Wednesday, 17 November 2010
Westfield Lane, Frickley was a ground I’d had on my radar for quite a while. I took the opportunity to take in the game against Burscough and so I found myself in South Elmsall! This identity crisis is due to the fact that the football club is actually named after the local Colliery which shut in 1993. The identity crisis continues all day as the ground is now called the Tech 5 Stadium, although on some signs there is no stadium name.
As for the Club, well the identity crisis continues as they appear to be renamed Frickley AFC, but everywhere you look, the old name of Frickley Athletic dominates.
As I take my photos outside I get some really odd looks from the two ladies who are collecting for the Salvation Army; I don’t think they understand why I would want to take any photos here!
The turnstiles bring you into the side of the ground that has the large covered seated stand which is to your right as you come in. But I head left and there is the “Big Fellas Social Club” in the corner with the Club Shop just past this. This end has a wide three step terracing with a fence running the whole length behind which is a grassy bank with a further fence at the back of this.
At the start of this end there is also a disabled enclosure that is covered.
This leads you to the far side of the ground which has a four step terrace running along it’s length. About a third of the way down the terrace is covered and bears the legend “The Frank Hill Stand”. There is a conglomeration of pillars and floodlights but the view is still pretty good.
The cover ends and there is more open terracing leading you to the end of the ground.
This has a narrow two step terrace with a fence at the back and again, like the opposite end, a grassy area with another fence at the back of it.
There is then an area of terracing with that brown fence again and some good old fashioned crush barriers.
The terracing opens up as you approach the large DMJ Stand. Towards the back there are some more turnstiles which look like they are fairly new as the wooden area are untreated.
There is also a tea hut before you reach the stand and although I did not have anything to eat the rush to the hatch when they opened and the food I saw being served gets the thumbs up from me and the supporters who did. Here is the menu (this is for Uwdi of the excellent blog “Where’s The Tea Hut”).
The large stand is quite simply brilliant. It reminds of stands from years gone by and whilst not quite as large as the Main Stand at Filbert Street, it does remind me of it. The combination of a standing area in front of the seats was a common sight at football grounds when I first was taken to games by my dad but I have not seen many as big as this in my travels on the non-league scene.
I make my way up to the seats which are basically benches painted in blue and marked out in white numbers.
This also gives you a good view of the colliery spoil heap behind the ground that has been converted into a country park.
So to the game. I’m afraid this will not be one that stays in the memory for long. The only goal of the game came on 31 minutes when Burscough’s Darren Byers burst clear and thumped his shot against the post and then reacted well to put the rebound in off the post. Burscough had a couple of good chances to extend their lead but good saves from the home keeper kept the score at 1-0 at half time.
The second half saw a few chances for both sides but the finishing today was dreadful and there was no further score.
This really is a great ground to visit, I hope you pick a better game than me though.
More pictures of the Tech5 Stadium here.
Frickley AFC 0-1 Burscough