Saturday, 10 July 2021

Thorne Colliery - Welfare Ground




Thorne Colliery FC
Moorends Welfare Ground
Grange Road
Moorends
Doncaster
South Yorks
DN8 4NH





Ground Number: 969
Friday 9th July 2021
Thorne Colliery 2-1 Glasshoughton Welfare
Friendly






THORNE COLLIERY FC - A BRIEF HISTORY

The formation date of the club is unclear, although the colliery was opened in 1925 with the club coming to prominence a couple of years later. They joined the Yorkshire League in 1932 and although the Second World War interrupted things, they were champions by 1947. The success didn't last however and they were relegated to Division 2 in 1950 and became a bit of a yo-yo club. They even spent a number of seasons in Division 3, the nadir coming in 1974 when they came bottom of the Yorkshire League altogether. The league was absorbed into the Northern Counties East League in 1982 and Thorne Colliery would play in various divisions following reorganisation before leaving in 1986. They would go on to spend time in the Doncaster Senior League, winning it five seasons in a row between 1989 and 1993. Since 1993, the club has played in the Central Midlands League. Starting in the second-tier Premier Division, Thorne Colliery won promotion to the Supreme Division in 1995. They would go on to finish bottom twice in three seasons, returning to the Premier Division in 1998. Results didn't really improve but in 201 the two tier system was ditched in favour of two regional divisions. Thorne Colliery have been in the North Division ever since, with a best-ever 3rd place finish in 2014. 

Thorne Colliery reached the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in their debut season in 1927 and this was their best progress with them not having played in the competition since 1967. Locally, they won the Goole and Thorne FA Cup in 2011 and 2014. The Colliery was active from 1924 to 1958 with a disaster killing six men in 1926 following a capstan engine failure, Attempted reopenings in the 1980s and 90s never came to fruition and in 2002 it was declared uneconomical to reopen the site. The site is now home to a 5-megawatt solar farm developed by RES. The construction was completed in December 2015. The club is based at Moorends, a village near Doncaster. The population is around 5,500 and the village benefits from several amenities, especially takeaways.


MY VISIT

Thorne Colliery had been a ground I'd wanted to visit for a while, having stopped of for pictures on the way to North Ferriby in 2016. The ground had since acquired floodlights during lockdown with the newly branded 'Club Thorne' one of the few to progress during the pandemic. A return to the NCEL was the long-term aim but for now, their immediate future remains in the CML. The opportunity arose this Friday with fellow hopper Chris agreeing to join me a week ago when I presented him with the possibility of either this or Mexborough Athletic. Wednesday night saw England beat Denmark in a committed performance and it was a real tonic for the nation after the past 14 months. It saw us beat the dreaded ITV curse that has seen us endure a wretched record on that broadcaster, at least in comparison to the BBC. Sadly, the commentary team of Sam Matterface and Lee Dixon were pretty dire to listen to. At least the rest of the people on the programme were good, but it's a mystery why ITV don't use the vastly superior Clive Tyldesley and Ally McCoist.


The day of the game came and I had worked as usual. I needed petrol but the station was closed after I went to work early. I had to pop out in my break and fill up instead. I got away promptly at 3 and after a 15-minute delay on the M1, picked Chris up at 4.15. He was there waiting and so we were quickly on our way. The M1 had a couple more dodgy sports, around half an hour delay but nothing unexpected for a Friday evening. We got to our pre-match takeaway at 7 where my Thai Green Curry and Salt and chilli chips were great. We eat them at the ground before going in ten mi before kick-off. Entry was a fiver and it was good to see fellow hoppers, Dan and Jake, there. I also had some chips in the ground for £1.50 and these were also good.


The game was not the greatest, but it was also no dud. There were 80 in attendance and they saw Thorne Colliery have the better of the first half. The hosts took the lead on 15 minutes when a corner was put in and Aidan Marshall headed home. Thorne Colliery could have had a second but though a player followed up after a goalkeeper parry, the goal was disallowed. The visitors were much improved in the second half and they equalised on 55 minutes in a similar fashion to the opener. The game petered out after this but Thorne Colliery scored a last-minute penalty to win 2-1 with Matt Gains dispatching the spot-kick.  We left just before 9.30. As on the way up, there were problems on the M1 with a couple of junctions closed. With the delays mounting up, Google Maps took us off at Daventry and through Towcester and the like. After getting some petrol, I dropped Chris off just after midnight, getting in myself just after 1. I did a few bits on my laptop before going to sleep, finding out that all the messing about on the roads had not been kind to my fuel economy. I was in bed around 1.40 and asleep just after 2.


THE GROUND

The Welfare Ground is a superb venue for step 7. The focal point is the large stand, which must hold at least 800 fans on bench seating. The rest of the ground is open flat standing. Nearby are a large range of takeaways including Indian, Chinese, Pizza, Kebabs, Fish and Chips and many others. A decent range of food and drink is available at the ground too. There is tons of parking as it is part of a large Miners Welfare Club.



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