Sunday, 8 May 2011

St Johnstone - McDairmid Park

11th September 1999

St Johnstone 1-1 Motherwell

Motherwell winger Derek Townsley was the stand-out player in this encounter, in more ways than one.  Looking somehow taller than his 6’5” he made the majority of the players on the park look like wee boys out for a kickabout with their pals.  Chaps as tall as Townsley tend to end up as central defenders or pushed up front as a target man.  But Townsley was that most unusual of animals – a tall gangly winger.  

And particularly effective the former postie was too, giving Saints’ Gary Bollan a torrid time throughout.  Indeed it was the winger who set up John SPENCER’s 61st minute equaliser for Motherwell, after Kevin THOMAS (another giant !) had headed the home side into the lead in the 25th minute.  Even when Townsley was subbed with 11 minutes to go, Bollan’s luck didn’t change, missing as he did a late penalty kick. 


Saints' Alan Main punches clear.


The accursed Car Park at McDairmid Park.


Parking around McDairmid Park can be a bit of a nightmare.  It usually entails street parking with a significant trek to the ground.  An alternative is to use the extensive car-park next to the ground, but length of time it can take to exit the car-park is legendary.  The cars generally get crammed in so tightly nose-to-tail you have no alternative but to patiently wait your turn to be released.  Yet, I discovered the secret to parking at McDairmid Park pretty much by accident on this visit, after arriving close to 3PM and reluctantly deciding to use the official car park.

The recipe is:

  • Enter the official ground car-park as usual.
  • When directed to your place in the car-park, ignore the steward and create a new row, adjacent to the exit road.  He will probably swear at you, but tell him you are on-call or something, and may have to leave the ground during the match
  • Leave a good 5 minutes before time-up.
This way you can be on the M90 towards home before the final whistle has sounded, and be in the bosom of your family before the majority of the cars are even close to leaving the car-park.  Seemples!

Panorama of St Johnstone's McDairmid Park, Perth - 1999
You tend not to see gardens inside football grounds -
occasional flower beds perhaps, but rarely a herb garden.

Panorama of McDairmid Park, Perth - 2012

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