Central Park (Cowdenbeath)

It’s hard to feel anything other than sheer misery at Cowdenbeath. A gig in Fife coupled with nothing on during the day meant me and Lee Kyle scrabbling around the Scottish Football League for fixtures and a new ground to tick off the list.

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Cowdenbeath vs Greenock Morton in Division One rang a romantic bell and so we were sold on it. We hotfooted it north and arrived at Central Park with minutes to spare, underwhelmed and over-charged, a whopping £15 lighter to watch one of the least entertaining games I’ve ever seen. In some of the least entertaining surroundings.

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It’s sort of a magnificent arena, but not for football. Central Park hosts regular stock car races and is purpose built for it, with a racing track around the pitch, and with big massive monster truck tyres surrounding the turf, it makes it almost a surreal experience.

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Indeed, the sparse and barely interested crowd are so far away from the action you wonder if the game is actually happening at all. The game was a battle of the bottom two and as we walked around the ground towards the main stand, The Blue Brazil (that’s Cowdenbeath) went two goals up. At any other club regardless of level there’s be pure delirium. Not here – it barely registered as having happened.

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This level of disinterest was matched by club staff. We tried to pop into the club shop to buy some tat, only to be told it wasn’t open on a match day, which is surely the main time you’re likely to have people popping in. Indeed, the program stalls were all shut and nobody seemed keen on helping. The only things available to buy were tyres. Central Park, ladies and gentleman – possibly the only ground in Britain with a tyre shop built into it.

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There was something slightly likeable about the ground – old school steps, terracing, knackered old stands, but yet something totally unappealing at the same time. The only ground in Britain with traffic lights pitchside should be much more loveable than it was.

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As such, we left with the home side totally unmoved by a 5-1 victory, on a grey rainy day, with more people queuing to get into the stock car race immediately afterwards than were leaving having watched the football. All whilst a massive fork lift truck dumped the big tyres without an ounce of care onto the pitch, almost as if to say “thank god the football’s over, let’s get on with some proper entertainment.”

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Why Cowdenbeath continue playing here is beyond me, I can only assume it’s because they can’t be arsed to find another home. I’m sure when the stadium is empty it’s probably more impressive, but to endure a football game here is torture.

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