AFTER more than 14 long months, Sauchie Juniors fans finally saw their team in action at the weekend.

More than 200 fans were in attendance as Sauchie’s pre-season run of friendlies continued with a nine-goal thriller against Darvel.

Unfortunately for Sauchie their four goals were not enough as Darvel scored five to seal the victory, but the real winners on the day were the Sauchie faithful who finally saw their team in person for the first time since March 2020.

Club vice-secretary Matthew Hollingworth said the club were delighted with how their trial run went and is already looking forward to welcoming fans to Beechwood once again.

He told Advertiser Sport: “Before the game we knew it was going to be a totally different way of doing things with all the protocols in place and we were asking people to bear with us.

“It was a new thing for us as well as them and we were just delighted to have so many back. I think the official attendance was 220 which is just short of what we’re allowed.

“This is fantastic for us with last season’s average attendance being 151. If that could continue it would be fantastic and hopefully [Saturday] has convinced people to come along [more].”

Despite the long absence, the love for the club hasn’t died down and Matthew explained enquiries about upcoming games are constant.

He continued: “It’s been really nice, I think we’ve had a lot of local residents who maybe haven’t been to games for a couple of years making enquiries so hopefully something’s going right and with the quality they saw on Saturday with nine goals will be enough to keep them coming back. Hopefully we’ve earned a few new followers.”

No club wants to lose a football match but for Sauchie, in this pre-season friendly, they were just delighted to have bodies back in the stadium.

“The main thing for us was having fans back,” Matthew continued. “Darvel are a very strong opposition. We also had a few young players from our development squad coming on in the second half but it was more about getting people back in than the result for us.”