Friday, 20 August 2021

Dinnington Town - Phoenix Park

Dinnington Town FC
Phoenix Park
Dinnington Resource Centre
Laughton Road
South Yorkshire
S25 2PP

Ground Number: 985
Friday 20th August 2021
Dinnington Town 5-1 Collingham
Central Midlands North


Dinnington Town's badge states a formation date of 1908 but that refers to two former clubs. Dinnington Main was established in 1908 and made the 1st Qualifying Round of the FA Cup in 1922. Dinnington Athletic was established in 1928 and they played in the Yorkshire League where they were Division 2 champions in 1970. They reached the 1st Round of the FA Cup in 1934 where they lost 3-1 to Chester. They also won the Sheffield & Hallamshire Cup in 1931.

The present club was established in 2000 and upon formation, they joined the Central Midlands League. Starting in the second-tier Premier Division, a 3rd place finish in 2002 was good enough for promotion to the Supreme Division. After three seasons as runners-up, Dinnington joined the Northern Counties East Division 1 in 2006. They were champions in 2008, earning a promotion to the Premier Division. The 2008/09 season was the best in the club's history as they finished 8th. Results didn't last however and in 2011 they were relegated to Division 1. Despite a 9th place finish, the next two seasons saw them struggle and in 2014, they resigned from the league and rejoined the Central Midlands League. The league was now regionalised with Dinnington Town placed in the North division. Results have not been the best, with an 8th place finish in 2018 their best so far. The last two seasons have been abandoned with the team sitting 2nd and 4th.

Dinnington Town had a brilliant debut season in the FA Cup in 2007. They beat Maltby Main, Rossendale United, Penrith Town and Cheadle Town before losing to Bradford Park Avenue in the 3rd Qualifying Round. They've also reached the 1st Round of the FA Vase on three occasions. Local cup wins include the Central Midlands League Cup in 2003 & 2006 and the NCELCup in 2010. The record attendance of 622 came for the FA Cup game against Maltby Main in 2007. Well known players to have played for the club include strikers Danny Reet (Mansfield Town) and Johnathan Howard (Chesterfield). The town of Dinnington is situated near Rotherham and Sheffield in South Yorkshire.  The population is around 12,500. Like many towns in the area, it has a history in mining which was open for around 90 years, closing in 1991 at the cost of 1000 jobs.


Once again, it was time for some Friday night football and once again, it was Milton Keynes based hopper Chris that would be making the trip with me. It was really the only option as all the options were a bit too far away in Wales. It was a game that I was looking forward to - I really enjoy visiting old miners clubs for some reason. This one was located at the utilitarian-sounding Dinnington Resource Centre but seemed to have plenty around the ground in terms of pre-match food. Chris had been keen to do a match on Wednesday too, but I turned the opportunity down on the account that I was having a late night in Wigan the day before. It turned out to be even worse than first feared, with me not getting home until 3 am and only getting a few hours sleep. So I was happy with my decision and instead spent the evening researching the club for this blog.

The day of the game came and it was work as usual. The last few days have really dragged and today was no exception, with me clock watching all the time. I also had a cold and felt tired - probably as a hangover of my late night on Tuesday. I felt better as I left and made my way to Chris in Milton Keynes. After a couple of minor delays, I was there at 4.20 and we were on our way. There was a 20-minute delay as soon as we hit the M1 due to a broken down lorry, but after a couple of minor delays, we were in Dinnington at just before 7. Our planned Chinese takeaway was busy and had a backlog of orders so we headed to a place called United Fried Chicken instead. We both had a Jalapeño pizza burger and chips, taking them back to the car.  Both were excellent, the chips had spice on them and the pizza burger was nice and fresh and unique. We then headed back to the ground, parking round the corner as the car park was full. The admission was £3, really great value for the standard of ground. Fellow hoppers Chris (Lord Groundhop) and Turnip Blade were in attendance and provided great company throughout the evening. 141 were in attendance in all, an impressive attendance for the level and another advert for Friday night football.

Dinnington Town had enjoyed a perfect start to the season, winning both their games. They'd won 2-1 at Askern Miners on opening day before a 4-0 home victory over Crowle Colts the following Tuesday.  They had a game in hand on a lot of the league as their game against Dearne & District had been called off due to Covid issues in their opponents' team. Dinnington sat 5th with Collingham in 12th. The visitors had suffered a humbling 5-1 defeat to SJR Worksop on the opening day before they regained some pride with a 2-0 victory at AFC Bentley last Saturday. Collingham caught Dinnington cold early on and were ahead after a couple of minutes. A ball was played into the area and Hollingworth finished into the net. The hosts soon woke up and on 9 minutes they hit the right-hand post. The ball rolled across the line before Collingham keeper Elliott Walters gathered the ball. Ten minutes before halftime, it was 1-1, thanks to a great shot from 20 yards. A couple of minutes into the second half, Dinnington took the lead, a shot from the edge of the area. It was 3-1 on 56 minutes when a corner was bundled across the line from a yard out. Dinnington continued to dominate and were awarded a penalty on 71 minutes. Collingham keeper Walters made a valiant effort to keep the ball out making two great saves but Brandon Ashmore got the ball in at the third attempt to make it 4-1. A lovely 20-yard lob made it 5-1 and a deserved win for the hosts. We made q quick retreat after saying our goodbyes. The journey down the M1 involved going off a junction early due to a closure, but overall, it was well-organised. I dropped Chris off at 11.40, getting back home an hour later.


PHOENIX PARK is a classic non-league ground. There are three small areas of cover - two seated (holding 200) and one standing (holding 100). The rest of the ground is open but has plenty of character. There's a small tea bar at the ground offering drinks and snacks. The car park is also quite small, but there's street parking nearby. The town is functional - not the flashiest but give me it over an indoor shopping centre any day. There's not much in the way of pubs but there's a huge range of takeaways of which I can recommend United Fried Chicken.

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