North West Counties League Premier Division
NORTON UNITED 4 RUNCORN TOWN 1
Tea Hut Stuff: Nah, took my own sandwiches
Parking: Club car park
Weather: Light cloud, mild and dry
Despite the usual M6 traffic jam heading south I quite enjoyed my first trip to the scenic Community Drive stadium. Apart from the result that is. Norton is part of the urban spread of what may best be described as downtown Stoke on Trent. I think there are 5 towns making up what outsiders call Stoke? Anyway the Match Tank passed a good few Port Vale FC signs on the way in. It was the Bobby Robson National Football Day and Norton were one of two designated NWCL clubs (Bootle were the other one) putting on special events to mark the occasion, this meant a busy little car park full of junior footballers and accompanying mums and dads. The car park was also serving an ongoing match at the adjacent cricket club, I was lucky to get one of the last parking spots. As this was a new ground for me I decided to splash out on a programme.
I soon remembered why I had stopped purchasing non league publications. It was full of adverts and recent results alongside generic league fixtures cut and pasted from the NWCL website, sorry no disrespect intended but this kind of programme is certainly not worth £1.50 and anyone with any sense would not be making return purchases, its a shame so many non league programmes fall into this trap. Surely in this day and age clubs can find somebody willing to contribute an independent club related article to a match day programme that is not blatantly copied from the leagues own website? To make matters worse, my programme was so dishevelled by miss matching folding I had to take it apart and restaple it!
Fortunately that was my only negative as regards the host club, the pitch was in excellent condition and the whole place had the appearance of a spick and span stadium with a charismatic open aspect, it was a credit to the club and the NWCL. The charismatic pitch level experience is complemented by a smart white fully railed fence. Alongside the touchline set below the new changing and committee room block resides the low level Main Stand with seating arrangements.
I reckon its a nice ground. I didn't bother with any tea hut stuff as I was going to hit my local Chinese Chop Suey house on the way home, instead I had the pleasure of a couple of prison standard ham and cheese sandwiches the wife had thrown together, I suppose they served a purpose but the quality was appalling? I'm not going to drawl on about all the specific match details, there are reports on both clubs websites catering for all that information. All I will reference is that Norton fully deserved the win against one of the top sides in the league, not quite sure if it rated a 4-1 scoreline but Runcorn Town will have no complaints that they were outplayed on the day.
Town have now lost two games on the trot after an impressive opening day victory over Brent Peters Bacup and Rossendale Borough? Its not panic stations but Town need to find the form they are capable of sooner rather than later, there are some fine sides in this seasons NWCL competition, can Norton be one of those sides staking a claim for glory? Just look at the excellent form they had in their 2011/12 Division 1 promotion season. This is a much harder division but they certainly played well enough today, it will be interesting to see if they can keep up the high standard, they look to have some good quality players and they apply an entertaining style of football.