PHOTO DIARY OF A FOOTBALL SEASON – AUGUST

After League Of Ireland and UEFA Cup football during June and July, the domestic season began for me in August, when Linfield welcomed Ballymena United to Windsor Park on the opening day of the season.

Four days later, I visited Taylor’s Avenue for the first time, as Linfield travelled to newly promoted Carrick Rangers.

To round off a busy week, it was back to Windsor Park to see Linfield take on Dungannon Swifts.

The following weekend, I was in Scotland for my annual trip to the Edinburgh Festival, and made the most of it by taking in matches at Hearts, Rangers and Dunfermline.

Upon my return from Scotland, it was back to Windsor Park, my third time this month, to see Linfield take on Portadown, and get a win that continued their perfect start to the season.

Linfield v Ballymena United

Carrick Rangers v Linfield

Linfield v Dungannon Swifts

Heart of Midlothian v Partick Thistle

Heart Of Midlothian v Partick Thistle Photo Album

Rangers v Hibernian

Rangers v Hibernian Photo Album

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee

Dunfermline Athletic v Dundee Photo Album

Linfield v Portadown

DUNFERMLINE ATHLETIC 3-1 DUNDEE 25.8.2015

I’ve been travelling to Edinburgh for seven years, but i’d never previously realised how many football clubs were close to Edinburgh in what is known as The Central Belt.

One of those clubs, was Dunfermline Athletic, only thirty minutes away from Edinburgh on the train.

Realising that I will be in Scotland on the night of the 2nd Round of the League Cup, I kept an eye out for any clubs at home that are easy to get to from Edinburgh.

When the draw was made, the prospect of visiting another ground to visit was too much for me when Dunfermline were drawn against Dundee.

My previous two games had seen me visit the home of the Scottish Premier League leaders and the Scottish Championship leaders. I had anticipated that I would be visiting the home of the League One leaders, as Dunfermline topped the table when I flew out on Saturday morning.

A 2-1 defeat to Peterhead saw Dunfermline go into this game knocked off the top of the table.

I was behind the goal in the Norrie McCathie Stand. There was an empty stand to my left which had a mural on the wall. Given my love of Street Art, I would have loved to have had a wee look around that stand.

Dunfermline began the season with 4-1, 5-1, 6-1 and 7-1 wins, and their start to this game was just as explosive, getting through on goal within thirty seconds, but Joe Cardle’s shot went wide.

Supporters around me thought it was in and began to cheer, only to realise their mistake.

It wasn’t long though until Dunfermline went in front, when a cross from the right was flicked home by Faissal El-Bakhtaoui after 10 minutes.

Faissal El-Bakhtaoui was Dunfermline’s best player, involved in all of their attacking play, the focal point of the team.

Eventualy, Dundee came into the game and showed why they were two divisions above Dunfermline, having a header just go wide.

Dunfermline were holding on, with Ben Richards-Everton now being Dunfermline’s main man, having to block, kick and just get the ball away by any means.

Dundee’s best moment came when James McPeake got in behind their defence only to see his shot hit the bar.

Having held out in the first-half, Dunfermline conceded straight away in the second-half when Kane Hemmings fired home after a cross.

Hemmings enjoyed that, after being booed by Dunfermline fans throughout the game due to him being a former Cowdenbeath player.

The game started to get fiesty with tackles flying in. So fiesty, that Dunfermline manager Allan Johnston was sent from the touchline for protesting too loudly to officials.

Dundee piled on the pressure looking for a winner. It looked like it would only be a matter of time.

With extra-time looming, the ball fell to Joe Cardle, who fired home.

The home fans in the Norrie McCathie Stand went wild, some of whom ran onto the pitch to celebrate with the players.

As Dundee searched for an equaliser, Faissal El Bakhtaoui scored from close range to kill the game.

If Dunfermline fans were delighted, so was I, as extra-time would have seen me not be able to get a train back to Edinburgh until close to midnight.

To make matters worse for Dundee, when the draw was made two days later, Dunfermline were drawn away to Dundee United, denying Dundee the opportunity for a local derby in the League Cup.

Photo Album