As you know, when I visit Edinburgh, I like to take in some football while i’m there. I know what you’re thinking – Hibs or Hearts? The answer, was neither, as I headed to Ainslie Park to see Edinburgh City take on Montrose.
I fancied a change and this gave me a chance to visit a new ground for me.
A few years ago, Scotland’s lower leagues were restructured, offering the chance for two of Edinburgh’s smaller clubs Edinburgh City and Spartans a chance to gain promotion to League Two, which Edinburgh City did in 2016 after winning the Lowland League and then beating East Stirlingshire in a Play-Off.
There was one thing that put me off wanting to go and see Edinburgh City. That was the fact they played their home matches at Meadowbank Stadium, which was built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games.
As you will have guessed, this resulted in an athletics track around the pitch and a ground far too big for the team it hosts. A truly grim football experience.
However, it was announced that Meadowbank Stadium was to be redeveloped and, as a result, Edinburgh City would be playing their home games at Ainslie Park, home of Spartans.
The fixture list gave them a home game the weekend I was there. It was a choice of them or Hibs v Partick. I was hoping TV would move the Hibs match and allow me to go to both games, but the news that admission to Edinburgh City would be half price for anyone with a Fringe ticket sealed the deal.
I certainly got lucky going on the weekend I did, with Hearts moving their early home games due to a new main stand being built at Tynecastle. Incidentally, the old main stand at Tynecastle was the only stand in Tynecastle I haven’t been in.
The teams entered the pitch to sunshine and kicked-off in torrential rain. Classic Scottish Summer weather you could say.
Montrose started the game strongly, and then started to dominate. It was only a matter of time before they scored. They did, and then did again a few minutes later. They were hungry for more. Edinburgh City were glad to go in at half-time only 2-0 down.
Half-time was only a relief for Edinburgh City, as Montrose made it 3-0 from a free-kick in the opening minute.
The game was a mismatch, though Edinburgh City did get a consolation late on, a few minutes after having a player sent-off. The match finished 3-1 to Montrose.
I had toyed with staying in Edinburgh until Wednesday. If I did, instead of leaving on the Tuesday morning, I could have seen Hibs v Ayr in the League Cup.
Obviously, I plan on returning to Edinburgh in August 2018. By then, visits to Tynecastle (3 years) and Easter Road (5 years) will be overdue.