It has became de rigueur for Scottish football supporters to criticise their national stadium since its redevelopment 10 years ago and perhaps justifiably so given that it seats just 50,000 and no matter where you are positioned the pitch seems a mile away.
To be fair however, since 'New Hampden' was born it has produced some unforgettable football moments, none more so than Zidane's astonishing volley for Real Madrid in the 2002 European Cup Final. The only thing tonight's match had in common with that was the weather ' the rain finally arrived after our glorious 2 months of sunshine at the games. 376 brave punters turned up for Queens Park v Albion Rovers and it made for an eerie encounter as player's vocal encouragement to their teammates echoed round the stadium.
The first half was fairly even and actually quite pleasant at times - both teams attempting to get the ball down on the slick surface and patiently attempt to create openings. However the final pass often let either side down and we went in goalless at half time. We moved seats at the break and took our place in the luxurious padded seats at the halfway line giving us an illusion of grandeur for 45 minutes. 10 minutes into the 2nd half Marc Pollock broke through for Albion and coolly slotted home. Queens did have their chances to equalise and came agonisingly close when Douglas hit the bar with a minute left but it was not to be.
The highlight of the night was Albion Rovers singing 'it's all gone quiet over there' to a completely empty North Stand. Our lowest scoring game, no bookings, no balls vacated the ground and perhaps most disappointing - no wonder Zidane-esque goal. Perhaps that would be asking for too much.
Journey - 5/10
Pie - 7/10
Bovril - 7/10
Ground - 3/10
Game - 5/10
A quick note on the photo: Unfortunately, post-game we exited into the cold drizzle. With just 373 other fans, and no Stewards around outside, we struggled to find a volunteer, let alone a non-handwritten Queens Park sign to stand in front of. We did finally grab one guy to take the photo outside the front steps, but sadly in the dim light the autofocus let us down and his shot came out blurred - and to be honest, he missed the sign anyway. So this is the best we can do. Be assured though that both Kieran, and Oxford shirt, were present.