Harrogate Railway

Northern Premier League
Division One North
Harrogate Railway 2 
Northwich Victoria 1
Atten 93

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Really enjoyed my visit to the spa town of Harrogate. Railway's number 9 Nathan Cartmen is claimed to be the most prolific striker in Europe in all the league games. His strike rate is most impressive. Today he scored again with a typical 'sniffers' goal to equalise in first half stoppage time. High flying Northwich Victoria probably deserved to go in leading as they had the better of things. But Railway never gave up and scored what was to be the winner early in the second half. It was a most entertaining end to end game which never relented with both teams having plenty of chances. 
The people at Railway were super friendly and were a pleasure to visit. The Clubhouse is one of the best i have seen in Non League for a long time with a very spacious modern bar/lounge with large comfy leather sofas and large plasmas. It had a touch of class about it. The tea hut was excellent with pride of place being the Local Butcher made Warm Pork Pies with mushy peas & mint sauce - they were delicious and were worth the journey alone. Also think that Railway have the most enthusiastic/eccentric/ebullient matchday announcer in football ! He was most entertaining and his team announcing has to be heard to be believed.

Great day out ! 


South Yorkshire Amateur League
Grimethorpe 8 

Horse & Groom 0
Atten 25 

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I think i have finally reached the bottom of the football pyramid barrel. I remember someone saying to me sometime ago that the lower we go down the football pyramid the more enjoyable our hobby becomes. But i am not sure he meant this low !. This was an unexpected 'tick' yet somehow most enjoyable. NL footy does not get more gritty than at Grimethorpe. 

Grimethorpe has had two senior football clubs – Grimethorpe Athletic, who played in the FA Cup from 1904 to 1953, and Grimethorpe Miners Welfare, who competed in the FA Vase. Not long after the Miners strike which gripped the nation they played a team from Nottinghamshire who were also a Miners Welfare team. Sadly the place became like a battlefield as around 200 of the finest local recidivsts ran down the banking and charged the visitors. Imagine Michael Cane in Zulu and you will get the picture. A heavy police presence was required as they 'ring fenced' the visitors dressing room until peace was restored. One of the reasons for the attack was different beliefs regarding a certain lady's behaviour. Her name was Margaret Thatcher.

Grimethorpe is known for its brass band, the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, and was used as the location for the film Brassed Off – a black comedy which tells the plight of the village and the effect on its band. The band today plays world wide and tickets are much in demand.For the band members the itinery is just like they breed them round here ...... tough ! 

Today the new Grimethorpe team called all the tunes with a 8 goal thrashing of the Sheffield based team. They could even be forgiven for blowing their own trumpets (if you will pardon the pun) . 

Daisy Hill

FA Vase 1st Round
Daisy Hill 0 Atherton Collieries 8
Gate £5
Atten 250 (estimate) 

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The FA Vase is one of my favourite cup competitions and i always try to attend each round of the competition including the final at Wembley. So how could i resist a trip to this game. A local derby, goals were guaranteed after they battled out an eight goal thriller just a few weeks ago. Plus also it was a new ground for me.

The game started at 3pm in glorious sunshine and by 3.06pm the high flying Colls were already 3-0 up. The Daisies were shell shocked and things got even worse on the half hour when they went down to ten men and 0-4. They battled bravely but the Colls were just too good, too impressive in everything.
The final score was 0-8 but it could have been many more subject to a less than very good performance by the home custodian. For he had made at least 6 great saves , a fantastic double-save and a 90th minute penalty save.

Daisy Hill were established in 1894. in the 1896–97 season they were Wigan & District League champions and also won the Westhoughton Cup, achieving both honours without losing a game all season. By the time of World War I the club were playing at their present ground, New Sirs and competing in the Leigh & District Senior Sunday School League. They then joined the Westhoughton League winning a number of honours in the 1920s and 1930s and during this time, Lancashire County Cricket Club cricketers played in the team.

The club folded some time before World War II and were re-formed in 1951, playing again in the Westhoughton League, but having moved to play on St. James Street Recreation and Cricket Ground before moving back to their current home in 1957. Having acquired the lease or the ground, The Daisies then started playing in the Bolton Combination

90th Minute Penalty Save
After the 1988–89 season the club changed name to Westhoughton Town,playing under the new name for five seasons from 1989–90 to 1993–94  before reverting to Daisy Hill for the 1994–95 season. They remained in Division Two for the next 14 seasons before the league was rebranded and Division Two was renamed the First Division in the 2008–09 season.
In the 2005–06 season, FC United of Manchester competed in the North West Counties League Second Division, and with their large support, the home match against them was moved to Victory Park, and a crowd of 1,682 was recorded. The club finished the 2013–14 season in one of the two relegation places, but avoided relegation following the resignations from the league of Leek CSOB and Formby.

The average league-game attendance at New Sirs for last season was 40, thankfully this was an increase from the previous season. Todays crowd was around the 250 mark with a large away following from all of 2 miles away ! 

Large Colls following ...

Colls players celebrate going 3-0 up !