Monday 1 April 2019

Peebles Rovers - Whitestone Park

Peebles Rovers FC
Whitestone Park

Ground Number: 847
Sunday 31st March 2019
Peebles Rovers 1-3 Newtongrange Star
East Of Scotland League - Conference C


The club was established in 1893 and even played in the Scottish Football League at one point. Between 1923 and 1926 they were members of Division 3, with a record finish of 8th in 1925. Aside from that, they've won the East Of Scotland League on six occasions. They also won its second tier 1st Division three times. Currently, they are in one of it's three equal tiers, following an influx of clubs but look set for a return to the second tier as they are in the lower half of the table.  Peebles Rovers have also played in the Scottish Cup, participating in a number of notable games. Local cup wins include the King Cup in 2015. The pretty town of Peebles has a population of just over 8,000 and is located in the Scottish Borders near the River Tweed and Eddleston Water.


It was sad to be on the last day and game of the Scottish groundhop as it had been a great weekend. I’d had a good night on Saturday with my roommate Dan and although we’d had a few and had around 4 hours sleep, we felt fine. After a shower and breakfast, we got our stuff together and waited for the coach. After a couple of group photos, we got on our way. The journey dragged, what with the slow and winding roads, albeit with really nice scenery. We got to the ground with around 35 minutes to go until kickoff. My initial plan was to go into Peebles to go Wetherspoons, but with so little time, I decided against it. Instead, I went straight into the ground, getting a can of Irn Bru as I was thirsty before joining Dan in the stand for the game.

The game was not the best, neither was it bad. It didn’t take long for the first goal to come. 12 minutes had elapsed when Kyle Lander squared the ball to Sean Jameson who slotted past the keeper to give the visitors the lead. Five minutes before half time, the lead was doubled when Kyle Scott netted from outside the area, giving the keeper no chance.  Peebles had been second best throughout but they did get a goal back through a scrappy effort. Newtongrange star confirmed their victory when Ryan Porteous scored from a tight angle, the ball hitting the post on the way in. That was it in terms of goals and soon enough, it was time to head south. 

It was a massive journey which really dragged as the journey up left you with something to look forward to and plenty of conversation as you have people to catch up with that you’d not seen for ages. I tried to type some of my blog but the coach was cramped and uncomfortable. Respite came at services where I had some chicken and an iced bun as well as some Irn Bru. There was a good atmosphere on the bus after this as there were plenty of songs and banter going on. This, combined with a drop off at Birmingham, meaning everyone got a double seat to themselves made the rest of the journey fly by. Chris, Laurence, the clubs and the fellow hoppers had made it a great weekend, though it ended an unhealthy couple of weeks for me which had seen me put a few pounds on. The coach got back to Beaconsfield at 10:30 and to save crossing the dual carriageway, I walked back with another hopper who I thought he's parked near me. That turned out to be partially true, but it still meant that I had half an hour to get back to my car. The drive home was simple and I must have got in at 11.20. I was glad to hear of other hoppers getting back safely, especially Dan who had been excellent company. Everyone had been brilliant in fact, but especially Giles, Luke and Vinny, plus a couple of others whose names I have forgotten who I spent the most time with due to a pub trip and sitting near them on the coach.


WHITESTONE PARK is a nice scenic venue and very well kept. There’s just the one area of cover, an old but attractive stand with seating for around 200. Aside that are some steps of terracing with the rest of the ground being flat standing. The ground is not enclosed and is part of a public park around 15 minutes from the picturesque town of Peebles. Food at the ground was quite limited and there was no bar which was a shame, but there was a decent merchandise stall.

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