The Road to Pie 200 continues…
And just as the 2018/19 season ends the 2019/20 season begins.
Hello and welcome to, a rather incredible, SEVENTH season of Meat Filled Pastries, Scotland’s premier pie-hopping site. At the start of every season I have to come to the decision as to whether or not I should continue on this journey of pie. This season was perhaps a little bit easier than some of the more recent ones have been as Pie 200 is now well within my sights and to stop now would seem like a missed opportunity. I already have a plan for when Pie 200 has been consumed but that will be revealed when the time arrives.
In the mean time though I’ve decided to add a new mini-feature in relation to the club’s I visit this season. I’ve dabbled with this a couple of times in the past but as I try and improve the quality of my content for both Scottish Women’s Football and over on Leading the Line it would seem remiss of me to not take this opportunity to share the tales of some of Scotland’s lesser football lights and Forth Wanderers’ 2017 pre-season friendly Real Kashmir seems as a good a place as any to start.
The story of Real Kashmir is a relatively well known one in Scottish football circles these days thanks in part, to the BBC Scotland documentary which first aired in February 2019 following the clubs trials and tribulations as they looked to grow whilst also contesting games in one of the world’s most disputed areas. It sounds a weird choice of topic as an opening salvo for a new television channel but when you then discover that the manager is former Rangers and Aberdeen defender David Robertson and that one of their star players is his son Mason, the subject matter starts to become more clear in it’s relevance. Robertson took over at the Kashmiri side in January 2017 and promptly lead them to promotion from the I-League 2 to the top tier in Indian football within the space of six months. A feat made all the more remarkable given that the side funded by two local businessman – Shamim Mehraj and Sandeep Chattoo – had only been formed the year previous.
With the challenges of playing in India’s top tier to prepare for Robertson arranged for his side to make the 14,000 mile round trip to Scotland where fixtures were arranged to take on both Forth Wanderers and Scottish League side Stenhousemuir. Whilst The Snow Leopards had succumbed to a 6-0 defeat against Stenny a few days later their trip to Kingshill Park was more fruitful as goals from Ishfaq Ahmed and Prem Kumar earned the far-flung visitors a 2-2 draw in front of a curious crowd of 130. The newly promoted side would use their experience in Scotland to their advantage as they would go on to finish 3rd in their debut I-League season and are currently in the process of building a new stadium as well as recently agreeing a shirt sponsorship agreement with German sportswear giants Adidas, impressive again as the conflict continues to rage on in the region. It would be nice to think that one day the two sides could have a re-match. After all, nobody likes ending things on a draw.
As I said these will be mini-pieces and for more fully fledged features then I, of course, encourage you to go follow Leading the Line but please let me know what you think about these mini-features and whether or not you would like to keep seeing them as the season progresses.
For now though let’s get back to the meat of the matter and get to reviewing some pastry. So without much further ado, let’s rate some pie!
Where: Kingshill Park, Forth Wanderers 1-2 Larkhall Thistle, Friendly
Price: £1.20. The first pie of the new season always set the pricing bench mark for the season ahead so it’s interesting to see that this doesn’t deviate too far from what the junior average was in 2018/19.
Presentation: A slight variation on the theme here with the the medium sized white napkin changing shape from the more commonly found square, to rectangle. Still plenty of it there though to support consumption.
Meatiness: I think I know where this pie comes from, in face I’m almost certain as it’s a pie I’ve had few times from this part of the country and from the odd supermarket shelf but I’ll let you join the dots to see if you can figure out where it came from though. The meat was moist and as is often the case with pies from this particular proprietor quite dark and a little grey. They are always perfectly serviceable and taste like a scotch pie should but never blow me away. I think that’s as verbose as I need to be in this case.
Pastry: The second indicator of this pie source was in the pastry. Slightly biscuity and crisp with a totally smooth top. It had a slight golden tinge too it and did the job of holding this pastry together.
Brown Sauce: HP.
Overall: A safe start to the season from a well recognised brand.
Gravy Factor: No bells *wink, wink* and whistles just a safe little pastry.
I’d actually messaged the good folk at Forth the day before to see what the pastry situation may be at this very early stage of the season and the response of hopeful but not certain was enough to appease me and I was rewarded with this faith.
One last thing before I go and that is I’ve always had a dream that somewhere down the line I could earn just a little from these adventures, millions would be wildly optimistic, but enough to keep me breaking even. With that in mind I’ve added a Ko-fi link imaginatively “Buy my Next Pie“ to the site where you can buy me a coffee pie to help keep me going. Zero obligation but if you’re feeling generous I’ll be very grateful, maybe one day I can get to writing that book.
That’s it for this week, so until next time remember to support your local side, big up women’s football and of course, go forth and eat pie!
Chris Marshall, is a BJTC accredited Radio Journalist with an honours degree in Communications & Mass Media from Glasgow Caledonian University. Editor of Leading the Line, A member of the Scottish Women’s Football Media Team and a contributor to various football websites, podcasts and publications he also currently acts as Heart & Hand Podcast’s resident Iberian football expert, hosting “The Isco Inferno” a weekly take on all things Spanish football. A perennial ‘Scottish Sporting Optimist’ and part-time Madrileno with a passion for food and football that has manifest itself in the wonder that is Meat Filled Pastries.