Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Hamilton Academical - New Douglas Park

10th November 2001

Hamilton Accies 2-3 Stenhousemuir

I suppose in an ideal world I would have included a visit to Accies’ former ground Douglas Park in this blog somewhere, but that particular arena’s candle burnt out long before I started this collection.  

Which is a bit of a pity really, as I had attended matches at Douglas Park on many occasions, having adopted Accies as my wee team during my Celtic supporting days.  It was a trim little ground full of character, sporting what seemed like a thousand advertising hoardings covering every spare surface.  I watched the Accies lose a Scottish Cup tie 2-1 to Celtic there, after leading 1-0 for what seemed like most of the match.  I also witnessed them giving local rivals Motherwell a pasting one New Years Day.

The new ground, officially known as The Ballast Stadium when opened, was actually sited just a few hundred metres from the old one, and was particularly unusual in that whilst it only had two stands, these two were at right angles to each other.  A third smaller temporary stand has since been added.

The approach to New Douglas Park.

The main entrance.
I took up a place in the North Stand (the one allocated to the away fans), along with a smattering of other souls.  And I was actually told to move my seat by a steward, as I was apparently sitting in some sort of area of segregation, somehow designed to keep the 100 or so Stenhousemuir supporters in two batches – very strange.   

The North stand at New Douglas Park - note the empty central
seating section - used to keep warring Warriors' fans apart?

Another inept Accies attack comes to naught.

For an hour or so us folks in the away stand were treated to the Willie IRVINE show, as the veteran Stenhousemuir striker ran the home defence ragged plundering a hat-trick with unseemly ease.  His colleagues, however, the took their collective foot off the pedal, and almost contrived to present Hamilton with a share of the points, but Mark NICHOL’s double in the closing five minutes came just a bit too late to seriously affect proceedings. 

Panorama of New Douglas Park, Hamilton.

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