deserved not only for Saturdays performance but also the previous 2 matches where we were unlucky to only pick up 1 point.”
If decisions had went our way and a little bit more experience of playing at this level we could be sitting with a few more points than we have at the moment.”
With this the first chance to catch up with Danny since the beginning of the new season, it was an opportunity to find out about the latest additions to the squad during the summer.
Mevlin told us:
We’ve made a few new signings. Midfielder David Glass has joined from Premier League rivals, Goalkeeper Kade McCormack has joined on loan from Montrose Roselea. We also have Mikey Payne, Declan Harkins and Stephen Stephen who have joined the club following a few years out of football so they’ll be looking to make a mark on the team. It’s a big challenge for the boys this season but we’ve retained the majority of the squad from last season and added some quality and experience.”
Melvin also commented on how proud he is to lead Bervie into their first ever season at this level, saying:
It’s an honour to be manager of the first Bervie Caledonian team to play in the Premier Division and our aim is to finish as high up the league as possible. Although this is our first season at this level it is important that the boys remain confident and don’t have an inferiority complex now we are in with the big boys.”
We also took this opportunity to clear up an interesting fact that some may not know the reasoning behind – that Bervie play their home games in nearby neighbouring village Gourdon. Mevlin revealed this simply comes down to facilities:
We play in Gourdon because when the club started playing Saturdays there was an Aberdeen Amateur Football Association requirement that there had to be 2 working showers in each changing room but The Haughs didn’t have that facilities. There was also the Sunday team playing down there so there was a feeling that the pitch there wouldn’t cope with Saturday and Sunday football.”
On Wednesday evening Caley were unable to make it two wins in a row, but they did put points on the board once again as they hosted Insch in a 3-3 draw.
Elsewhere in the Premier Division this past weekend, we had our first Mearns derby of the season as the two remaining Mearns sides in the Premier Division locked horns, with Cowie Thistle hosting St Laurence. It was David Easton’s Saints who came out the happier, the visitors ran out 3-1 winners.
Billy Irvine scored twice, with Euan Duff getting the other for the Laurencekirk side, while Causby netted Cowie’s sole goal.
Cowie reacted to the loss on their Facebook, saying:
With another game on Wednesday we need to start getting points on the board if we want to be at the top end of the table again come the end of the season.”
Meanwhile, victors St Laurence posted:
A great effort from our depleted squad to pick up our first 3 points of season!”
Cowie are still to pick up their first win of the season as they drew 4-4 on Wednesday night – A.Causby scoring twice along with a penalty from Smith and another goal from Valentine.
Cowie were left with a small squad to pick from, which forced manager Ross Adie into playing in goal. They also played the majority of the game with ten men following the sending off of Craig Watson.
The Club’s Facebook account said:
A great effort to earn a point with 10 men for the majority of the game with some great shifts put in all over the park but the discipline really needs to improve going forward, but if there was action against some of the tackles going in then maybe people wouldn’t complain so much! Anyway at least that should be the last game of struggling for a team as more lads make a welcome return next week.”
St Laurence picked up a second win in a row as new signing And Howat scored twice with Craig Garrow scoring the other in a 3-1 win over Old Aberdonains.
A really good performance to build on last Saturday’s good victory.”
A tier down in the Division One North saw Stonehaven Athletic have their game with Faithlie United called off, while Ac Mill Inn in the Division One East had the weekend off.
Athletic returned to midweek action with a 2-1 win over Continental on Wednesday evening however – their second win of the season, following promotion. Turbo and Sawyer each grabbing a goal.
The club’s Facebook account commented:
Shout out to the Athletic faithful for a fantastic turnout tonight to support the lads to victory.
6 points from 9 in the league in what has been a solid start to life in division 1. Let’s keep this going!!”
Meanwhile Ac Mill Inn picked up their first league win of the season in the East lrague, beating Haliburton 1-0 away from home.
Further back up the pyramid in the Juniors, Stonehaven would finalise their Grill League Cup campaign with a 1-1 home draw against Dyce Juniors, allowing the Hive to finish above their opponents – who play in the tier above – via one goal on goal difference and therefore qualify for the knockout rounds.
Calum Watson the scorer of the goal in that one.
Stoney would follow that up with a comeback win in their first league game of the season – in the second tier following last season’s relegation. Playing Aberdeen University away from home, Martyn Rollo’s side didn’t make it easy for themselves going 2-0 down.
However, a spirited fightback from one of the league’s favourites with goals from Ryan Fenby, Craig Mackie and Calum Watson meant Stoney took all three points on the opening day.
The club’s Facebook reacted to the result saying:
A nice start in the league which we hope to carry on to Saturday when we travel to Spey Valley in the Donino’s Pizza North Regional Cup First Round.”
Meanwhile it was disappointment for Stonehaven Ladies in the Scottish Cup third round.
A humbling result for the Hive as they travelled to league rivals Dunfermline Athletic to be thrashed 8-2 as they crashed out of the competition.
Here’s this weekend’s fixtures across the Mearns: