Tuesday 11 October 2022

Shirebrook Town - Langwith Road

Shirebrook Town FC
Langwith Road Ground
Langwith Road
NG20 8TF

Ground Number: 1121
Tuesday 11th October 2022
Shirebrook Town 0-1 Armthorpe Welfare


The club was established in 1985 and was originally known as Shirebrook Colliery, originally a successful Sunday League team. They joined the Central Midlands League upon formation and were Senior Division champions in their debut season. They'd not go up for another year though, the following season they were runners-up in the renamed Division 1 to town rivals Shirebrook Construction. That was their opponents' only season on record and so they were promoted to the Premier Division. The team found things tough at first but by 1991, a 5th place finish was good enough for promotion to the top tier Supreme Division. In 1993, the club adopted its current name following the closure of the colliery and at the turn of the century, they finished as runners-up to Lincoln Moorlands. 2001 & 2002 saw them finish as champions. The latter occasion saw them take the step up to the Northern Counties East League, where they remain to this day, aside from a couple of seasons in the now defunct East Midlands Counties League. Their debut season of 2002/03 saw Shirebrook finish as runners-up to Mickleover Sports before they won the title the following season. Six seasons were spent in the Premier Division with two 15th place finishes their best yet. They've been back in Division 1 since 2010, the best finish since was 4th in 2015.

In the FA Cup, Shirebrook Town's best FA Cup run came in 2003. They beat Carlton Town, Matlock Town (who played a tier above), Stafford Town & Redditch United (another giant-killing) before defeat to Shildon in the 3rd Qualifying Round. They have also reached the FA Vase 2nd Round a couple of times.  Local cup wins include the Wakefield Floodlit Cup in 1998 and the Central Midlands League Cup in 2001 The club originally played at the basic Warren Terrace Recreation ground, the current home of Midlands Regional Alliance side Shirebrook Rangers. Their current home saw a record attendance of 2.200 for a 1991 friendly against Mansfield Town. This was organised as part of the deal that saw Gary Castledine move to the Stags. The midfielder went on to make 66 appearances in the Football League, scoring three goals.

The town of Shirebrook is located in Derbyshire and has a population of around 13,000. Shirebrook Colliery operated in the town until April 1993. It had previously been linked underground to nearby Pleasley Colliery. The workforce was about evenly split during the strike of 1984–85, leading to deep community divisions between strikers and workers, and briefly earned the nickname "the Belfast of England". The 93-acre former Shirebrook Colliery site was reclaimed for development at a cost of £ 24 million, funded by English Partnerships and administered by the East Midlands Development Agency. Nowadays, the main employer is Sports Direct whose nearby depot employs around 3,000 people but has caused plenty of controversy with its unethical treatment of workers. Famous former residents include footballers Mason Bennett and Ray Wilson and actors John Hurt and Jason Statham.


I'd first attempted to visit Shirebrook a few weeks ago, only to be thwarted by Colin being late out from work. We'd had to go to Studley instead but having researched the club's history, I was determined to make use of my work. As I was off work, I'd originally hoped to have a night away and do a treble involving a Wednesday afternoon game. However, all the hotels were upward of £50 a night and when Heaton Stannington pulled their game to help out Ashington for their FA Cup game, I decided against it. I'd mooted Shirebrook as a possibility a week or so ago and with my fellow hoppers happy with the choice, we'd attempt it again. I was glad of some time at home following my Netherlands trip. I stayed up late with a few drinks on Monday to complete my blogs. I was pleased to see some parcels arrived for me from Ali Express. I was especially pleased with my earbuds, costing a little over £7 but having great sound quality and a nice case with a torch on it.  I also put plans in place for tomorrow. With limited options, I opted for a trip to Plymouth Parkway to see Truro City. It was a decent-looking city for pubs and the coach times tallied up.


I awoke on the day of the game around 6 am. After lazing about for a couple of hours, I had a bath, a fresh change of clothes and went down town for a walk. I picked up various things at Iceland, including some nice chicken strips for my lunch. I then spent the afternoon at home, making use of the time to start this, and tomorrow's blogs. I left home at 3.50 and made my way over to Colin. As he was out earlier and I'd been delayed due to traffic, he came and met me. From there we headed to Anwar who had bought Thomas with him. It was then a long old drive to Shirebrook, but fortunately, the roads were good. We were there at 7.10 and headed off to our respective takeaways. With me eating nothing but burger and chips the past few days, I opted for Singapore Vermicelli and spring rolls which came to just over a tenner. The noodles were superb but the spring rolls not so good as they were mini ones. We eat our food in the ground, entry was a very well priced £5. I also later got myself a soup for £1.
 The hosts were 11th in the table and had been in decent form recently. Despite losing 3-2 at Swallownest in their last game and 2-1 at home to Glasshoughton Welfare recently, they'd won four of their last six. At home, they had beaten Nostell Miners Welfare 2-0 and Leicester Nirvana 3-0. On the road, they'd won 2-1 at Athersley Recreation and 1-0 at Parkgate. The visitors were in mixed form. They'd beaten Glasshoughton Welfare 3-0, won 2-1 at Parkgate and 2-0 at Athersley Recreation. On the flip side, they'd lost 6-2 at Barton Town, 3-1 to Rossington Main and 2-1 at Ollerton Town. Armthorpe Welfare scored with the first shot of the game, a great 25-yard strike by Kane Reece on 2 minutes, I didn't have the best view of the goal as I was down the other end but the visitors deserved their lead. Shirebrook started to get back into it, heading narrowly wide after 35 minutes and shooting just wide as halftime approached. Armthorpe soon took back control but there were no further goals. It had been a disappointing game, especially from Shirebrook who didn't offer much. From the ground, we stopped at Morrisons in Mansfield for petrol. It was a long journey home, not helped by part of the M1 being closed. I dropped my various passengers off, getting home at 1:10.


LANGWITH ROAD is an excellent venue for step 5. There's plenty of cover on both sides. The two seated stands probably hold around 300 and the covered terracing around 500. The rest of the ground is open. Facilities at the ground are decent, the tea bar offers a wide choice but I didn't check out the clubhouse. There's also a wide range of takeaways in the town, ten minutes walk away. There's plenty of parking at the ground, although a lot of it is on grass which might prove problematic when wet.

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