Fellow Yellows – Livingston FC

Scottish Championship
Livingston FC v Falkirk FC
Saturday, 4th January 2014, 3pm
Entrance £16, Programme £2.50
Distance 403 miles, Attendance 1585
As the cold westerly front continued to spread gloom across the country, inevitably my attention turned towards finding football far away from its clutches. With most of Europe’s leagues still on their winter break however, my options were severely restricted and, after a short while researching what remained – just the UK and Iberian Peninsula – it was fairly apparent I’d need to be VERY nice to my wife… and the in-laws, their neighbours, and probably their pets too.
Whatever was going on at home weather-wise, I was about to enter a parallel universe. The take off at Heathrow had been both interesting and hideously uncomfortable; up in Edinburgh however the sky was almost delightfully bright and, an hour or so later, any plan Bs I’d had tucked away were thankfully made redundant.
Founded in 1943, when Ferranti established an engineering plant, making parts for Spitfires locally, Ferranti Amateurs FC initially played in the Edinburgh & District Welfare League, before changing their name to Thistle and moving up to senior football, in the East of Scotland League.
Before Ferranti could climb further, in 1974 the Scottish Football League presented two major obstacles. A council offer of Meadowbank Stadium, which had hosted the 1970 Commonwealth Games, overcame the ground grading issue, then – to comply with stringent league rules of overt team sponsorship –another name change had to be endured.
140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (75)wOver the next twenty years, Meadowbank Thistle enjoyed a yo-yo existence between leagues one and two; however a part-time lifestyle in an ever competitive market left the club on the verge of extinction. Despite opposition from fans, in 1995 the club upped sticks for the “new town” of Livingston, 16 miles to the west.
Whilst the support has now tailed off somewhat, since their arrival the club took just seven years to qualify for Europe, finishing third behind the Old Firm. Along with the trip to Sturm Graz, the 2004 League Cup victory has no doubt been the highlight of Livingston FC’s short history. Relegation thereafter was followed by a string of managers, a couple of administrations and insolvency eventually leaving the club back in Division 3. Thankfully, from this death knell, Livi have begun to rise again.
140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (21)w   140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (41)
Arriving early in West Lothian, I found a lovely four-sided, colour-coded, purpose built stadium with ample parking. Afforded the freedom of the ground and some enlightening conversations with both groundsman and fans, the time flew by before the match, pies and Bovril flowed liberally.
Aside the fact that every fan I met seem to know an almost mystical “Watford Barry”, I’d been promised an entertaining game full of promising youngsters. Within five minutes of the start, it was obvious I would not be disappointed.
140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (139)wThough I’d been encouraged to sit anywhere, I found myself drawn to a group of noisy home supporters whose reputation had reached me long before I’d left London. Much like the Südtribüne, the Drum Beat Mafia sang throughout. On the pitch their young heroes fought valiantly and whilst they eventually lost to a first half penalty, once down to ten men, they were clearly better than their Falkirk counterparts.
140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (131)wIn an initially tense game, I’m struggling to remember keeper Darren Jamieson being troubled at all in the second period; sadly though luck was not on their side when attacking. Behind the forward line, Stefan Scougall and Martin Scott were all action in midfield and, Simon Mensing a rock in defence however during the first half, Marc McNulty’s shot deflected wide, Mark Burchill fired over and had another shot blocked and, even Coll Donaldson headed just wide before seeing red. After the break McNulty went on a fine solo run; twisting past two defenders he made room then slipped as he shot. Later he’d have another effort cleared off the line. It was typical of Livi’s day.
Driving back to the airport I still had no idea what the statue was at the entrance, nor why I’d come so close to being hit by stray balls in warm up; I was however certain that the announcer’s affection for 2Tone mirrored mine and, that the best team had lost. I was also quite sure that no matter what obstacles appear before this club somehow their motto, Fortitier omnia vincit, will see them right again.

140104 SC Livingston v Falkirk (149)w

shorts league
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Initially appearing in the 2013-14 Watford FC matchday programmes, consequently these reports will have a delayed publication on here.

Fellow Yellows programme (3)

This entry was posted in 2013-2014, Fellow Yellows, Scottish Football League and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Fellow Yellows – Livingston FC

  1. barry oneill says:

    hello mate i,m the famous watford bazza !!!!!

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