Watch the Royal Wedding or go to Shawbridge, home of Clitheroe FC? As you may have guessed, the decision was quickly made and the plan to journey to Lancashire snowballed as Mrs Reynard and Helen are quickly added to the list of travellers. We set off fairly early with the idea of spending a little time at Clitheroe Castle before the game. The views from the Castle are stunning as it towers above the local area with Pendle Hill and the Football ground clearly visible on a lovely sunny day.
After spending a very pleasant time at the Castle we made the short journey to the ground. Now I'd had a look at Google Maps to see the layout around the ground and although there seemed to be a car park at the ground there seemed no obvious way to get to it. On arrival at the ground it was no clearer but there was plenty of street parking available so we parked on the main road nearby. We could make out the entrance to the ground through the trees.
There was a board on the path further down the road advertising the game today.
As we made our way to the turnstiles it became clear why I could not see the road to the car park. There is not one! What there is, is a 8' between the houses and shops which leads to a small cobbled track and onto a small car park which is basically for players and officials. I would advise you to forget about parking here as it was full when we walked up at 2pm and there was not even space for a Leigh director who pulled up as we arrived.
The turnstiles bring you into the ground behind the goal with signs directing you to the various facilities on the wall facing you.
Mrs Reynard and Helen head off to the seats whilst I head anti clockwise to take my tour around the ground. To the right the terrace is a single level running to the corner past the bar.
To the left there is a single step up from the hard standing with some seats and benches dotted about the rear of the stand.
From the corner the standing narrows up before opening up again where the covered terraced stand begins.
There are separate areas of cover along this side although they are fairly closely sited together.It has a five step terrace running the length of the covered section.
Where the cover ends it becomes an open four step terrace running to the corner of the ground.
This brings you to the opposite end of the ground to where we came in. This consists of a covered stand that sits behind the goal and uncovered terracing either side of this. As you can see from the photo below there is a considerable slope on the pitch too, running from the terraced side down to the main stand side.
The stand itself has a four step terrace with some thin blue supports.
The ground narrows down as you approach the corner of the end.
The Main Stand is now in front of you with a wide hard standing area leading to it.
The stand has lovely old fashioned blue seats.
The stand itself has four rows of seats with those nearer the tunnel reserved for officials of both Clubs.
After the stand there is the tunnel which runs between the two dugouts that are situated on this side of the ground. Beyond this is the Blues Grub Tub, a quirky little stand with some bench style seats in it and then the Club Shop, Hospitality Suites and toilets.
Back on this side of the ground you are able to see the Club name and other information on the stand opposite.
Clitheroe were already out of the play offs and Leigh had already been relegated before today's game so I did not know what to expect from the game. However Clitheroe were obviously out to finish the season on a high and we were given a good game to watch.
The game was pretty even early on with Clitheroe probably having the better chances overall. The opening goal came on 27 minutes when Ashley Parillon was brought down by a Leigh defender in the box and Jack Higgins stepped up to put Clitheroe ahead.
Two minutes later it was 2-0 after a superb chip by Eddie Stanford from the edge of the box beat the Leigh keeper. Leigh had a good chance themselves after Steve Ferrigan saw his shot saved and the rebound was put wide by Neil Smith. The half time score was 2-0 to Clitheroe.
There was consternation in the seat next to me at half time when Mrs Reynard realised that the raffle winning numbers were hers! Bottle of red wine and chocolates were the prizes, very nice thank you.
Clitheroe put the pressure on at the start of the second half but it took then until the 68th minute to extend their lead. Chris Smally headed the ball back across the goal where it was met by Jack Higgins to score his second.
Two minutes later it was 4-0 when Ashley Parillon nipped in between hesitant defenders and stabbed the ball home. Another two minutes saw the score go to 5-0 when Rob Turner ran onto a good through ball and was able to lob the advancing keeper.
The rout was completed on 85 minutes with the best goal of the afternoon. Darren Green picked up the ball, went forward and unleashed a superb 25 yard strike that flew past the keeper.
There was no further score and Clitheroe ran out 6-0 winners. An enjoyable game with some good skills on show.
I would definitely recommend a trip to Shawbridge, but take the time to check out the Town itself, with a visit to the Castle well worth the visit.
More pictures of Shawbridge here.
There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.
Clitheroe 6-0 Leigh Genesis