Where's The Tea Hut reflects upon local football South West style with a few trips further afield. Keep the faith & stay safe.

Sunday, 8 May 2011

New Mills

Saturday 7th May
North West Counties League Challenge Cup Semi Final
New Mills 3 Runcorn Town 2
Attendance: 153
Admission: £6
Programme: £1.50
Tea Hut purchase: Tea at 75p, Frugal Glenns hot dog £1.60
Weather: Sunny spells, mild, a little breezy at times
Parking: On the main road around the corner, easy exit
Getting There:
I picked Frugal Glenn up in the Match Shed, he was stood in the pouring rain dressed in a big army fatigues anorak with his Bacup Borough black and white brolly, the downpour hadn't relented for over two hours. As the Match Shed headed due south through Oldham, Ashton and Stalybridge a chink of bright light appeared on the horizon, by the time we cut through Glossop things had dried up rather well, upon arrival at New Mills they were even playing cricket! It didn't look like it had even rained in the High Peak. We looked like a couple of party poopers from the deep mid winter as people strolled by in t-shirts and shorts.
The Ground:
The unpretentious home of New Mills football club is on Church Lane set back a small distance from the A6015 main road just beside the churchyard. I over shot the turning in the Match Shed and turned around in the conveniently positioned New Mills Cricket Club a couple of hundred yards further down the road. There are a couple of old style open plan turnstiles competently manned by a couple of club-stalwarts eager for your money. I thought it would be the standard 5 quid entrance charge which is normal for the NWCL Premier clubs but New Mills charge £6, perhaps its because they are champions? Frugal was a bit miffed about shelling out an extra quid on top of what he'd been expecting. I decided on one of the programmes the old timer had in a cardboard box, I gave it Frugal to read to stop him sulking. The ground has a small low level covered terrace down the churchyard side touchline, this runs two thirds of the pitch before another low level stand appears with two rows of shiny bucket seats. The pitch slopes gently down to what is titled 'The School End' which is just uncovered hard standing as is the opposite touchline where the dug outs are positioned. There is a large wooden planked perimeter fence running along these sides, you can see the tops of some oldish looking double decker buses popping out behind the fence behind the dug outs. That leaves 'The Club House End' which obviously has a clubhouse plonked behind the nets, this also caters for the changing rooms and a tea hut. One thing noticeable about the ground was the rock hard pitch which looked a bit bobbly and dusty in parts, understandable considering the recent dry spell and this being the end of the season. I'd not say this is a bad ground, its functional and well kept but it does lack a tad of character.
Todays Game:
New Mills have just been crowned NWCL Premier League champions with 102 points, eleven more than second placed Ramsbottom. They come with a fine reputation for fast paced all action football. Runcorn Town have made major efforts to progress onwards and upwards as a club and have just been rewarded by finishing runners up in the league below New Mills in the NWCL Division 1. This NWCL Challenge Cup Semi Final should be capable of producing plenty of thrills and spills... and importantly goals.
Match Programme:
One of the better ones I've purchased this season, some good news and views from the club and plenty of information about the visitors, all in all a good effort and well worth the money. A nice change from the ones that take 2 minutes to read through cover to cover.
The Tea Hut:
Not impressed I'm afraid. Looked a bit grubby with a table below the hatch offering dirty plastic knives and forks with no spoons for hot drinks. Also the sauce bottles were in dire need of a wipe, they had some badly congealed tops, Frugal Glenn got a hot dog but upon looking at the sauce bottle lids, he did without his standard choice of tomato ketchup and mustard, not a happy bunny. It appears that the pies quickly sold out so I just had a cup of tea, good job I stopped them lobbing the tea bag in the bin after 10 seconds in the hot water, I asked them to kindly leave it in the cup. I think the operation needs a bit more hands on practical management from more experienced personnel, no disrespect intended to the kids running the show over the counter.
The Action:
This match didn't fail to produce some quality football from two fine sides. It was full of twists and turns and end to end drama.New Mills played down the slope in the first half and quickly built up a clinically executed 3 goal lead courtesy of Daniel Douglas-Pringle (10), Nick Swirad (17) and Dean Crowe (31), the pace and cutting edge as they relentlessly broke forward from midfield was awesome.Many sides would throw in the towel and just try and keep the score down, to their credit Runcorn Town decided to have a go back. Slowly but surely they started to turn the New Mills defence and time and time again they got themselves into goal scoring positions, as the second half continued they got a goal back from Jason Carey (54) but to be bluntly honest they missed a whole host of opportunities.New Mills continued to attack down the other end and it is a wonder the scoreline wasn't 12-8. Runcorn Town wouldn't give up and battled on as the final whistle approached, remarkably the pacy Enine Adegbenro snatched a second goal just into injury time. The referee played out another 4 minutes as New Mills just about held on despite yet another chance which the visitors missed. It finished 3-2 to New Mills but what a great performance from both of these sides, a truly great semi-final.
I had expected coach party proportions of groundhoppers at this end of season event, in reality there didn't seem to be many around. I did manage to spot a couple of notebook scribblers deep into the second half though. Good to see a fair few Runcorn Town supporters making the trip, they really got behind their team as they fought back during the second half. Looks like New Mills will now take on Winsford United in the final, I'm informed its being played at Curzon Ashtons ground over in Tameside.


Anonymous said...

Nice to see you back in business matey - I was starting to fear that tin of economy curry sauce had done you in!

gee said...

they have since had the health people in, they are disgusting to be honest

Anonymous said...

Quite a terrible review in all honssty, you must try harder

Paul Kirkwood said...

About time you took in another match, Uwdi! Interesting that you don't rate NW. Have read some positive reports from other hoppers. I prefer the old style editorial layout, by the way. Wish you'd add a 'subscribe by email' button as I don't want to miss a post. Have a good summer [assuming this is your last match of the season].

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks for the feedback everybody.

Michael said...

Great to see you back. Love the photo of the notebook scribblers! I use my mobile phone to disguise my jottings down. People around me probably think I'm just as weird.

Something you might be interested in on July 9th:
We're trying to organise an early kick-off in a nearby game too. Might even be able to sort you out a lift if you're interested.

Uwdi Krugg said...

Thanks Michael, the Birtley objective is top stuff, I'll certainly keep it in mind.