Match Details: Kinsley Boys 1 – Harworth CI 0 (CML Supreme Division)
Destination: Kinsley Playing Fields, Wakefield Road, Kinsley, Pontefract, West Yorks, WF9 5EH
Competition: Central Midlands League, Supreme Division
Attendance: 237 (including around 200 neutral fans!)
Other Items Purchased: Tea (50p) / Kinsley Boys Pin Badge (£3) / Various old programmes from the charity stall (4 for £1)
Directions: The ground is located almost opposite the world-famous Kinsley Greyhound Stadium, just off the main Wakefield Road (aka the B6273). Nearest railway station is Fitzwilliam (about 10 mins walk); nearest connecting bus station is Hemsworth (about 15 mins walk). There is plenty of car parking space right next to the ground.
Off The Pitch: This match was the opening game picked for this year’s Central Midlands League “Bonanza Weekend” – whereby several matches are played in a short space of time, at varying kick-off times, enabling travellers to visit several grounds they may not have been to before. To this end, the following day saw four further games, staggered at kick-off times between 10.15am and 8pm. As well as being a magnet for groundhoppers and other football travellers, these events also benefit the clubs as their attendance will increase by severalfold, with Kinsley Boys seeing around 200 extra punters through the gates tonight.
Although from my own research, I know that Kinsley has had football teams in the local leagues at least since the First World War-era, they have never had what you might call a prolific non-league side. The current club, Kinsley Boys FC, were formed in 1962 and are well on the way to changing that, with a current position in the CML’s top division and hopes of making the next step up to the Northern Counties East League in the near future. This would then put them just nine promotions away from a place in the English Premier League!
Having risen up the non-league pyramid quite rapidly of late, in order to progress the club have had to match the performances on the pitch with upgrading their ground and its facilities. Recently, this has meant the installation of floodlights, laying hard standing areas all round the pitch, and building new changing rooms and a social club.
At present, there is no covered or seating accommodation – though if the club finish in a promotion place in the league, in order to join the NCEL they will have to install a minimum of a 50-capacity covered standing area (then during their first season, upgrade this to include at least 50 seats as well).
On The Pitch: Tonight’s game was keenly contested, with neither side having any real period of domination. Kinsley Boys got the only goal of the game from a penalty just before half-time. I’d just been up the other end of the ground to take some photos, so had a far-away view of the incident – but it looked like the Kinsley lad was ‘clattered’ in the box, and then Mark Lafferty did the honours from the spot. It was one of those games which you hoped a goal might open things up a bit. However, apart from one near thing when Harworth hit the crossbar from a header, the home side’s defence looked pretty watertight. And guided by an impressive performance from player-gaffer Neil ‘Tic’ Towler, the 1-0 victory was on balance a fair result.
To end with, I would also like to express my thanks to the two clubs involved, to the volunteers/staff at Kinsley for the warm welcome, and to the organisers of the event, including Rob and his wife Hazel who I spoke to at the charity programme stall.
Match / Ground Photos [*Click on individual pics to embiggen them*]