Travels to the soul and heartbeat of English football...alright primarily Leicestershire!!!!
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My original plan for today was to take in a tie in the 2nd round of the Birmingham FA Saturday Vase between Jaguar-Daimler and Paget Rangers, but a posting on the Non-League Matters Forum stated that the home side had recently moved from their home base to ground share. With nothing really standing out I made the decision around Saturday lunch time to head into South Yorkshire. Worsbrough Bridge had been on my hit list for a few years now, and with nothing to stop me I made the 150 mile round trip. Bridge play on Park Road which is located on the A61 a few miles from junction 36 of the M1, and was one of the easiest grounds in terms of location that I have been to. On arrival there is a small car park and despite arriving about thirty five minutes before kick-off space was at a premium.
A warm and friendly welcome was had by the chap taking the gate and I paid £4 for the admission and a further £1 for a programme. The entrance to the social club and tea room are outside the confines of the ground, but today the former was out of bounds due to an impending function. The football club share the ground with the cricket club and steps lead you down to the playing surface. Most of the facilties (main stand, dugouts, changing rooms and hospitality room) are on the right hand side while there is a small covered stand on the left hand side. Behind the far goal and part of the left hand side are out of bounds to spectators.
After originally forming in 1923 as Worsbrough Bridge St. James, the club reformed in 1947 as Worsbrough Bridge Athletic Club playing both football and cricket, and as like today at Park Road. After success in the local Barnsley League they were accepted into the Sheffield & Hallamshire County Senior League in 1962. After enjoying both league and cup success in the 1960's Bridge stepped up to division 3 of the Yorkshire League in 1971. In 1982 they became founder members of the Northern Counties East League when the Yorkshire League merged with the Midland League and they have remained in this competition ever since.
Going into the game Bridge sat in fourth place in the NCEL Division 1 table with 35 points from their sixteen league games, while their visitors from Dunswell found themselves eight points and six places below their hosts in the table. The first half was fairly even with neither goal keeper being tested that often, though I did feel going towards half time that the home side would be slightly ahead on points. With one minute left of the first half a defensive error gifted the visitors the lead, as a misplaced and mistimed back pass allowed Matthew Crane to roll the ball into an empty net from a narrow angle. The home side put the pressure on the visiting goal in the second half, but I felt that they would be vulnerable to the counter attack and this proved to be the case. Another misjudgment in the home defence allowed Chris Adams to double Rangers' advantage on seventy five minutes. Their third and final goal of the afternoon came just five minutes later when Adams hit an unstoppable shot from the edge of the area.
Overall a scoreline that probably does not reflect the game in relation to the balance of play, but football like other sports is about taking the chances created and one presented to you. On this day Rangers did just that and they made the trip back to East Yorkshire with all three points.
Attendance: 89 (official)
Badge: £3 - available from club secretary Charlie Wyatt