Sunday, 26 September 2010

Winterton Rangers

Saturday 25th September 2010
Northern Counties East League Premier Division
West Street

Today is a bonus in the fact that I can get two games in without changing my original 3pm kick-off to suit. I found last weekend that Winterton Rangers of the Northern Counties East League (NCEL) had a wedding reception at their West Street ground , so had brought forward the kick-off time for their game against Nostell Miners Welfare to 12 noon. This still gave me enough time to head south down the A15 to Nettleham for their 3pm kick-off against Pinxton in the Central Midlands League.

All Saints Church (source: Wikipedia)

Winterton itself is a small town in North Lincolnshire located five miles north of Scunthorpe and has a population of around 4,700 inhabitants. The drive up to Winterton took around two hours and the route took me up the M1, M18 and across the M180 to the outskirts of Scunthorpe before heading north to Winterton itself. The town is easy to find with it being signposted from the end of the M181 and the ground is pretty much in the middle of the town on West Street. The ground is set back from the road itself and you pull into a small car park. A turnstile greets you and takes you to the right of the near goal. It is a tidy affair with a seated stand along the left hand side and a small covered stand along the right. The clubhouse is behind the near goal though there is ample room between it and the pitch, for example unlike at Oadby Town where the clubhouse comes very close to pitch side. One thing also to note is that the pitch was in excellent condition and the best I have seen this season so far.

The club were founded in 1934 and joined the Scunthorpe & District League in 1945 winning the league championship in their first two seasons. Four more championships followed in 1950, 1952, 1963 and 1964 before they joined the Lincolnshire League in 1965. Five years were spent in the Lincolnshire League before they made the step up to the Yorkshire League. They were crowned champions of the Yorkshire League three times in the 1970’s before they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League in 1982. Unfortunately just two years later the club disbanded due to financial difficulties, but were re-formed in 1986 and were accepted into division two of the NCEL. In 1989/90 they won the division two title and two years ago were league champions itself while last season they finished in 6th place. Opponents Nostell Miners Welfare were formed in 1928 and have played in the Wakefield & District League and West Yorkshire League before joining the NCEL in 2006. At the start of play both sides were locked in the bottom half of the table with only one point and two places separating them in the favour of Winterton.

For the first half I decided to stand behind the near goal in the hope of getting a few decent photos but lack of goalmouth action in the Nostell penalty area made this difficult. Also the biting wind made it feel a lot colder than it actually was and after around half an hour moved round the side. The game during the opening period was difficult to watch at times and I felt the visitors from Yorkshire played the better football with Ernest Boafo looking particularly dangerous. The two best chances came from the home side, with one being a free kick that was tipped over by Gavin Ainsley in the Nostell goal. The second half was a lot better in terms of watch ability as the game opened up right from the start with both teams played more adventurous football. It was both keepers that kept the score goalless with Ainsley thwarting Winterton’s Liam Wilkin. Jack Ward then kept Nostell at bay when he saved from both Mark Thompson and Ernest Boafo before Boafo then headed against the bar from the resulting corner. Clifton Firth then clipped the outside of the post and it seemed I was destined for a first 0-0 since the spring. The winner came with eleven minutes from time from Lee Maturine which was a relief to us neutrals in the ground, though Winterton will feel hard done by as they had (what looked like from my view point) a perfectly good goal disallowed and a stonewall penalty turned down by the referee.

Overall it was a visit that to a friendly club and to a ground that I liked a lot that was not on my immediate radar. It was also good to meet up with Chrisb and Bertie188e who like me post on Tony’s Non League Forum.

Admission: £5
Programme: £1
Team Sheet: free
Attendance: 60 (official)
Coffee: £1
Sausage Roll: £1

More photos of the game can be found here: WRFC


A History of the Scunthorpe & District Football League by Vic Duke (ISBN: 978-0-9559212-0-9)
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