Benburb v Lanark United

2pm  1 September 2012

SJFA West Region, Central League, Division One
Benburb 3 Lanark United 2 (att 73)

Tinto Park has to be one of Scotland's, if not Britain's, most iconic non League venues. Quite why it has taken me so long to get ground to seeing a game here I'm not sure, but I was well rewarded for today's drive up to Glasgow.

Continuing my welcome recent run of good matches, this was another cracker. The sides were well matched, but Lanark, fancied for promotion this season, edged in front after 38 minutes. Benburb couldn't have had a better start to the second half, scoring twice in the first six minutes to take the lead.

The visitors were soon back level though, but in a match that could have gone either way it was the home side who scored a winner.

I was pleased for them. It may sound patronising but it's hard not to like a like club who keep battling against the odds just to survive. Tinto Park is in Govan, just up the road from Ibrox, and has suffered from vandalism and break ins.

The former social club is a derelict shell, and without the hard work of the people who run Benburb FC the ground could easily go the same way. Yet Tinto Park is a gem of a football stadium. It's main feature is a cavernous covered terrace that runs the length of the pitch.

Twenty or so steps of cinder terracing are covered by a high roof. Much of the terracing is uneven and crumbling, weeds are growing through, and broken glass is a hazard. Holes in the roof mean you'd have to careful were to stand on a wet day. Even a half-hearted health and safety officer would have concerns.

One the opposite side, and behind the far goal, is very overgrown open terracing, where in parts it's just about possible to get an elevated view, if you're very careful. Behind the near goal, by the entrance, it looks as if work is underway to lay some new terracing.

I'm not sure how much Rangers are charging for Division Three football this season, but just £4 to see Benburb at Tinto Park is a bargain.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve, I run the Benburb F.C. website and would like to thank you for your kind comments about the Bens. We try our best to keep things going even though we sometimes get mindless vandalism by some idiots that set fire to our former social club which like you say is now a derelict shell, or the bright sparks who decided to demolish our dugouts even though they were built of brick. We keep going and strive to make the best of it.

    The pitch we play on at Tinto Park is very good and even Sir Alex Ferguson when he visited us to meet up with his boyhood football hero Tommy Douglas. (There are pictures on our website showing Sir Alex's visit.) He said that the pitch at Tinto Park was an excellent surface.

    We know that parts of the coveing needs fixing but we just don't have the funds to make it perfect once again like it used to be back in the 50's amd 60's when we had a much better support. But as time goes on that support has dwindled. We only wish that the non league junior clubs here in Scotland were better supported.

    I will, if you don't mind put a link to your blog here from our main website. If you would rather I didn't then please contact me at and I will remove the link.
    Kind regards,
    Jimmy Strang. (