Thursday 28 July 2022

Newhall United - Hawfields Ground

Newhall United FC
Hawfields Ground
The Gables
DE11 0SL

Ground Number: 1094
Wednesday 27th July 2022
Newhall United 0-3 Stapenhill


The club was established in 1926, joining the Leicestershire Senior League in 1929. They'd only stay for a single season, finishing 6th out of 7 teams. They then returned to local football, amongst others winning the Derbyshire Premier League three times during the 1970s. In 1983, the club became a founder member of the Central Midlands League and remained there until 1995. They remained in the second-tier Premier Division for the entirety of their stay, finishing 5th on a couple of occasions which is the best in their history. Following this, they spent a few seasons in the Midland Combination, dropping out of the league voluntarily in 1998. They returned in 2001, starting in Division 3. They were runners-up in 2002 and then finished 3rd in Division 2 in 2004 to return to Division 1. They generally finished around the bottom places in the league and in 2010 rejoined the Leicestershire Senior League, spending a couple of seasons in Division 1. In 2012, they joined the Midland Regional Alliance League, spending until 2018 in the Premier Division before they left. After a couple of years away they rejoined the league at Division 1 in 2020. Last season they won the league and are set to return to the Premier Division which sits at step 9 of the Non-League Pyramid for this coming season.

The club competed in the FA Cup in the 1950s and early 70s. Their best run came in 1951 as they beat Matlock Town 4-0 and Basford United 3-0 following a 1-1 draw before a 6-1 defeat at Ilkeston Town in the 3rd Qualifying Round. They also played briefly in the FA Trophy. In the FA Vase, their best run came in 1981 as they beat Lutterworth Town, Birstall United and Racing Club Warwick before a defeat in the 2nd Round to West Midlands Police. Newhall is a suburban settlement located in Swadlincote, South Derbyshire, England. As of the 2011 census, it had a population of 776. The nearest big town is Burton-Upon-Trent.


It was another Wednesday groundhop with MK-based Chris for me which was much appreciated as it opened up a whole new world of possibilities. We'd originally planned Shirebrook Town but then I saw Newhall United were at home. I'd been on my way there via Chris back in May but a puncture forced me to abandon the trip. The 7 PM kick-off and the closer distance would mean getting home a couple of hours earlier. I'd also already researched the club history for my blog so it was a bit of a no-brainer. I finalized all my research for the trip on Monday night including a reasonable-looking Chinese takeaway.
I'd been planning to go to Roade v Northampton ON Chenecks on Tuesday, but I wasn't sure if the game would be on. The hosts weren't tweeting at all and the visitors weren't responding. After some persistence, they told me that the game had been rearranged, possibly for Thursday. To muddy the waters further, the email I'd sent to Roade that morning was replied to saying that the game was going ahead. I decided to err on the side of caution and stay local. My decision was vindicated as Roade later got in touch to confirm that the game was off which was good of them. My first choice would have been a walk up to Holmer Green for their game against Flackwell Heath. However, Flackwell were listed as playing at home to Aylesbury and I decided to go to that instead. Maybe I'd not have bothered but I fancied an evening out. The morning was spent doing the usual walk to town and back, 9 miles in all which should help offset all the junk I eat. The evening saw me make the trip to Flackwell Heath, my fifth visit to Wilks Park. The hosts were extremely impressive, especially in the first half as they beat Aylesbury United 4-1. The England Lionesses were also impressive, beating Sweden 4-0 in the Euro Semi-Finals.
The day at work was not too bad and as I'd filled up with petrol in the morning, I got away just after 3. It wasn't the best for traffic again with a bit of a delay getting on the M1 but I was with Chris by 4.20. Our own journey went well and there were only a couple of delays. We were at China Town takeaway in Newhall by 6 where I had salt and pepper chips along with chilli and spicy king prawn. Both were delicious. We met another hopper who was very friendly and sorted us out a couple of old programmes as he was something to do with the club. 
 The hosts Newhall United were in navy shirts and white shorts whilst visitors Stapenhill were in red and white. The sides were just three miles apart, less than ten minutes drive or an hour's walk. Stapenhill, a couple of steps higher were the better side in possession but didn't really trouble the home keeper. Newhall's couple of chances on the break were probably closer. On 22 minutes, Stapenhill were awarded a penalty for a trip in the area. The spot kick was converted by George Teeney, a low shot sending the keeper the wrong way. Stapenhill continued to have the upper hand but Newhall came close to an equaliser on 34 minutes when they flicked a shot wide of the left-hand post. Due to the nights drawing in, the halftime break was less than ten minutes. After 55 minutes, it was 2-0 Stapenhill, a cross headed into the corner of the net from six yards out by Jack Roberts. It was 3-0 on 64 minutes, a low shot from Oli Roome wrongfooting the home keeper and leaving him on his backside. With around 15 minutes to go, the Newhall keeper came flying out and brought down the last man but the referee was sensible as it was a friendly. He only awarded a free kick which was blasted over. There were no arguments as the game was won and the game was played in a good spirit which hasn't always been the case in some of the friendlies I've seen.

There had been around 100 in attendance and two dogs including a lovely friendly whippet. By the time we left at 8.45, the light was quickly fading. Stapenhill were good value for their win, but it was a shame Newhall United couldn't get a goal for their efforts. It had been a great club to visit, a nice ground and the programme was excellent too. It started to rain as we left and got heavier as we headed for home. It was still going well though and things only started to go wrong as we got nearer home. First there was 20 minutes delay on the M1. Then, with us a mile from dropping Chris off, I went over something in the road and damaged my two driver-side tyres. It was big inconvenience but I was glad that I had Green Flag cover to get me home. Chris got a taxi home and I phoned for recovery. On the bright side, hopefully, it was only tyres and slight damage to the alloy and I was able to type my blog, edit photos and order replacement tyres for £130 on my mobile. The rescue guy was great and the wait was not too bad at just over an hour. I was home around 12.50, staying up for a bit although it took me ages to get to sleep.


HAWFIELDS is a great ground for step 7 with plenty of character. There are two covered areas, one along the side with a few random chairs and another behind the goal which used to be larger until it was partially demolished. The rest of the ground is open to the elements and there is some hard standing. There's a small car park at the ground, plus a bar offering bottles and cans plus roles. The main part of Newhall is around a mile and offers various takeaways.

No comments:

Post a Comment