Arbroath v Albion Rovers
Scottish League One
Ground: Gayfield Park, Arbroath
This time I went to another League One game. I took a short train ride from Dundee to Arbroath to visit Gayfield Park, the closest football stadium in Europe to the sea. They were playing Albion Rovers. When I arrived in Arbroath, I had a walk from the station to a pub opposite the ground, where many of the club’s trophies are kept. There I met some fans from both sides and I went to the game with them.
Arbroath FC were founded in 1878. In 1885 they got in the record books by setting a world record of the biggest win in a professional football competition, when they beat Bon Accord 36-0 in the Scottish Cup. In 1921, they joined the Scottish Football League. In 1935 they achieved promotion to the First Division, which started their most successful years until the regular league was interrupted by the Second World War in 1939. When the league resumed after the war, they shocked to be put in the Second Division. In 1959 they finally promoted again to the First Division, but they were relegated the next season. Several promotions and relegations later resulted in them being in League Two in 2014. In 2017 they won that division, taking the club back to League One.
Gayfield Park has been Arbroath’s home since 1880. In 1925 it has been redeveloped. Other than a new main stand (opened in 2002), nothing much changed since. Because it’s right next to the North Sea, the ground can be a very cold place to watch football. Severe wind and cold can be expected in the winter. Also in the summer it can be considerably colder than one would expect. Due to the location and the age of the ground, it is a great place to watch football for romantics like myself. The game itself was one Arbroath were expected to win against Albion Rovers, who get seen as “favourites” for relegation every year. They started as the better side, but during the first half Albion Rovers got more in the game. The hosts were stunned by 2 quick goals just before half time. In the second half Albion Rovers ran out as deserved 4-1 winners. This means that I’ve seen 4 away wins in my first 4 games, resulting in Albion Rovers fans asking me to join them to more away games!