Saturday 19th March 2022 ko 14:00
East of Scotland League Premier Division
CROSSGATES PRIMROSE 1 (Ritchie 44)
PENICUIK ATHLETIC 2 (Danson 26 58)
From Glenrothes it seemed like no more than a quick dash along the A92 to Crossgates. Again this was a village based around the coal industry, even down to the football ground, Humbug Park being named after the former colliery here. More recently the Big Country and Skids frontman Stuart Adamson grew up in Crossgates, and an estate of new houses has “Stuart Adamson Crescent” in it, named in his memory.
As is often the case in a place of industry Crossgates has been a fertile place in the growth of football. The club was the first to nurture the talents of future Scotland legend Jim Baxter, but the club went into abeyance at the end of the 1960-61 season. While no football took place under the Primrose banner, the club’s weekly draw and social club kept going, while Dunfermline Athletic took on Humbug Park to use as their training ground. They rotated the pitch through 90 degrees to its current position and built the pavilion. The likes of Valencia and Anderlecht trained at Humbug before playing European ties at East End Park.
Dunfermline had moved off of Humbug Park by the late-80’s and in 1983 Crossgates Primrose reappeared in the Fife Region Juniors. After another brief period of inactivity in 2015 the club as we know them now have become firmly established firstly in the Junior ranks, and since 2018 the Senior East of Scotland League. There are moves afoot to rotate the pitch again, put down a 3G pitch and provide both cover and floodlights. It would provide a means of securing the licence needed for further progression, but I did sense a feeling of crossing the Rubicon about the whole thing.
The issue at Humbug is parking, and the club were extremely proactive in publicizing where people should leave their cars and the hop coach should be left. It worked extremely effectively, and the fact that a crowd of over 400 managed to get in, watch the game, and egress without difficulty. Those involved at Primrose should be extremely pleased at how well they hosted. I can think of other clubs we’ve visited that would have utterly floundered.
The game was of significance to visitors Penicuik who needed a win to steady a faltering promotion campaign. Cameron Dawson’s brace saw them achieve that, but boy did Primrose make them work for it. It was one of those afternoons when just about everyone got something out of their time. Penicuik got 3 points and a useful steer on how to host, the hoppers got an enjoyable afternoon and I trust Crossgates Primrose got a good windfall for their considerable efforts. We departed for Dundonald greatly impressed.