Thursday, 11 October 2012

New Mills - Church Lane

New Mills FC
Church Lane
New Mills
High Peak
SK22 4NP

01663 747435

Matchday Number: 219
Monday 8th October 2012
New Mills 2-1 Curzon Ashton
Evostik Northern Premier League - First Division North

For my week off I had decided to have a few days up North, along with sone football games as I had done back in March. So after looking at the best week to do it, I booked the holiday with work and also found a Travelodge Hotel in Bury for £19 a night, a really good deal and just about the cheapest I could find. I then started to make a list of matches that I could attend, changing them several times and only finaising my plans the night before I left.

I was originally planning to go up at lunch time and go straight to my first game. But after seeing that Barnsley were at home in a youth game at 1PM, I decided to go up early. I had actually been to Barnsley twice before, but the stewards were really awkward and I didn't get any pictures of the ground. Add to that the fact that my mate Nathan said he would be able to meet me, if only briefly, I decided to take the plunge.

I left home at 9am, stopping for breakfast at Subway on the way and after a fairly decent journey I was in Barnsley at 12. After stopping at ASDA for lunch, I made my way to Oakwell for the 1pm kick off. After taking some pictures of the outside of the ground, I went in and watched the first half. Barnsley had much the better of the game and it was no shock when they took the lead on 15 minutes. They were awarded a penalty on 20 minutes but missed the chance to double their lead after the penalty was struck straight at the Coventry keeper. Coventry equalised on 32 minutes but after more domination the home side regained the lead shortly before half time. During the interval I went out to get some stuff from my car and as I was walking back I was approached by a bloke clutching a can of Stella. I thought "Here we go" but he as actually a genuinely decent bloke and we had a good chat about footy before watching the second half. Coventry were improved, but Barnsley were the better side still. After a goal apiece it finished 3-2 to the home side and had been a pretty good game, especially considering the free entry.

After seeing my mate, I suddenly realised I has 2 hours to kill and so looked for a nearby town to visit. I settled on Hyde. As with High Wycombe, Hyde has a Morrisons near the town where you can park for free. After a look round the shops, where I bought a few random bits of food and drink, I went off to find a pub. Having paid a fiver for a years subscription to the good beer guide app, I put it to good use and looked for a pub that served real cider. I settled on one called the Cheshire Ring, and although I had tried it before, I enjoyed my pint of Broadoak Perry. By that time it was around 6pm and so I made my way to New Mills for the game.

I got there at 6.50 and feeling hungry went to the local Chinese takeaway for some curry sauce and chips. After eating them in my car, I went in, paying a very reasonable £6.50 to get in, plus £1.50. I had arranged to meet my mate Aaron in the ground. He is the son of current Curzon Ashton manager John Flanagan, his team were providing the opposition tonight.

With both teams doing well in the league, it was expected to be a tight game and so that proved to be the case. I was supporting Curzon on the night. As well as the fact that I was standing with some of their fans, the club had been really friendly when I had visited back in March and had one of the best programme shops in Football. And a good result looked on the cards as Curzon took an early lead. They dominated early proceedings, in fact most of the first half. But gradually New Mills got back into it. They had a much better second half and ended up turning the game on it's head, winning 2-1. Their second goal was excellent. After the Curzon wall blocked the initial free kick, the rebound was drilled into the top corner for what turned out to be the winner.
Having seen a decent game and made some good friends, I said my goodbyes and made my way to my hotel in Bury. Thanks to my Sat Nav, I ended up about 4 miles from where I needed to be. Eventually though, I got to where I needed to be just after 11pm. After a couple of cans of cider, I got into bed and watched some episodes of Dream Team, the old Sky football drama, before going to sleep

CHURCH LANE is a fairly basic ground, even for this level. But it more than does the job for the crowds that they get. I'd imagine that there is some great scenery to be seen from the ground, but as it was dark, I couldn't tell for sure. Only one side is covered, that being a combination of seating and standing and the rest of the ground is all open. There is a good bar with big screen TV's and Sky Sports, bur nothing really special on the cider front. The chips that I had from the tea bar were pretty mediocre, but you can't really complain for a quid and all the other food is keenly priced. There was no club shop that I noticed either, though they do sell stuff on their website and presumably somewhere on matchdays. The programme was well worth £1.50, it apologised for a reduced size issue on the front page, but there was still plenty to read, including "The Rock And Goal Years", looking back at a certain season and featuring New Mills FC, football as a whole and the music of the day, 1971/72 on this occasion.

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