Saturday brought a visit to Spennymoor’s Brewery Field ground. Those who know me will be surprised to learn it is about 27 years since I saw a home league game involving Spennymoor. I used to go to watch Spennymoor every week when I was at school.
I have been to see Spennymoor at home in several cup games or friendlies, but not league games.
Approaching the Ground
The Arch @ The Turnstiles
Since the days when I was at school, the main stand at Spennymoor has been demolished (following the Bradford fire in 1985). The large covered terrace down one side – fondly known as the “Tin Shack” – has been demolished and is now replaced by the new main stand.
Front & Rear Views of New Main Stand
The old main stand site is now open space.
Looking Where The Old Main Stand Used to Be
The Old Front Wall of The Main Stand – Gateway was where home team entered the pitch
The old bottom end of the ground now has a covered terrace.
The Covered End – tea room in background
The Supporters Club hut and the wooden refreshment kiosk are long since demolished.
a) The Durham Road Terrace
b) Derelict Land Where Supporters Club used to be
c) The Old Teesdale Crescent Turnstiles
The game was a chance for Spennymoor to gain a 3rd win of the season over Tow Law, having beaten them away in the league and a cup tie. Spennymoor are a club seemingly on the up at present having been reformed back in 2005 as Spennymoor Town after the old club, Spennymoor United went bankrupt and were expelled from the then Unibond League (now EvoStik League). The bankruptcy cause chaos and resulted in court cases involving several clubs and the League.
The beauty of non league football is there is non of the cost or restrictive stewarding associated with the Premiership or Football League. Admission is £6, and the programme is £1.20. This means there is change from a tenner to get a pint as well in the bar. Try that at a Premier League game.
Once in the ground, there is no segregation. Indeed there is no ability to segregate the fans it seems. In the Skill Training Northern League, there is no need for segregation, stewarding or police. Fans stand shoulder to shoulder and banter is exchanged in good humour.
The catering facilities are good. Chips, pies, hot dogs, burgers and great big cups of tea. All at decent prices. You try getting a portion of chips and a cup of tea for under £2.00 at a Premiership game. In fact try getting a cup of lukewarm liquid that may or may not be tea for under £2 at such a game and you will be doing well.
The fans are an interesting section of society, from the train spotter types to the chaps who have stood watching the game in the same spot every game for the last 40 years. The crowd was probably below the average as the game clashed with the Wales v England Euro Qualifier game that was live on TV, also with a 3pm kick off.
The game itself was a rather good example of football at this level. Spennymoor won 3-0, but took 39 minutes to get a goal that counted. On 19 minutes, Spennymoor had the ball in the back of the net. The goal was ruled out for offside. Watch the video below and see if you can spot who the linesman saw in an offside position. Answers please to the linesman care of Specsavers Opticians.
The Spennymoor crowd have long been known for their vocal support and today was no example. The crowd behind the goal burst into song on numerous occasions, in particular the chants of “Moo-ers” whenever Spennymoor got a corner.
The Behind the Goal ( & Behind their team) Faithful – Durham Road End in 1st Half
As I left the ground, I saw board below, showing amongst other things, Albert Hickman lifting the Northern League trophy in I believe 1977. He captained the great Spennymoor side of the late 1970s who got to the FA Trophy semi-finals and reached the 2nd round proper of the FA Cup twice in 3 years.
The Club honours are as follows:
In addition to these, Spennymoor Town won the Northern League Championship in 2009-2010 season.
I’m biased, but this is a great little ground. Definitely one of, if not the best, in the Northern League.