St Mirren
Love Street

Ground No. 122
Visited - Sunday 8th April 2007
Result - St Mirren 0-1 Rangers
Competition - Scottish Premier League
Attendance - 7308

With St Mirren on the lookout for a new ground, Love Street was up there towards the top of my Scottish grounds to visit list, so their Sunday fixture against Rangers seemed an ideal time, scheduling it in for a weekend trip with Ayr vs Brechin the day before.

Having stayed overnight in Glasgow, the trip to Paisley was fairly easy, with it being a short bus ride there (no trains running), and I arrived just before midday, leaving me enough time to go to the ground first, managing to be let in early to take a few pictures, before going back to town to take up some time prior to kick-off.

Having had a look round what was a fairly nice place (plenty of impressive architecture if you like that sort of thing), then it was back up Love Street, with the roads being a bit more crowded than earlier thanks to people heading in the same direction. Unfortunately, there was no sign of a club shop (or even a badge seller), which was disappointing, especially as a Rangers club shop takes pride of place on Paisley High Street (makes you wonder how anyone outside of the big 2 can ever have a hope of competing really), so slightly disappointed at that, I made my way in, having chosen to sit in the Reid Kerr College Stand behind the near goal. That was a small single tiered stand, with a basic, albeit attractive design of black/red striped seats covered by a propped roof stand that with pillars behind the seats offered perfect views of the pitch. To our right was the North Stand, a former terrace with seats stuck on and a pitched roof which was painted in black and white stripes along its length, which made it stand out well. Opposite was the West Stand, which was a modern single tier stand and very steep, whilst to the left was the Main Stand, which was a classic old design, with two tiers of seating and running for about a third of the length of the pitch, centred on the halfway line. One interesting feature was that on both sides, the roof extended beyond the length of the stands which was made to look even odder with glass screen ends next to the seating. To the east of the Main and North Stands was some former disused terracing, which presumably carried on around the end where the Reid Kerr College Stand now stood.

Having surveyed the scene and taken a few pics (as usual!), the game eventually got underway, and soon turned into a similar pattern as to all the other matches that I’ve seen so far involving the two old firm sides. Rangers were able to take an early advantage when Nacho Novo fired home after some lax defending by the home side. It was a blow to the hosts, but as the rest of the half wore on, St Mirren began to get more into it, and realising that the Rangers side weren’t quite as invincible as they’re made out to be, they grew in confidence and were unlucky not to have found an equaliser by the break.

In the second half it was all the home side, they pressed Rangers for most of the match, forcing several good saves from goalkeeper Alan McGregor, but St Mirren just couldn’t find the goal that their efforts deserved, with Rangers managing to hang on to a somewhat undeserved three points, with their only attack of note in the second half being a disallowed goal from Kris Boyd, who had strayed into an offside position when heading home a free kick.

With the game finished, I quickly made my way out of the ground, managing to get the bus back to Glasgow in good time, having a bit of a wait there until the train across to Edinburgh and then one South from there.

Overall, it had been a good finish to the weekend, and although it was disappointing not to see St Mirren get something from the game, it didn’t deter from what was a great ground to visit. With plenty of character, it will be a real shame to lose Love Street from the 42, as other than perhaps adding some executive boxes to bring in extra revenue (plenty of space to do so), the ground seems perfectly adequate for the clubs needs, being a good sized capacity, whilst offering good views and facilities. Perhaps rebuild the Main Stand and you would have all you need in a ground, so the message, as usual, is get there whilst you can before Scotland (and Britain as a whole) loses another good old traditional ground to a new one that looks like it could have come straight off the shelf at IKEA or B&Q.

Welcome to Love Street

Rear of the North Stand

Outside the Reid Kerr College Stand
(looking down Love St)

Rear of the Reid Kerr College Stand

Rear of the Main Stand

Rear of the Main Stand

Rear of the West Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

The Reid Kerr College Stand

The Main Stand

The Main Stand

The West Stand

The North Stand

Love Street Panoramic 1

Love Street Panoramic 2


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