Last Saturday i went down to the Barton Stadium in Winsford to watch 1874 Northwich Vs Atherton LR. The newest club in the North West Counties Football League currently groundshare with local rivals Winsford United and have done since their formation on Thursday 15th November 2012. Many of you may already know the reasons behind the club’s formation. But if you don’t, rather than me ramble on and try to explain what i picked up on Saturday, i think this is a must read from the 1874 official website: http://1874northwich.com/1874-northwich-–-the-story-so-far
Arriving at Winsford, The famous Birties Pie, my first pin badge for the collection and the match programme.
After arriving as usual it’s time to search out the 3 P’s, programme, pin badge and pie. As sharing with Winsford United, it doesn’t quite feel like home for 1874, although on a matchday they kit it out impressively in the famous green to make it more homely. The portacabin on the left as you enter sells a wide range of 1874 merchandise and is easily recognisable with the massive flag adorning the outside walls. On thru to the bar/cafe area and it was heaving with match goers, a pie and cup of coffee later and i headed outside to set up camp for the first half. As i was running late, the teams had already emerged for the match and i had to grab a photo of the handshake from my vantage point inside, not the best view from there as the prison like bars obstructed any kind of view.
Anyway, outside and i set up camp behind the old dugouts next to the area where the players emerge from the dressing room. The main reason for this was the game was being filmed for the website and i spotted a spare plug socket, everyone knows you can never be too far from a plug socket when you have an iPhone. Thanks to Chris who does the filming for his use of the spare socket and we had a decent chat about all things 1874. At halftime we headed inside for tea and sandwiches, all prepared by Chris’s wife who does the hospitality catering. A real family effort at this club. Next we headed into the pressbox as the HT draw was done and we caught up with the other HT scores and watched the announcer as he did his business.
Back out for the second half and with enough charge on the phone i could head further afield than the dugout. I decided on a nice vantage point on the wide open are behind the goal 1874 were attacking. What a decision this proved to be. Managing to get a video of the penalty which Stuart Wellstead scored to make it 2-0 and a photo of the moment striker Mike Brandon struck the ball with his left foot from 25 yards out to put the ball in the top corner and make it 3-0. Video and picture attached below. A decent second half and some good photos, which are all on my Flickr page, again the link is below. After the game i headed across the pitch and got a few shots as i headed back to the clubhouse. Here i caught up with a few fans of the club as we had the Man Of The Match presentation and cheeky pint or 2. Hopefully in the next few days i will be able to put up a new post from some of the fans we were speaking too. They had some fantastic stories about the club and the heartbreaking decision to reform the club like they did.
A great day out here and a fantastic club, i was well looked after and met with some brilliant people. In this, their first full season they are up there challenging for promotion to the NWCFL Premier division, a fascinating fight between Nelson, Formby and themselves is sure to go the distance. I’ll be keeping an eye on their progress and as soon as they get their own ground back in Northwich I’ll be there to cheer them on.
1874 Official match report: http://1874northwich.com/1874-news/1874-and-rivals-jocky-for-position-at-the-top
1874 Official website: http://1874northwich.com/
1874 Official Twitter: https://twitter.com/1874Northwich
Link to photos on Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/107678360@N03/sets/72157643630761615/
Stuart Wellstead scores from the spot to make it 2-0