Craven & District League – Premier Division  
Embsay 2 Grassington United 7 
Atten 15 h/c
+ 3 canine + plenty of sheep
Gate – No charge

View all Photos from Embsay

Embsay is a small village located about two miles north-east of Skipton in North Yorkshire. They share the facility with the local cricket club. The cricket crease is located just yards from the changing room doors where as to reach the football pitch one must negotiate some tricky drystone walling and wade down through a field of sheep whilst side-stepping the remains of bodily waste from the Ovine fraternity.

The landscape is fantastic with dry stone walling , patchwork fields, craggs and quarries as far as the eye can see. Behind the far goal is a the eye catching railway sidings and terminal for the Bolton Abbey Steam Railway.

Today's opponents Grassington United are from just ten miles up the road and in control for most of the game. The goal of the game was Grassington's fifth. A neat 4 man move down the left wing followed by a low cross into the six yard box which was perfect for the out stretched leg of the lunging forward to prod it in the back of the net. The comment from the applauding Grassington coaches and subs claimed it was “Just like watching Wanchope” …. yes, Paulo W of Derby/West Ham/Man City fame.

The sunshine was out and the weather was perfect.By half time the locals began to turn up to swell the crowd in to double figures. You could also hear on a regular basis the 'tooting' and 'hissing' of the passing steam railway – the setting was idylic.At the sound of the final whistle there was hugs and handsakes all round as both teams gave it their best in an enjoyable encounter. As usual at this level the players then proceeded to pull the goal nets down and collect the corner flags. Once again going through the field of sheep before negotiating the tricky dry stone wall one final time, before a well earned hot shower.

With no 'furniture' or refreshment facilities this was as basic as it gets. But this was an excellent visit because sometimes, less is more .... much more !


  1. Fantastic set, fantastic setting! How do you find these places? The blog gets better and better. Well done.

    1. Wow ! Mr K .... thank you so much for your comment (blushing). Embsay had been on my radar for a while. Fortunately i picked the perfect day to visit the Dales as the weather was superb. The place is a little beauty and is well worth your time. I also have a couple of other 'beauties' up my sleeve for you in the weeks to come.

  2. I echo Kirky's comment. Where do you find these? With a steam railway in situ I bet a few of these in b/w would pass for 100 years ago?

    1. Thats so kind of you to say so Richie :) believe me when Kirky says its a good one , we must take notice. It was certainly back to basics ! but sometimes less is more !

  3. Thank you for writing this. I was so hungover/pissed in the first half playing at Embsay once that I spent more time watching the steam trains trundling past than I did the game. I was blamed for a goal we conceded from a corner for train watching. Not an accusation that you hear very often.