A late change of venue for today saw me heading for the Fitzwilliam Stadium for the clash between Hemsworth, nicknamed the Wells, and Barton. The ground is situated well off the main road through Fitzwilliam but Google maps came to my rescue again and as I had a good idea of the layout of the area I had no difficulty finding it.
There is a cricket pitch before you reach the ground and a car park is situated behind the Clubhouse of the football club. The entrance to the ground is situated to the right end of the car park.
The entrance brings you into the ground about a third of the way down from the right hand goal. The Clubhouse containing the dressing rooms, bar, tea bar is to the left. To the right there is a portacabin which is used for hospitality and also has a hatch at the entrance end selling programmes.
I head off to the right to make my way around the ground. This is the view of that end from just past the half way line.
Behind the goal there is a narrow strip of hard standing with a well maintained grassy area and hedge behind that with a white railing running the length of the end.
The other side of the ground to where you come in has a wider strip of hard standing with a breeze block wall and a netting system to keep the ball in the ground.
On this side you will also find the impressive dug outs.
You have to go round the back of this structure to carry on round the ground and this then brings you to the seated stand.
There are three floodlight pylons down this side and after the seating stand there is more hard standing and grassy area to the corner. This is the view looking back from the corner.
This end has hard standing and a larger grassy area with a panel fencing behind this.
This is another view of the seated stand and dugouts side of the ground from this end.
This then brings you back to the Clubhouse side of the ground and this is the view from the corner looking towards the bar end of the Clubhouse.
So to the game. Now, I have a confession to make. I arrived a lot later than I normally do for a game and my picture taking distracted me from the teams warming up. I positioned myself for some action photos as the game kicked off. So this is my excuse for totally mixing the two teams up for the first few minutes of the game. It was only after I'd taken a few shots, and I looked at the "Barton" defence I realised I did not recognise anyone. A quick look round soon established who was who. Whoops!
Barton dominated the opening spell of the game and had several chances to take the lead. After about 15 minutes Wells started to find their feet on the heavy pitch and created a couple of chances themselves which were wasted. On 22 minutes the Gareth Barlow show started. He picked the ball up on the left edge of the box and curled a great shot into the right hand corner of the goal. 1-0 to Barton, which on the balance of play they deserved.
Wells almost equalised when a good cross from Eastwood was met by Lee Dawson who put his header straight at the keeper. The pitch was proving difficult to play on and the game was fairly scrappy for the rest of the half with no further goals.
The second half started with Wells having a better start than the first half and they had a shot which hit the post. Barton's second goal came on 66 minutes. Mark Griffin played in Barlow who took one touch before firing home. On 73 minutes Walstow could only parry Northen's shot and Barlow pounced on the loose ball to fire in from close range and complete his hat trick.
Wells pulled back a goal from the penalty spot on 85 minutes after Hayward was fouled and John Impey scored an excellent penalty. The Wells players and coaches had been unhappy with the officials all afternoon and this eventually flared up. One of the Barton coaches stopped a Wells player from taking a throw in and in the melee that followed Wells' Haywood receiving a second yellow. However it was Barlow who was to the final say. In the 90th minute Phil Jackman picked out the unmarked Barlow who scored at the second attempt to take his tally to four for the afternoon.
A decent game despite the heavy pitch and on the day Barton thoroughly deserved the win.
More pictures of The Fitzwilliam Stadium here.
Hemsworth Miners Welfare 1-4 Barton Town Old Boys