Tadcaster Albion FC
Matchday Number: 261
Saturday 30th March 2013
Tadcaster Albion 5-1 Barton Old Boys
Northern Counties East League - Premier Division
For the final game of my 4 part hop, I was off to Tadcaster Albion. It was the only ground out of the 4 that I had been to, having visited on the way to York v Wycombe last August to take pictures. Tadcaster is a famous brewery town, having both the Samuel Smiths and John Smiths breweries located there. While the beer companies had enjoyed lots of success, the football team have never been higher than where they currently are, and I had not seen them play before, neither did I know much about them
I had been to see tonight's opponents, Barton Town Old Boys very recently though. Only last month I saw their home Lincolnshire Trophy defeat to Bottesford Town. I had enjoyed my visit there, thanks to a nice club, but mainly because of the good company of my Grimsby supporting mate William, who came along for the game.
Having left Pickering at 5.25, we made good time and was in Tadcaster by 6.15. The coach dropped some of us off in town, so we could have a better selection of pubs. I opted for a Samuel Smiths one, as the cider they do is very nice - the first time I tried it I had a fair few it was that good! After that, it was just a short walk to the ground.
I arrived at the ground just before 7 and went straight in, getting some raffle tickets and going in the bar for another pint and a chicken curry and rice. I then went outside and chatted to a few people I knew whilst I waited for the game to start.
Adam Dexter gave Barton the lead on 20 minutes, but it was the only time they would be ahead all evening. On 39 minutes it was 1-1 as Terry Taylor equalised, making it 1-1 at the beak. But a sending off would change the game, but not in the way you would expect. Just into the second half, Tadcaster's Callum Ward was sent off for elbowing, which really should have given the visitors the initiative. But football is a funny old game, and from then on, the home side dominated. Terry Taylor got his second on 67 minutes and they always looked like they could add to their tally. But it wasn't until 10 minutes from time that Stuart Rice scored a thumping goal to make the points almost safe. If the victory wasn't all but confirmed, it was 5 minutes later as Phil Winn deflected the ball into his own goal. They saved the best till last, Chris Youlden finishing a mazy run past the tired looking Barton defence with a decent finish.
So it had been a great day, with 3 entertaining games seen, new friends made, and new places visited. But all good things had to come to an end. We made our way back to the hotel in Wakefield where we were based, making good time again, and getting back at 10.10. I nearly did a double take as my Sat Nav quoted over 4 hours to get home, but then I realised that it included the clocks going forward. I was a bit more frugal on the accelerator pedal going home, as I wanted to bring my fuel costs down a bit. Even so, I still shaved 15 minutes off my journey time, getting in just before 2am BST
2inspire Park as it was called, was probably my least favourite of the grounds that I visited on the hop, but it was still a good venue with good people running the club. It also lacked the novelty of it being a first time visit, unlike the other 3.
2 sides of the ground are open. Behind one goal is 2 seated stands, though one of them is now closed, despite looking open when I went there in August. The one remaining side, where the clubhouse and dressing rooms are situated has a mixture of terracing and seating.
The clubhouse itself is pretty large. They do beer from the local Sam Smiths brewery, but sadly none of their cider, opting for Strongbow instead. There is a table selling a small range of club items including pin badges. And the tea bar, like all the others I went to on this hop has a good selection of tasty treats.