News item: ‘The Colls Are Going Up!’ (Pontefract Collieries Book)

Information on the forthcoming book about Pontefract Collieries FC, ‘The Colls Are Going Up’ – a Dribbling Code production which is scheduled for publication in December 2018.

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Background: The main reason for making the book is to celebrate the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons, which has seen the club win the Northern Counties East League and following back-to-back promotions, get promoted to the Northern Premier League for the first time in its history.
Contents:
  • Over 500 photos from around 30 different games during the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons – mostly match action but also includes stuff surrounding the games like ground pics, fan pics, teamsheets, programmes, etc. In addition there is a small selection of photos from the period 2010-2016, photos/scans of programme covers and other archive items, and a few miscellaneous other photos (eg Presentation Evening May 2018, Colliery Cup presentation August 2018, Pontefract Pirates disability team profile). Examples of many of these pictures can be viewed on the Dribbling Code Flickr and Twitter pages. In addition, White Rose Photos have also kindly provided a small selection of photos especially for the book.
  • Some of the ‘big’ games included are: Worsbro away (promotion day #1), Maltby away (promotion day #2), Worksop at home in the FA Vase, 1974 Northwich away in the FA Vase, Staveley away (with league trophy presentation afterwards).
  • Complete, detailed results section (including attendances, goalscorers, etc) covering the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
  • An in-depth discussion and overview of the period in question with the management team of Craig Parry and Craig Rouse.
  • A small section on the history of football in Pontefract and the surrounding areas over the past 100 years.
Format: 200 pages, large ‘A4’ sized format, full-colour throughout and printed on 115 gsm ‘gloss’ paper stock.
How to order: The book is being produced on a ‘break even’ basis, with the price of £15 set to approximately cover the cost of its production. Therefore, in order to be sure of getting a copy you must get in contact before publication to reserve one. Apart from this, we will only be getting a small handful of ‘spare’ copies printed, and it is likely that these will be gone pretty quickly.
For ordering/reservation details or further info, please email:  dribblingcode@yahoo.com
Or alternatively make contact via the Dribbling Code Twitter account.
When the book will be available: With turnaround time approximately 3-4 weeks, the order will be made with the publisher around the second week in November (with the aim being that the book is available by mid-December for anyone wanting it as an xmas present).
A few sample pages are shown below….

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What Became Of Leeds’ Likely Lads Of 2015?

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Re-rewind:
Three years ago, on Sat 25 July 2015, the Leeds United Under 21 side played a pre-season friendly at Frickley Athletic of the Northern Premier League (a club at the third level of English non-league). With Ronaldo Vieira having bogged off to Sampdoria this week for a fee of around 7 million of yer English quids (+potentially rising to circa 10 million according to most reports), the Dribbling Code research department takes a look at what happened to the rest of that particular crop of players – of whom now only goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and left-back Tom Pearce are still at the club (plus Tyler Denton and Malik Wilkes = also still Leeds, but out on long-term loans for the 2018-19 season).

Match details: Frickley Athletic 3-1 Leeds United U21   (Sat 25 July 2015)

Goalscorers:-

Frickley: Simon Lenighan (4 mins), Chris Wood (14), Brad Dockerty (70)

Leeds: Eoghan Stokes (30)

[Dribbling Code Man-Of-the-Match = Brad Dockerty of Frickley]

This was one of four U21 games played by Leeds in the pre-season – the others being at Pickering Town (won 4-0), North Ferriby Utd (lost 2-1) and Barrow (drew 0-0). There was also a further game at Taddy Albion, where a mix of mostly U21s with a few regular first teamers were included.
Information has been gleaned (read hastily cobbled together) from various sources – any errors, please let us know via the comments section below or message on twitter (@dribblingcode)… and if anyone can fill in the gap regarding where Tom Lyman went after his brief spell at Guiseley in late 2016?

2015 07 25 FA v Leeds Teamsheet

Leeds United U21 Team:

(Ages given = at the time of the match)
 1.Bailey Peacock-Farrell (Age 18, goalkeeper) Pro-contract years: 2015-Present (4)
  • Made first team debut in April 2016 as a sub (following dismissal of Silvestri).
  • Spent 2016-17 season as third choice keeper and didn’t play for first team, but signed new three-year deal in July 2017.
  • Had pre-season trial with Oldham, but they passed on the offer of a season-long loan. Instead, went on loan to York for a month playing 4 times for first team.
  • In March 2018, nearly two years after his debut, made first start for Leeds following the poor form and dropping of regular keeper Wiedwald. Retained place and ended season as first-choice keeper, also winning Leeds Young Player Of The Season award.
  • Has also made 1 app each for Northern Ireland U21s and Northern Ireland Senior side.
First Team apps: 12                         Now at: Still with Leeds
 
  1. Jack Vann (Age 17, defender) 2016-17 (1)
  • Had been with Leeds since age eight, was named on the bench for first team in Jan 2017, but never played for first team.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2017. Signed for Harrogate Town on a one-year contract but went out on loan to Gainsborough Trinity, having failed to break into first team and was then released by Harrogate in May 2018.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: without a club following release by Harrogate Town
 
  1. Tyler Denton (Age 19, left back) 2014-Present (5)
  • Dewsbury born, joined Leeds in 2003 and graduated through the academy.
  • One cap for England U17s in 2011. Was made captain of U21s for 2015-16 season.
  • Called up to first team squad for pre-season friendlies in summer 2016 and started the 2016-17 season as second-choice left-back behind Charlie Taylor. Made first team debut in Aug 2016 in League Cup away at Luton + scored the only goal of the game with a strike from the edge of the box. Immediately after this, he signed a new two-year contract extension up to June 2019. Made 2 further app’s in FA Cup.
  • Signed new three-year contact in Aug 2017, and the same month began a season-long loan at League 2 Port Vale, with option of a recall in January. Made 15 apps, then lost his place in first team following change of manager so was recalled to Leeds in Jan 2018.
  • July 2018 joined Peterborough United on a season-long loan. (Prior to joining Peterborough, he was also subject to a loan offer from Italian Serie B Side Brescia, who were now owned by previous Leeds Owner Massimo Cellino).
First Team apps: 3             Now at: Peterborough United on loan from Leeds
 
  1. Alex Purver (Age 19, midfield or defender) 2014-17 (3)
  • Captain of Development Squad in 2014-15, + continued to make progress, subsequently captaining the Under-21 side in 2015-16 (including in this game v Frickley).
  • In pre-season 2016-17 he played in some first team friendlies + hopes rose that he would be included in the first-team squad. However, Aug 2016 saw him join National League side Guiseley on loan until January. He returned to Leeds in January when his loan expired, but joined Guiseley in March 2017 for a further loan spell until end of season.
  • When released by Leeds in May 2017 he joined Guiseley on a permanent deal.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Guiseley
  1. Ross Killock (Age 21, centre-half) 2012-2016 (4)
  • Regular in first team at Conference National side Alfreton whilst on loan in 2012-13 season. Ended season as an unused sub for Leeds in final league game at Watford in May 2013.
  • Played in first team friendly at Farsley in July 2013, also playing in two further friendlies in Slovenia. Given a squad number for 2013-14 season, but rejoined development squad and was loaned to Chester in Oct 2013 for remainder of the season, making 17 starts in Conference.
  • After being an unused sub on three occasions for first team in early part of 2014-15, joined Halifax Town in Jan 2015 on a month’s loan.
  • Joined Conference North side Stockport County on initial two-month loan in Nov 2015, later extended to end of season.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Joined Chester for 2016-17, but suffered a hamstring injury missing pre-season, and then suffered a further injury just 10 mins into his comeback in Oct 2016. Released by Chester at end of season and then joined Stalybridge Celtic in Sept 2017.
  • Joined Scarborough for 2018-19 season
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Scarborough Athletic

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  1. Jake Skelton (Age 19, centre-half) 2013/4-16 (2/3?)
  • With Leeds Academy since U10s level. Included in first team squad for pre-season tour of Italy in 2014. In Oct 2014 joined Guiseley on a month’s loan.
  • May 2015 signed new one-year contract. 2015-16 season included a loan to North Ferriby Utd.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Following an unsuccessful trial with Sheff Weds, signed for National League side North Ferriby in July 2016 and made over 50 apps for them before signing for NPL side Shaw Lane in Jan 2018.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: without a club following demise of Shaw Lane
 
  1. Eoghan Stokes (Age 19, Midfield/forward) 2016(?)-18 (2?)
  • Spotted playing in Ireland and signed by Leeds in 2012 aged 16. Made first team debut in League Cup in Aug 2017, his only app for the club.
  • Contract terminated by mutual consent in Feb 2018, with Stokes citing a desire to play competitive games in Ireland rather than U23s in England which he described as ‘fake football that wasn’t benefitting me in any way’. Two weeks later joined League Of Ireland Premier Division side Bohemians and made over 20 apps before end of season. Has played for Rep Of Ireland at U16, U17 and U19 level.
First Team apps: 1. Now at: Bohemian FC (League Of Ireland, Premier Division)
 
  1. Chris Dawson (Age 20, midfield) 2012-16 (4)
  • Dewsbury born, signed for Leeds at age 9 and turned pro in September 2012. In October 2012 he was given a contract until June 2015, and spent much of the season playing in the U21s having been moved from the U18s.
  • After four unused sub apps, he made his first team debut in April 2013 at home to Derby, starting the game and playing for just under an hour. Then manager Neil Warnock singled him out for praise, suggesting: “Dawson’s got a little bit about him. He’s a breath of fresh air and he’s the future. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t become a very integral part of the team. He’s a Johnny Giles type of player where size doesn’t really matter because he’s got ability.” March 2013 also saw him win the first of two caps at U21 level for Wales.
  • Signed new three-year contract in May 2013, but failed to appear for first team in 2013-14 season under new manager Brian McDermott.
  • Made 3 appearances for Leeds as a sub in 2014-15 season.
  • Having failed to make any apps for first team in 2015-16 season though, in Jan 2016 he was released from his Leeds contact and joined up again immediately with Neil Redfearn at Rotherham until the end of the season. However, he did not play for the first team at Rotherham.
  • 2016-17 included 4-month loan with Viking Stavanger in Norway, then returned to Rotherham till the end of the season before being released by them.
  • Reportedly without a club in summer 2017, + following a spell out with an ACL injury, in March 2018 signed for NPL D1 North side Scarborough Ath till end of season, helping them to earn promotion.
  • Signed for National League North side Bradford Park Avenue in July 2018 after impressing on trial.
First Team apps: 4. Now at: Bradford Park Avenue
 
  1. Frank Mulhern (Age 18) 2015-17 (2)
  • A local-to-Frickley lad from South Elmsall +brother of Hull KR and Ireland RL player Robbie. Played for Huddersfield Town juniors, before joining Leeds in May 2009.
  • In Sept 2016, shortly after taking over at Leeds, Garry Monk said, “Frank has got a massive future. The Championship is tough and demanding, but Frank has the physical attributes to handle it and he can flourish, given a chance.”
  • Loaned to Southport in Sept 2016 but recalled early after suffering a hamstring injury. Released by Leeds age 20 in Feb 2017 and rejoined Huddersfield Town U23 Development squad, but was released at start of May 2017 following Huddersfield’s promotion to the Premier League.
  • Joined Guiseley in Aug 2017, scored twice for them but spent most of the season out on loan elsewhere – a month each at Harrogate Town and Alfreton Town, and three months at Bradford Park Avenue.
  • Sold to Stockport County at the end of May 2018 for an undisclosed fee.
  • Has been capped by Rep of Ireland at U18 and U19 level.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Stockport County
 
  1. Luke Parkin (Age 19 forward) 2013-16 (3)
  • With Leeds’ academy since age seven, but released in March 2016 having failed to progress to the first team squad, having opted to leave his contract two months early to look for another club.
  • Following a trial with AFC Fylde and a short spell at Gainsborough Trinity, he then joined his local club Brighouse Town in the Northern Premier League Div 1 at the start of 2016-17 season.
  • After a season at Brighouse, in June 2017 he signed for Farsley Celtic. In July 2018 Farsley reported that he had re-signed for the upcoming season.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Farsley Celtic
 
  1. Tom Lyman (Age 18, midfield) 2015-16 (1)
  • Had spent some time on loan at Guiseley during the 2014-15 season before signing pro.
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Signed for Guiseley and made his first team debut at start of Nov 2016, though was only there for a brief period and info on what happened next is lacking online.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: ?
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Subs:
  1. Eric Grimes (Age 20, goalkeeper) 2013/4?-16 (2/3?)
  • Joined Leeds in summer 2011. Signed first pro contract in either 2013 or 14. Signed further one-year contract in summer 2015. Released in May 2016. Signed for League of Ireland side Cork City in July 2016.
  • Having failed to feature for the first team at Cork, signed for Derry City in Jan 2017.
  • Is an Ireland U21 International.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: Derry City
 
  1. Jack Turnbull (Age 17, defender) (no pro contract)
  • Joined Leeds Academy aged 7 in July 2005. Released May 2016 (while still a scholar).
  • Joined Northern Premier League Div 1 South side Sheffield FC in July 2016.
First Team apps: 0.            Now at: Sheffield FC
 
  1. Robbie McDaid (Age 18, forward) 2014-16 (2)
  • From Northern Ireland, is a NI U21 international. Signed from Irish League side Glenavon on a two-year deal after having impressed in a trial game. Joined Lincoln City on loan in Jan 2016 till end of the season, where he scored 4 goals in 17 league apps (mostly from the bench).
  • Released by Leeds in May 2016. Then after picking up an injury pre-season, and having trails with several clubs, he eventually signed for York City in Nov 2016. Only made a handful of apps for York though, so returned to Northern Ireland and signed for Glentoran in Aug 2017, following a short trial for Gainsborough Trinity in July ‘17.
First Team apps: 0. Now at: Glentoran (Northern Ireland Football League Premiership)
 
  1. Tom Pearce (Age17, defender) 2016-present (3)
  • Played for Everton youth academy before joining Leeds in 2014.
  • After impressing in the U23s, was called up to first team in Jan 2018 and named on the bench away at Newport in the FA Cup. Named on bench for a league game for the first time later the same month. Made league debut in March 2018 in 2-1 defeat at home to Sheff Weds, going on to make 4 further league apps that season and being one of four players nominated for Leeds’ Young Player Of The Year award.
  • Also called up to England U21s for first time in May 2018, making debut in friendly against China in the Toulon Tournament in France.
  • Signed new four-year deal with Leeds in June 2018.
First Team apps: 5             Now at: Leeds United
 
  1. Malik Wilkes (Age 16, forward)
  • Local Leeds lad from Chapeltown who graduated through the club’s academy.
  • Dec 2016 saw him called up to the first team squad as an unused sub against Reading. This also led to him signing an 18-month pro contract in Dec 2016.
  • Made first team debut coming on as a sub against Sutton United in FA Cup in Jan 2017.
  • Signed new four-year contract in Aug 2017, also joining League 2 Accrington Stanley on a four-month loan the same day. Made 18 league apps for Accrington (which meant he later received a League Two winners medal!) then joined Grimsby Town on loan in Jan 2018 until the end of the season. Returned to Leeds though in March ‘18 after playing a handful of times then picking up a hamstring injury.
  • July 2018 joined Doncaster Rovers on a 6-month loan till Jan 2019.
First Team apps: 1.            Now at: Doncaster Rovers (on loan from Leeds)

 

 18. Ronaldo Vieira (Age 17, midfield) 2016-18 (2)
  • Ronny V had just turned 17 at the time of the game. He came on as a second-half sub, and almost three years to the day later, was signing a five-year deal with Sampdoria in Italy for a deal reported to be worth around £7 million plus potential add-ons.
  • Born in Guinea-Bissau, raised in Portugal from age five, and began his career at Benfica’s Academy. When his family moved to England in 2011 partly to increase their work prospects, a second factor they considered was to allow Ronaldo and his twin brother Romario (who would later also sign with Leeds in 2016 before being released in May 2018) the opportunity to develop a football career.
  • After playing in the north east for Whitley Bay Boys Club, the family moved to Batley and he played for Batley Phoenix in the Huddersfield Junior League, whilst having unsuccessful trials for Man City and Hull City.
  • He later studied at York College and joined the i2i Football Academy, joining Leeds Academy following a trial and making his debut in the U18s in a 0-0 draw against Barnsley U18s in April 2015. He also simultaneously played with the U21 squad, making his debut the same month in a 1-1 draw against an Isle Of Man side in Douglas. July saw him used as a second half sub at the U21s 3-0 win at Tadcaster Albion, then ten days later came this game at Frickley – so I guess you could also say this was his first taste of defeat in a Leeds shirt! (mind you, he was up against the likes of Hinsley and Jeffsy, who regularly turned down offers from various Italian giants during their time at Frickley).
  • He was then awarded a scholarship with Leeds, making 24 starts for the U18s and 8 starts for the U21s in 2015-16.
  • In May 2016 he signed a two-year pro contract, making his first team debut two days later in a league game at Preston, and was subsequently elevated to the first team squad for pre-season.
  • He made his first league start in the opening game of the 2016-17 season, and by September 2016 had signed an improved three-year contract.
  • Made 38 league apps in 2016-17 season, being named Young Player Of The Year, and in May 2017 was called up to the England U21 squad, making his debut in a friendly against Angola that same month.
  • Signed a new four-year contract in May 2017, and the 2017-18 season saw him make a further 29 league apps for Leeds. However, after being subject to a bid from Italian Serie A club Sampdoria, and with new manager Marcelo Bielsa now in charge, July 2018 saw him transferred abroad after the bid was accepted by Leeds. Following the completion of his move abroad, Vieira told the Dribbling Code (along with his 65 thousand other followers on social media): “I have nothing but love for Leeds United. Sometimes in life things don’t go as you want them to go, but then you have to take these opportunities and give it your everything – the same way as I always have done. I started my career at Leeds and have many great memories. It has been amazing home and away – you are the best fans in the world.”
First Team apps: 71. Now at: Sampdoria (Italy, Serie A)

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Further Reading:
Match report and more photos available here:
http://www.pitchero.com/clubs/frickleyathletic/teams/1696/match-centre/0-2940506
Dribbling Code on Twitter:
https://twitter.com/dribblingcode

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Sat 10 Sept 2016, Pontefract Collieries v Hemsworth MW (FA Vase QR1)

Match Details: Pontefract Collieries 2 4 Hemsworth Miners Welfare

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Competition: FA Vase, First Qualifying Round

Location: Skinner Lane, Pontefract

Admission: £5

Programme: £1.50

Attendance: 88

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Match Report: Occasionally you go to a game at this level and despite the reasonable admission charge of a fiver, feel the entertainment on offer struggled to warrant the cover charge. Today though we got double value-for-money, with a blood-and-guts local ding-dong FA Vase game that surpassed what any neutral could have wished for. Additionally, the large Hemsworth contingent in the crowd enjoyed seeing their side put in another impressive performance in what was a great contest, with some quality goals and both sides going hell for leather in pursuit of victory.

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The Wells came out deserved winners, and seem to have built on the formula that saw them win the NCEL’s Division One championship last season, with some quality players that still manage to seamlessly play above themselves as a team. Ponty look to have a more effective side than last season though, always seemed capable of pushing Hemsworth all the way, and with a bit more luck in the final third could easily have grabbed a further goal or two. So while the home fans came away disappointed with the result, there seems a lot more cause for optimism as the season progresses. This squad look well capable of pushing for an early return to the top flight of the NCEL. And if ever you’re in the area thinking of a game to go to, Ponty has all your beer, hot food, and covered seating or standing needs sorted. You know it makes sense.

Photo Album: (click on the photo below / or use the flickr link)

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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dribblingcode

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedribblingcode/albums

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Wed 7 Sept 2016, Denaby United v Houghton Main (SCSL Prem)

Match Details: Denaby United 4 5 Houghton Main

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Competition: Sheffield County Senior League, Premier Division

Location: Balby Carr Community College, Weston Road, Balby, Doncaster DN4 8ND

Admission: free

Programme: £1 (full colour / excellent job for this level of football)

Attendance: circa 40 (head-count)

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Match Summary:

Following their promotion to the top tier of the Sheffield County Senior League at the end of last season, Denaby United are now playing their homes games at Balby Carr Community College / Sport Centre. This is due to Step-7-esque regulations regarding facilities, which required more than was available at their previous Old Road home in Conisbrough, where the club had been playing since reforming in 2011. Of interest to groundhopping types who like a programme, the club is also issuing a matchday magazine for its home games this season – and very well produced it is too.

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The set-up at Balby Carr is quite an impressive one, with several games going on tonight on a variety of pitches. Over the hedge in the adjoining field were kids and womens games, while there is also an enclosed smaller artificial pitch which for some reason has a sign saying ‘Old Trafford’ on the outside of it. Passing a gaggle of disappointed Japanese tourists with Zlatan written on their backs, Denaby set up to play against local rivals Houghton Main, mainstays of the County Senior League in recent years and always relied on to give their opponents a good game.

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As the 5-4 scoreline suggests, there was not much between the two teams tonight. Main seemed to win more of the aerial and physical midfield battles, though ultimately it was a couple of defensive errors in the second half which put them beyond United’s reach. Though the homesters rallied towards the end, and were given fresh energy and added vim and vigour following some substitutions, Houghton Main were able to hold out for a slender victory.

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Some encouraging signs though for United as they attempt to climb the table – especially a fine direct free-kick scored by Martin Lawton (pic below), and the ubiquitous class of veteran centre-forward Steve Ellor – someone who played for the original club in 2002 and is still one of the best finishers in local football.

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Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dribblingcode

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thedribblingcode/albums

Direct link to more photos from the above game (click pic below):

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Wed 31 Aug 2016, Denaby Main v Denaby United (SCSL Prem)

Match Details: Denaby Main 1 3 Denaby United

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Competition: Sheffield County Senior League, Premier Division

Goalscorers: Liam Winfield (20) [Main]; Steve Ellor (24,75) + OG (59) [United]

Location: Tickhill Square, Denaby Main, Doncaster, DN12 4AW

Admission: £1 (Takings donated to Dementia UK charity)

Programme: £1 (special commemorative issue)

Attendance: circa-250 (head count)

Off The Pitch: Great to see a big attendance for the occasion which now finds both Main and United now in the top tier of the Sheffield County Senior League.

croppicture-019-sml-morecrop-wmLots of very old and young faces turned out for this -one local bird who must’ve been in her seventies at least was attending for the first time in decades + recalled how as a young un she used to swing on the railings on the far terrace, none of which is there any more.

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Sport: The match also doubled as the inaugural John Hurley Memorial Trophy – using an old supporters club cup from the 1930s, which is now going to awarded to winners of the Denaby ‘el classico’ each season.
Main took an early lead but were eventually over-run both technically and physically by United, which according to their website makes this their eighth successive Denaby-Derby since they were last defeated.

Gallery:

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Some additional photos from this visit can be found in our Flickr album, below (click photo for link):

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Also for update notifications and occasional other ramblings, add us on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/dribblingcode

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Sat 27 Aug 2016, Athersley Rec 1 -0 Armthorpe Welfare (NCEL Prem)

Match Details: Athersley Recreation 1 Armthorpe Welfare 0 (NCEL Premier Division)

Goalscorers: Kai Hancock [Athersley]

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Location: Sheerien Park, Ollerton Road, Athersley North, Barnsley, South Yorks, S71 3DP (look for entrance sign/small driveway next to house number 123).
Public transport = easy peasy: Train to Barnsley, then a number 11 bus (which runs every ten minutes and stops right outside the ground).
Admission: £5
Attendance: 85
Off The Pitch: A stone’s thrown north of Barnsley, Athersley is where a lot of Ken Loach’s classic Kes film was shot. My limitless imagination plus limited photoshop skills inspired this:

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Athersley Recreation FC began in 1979, when Pete Goodlad set up Athersley North Juniors FC, who later added a senior side. Having progressed through the local Barnsley leagues to the Sheffield Senior League in the mid-90s, and renamed Athersley Recreation along the way, they then set their sights on eventually getting accepted into the NCEL, but first had to do some ground upgrading.
Pete is still a constant fixture at the club in his current role of General Manager and Secretary and deserves a round of virtual applause for having taken the club on the journey he has thus far. After winning the Sheffield Senior League in 2011-12, and with the necessary ground improvements having been done, they joined the NCEL in 2012-13.  Here, they finished runners-up in Division One in their first season, and have been in the NCEL Premier Division since then. With around 50 years left on their current 60 year ground lease, the club’s future seems both stable and progressive. They recently had 1,420 people through the gate when they entertained Barnsley in a pre-season friendly (and beat their near neighbours 1-0).

 

This was the first time I’d been to the ground in daylight, and whereas some grounds have the feel of concrete and bricks and new estate show-house to them, Athersley piles it on thick with bold signage and a variety of timber and outbuildings. A fab maze of fences, huts and non-league plastic. It’s got a vibe of garden centre chic with all the wooden fence bits, and I like how at every turn on the near side there’s always another building to find; spacious luxury has been well used at Sheerien Park. This means there’s separate buildings for a shop, a tea hut, a PA shed, a Matchday Big-Cheese official’s office, changing rooms, bogs, et al, and then there’s the Rec Inn (small bar, big-ish telly, plus a few seats and tables) resplendent with its penguin-in-adidas (wot no Munsingwear polo?) frontage. No need to send the makeover team in, Athersley is already bang on as it is.

 

On The Pitch: Today’s visitors Armthorpe came into the game bottom of t’league, having lost all their opening four games which led to the resignation a few days ago of manager Brian Johnston. The club currently plays with a very young team, and one of the travelling Wellie old boys who I spoke to reckoned that this lack of experience has been the key reason they’re propping up the table at the moment.
On this showing, they stand a good chance of turning things around. Though it was ultimately an inability to take chances that cost them the points. Rec play some neat football for this level, often opting to pass the ball around at the back rather than go for the more commonly preferred quick hoof upfront tactic. They looked the more comfortable of the two sides when in possession, but Armthorpe pretty much matched them in terms of drive and effort in the first half. And after the break, the difference ultimately boiled down to ‘tekking a chance when it comes to thee’.

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Kai Hancock is one of those players that maybe goes under the radar but at the moment always seems to score. When he spun on a sixpence on the right hand edge of the opposition box four minutes into the second period, there were still at least half a dozen defenders in close contention between him and the goal. Next thing you know though, he’s got a shot in and it’s nestled into the bottom far corner of the goal with the keeper looking on helpless. That was ten for the season already though now for Hancock, and stands him currently at the top of the NCEL goalscoring charts.
Athersley 1 Armthorpe 0.

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Athersley then pressed further, and looked likely to get a second but it never came. Meanwhile, Armthorpe never gave up, and went go on to get two penalties in the last quarter of the game. The first one by Tom McLaughlin was on target, but close enough to the keeper for him to push it onto the post and wide. The second then came in injury time, and was basically the last kick of the game. This time skipper Craig Aspinall stepped up to the plate. Sadly though, it was a shocker that he will want to erase from his memory as quick as possible, being skied at least six feet over the crossbar. To coin a phrase: When you’re down, your luck’s out. But you need to chuffin’ score from penalties!

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And Furthermore: Before the game there was an impeccably observed minute’s silence held in memory of the 150th Anniversary of the Oaks Colliery (later known as Barnsley Main) Disaster, and the 80th Anniversary of an explosion at the local Wharncliffe Woodmoor Colliery. There were fundraising representatives here today from a campaign to build a memorial statue to remember the 383 mineworkers who perished at the former, as despite being the worst coal mining disaster to ever happen in England, there is not currently a memorial to those who died.
For further info or to make a donation, please head to: Remember The Oaks Mining Disaster on Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/RememberTheOaks
Or email: remembertheoaks@gmail.com
Twitter n Flickr:  A full photo album of ground and match action from today is available on The Dribbling Code’s flickr site at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/thedribblingcode/albums
We also have a Twitter account, where details of updates and suchlike are twitted about: http://www.twitter.com/dribblingcode
Ah’ll sithi.

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Tue 23 Aug 2016, Marsden v Linthwaite Ath (H&DL D2)

Match Details: Marsden 8 Linthwaite Athletic 3 (Huddersfield & District League, Division Two)

Photo album link:

Marsden (10)
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