Friday 8 March 2019

Collingham - Station Road

Collingham FC
Station Road
NG23 7RA

01636 892303
Collingham - Official Website
Collingham - Twitter
Newark Town - Official Website
Newark Town - Twitter

Ground Number: 835
Friday 8th March 2019
Newark Town 1-3 Collingham
CML North


Collingham FC was established in 1887 and although there is no history of their early years that I could find, they joined the Central Midlands League in 1995. Initially joining the second-tier Premier Division, a 4th place finish in 1997 was good enough for promotion to the Supreme Division. They'd stay here until 2002 when they disbanded - a 5th place finish the previous year being their best season. They played in Sunday League football until they re-emerged in the Central Midlands League. By now, the league was at step 7 of the Non-League pyramid and split into two regional divisions. Collingham spent the 2015/16 season in the CML South, finishing 13th. The following season they switched to the North division, finishing 4th in the previous two seasons. Currently, they sit in 3rd, with an outside chance of winning the title if results go their way. They've had a couple of seasons in the FA Vase, the best coming in the 2001/02 season when they beat Meir KA 2-1 before losing 3-2 at Boston Town in the 1st Round.

Newark Town FC meanwhile was founded in 1991 although there was a club of the same name that existed before. A junior team at first, they moved into senior football in 1994 and joined the Notts Alliance League at Divison 2 level in 1997. They were promoted to Divison 1 in 2003despite finishing second-bottom and joined the Central Midlands League the following year. Starting in the second-tier Premier Division, they had their best finish here of 7th in their first season. Despite this, they were promoted to the Supreme Division in 2008 after a 13th place finish. A pair of 5th place finishes in their first two seasons was as good as it got for them. The league split into two regional divisions in 2011 with Newark Town finishing 5th and 7th in their two seasons in the South Division before switching to the North. Since moving, they've finished a high of 4th in 2015 to a low of 17th last season although they are in a much-improved placing of 10th this time out. They reached the 1st Round of the FA Vase in 2008 after they beat Meir KA and Gornal Athletic before losing 4-0 at Coalville Town.


There had been a real lack of Friday night football for MK based hopper Chris and I to do this season. More often than not, it would have involved a long trip to the north-east or far reaches of Wales if we wanted to see a game at a ground we both needed to 'tick'. That would mean me being tired on the drive on the way home, so I didn't consider any of them. Thankfully, on this Friday, a game within reasonable distance came up. It was a local derby too - between ground-sharers Collingham and Newark Town with the latter team and tenants being the 'home' team on this occasion. In the week leading up to the game, I started my research into both of tonight's clubs as well as pre-match food options. The day of the game came and I had my usual 5am start at work. It was hectic, as per usual for a Friday but thankfully I was out by 11.30. I spent a few hours at home before leaving around 2.40 and stopping in Aylesbury en-route so I could get some drinks for tonight's game. After picking Chris up at 4, we had a surprisingly good journey and were at our pre-match food place by 6. The Mint Leaf Indian restaurant was not far off the A1 and had good reviews. We both had Murgh Kali Mirch with rice. We'd only stumbled upon the place by accident, but the food was excellent and the portions generous. From there, it was around 4 miles to the ground with us getting there just after 7. It was a reasonable £3 to get in, plus £1 for a decent enough programme, though we were initially given an edition of the Dinnington Town issue from last month by mistake. We passed time before kick off chatting to various people including groundhopper Dave Woodings and also a season ticket holder at Wycombe who lived locally and reads this very blog.

Both teams were on a good run of form leading up to tonight's contest. Collingham were unbeaten in five games, their last defeat coming in a 4-3 defeat to Clay Cross Town which was their only defeat in their last 10 games. The two sides had met back in November, with Collingham recording an emphatic 5-0 win on that occasion. Newark Town's only defeat in the last five had been a 4-2 defeat at Retford although recent form had been a big improvement in an inconsistent season that had seen them beaten 11-0 by Renishaw Rangers back in November. Collingham, in their striking orange & black kit, started the brightest against the light and dark blues of Newark Town. It was the dominant side that took the lead on 6 minutes after a free kick was awarded on the right. It was delivered well and it went in off the head of the head of unfortunate Newark defender Luke Boddy for an own goal. It was 2-0 after 20 minutes, this time a cross from the right to the far post was poked home after hesitant Newark defending. Collingham had been completely dominant during the first period but the second half was a different story. Newark took the game to Collingham and after going close on a few occasions they reduced the arrears on 65 minutes when an effort was cleared off the line before being poked home by Kieran Job. Newark had a few more efforts and in both sides desperation to win, there was a bit of handbags a minute from time. This led to at least one sending off and appeared to knock the comeback off its stride. Collingham took their free-kick quickly with Jake Park getting away from the defence and finishing calmly to make it 3-1. It had been a good evenings entertainment for the 193 in attendance, but it was time to head home. We stopped at a garage so that Chris could get a drink before we got on our way. As is the trend with the roads at night there were closures and one on the A1 added 20 minutes to our journey. I dropped Chris off at 11.50 but still the diversions were not over as the M1 exit to the M25 was closed meaning I had to go on smaller roads via Hemel and Chesham. I eventually got home at 1 am, typing my blog with a cider whilst also catching up on the night's TV.


STATION ROAD is a decent venue for step 7. Although there are no seats, there is a fair bit of cover thanks to the clubhouse. The pitch is fully railed and there is a good amount of hard standing. The clubhouse itself is reasonably large and has an upstairs viewing gallery. The range of drinks includes some real ales and Carling Cider and Lager. I'm told there is also a BBQ on most match days. Local facilities include a Co-Op shop with the village being under a mile away. 

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