Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Thorne Colliery v Whatton United Saturday 7th May 2011 Black Dragon Premier League

I'd wanted to go to the Moorends Welfare Ground, home of Thorne Colliery for several years and I finally got the opportunity for the visit of Whatton United. The weather was superb and as I approached the ground there was a cricket match being played on the pitch that was behind the Main Stand.
As I parked up I met up with Neil and Bill, two of the Scarborough Athletic fans that I'd met on the CML Hop at Easington United last season. We made our way past the impressive stand to the "turnstiles". This basically was a gate with a friendly Club official coming over to take our money and show us where the programmes where.

The entrance brings you into the corner of the ground with the only stand to your left.

There is a wide grassy area behind the goal at this end.

The tea hut is also located at this end, painted in the Club colours of blue.

I head towards the only stand in the ground and I have to say how impressive it is. There are benches instead of plastic seats and they run more or less the whole length of the stand, with the criss cross of the steelwork supporting the roof above it.

The brick built dugouts are positioned in front of the stand.

I actually nipped onto the pitch to take a shot of the stand from the centre circle.

After the stand there is a large grassy area leading to the far end of the ground and this is the view looking back to the Main Stand, with the tea hut to the left of the picture and the dressing rooms situated in the brick building in the right of the picture.

The end opposite to the entrance is just a wide grassy area with trees marking the boundary of the ground and a fence separating it from the pitch.

I carry on to the other corner flag and this is the view from there.

The side of the ground opposite the Main Stand consists of the same fencing as the rest of the ground, but the trees are closer to the fence here than at any other point in the ground.

I make my way along this side and meet one of the home officials in the undergrowth searching for a couple of balls, something he tells me is a regular occurrence when the ball goes out on this side of the ground. This brings me back to the end I came in and I notice that on the other container that seems to store the groundsman's equipment there is a Club crest.

The crowd has been swelled by more Scarborough fans before kick off and there is a bit of a scramble for programmes but the very friendly Thorne officials hunt out some spares to make sure that everyone who wanted one has one.
The game starts and considering it is an end of season fixture it is very competitive, no one is on the beach just yet.

Whatton were soon on the attack and had a couple of early chances which went narrowly wide while Thorne had to rely on the counter attack to go forward. It was one of these counter attacks that brought the first goal. The ball was played forward and a mix up between the Whatton keeper and one of his defenders (pictured below) resulted in the ball falling to Thorne's Scott Holmes who put the ball into the back of the net.

This is the shot going into the goal, as you can see no defenders in sight.

I'd become the ball boy at this point as there were no other spectators at this end and I ended up having several chats with the visiting keeper who thanked me every time I retrieved the ball except one. This was because he was flattened by a Thorne player and was down for several minutes with a head injury. To his credit, he got up and carried on without whinging about the challenge. I could not see that happening in the professional game.
Half time arrived with no further score, but it had been a fairly entertaining game.

The second half started with Thorne in the ascendancy and to be honest they dominated the second half for long spells and Whatton had very few chances, which were matched by Thorne substitute keeper Greg Atkinson. Thorne in contrast wasted chance after chance, some of them seemed harder to miss than score.

The second goal eventually arrived with 10 minutes to go. A deep corner was met at the far post by Glen Rafferty who headed home to make it 2-0 to Thorne.

The final whistle went and the win saw Thorne move to 7th in the table, but a whopping 30 points behind champions Yorkshire Main, who Thorne had beaten 4-2 in their previous game.
I have to say that this was a really enjoyable day out and although there was not much to the ground, that Main Stand is one of my favourites and the warm welcome from the Club officials just added to the day.

More pictures of the Moorlands Welfare Ground here.

There are more pictures of the ground, action and the fans here.

Thorne Colliery 2-0Whatton United
Att: ?
Admission: £2
Programme: £1

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